EGM: Rest in Peace

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! πŸ™‚ 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.

9 thoughts on “EGM: Rest in Peace

  1. Those magazines are worthless nowadays since the information is obsolete by the time it reaches print. So I’m not too sad to see them go.

  2. Kids these days. Hmph! πŸ™‚

    I’d agree with you on news, and somewhat on reviews, but content such as interviews with game developers or articles on theory-crafting have a much longer shelf-life and often read better in a nice printed format (IMO). For instance several times I’ve read an interesting article in Wired magazine then wanted to share it with someone so found the same article online, and the presentation just wasn’t as good online, plus an article that seemed “in-depth” in print just felt terribly long on-line.

    In my case, at least, I think my brain works slightly differently when I’m reading print.

  3. Plus as the story develops, it sounds like the 1Up/EGM staff is getting whacked, and it sucks to see people losing their jobs (granted, this is a separate issue from EGM folding). So far, the following people have been laid off (according to Joystiq):

    Adrian Frieg
    Amy Mishra
    Amy Moran
    Andrea Garcia
    Andrew Fitch
    Andrew “Skip” Pfister
    Anthony Gallegos
    Cesar Quintero
    Christina Rosa
    CoyLou Steel
    Derek Chinn
    Doug Parsons
    Eric Ellis
    Giancarlo Varanini
    Greg Ford
    James “Milkman” Mielke
    Jason Bertrand
    Jason Wilson
    Jervilyn Jaramillo
    Justin Frechette
    Leslie Gelfand
    Marci Yamaguchi
    Matt Chandronait
    May Tong
    Meredith Stowe
    Michael Donahoe
    Monique Convertito
    Ndubuisi Madu
    Nick Suttner
    Norris Boothe
    Philip Kollar
    Rey Serrano
    Robert Bowen
    Rosemary Pinkham
    Ryan O’Donnell
    Ryan Scott
    Shane Bettenhausen
    Simon Cox
    Tammy Ross
    Tipler Ubbelohde

  4. Newspapers are another media in big trouble. I hear some young people saying they get their news off the blogs on the net but a blog is a persons opinion, not a news source per say. That blog writer sure as hell is not covering the local school board and/or doing in depth behind the scenes investigation of goverment. Plus, laptop or not, I love having the morning paper spread out on the kitchen table while I am eating breakfast and drinking my coffee.
    If newspapers die as well, the national awarness of issues large and small will drop lower than it already is.

  5. I prefer to print media over internet any day, but EGM was not one of those that I liked. But regardless it is unfortunate that people are loosing jobs.

  6. Good points Grid, when it comes to “real” news. Bloggers cover stuff that interests them, which generally means stuff that’s “exciting” whereas paid journalists cover things that might not be “exciting” but that we readers really need to know.

    And blogging is so ‘immediate’ that you rarely get the in-depth coverage that a paid journalist being supported by a newspaper company can provide.

    @JayeDub Have you checked out EGM recently? Kind of a moot point now, but it’s been getting better recently. Though I also admit that my sub was a freebie from some other mag folding. πŸ™‚

  7. Hmm I tried for EDGE magazine as a freelance writer in December but with the likes of EGM letting good writers go I can see a few of them being headhunted for EDGE.

    Ah well back to the blog where all is safe & warm…

  8. Grid, as far as I’m concerned, the NYT or any other “venerable” newspaper is about as worthless as blogs when it comes to real news or reporting important facts. They have political biases and agendas just like any other writer. The latest election cycle reinforced that. Any pretense of journalistic integrity was abandoned years ago.

    I do miss the information-dense CGW and the like. I’ll admit, I only read them at the library, since I’m cheap, but they were a gold mine. Modern gaming mags are overcommercialized and too often bereft of anything useful.

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