Official UK Dreamcast Magazine: Demo Editions

It's pretty much standard practice for a console to have it's own officially-licensed print magazine, and the Dreamcast was no different. The Official UK Dreamcast Magazine is well known for it's more mature tone and it very much felt like a clone of the Official PlayStation Magazine, what with the monthly DreamOn demo discs stuck to the font cover and the premium price of £5 in an era where £3 was more common for a monthly gaming publication. For this reason alone, I tended to purchase Paragon Publishing's unofficial Dreamcast Magazine and occasionally Dreamcast Monthly and DC-UK. I must also admit to having bought Mr Dreamcast on one occasion but the less said about that, the better. That's not to say I never bought ODM (as it was known) though, as I did when I was feeling particularly flush; but back in 1999 that wasn't a regular occurrence...and still isn't. But enough about my Bob Cratchit-esque lifestyle.

We have covered the various UK-based monthly Dreamcast periodicals in a previous post here at the Junkyard, but this is slightly different to that article (it has 95% less swearing). It appears that when pitching the idea of an official magazine to Sega, Dennis Publishing pulled out all the stops to win the contract and went as far as producing a full-blown demo magazine to present to the big wigs, of which around 50 issues were produced. Thanks to regular DCJY visitor and Dreamcast collector Blue Swirl, we are able to present these rather amazing images of the Official UK Dreamcast Magazine's unreleased demo issue.
Pretty sure the hippy is from Body Harvest on N64
You will note several differences between the final version and the demo, such as the different title font and graphics, and also the use of silver and the Dreamcast logo on the sides of each page. Blue Swirl offers more details on the differences between the dummy run and the final product:

I got one of the magazines on eBay and I got the other two from someone who as a hobby preserves magazines by scanning them. I said to him I was a bit of a Dreamcast nut and wondered if he would part with them, and to my surprise he was more than happy to let them go to me as I am a collector.

The magazine has approximately 140 pages but that consists of the first 70 pages printed twice, I guess they did this to give it some bulk. 

Some content is exactly the same but with a completely different layout, there are some pages that are not in the final issue and some features have different content, like the Gadgets Gizmos and Websites feature. The Fourplay feature has some different content too plus there are some fashion photos not present in the full issue, and it also has a small feature where they ask what the cast of Red Dwarf think of the Dreamcast. Another thing omitted from the full issue was the gatefold front cover. 

There isn't a staff section but there is the editors note.

Interestingly I noticed they originally went with an out of 6 for the review score system.
The 6 point scoring system can be seen here
It's interesting to see these pre-production mock ups and this gives an idea of the amount of work that must have gone into competing for the official brand license. Maybe there are some other mock ups in the hands of collectors which were created by competing publishing houses? If there are, and you have one please let us know. On this note, DC-UK was originally intended to be Future Publishing's pitch for the official license, so it would be fascinating to see if there are any officially branded demo issues.
Thanks to Blue Swirl for all of these images and information, and be sure to check out the eponymous blog, BlueSwirl.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting. I actually enjoyed the office magazine and still enjoy browsing through them.

DC-UK was also a great read.

Joe said...

I know you guys have been reviewing them but is there anywhere online where scans of these are available?

Caspian said...

I enjoyed DC UK more in fact.