Duck PC, the definitive migration?

Duck PC, the definitive migration?

computer ducka magazine of reference in French video game journalism, It goes wrong. ” Our bird is going through a zone of turbulence. », Ivan Gaudé, its co-founder, warned at the end of June. Dismissal of three journalists, the last to arrive. Stop collaborating with a freelancer and not replace a retirement… Non-stop press, the publisher of computer duck, will therefore go from fourteen to a dozen employees. The main cause of this crisis: the price of paper. ” When the printer says in December that prices will go up 15% and a few months later they go up again, things quickly get complicated. “.


Since its creation in 2003, computer duck stands out thanks to a tone close to Freezing Fluid, authors with more or less scholarly pseudonyms (Ivan Le Fou, Louis-Ferdinand Sébum, etc.), and articles that are sometimes experimental in form, always rigorous in substance. It is also a claimed independence from the studios, a critical approach to marketing. These fun video magazines with a strong identity are rare today. joint venturemore artisanal, founded in 2013 by other ex-students of joystick it is published in dribs and drabs, without long-term visibility. Online, gamekult was bought by Reworld: a bad sign for many journalists, who fear that communication takes precedence over publishing. ” If these three titles disappear, I don’t know what specialized video game media I would read in France. “, blows a colleague.

computer duck, is a series of crises, faced one after another without ever changing ownership. A feat in this sector, now devastated, the result of ill-advised decisions and the rise of the Internet. These crises have also shaped their identity. A person close to the newsroom mentions one crisis meeting per year since its creation. ” it’s a bit exaggerated », smiles Iván Gaudé. At the very least, the newspaper was born in the midst of chaos.


2003, therefore. Some forty video game publications then line the shelves of press houses. In twenty years, three quarters have disappeared. Unthinkable Today: The Magazine joystickowned by Hachette Digital, it sold a minimum of 60,000 copies, with a print run of between 90,000 and 100,000. Ivan Gaudé was then editor-in-chief of DVD-Magazineat the same Hachette branch, but not for long: the title is sold to the Future France group. The journalist fears the intrusions of marketing in the publishing house and leaves the ship, with a check in his pocket, in the company of Jérôme Darnaudet, then editor-in-chief of joystick (died 2018), Pascal Hendrickx, Olivier Peron, and Michael Sarfati. ” We didn’t want to work with Future France, they didn’t know anything about the press. “Iván Gaudé slices.

They create Presse Non-Stop and launch computer duck one summer, convinced of the loyalty of the readers of joystick in your style. Of the first issue, which appeared in November 2003, 50,000 copies were printed on newsprint. Result, less than 2,000 copies sold. ” A catastrophe sums up Ivan Gaude. ” Our big mistake, which at the time we considered an asset, was to have invested mainly our own money. If we had shareholders, they would have told us to stop. The newspaper continues to make inroads, somehow.

money, too expensive

In 2006, two shareholders poured non-stop into Presse’s capital to save the group, contributing €100,000. Initially weekly computer duck it becomes fortnightly at the beginning of 2007. And he resigns himself to two dismissals. The magazine lifts the beak out of the water, but it’s a hit.

Next episode: Presstalis. In December 2017, France’s main newspaper distributor is at risk of insolvency. A quarter of the sums owed to customers is withheld. Double disaster for small publishers, who must also put their hands in their pockets as part of the distributor’s rescue plan. The only solution: to appeal to the readers of the financing platform Ulule to Pay Presstalis and switch to a monthly fee, the only way to survive in the long term. Writing goes from eight to four people, pagination from 84 to 100 pages. 2018 is not a good year, 2019 allows optimism.

The Covid-19 pandemic takes the world by surprise: printing shops are closed, newsstands are closing, the post office is out of order. ” For two years, we handled miseryIván Gaudé believes. With the government measures, the banks agree to lend us. It simplifies things, but nothing is simple. “. Underlines: ” Our economic model has completely changed in five, six years “. This day, computer duck sells 15,000 issues per month (compared to approximately 20,000 in 2019). In three years, its sales to numbers have fallen by around 35%, partially offset by a deferral of subscriptions. However, the less the magazine sells per issue, the more expensive its presence on newsstands becomes for Presse Non-Stop, which must guarantee the destruction of unsold copies (70% of the copies on newsstands today).


Another challenge: finding a new audience, because the readers of computer duck getting old. Ivan Gaudé is convinced of this: “ You have to go look for the young people where they are, that is, in the video. » During the pandemic, given the impossibility of printing magazines, computer duck for a while it became a 100% video medium. It was based on Twitch, the popular streaming platform for players, owned by Amazon. Unlike the first steps of the magazine on the platform, in 2019, this time the change in video production is bearing fruit. represents todayI’m a little more than pocket money “. Being present on the platform is “ vital from a tactical and strategic point of view. Everything indicates that we have gained notoriety in this space “. Ivan Gaudé takes as evidence the curve of subscription to the magazine, parallel to the rise in viewership on Twitch “. The magazine now has more than 25,000 followers on the platform.

According to the co-founder, the pandemic has accelerated everything. The paper model has lived, that’s for sure, but we’re going to stick with it until the end. “. In mid-September, the co-founder told us that he had to deal with a new increase in the cost of manufacturing the magazine…” Even a probable increase in the price of paper in the coming months”. In November, computer duck it will leave its facilities for Arcueil, its new nest.

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