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Famitsu - Issue 1.jpg
Cover art for the first issue of Famits? magazine (then known as Famicom Ts?shin), June 1986. The Atari 2600 controller and the Family Computer controller can be seen on the cover.
CategoriesVideo game
FrequencyWeekly / Monthly
FormatPaper and online magazine
Circulation500,000 (Sh?kan)
120,000 (Entamikusu)
80,000 (Connect! On)
40,000 (DS+Wii)[1]
PublisherASCII (1986-2000)
Enterbrain (2000-2013)
Kadokawa (2013-2017)
Gzbrain (2017-2019)
Kadokawa Game Linkage (2019-)
First issueJune 1986; 33 years ago (1986-06) (as Famicom Ts?shin)

Famitsu,[a] formerly Famicom Ts?shin, is a line of Japanese video game magazines published by Kadokawa Game Linkage (previously known as Gzbrain), a subsidiary of Kadokawa. Famitsu is published in both weekly and monthly formats as well as in the form of special topical issues devoted to only one console, video game company, or other theme. Sh?kan Famits?,[b] the original Famits? publication, is considered the most widely read and respected video game news magazine in Japan.[2][3][4] From October 28, 2011 the company began releasing the digital version of the magazine exclusively on BookWalker weekly.[5][6]

The name Famits? is a portmanteau abbreviation of Famicom Ts?shin;[c] the word "Famicom" itself comes from a portmanteau abbreviation of "Family Computer" (the Japanese name for the Nintendo Entertainment System)--the dominant video game console in Japan during the 1980s.


Login (?), a computer game magazine, started in 1982 as an extra issue of ASCII, and later it became a periodic magazine. Famicom Ts?shin[d] was a column in Login, focused on the Famicom platform, and ran from March 1985 to December 1986 issue. It received a good reception, so the publisher decided to found the magazine specialized for it.[7][8]

The first issue of Famits? was published on June 6, 1986 as Famicom Ts?shin.[9] It sold less than 200,000 copies, despite 700,000 copies printed. The major competitor was Family Computer Magazine launched in July 1985 by Tokuma Shoten. Famits?'s editor found many readers had multiple game consoles, and they thought it would be better if the magazine covered various platforms. Increasing contents and the page count gradually, the magazine was published three times per month instead of semimonthly publication. On July 19, 1991 (issue #136) the magazine was renamed to Sh?kan Famicom Ts?shin[e] and issues were published weekly thereafter. Alongside the weekly magazine, a monthly version called Gekkan Famicom Ts?shin[f] was also published.

Hirokazu Hamamura, an editor-in-chief (1992-2002), felt the beginning of a new era when he saw a private demonstration of Final Fantasy VII in 1993. He thought the name Famicom Ts?shin should be refurbished. At the start of 1996 (with issue #369) the magazines underwent another name change, truncating their titles to Sh?kan Famits?[g] and Gekkan Famits?.[h] The name Famits? had already been in common use.[8]

The magazine was published by ASCII from its founding through March 2000 when it was sold to Enterbrain, which published it for 13 years until their parent company Kadokawa published it from 2013 to 2017. Since 2017, Kadokawa's subsidiary Gzbrain has been publishing the magazine, while in 2019 the company changed its name to Kadokawa Game Linkage.[6]

Sh?kan Famits? and Gekkan Famits?

Famicom Ts?shin initially focused on the Famicom platform, but later it featured multi-platform coverage. Famicom Ts?shin was renamed to Famits? in 1995. Sh?kan Famits? is a weekly publication concentrating on video game news and reviews, and is published every Thursday with a circulation of 500,000 per issue.[1]Gekkan Famits? is published monthly.

