Massive Gamer…WTF? (UPDATED)

EDIT: This post is now very much out-of-date (see comments). The folks at Massive Gamer have done a great job of bringing their site up to snuff.

So I’ve been seeing mention of this new magazine “Massive Gamer.” I’m an MMO fanboy and all that, so I figured I’d best check this out. You can too: Massive Gamer. Check it out and come back. I’ll wait.

So tell me, were you moved to subscribe? No? What’s the matter with you? Isn’t a shot of the AoC babe enough to get you to fork out $25!?

Sorry, I’m really trying to bite back my sarcasm for the sake of the writers of the magazine, but c’mon Massive Gamer, get a f-ing clue! You’ve got to give potential subscribers a taste before they’re going to buy (and a table of contents, hidden behind the Press Release link, doesn’t count).

If you think your content is so incredibly valuable (y’know, more valuable than the content of every other magazine and newspaper with a web presence, all of whom post at least some articles online) that you can’t afford to give away an article or two, at least offer the option to buy a sample issue for $5 or whatever.

And for the love of all that is holy, hire a web designer. What’s up with those rapidly scrolling images at the top of the page? Is that just to see how annoying you can be? Why isn’t there an “About” link or a “Contact Us” link on the home page. On the subscription page, how about some basic facts, like, oh, how many issues in a year’s subscription? Is it monthly? Bi-monthly? Semi-annual? How about an indication that your secure certificate is with a reputable company (it’s a GoDaddy Cert, btw) for less savvy web users who don’t know how to check a certificate.

Throw me a bone here. Convince me you’re something other than a fly-by-night company that’s going to put out 2 issues and then fold, taking my money with you.

I’m ranting because it’s just tragic. What I’m asking for costs nothing. It just requires a modicum of caring about the customer experience. When the magazine fails, the publisher will blame the economy or the fact that print is dying, and he’ll convince others that there’s no hope for a print mag dedicated to MMO gaming.

And that would be a shame, because I think such a publication could succeed, given half a chance. But the Publisher of Massive Gamer isn’t giving his fledgling magazine even a tenth of a chance.

5 thoughts on “Massive Gamer…WTF? (UPDATED)

  1. Her magazine, maybe? I think the publisher is a woman? I think I learned that much from the website.

    If this Massive magazine is the same as the one I’m thinking of, there’s a bit of history behind it. There’s a short bit of the story on Wikipedia. I don’t know how it got from there to where it is now, but it’s some sort of relaunch with different owners, perhaps?

    Brasse might be able to give us some details over on the CoW boards, she has quite a few articles in the current edition.

    The magazine industry is brutal. When Games for Windows (formerly CGW) is folding up shop, you know it’s not easy to make a living writing about games. I’m sure that has a lot to do with why Massive is so expensive (they probably don’t make as much in advertising as a magazine supported by a huge conglomerate), but yeah, I find it unlikely I’d drop that much money once to try it out.

  2. Rick, part of what got my rant engine going full-bore last night was that I worked with some of the folks at the original Massive Magazine. Specifically I worked at Computer Games Magazine before it was bought by TheGlobe and run into the ground. I wanted the first mag to succeed both for selfish reasons (I *want* this kind of a mag!) and for the sake of old friends like Cindy Yans, who was Computer Games Adventure/RPG editor and who wrote a lot for Massive.

    Now, seeing Brasse’s name in the ToC as much as it is, I want this new mag to do well both for her sake (new friends?) and because I want to know I can buy a sub with confidence.

    But a decent website is crucial these days. It’s just frustrating to me to see so much being done so wrong this early in the mag’s lifespan. They’re spending money to establish a presence at GenCon and SOE Fan Faire. Why not spend a bit more to throw together a decent site with 2-3 articles from the initial issue?

    Honestly if I were launching a magazine today, I’d totally skip the print part and focus on online. I’ve been in the magazine industry for about 15 years now and the writing is pretty much on the wall for niche print publications.

  3. They’re bringing the things you mentioned together – the website is being worked on & they have two article samples from this issue available on the net.

    http://www.mpogd.com/news/?ID=4010 has the latest press release from Massive Gamer (They’re on their third issue now).

    I’d like to hear more of what you expect & what you’d like to see from Massive Gamer. If you’d like to share, please e-mail me at [email protected]. 🙂

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