Well! Thank you. We’ve just received the figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (the people who keep an eye on magazine sales and come up with definitive circulation figures), and they reveal that CRASH is the biggest selling computer magazine in the UK and Eire. Gosh!
And it’s all down to you, dear readers, the nice people who scamper out every month and purchase a copy of CRASH thus paying our wages, keeping the team in Old Flatulence Bitter and cheese and onion sarnies and allowing us to sit here in Ludlow playing computer games and writing the magazine. It’ll take a bit of doing, getting to the million — but who knows, eh?
Shifting gear slightly, we’ve been able to conduct a bit of a straw poll on the CRASHTIONNAIRE forms with the aid of our very own Database Minion, Gaz. He’s stopped up nights, worn his contact lenses to a frazzle by staring at a computer screen and input the data from 500 of your forms so far. The preliminary findings are interesting, to say the least, so here’s a bijou roundupette of the results so far. Fuller details will be made available in a later issue, after a lot more time at the keyboard.
Taking things in order, it seems that most of you have been reading CRASH for a good while now — 56% of you have bought more than nine copies since May last year. Welcome aboard to the other half of you who caught on to CRASH more recently. Nice to have you with us. One thing that really should stop is all this sharing of copies of CRASH — surely you want your very own copy to treasure for evermore (thereby making your contribution to the Editor’s Beer Fund). Fortunately, no-one in the sample of 500 readers we examined actually allowed ten people to read their copy of CRASH, but fifty of you naughty people said nine people read your copy regularly! Maybe we could go for the million after all, if only we could persuade you generous types to be a bit meaner...
In terms of the popularity of other computer magazines, after CRASH, Sinclair User came out tops, collecting 27% of the votes and pipping its stablemate Computer and Video Games into second place (25% of the fave rave vote). Your Sinclair was only just third, with 23% and then it was right down to 7% of the vote for Popular Computing Weekly and Computer Gamer, followed by ZX Computing and Personal Computer World with 6% and 5% respectively.
An awful lot of you intend buying another computer in the next twelve months — 128K Spectrums, or are there a couple of putative (LMLWD) Cray owners out there? 76% of the respondents in the sample, claim to have plans for a new computer. Hmm ... maybe their Spectrums are getting tired with all the games they play.
Not too surprisingly, Playing Tips came top again in the prioritised list of your favourite parts of CRASH, followed by arcade reviews, previews and competitions. Lloyd has carved a nice solid niche for himself, with Merely Mangram coming in in fifth place and the Forum in sixth. Down at the bottom of the class were Frontline, Hall of Slime and Bugbox.
We seem to have cracked the ratings problem to most people’s satisfaction. A massive 87% of you reckoned the rating system was good and absolutely no-one thought it was bad. 81% agree with the ratings ‘Quite Often’ and again, no one ever disagrees totally. When it comes to buying games, 84% of you, in total, are influenced ‘Quite Often’ or ‘Every Time’ by CRASH ratings and a couple of people (literally) claim never to be influenced — perhaps they never actually BUY games. Bad fellows!
As to the reviews themselves, the solid weight of opinion fell behind the way we are doing things at the moment, with a few people thinking we ought to do less of things. Most of the respondents reckon we’ve got it right in terms of length, amount of reviewers’ opinion and detail but the same group of people want more screenshots. We’ll see what we can do, but Cameron (our ace lensperson) is already struggling with a bit of an ego problem having sneaked into the photocaptions, and he’s kept very busy as it is.
In terms of your comments, we haven’t had time to do a full analysis of the 500 forms we’ve looked at — the Database is great on sums and numbers but has all the intelligence of a ZZAP! reviewer when it comes to understanding English! A couple of choice comments pop out of the general sea of opinions about percentage systems and ratings though, including one wally who asked for a rating on the price. Wot’s VALUE FOR MONEY THEN. Never mind. A few folks came up with “Include me as a reviewer”, not unreasonably; one person asked us to include the maker’s opinion while another said “don’t let the adverts bias you!!”. Someone else asked for ten reviewers opinions on each game. AAAAARGH!
Lloyd’s photographic image seems to be one of the additional features CRASH readers crave — one chap wanted a 12 foot poster of Lloyd, no less! More Maps and Tips is a popular request, and there are quite a few calls for more serious programming articles. Just about everyone in the sample seems to want more of existing features or new features to be included rather than less of anything that’s going on between the CRASH covers at the moment. Much pondering will follow over the next few weeks and we’ll do our best to heed your wishes.
Well, there you go. A quick taste of your opinions to be going on with — with luck, and if everything goes according to PLAN A, we should be able to reveal the full analysis of CRASHTIONNAIRE ’86 next month, and share the well kept secret of what CRASH readers drink!