Necky the Fox

Famits? magazine covers alternately feature pop idols or actresses on even-numbered issues and the Famits? mascot, Necky[i] the Fox[10] in odd-numbered issues.[11] Year-end and special editions all feature Necky dressed as popular contemporary video game characters. Necky is the cartoon creation of artist Susumu Matsushita, and he takes the form of a costumed fox.[12] The costumes worn by Necky reflect current popular video games. Necky's name was chosen according to a reader poll, and it derives from a complex Japanese pun: "Necky" is actually the reverse of the Japanese word for fox, ,[j] and his original connection to Famicom Ts?shin is intended to evoke the bark of the fox, the Japanese onomatopoeia of which is ?[k].[13] Necky makes a cameo appearance in Super Mario Maker.[14]

Special topic Famits?s

Famits? publishes other magazines dedicated to particular consoles. Currently in circulation are:

  • Entamikusu[l] (previously Otonafami[m]) is written for an older audience and covers retrogaming. It has been published monthly since November 2010.
  • Famits? Connect! On[n] reports on online gaming.
  • Famits? DS+Wii[o] reports on Nintendo platforms (currently the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch). The magazine was formerly known as Famits? 64 and then Famits? Cube (among other variations of those two names) based on whatever platforms Nintendo was producing games for at the time.
  • Famits? GREE[p] reports on mobile gaming via GREE.
  • Famits? Mobage[q] reports on mobile gaming via Mobage.

Former special topics

Famits? spin-offs that are no longer in circulation include:

  • Famits? Bros.[r] (previously Famicom Ts?shin K?ryaku Special) was written for younger audiences and concentrated on video game hints and strategy. It was published monthly and went defunct in September 2002.
  • Famicomi[s] (previously Famits? Comic) was a comic and manga magazine published irregularly between 1992 and 1995.
  • Famits? DC[t] reported on Sega platforms news and covered the Dreamcast. Previous incarnations of this magazine included Sega Saturn Ts?shin which covered the Sega Saturn, with earlier issues covering earlier Sega platforms.
  • Famits? Sister[u] covered bish?jo games.
  • Satellaview Ts?shin[v] covered the Satellaview. It was published monthly and ran for only 12 issues from May 1995 to May 1996. Its inaugural issue was the May 1995 issue of Gekkan Famicom Ts?shin.
  • Virtual Boy Ts?shin[w] covered the Virtual Boy. Only one issue was ever published in 1995.
  • Famits? PS[x] (previously PlayStation Ts?shin) began publication in May 1996, and reported on Sony platforms news. It was later known as Famits? PS2 and Famits? PSP+PS3 before being discontinued in March 2010.
  • Famits? Wave DVD[y] (previously GameWave DVD) covered events, film, and previews. Each magazine included a DVD disc (NTSC Region 2) with video game footage. It was published monthly and went defunct in May 2011.
  • Famits? Xbox 360[z] reported on Xbox and Xbox 360 news. It went defunct in 2013.


Video games are graded in Famits? via a "Cross Review" in which a panel of four video game reviewers each give a score from 0 to 10 (with ten indicating the best game). The scores of the four reviewers are then added up for a maximum possible score of 40. From the twenty-four games awarded with a perfect score as of 2017, three are for the Nintendo DS and five are for the Wii. The PlayStation 3 also has five games with a perfect score and the Xbox 360 has four, with both consoles having four titles in common. The others are for different platforms with only one title each. Franchises with multiple perfect score winners include The Legend of Zelda with four titles, Metal Gear with three titles, and Final Fantasy with two titles. The most recent game to receive a perfect score is Death Stranding.

As of 2016, all but two games with perfect scores are from Japanese companies, nine being published/developed by Nintendo, four by Square Enix, three by Sega, three by Konami and one by Capcom. As of 2016, the only two completely foreign games to achieve a perfect score are The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim by Bethesda Softworks and Grand Theft Auto V, from Rockstar Games. Other foreign games that have achieved near-perfect scores are L.A. Noire, Red Dead Redemption, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV - all four of which came from Rockstar Games; Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - all from Activision, although published by Square Enix in Japan; and Gears of War 3 from Epic Games. (Kingdom Hearts II is a joint effort between Square Enix and Disney Interactive Studios.)


