Xbox's official magazine is no more. The magazine launched in November 2001, with its first preview released at E3 2001, a sad coincidence since E3 has also been canceled this year. According to Eurogamer, the Official Xbox Magazine (OXM) was closed last week and they let the rest of the staff go this week.
OXM has been a major player in gaming magazines for 20 years and this is the first major branded magazine affiliated with a gaming console to close amidst COVID-19 difficulties.
All of OXM's promotional accounts, such as Twitter, now advertise for GamesRadar, another Future publication. Future, the publishers of OXM, gave a statement to Eurogamer stating that the decline of retail gaming recently has caused OXM's sales to decrease, which lead to their closure.
The publisher states, "Like many organizations right now, we find ourselves being forced into making difficult decisions. We have a duty of care to all our staff during this time and our focus is on protecting the business for them and for our customers."
Future explains further, "We have introduced a raft of measures to keep the numbers of lay-offs to an absolute minimum, including significant pay cuts for our Executive Team and Board. Whilst the decline in retail footfall impacts our magazine business, we are well placed with significant digital audiences and diversified revenues to continue delivering on our customers' changing needs at this time."
OXM is not the only publication that has faced a decline in recent days. Future has also announced a cut in its freelance budget across all of its brands.
Hopefully, this will be the only gaming publication forced to close in these difficult times. COVID-19 is affecting the industry all across the board and with no end of complications to the industry, due to the responses needed for the pandemic.