So the official word is out. Electronic Gaming Monthly is dead. The issue on the stands (or possibly in your hands) now is the final issue. It’s not a surprise, of course, Ziff-Davis has been hurting for a long time, and the print magazine business is in a bad, bad way.
But I can’t help but be a bit sad. EGM has been around for something like 20 years. Seeing anything with that kind of heritage die is never fun.
Not that I’ve always been a fan, mind you. I’ve always been in the situation of being unusually old as a gamer, and when EGM first came out it was writing to a 12 year old audience when I was in my late-20s. And it was about those lame console games when I was a computer gamer. A *real* gamer! 🙂 But the magazine seemed to grow up along with the first generation of gamers (and consoles) and for the past few years I’ve been reading EGM regularly. And it was OK. Which sounds like damning with faint praise, but OK is pretty good in the world of gaming mags. I’ll miss it.
I’m told the European gaming magazines are still quite good, but they’re a bit pricey for my tastes. In the US we’re left with GamePro (terrible the last time I looked at it; granted that was years ago) and Game Informer (house organ to that vilest of chains, Gamestop) and a few smaller niche mags like the curiously titled Beckett Massive Online Gamer.
I sometimes miss the heyday of gaming mags, when titles like Computer Gaming World and Strategy Plus (later Computer Games Magazine) were densely informational magazines packed full of great gaming info. And I hope you will forgive me that arrogance since I was an editor at the latter for a while, but it was a great mag way before I joined them and for a good while after I left.
Gaming blogs fill in the gaps to some extent, but there are so many of them that missing great posts is inevitable. Plus you can’t spend a lazy Sunday afternoon stretched out on the couch reading gaming blogs. Well, not as comfortably as you can a print mag.
1Up.Com has been sold to UGO and hopefully will stay 1Up.Com, but I guess we’ll see. I’ve managed to remain unaware of UGO, and I went there tonight and left quickly. Way to busy and EXTREME!!!! for my tastes, but then 1Up pretty much feels the same way.
Anyway EGM, thanks for all the information and entertainment you’ve offered over the years. John Davison (now at http://whattheyplay.com) was probably my favorite leader of that battle-weary clan of game journalists, but I was really looking forward to what James Mielke was going to do (he took over just a few months back). Ah well, the only constant in life is change, as they say.