Famitsu administers the Famitsu awards. Video games receive a number of different awards in categories like Innovation, Biggest Hit, Rookie Award, Highest Quality, etc. One or two "Game of the Year" awards are granted as the top prize. Top prize winners are determined by a combination of critical and fan review scores as well as sales figures.

Relationship with other magazines

UK trade magazine MCV and Famitsu have an exclusive partnership which sees news and content from each magazine appear in the other.[15]

See also


  1. ^ Japanese: ? Hepburn: Famits?
  2. ^ Japanese: , lit. "Weekly Famits?"
  3. ^ Japanese: ?, officially translated as Famicom Journal
  4. ^ Japanese: ?, lit. "Famicom News"
  5. ^ Japanese: , lit. "Weekly Famicom News"
  6. ^ Japanese: , lit. "Monthly Famicom News"
  7. ^ Japanese: , lit. "Weekly Famits?"
  8. ^ Japanese:
  9. ^ Japanese: ? Hepburn: Nekk?
  10. ^ Japanese: kitsune
  11. ^ Japanese: "kon kon"
  12. ^ Japanese:
  13. ^ Japanese:
  14. ^ Japanese: !
  15. ^ Japanese: ?DS+Wii
  16. ^ Japanese: ?GREE
  17. ^ Japanese: ?Mobage
  18. ^ Japanese: ?
  19. ^ Japanese:
  20. ^ Japanese: ?DC
  21. ^ Japanese: ?Sister
  22. ^ Japanese:
  23. ^ Japanese: ?
  24. ^ Japanese: ?PS
  25. ^ Japanese: ?WaveDVD
  26. ^ Japanese: ?Xbox


  1. ^ a b "Enterbrain Brand Information" (in Japanese). Enterbrain. Archived from the original on 2013-01-15. Retrieved .
  2. ^ Tor Thorsen (2006-03-08). "FFXII gets perfect score from Famitsu". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2012-10-23. Retrieved .
  3. ^ Steve Kalpaxidis (2005-07-01). "PS3 To Come Without Bundled HDD?". Advanced Media Network. Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. Retrieved .
  4. ^ Rodney Quinn (2006-03-09). "Final Fantasy XII scores perfect 40/40 in Famitsu reviews". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved .
  5. ^ "()?10?28! - ?App". www.famitsu.com. Archived from the original on 2015-12-11. Retrieved .
  6. ^ a b https://gamebiz.jp/?p=247334
  7. ^ Gifford, Kevin (2008-11-16). "GameSetWatch COLUMN: 'Game Mag Weaseling': Whoops, I Was Logged Out". www.gamesetwatch.com. UBM Technology Group. Retrieved .
  8. ^ a b "?30" [30 Year History of Game Media]. Sh?kan Famits?. 31 (24): 120-127. 2016.
  9. ^ Martin Picard (December 2013). "The Foundation of Geemu: A Brief History of Early Japanese video games". International Journal of Computer Game Research. 13 (2). Archived from the original on 24 June 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  10. ^ Ashcraft, Brian. Gaming Magazine Totally Snubs Xbox 360!? Archived 2009-05-05 at the Wayback Machine. Kotaku. 4 February 2008.
  11. ^ Gifford, Kevin. 'Game Mag Weaseling': Japan Mag Roundup 2008 Archived 2012-10-11 at the Wayback Machine. GameSetWatch. 27 April 2008.
  12. ^ 'Necky the Fox' Archived 2011-07-24 at the Wayback Machine. SusumuMatsushita.net. 10 July 2004.
  13. ^ Gifford, Kevin. Weekend Factyard: Famitsu/Famicom Tsushin Archived 2010-01-03 at the Wayback Machine MagWeasel. 19 September 2009.
  14. ^ Calvert, Darren. "Super Mario Maker DLC Confirmed, Famitsu's Mascot Necky The Fox Coming Soon". Nintendo Life. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on 14 September 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  15. ^ "MCV launches daily service". Intent Media. 2007-02-26. Archived from the original on 2010-08-06. Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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