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The Media Entertainment Games

EGM Magazine Shutting Down 70

Posted by Soulskill
from the fare-thee-well dept.
Gamasutra reports that Ziff Davis Media has sold a number of gaming websites, including 1Up.com, and will be shutting down their popular magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly. Some of 1Up's staff was laid off as well, though the new owners want to keep the rest of it intact. The sale was motivated by an unprofitable business model made worse by the recent downturn in the economy. 1Up's James Mielke has made a post about the final hours of EGM, and a glimpse at the final issue, saying, "...the final, secret, unpublished issue of EGM will show up here on 1UP shortly in the near future. You will be able to read every hi-res page, ads and all (last time I checked at least) on 1UP, to see the beautiful job that crew did, even with the guillotine hanging over our heads every minute of the day."
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EGM Magazine Shutting Down

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  • by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @05:37AM (#26369881)

    Not only is print media in general doing worse as the internet takes over, but you also have to consider the audience. Gamers, as an audience, typically learn about games, both current and upcoming, through online channels.

    Similarly PC Magazine and others have shut their printing operations for similar reasons. Technical users get their news off the internet.

    I'm really surprised EGM lasted as long as it did, especially since the gaming magazine market in general was really quite terrible. I haven't picked up an issue of EGM in ages, though, so I can't attest to its quality.

    • by mhkohne (3854) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @06:34AM (#26370129) Homepage

      I can't say I'm that surprised. I actually canceled a free subscription to EGM (they had a promotion a year or two back) because it just wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. Being a print publication (and the attendant information lags) was bad enough, but their staff wrote like a bunch of high-schoolers. If I'm going to bother to kill a tree, I at least want some decent writing.

      • Which is a shame, in the early 90's it used to be one of the best magazines. Cheap, tons of content and covered every game system (and there were more active ones then, than I think there are now).

        • by bonch (38532)

          I have all my game magazines from the early 90s, and the writing is amateur and full of typos. I suppose I would consider EGM the highest quality of the group, but that's not saying a lot.

          Frankly, after 1996, I wondered why anyone was still reading magazines. Not that the gaming press has improved to any great degree since then. It's selfish, immature, and angry. I like how it reacted to Nintendo's E3 presentation, claiming they weren't "catering to hardcores" by releasing new installments of their core

          • Well, then I'm not surprised. The gaming press has always been very awful and, as I said, I'm surprised EGM lasted as long given the issues with gaming publications and their audiences.

            There really is no need for a print gaming press. Hell, there's already too many gaming news websites as it is that all say the same things.

      • by cgenman (325138)

        I too signed up for the free EGM. The writing and articles were so bad that I hid them from my girlfriend. It was just embarassing to open up one of these things and see comments on characters' breast sizes, fart jokes, etc. Not every writer did it and it was by no means the everywhere in the magazine. But there was a lot in every magazine that was just pointlessly juvenile.

        I remember in the early 90's not being able to read GamePro simply because the level of writing was insulting to the reader. It fe

      • by LordNimon (85072)
        I came here to say the same exact thing. I had a free subscription, and I let it run out. I also generally dislike Japanese-made games, and the EGM staff seems to love those games, so each issue had several articles of no interest to me at all.
      • At the library, it was a 5 minute read for me. Pretty bad. None of the gaming mags do anything for me now. For instance, few reviews of Fallout 3 spoke of the horrid AI, terrible hand-to-hand combat system, annoyance of permanent auto-aim, and and weird game balance issues that hurt replayability.

  • Shutting down? NAY (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 08, 2009 @06:30AM (#26370113)

    It's not shutting down, it is GONE.

    And it wasn't just some of 1up.com being laid off... it was THIRTY of them. They pretty much gutted the place, hardly anything of the talent that made the site is there anymore.

    This is a sad day.

    - AJK

    • by mfh (56)

      I know it's sad.

      But it's also happy because this talent now can embrace NEW PROJECTS. Think of the cool stuff that is to come! These employees just need to dust themselves off and start something bold.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Almost all of the 1up staff got laid off too.
    • Forty [joystiq.com], actually.
    • by KDR_11k (778916)

      Talent? At 1up? The only thing I remember that site for is writing troll articles to get advertising revenue and terribly short and shallow reviews.

  • Most of those gamer magazines have 90% advertising ads in them and takes like 5 minutes to read anything worth while. Most of the time when I pull some of them out of the mail box and start reading/walking back to the house, I am done by the time I hit the door and it's in the the recycling bin.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Spazztastic (814296)

      Most of those gamer magazines have 90% advertising ads in them and takes like 5 minutes to read anything worth while. Most of the time when I pull some of them out of the mail box and start reading/walking back to the house, I am done by the time I hit the door and it's in the the recycling bin.

      I don't know about you, but these magazines I get through free offers or side offers when I buy something I usually keep in the restroom. It's something to read, after all.

      • by Krinsath (1048838)
        Off-topic a bit...but if you're looking for a more substantive method to kill trees for your bathroom reading now that EGM (and others) are gone, I would recommend Uncle John's Bathroom Reader series: www.bathroomreader.com [bathroomreader.com] Surprisingly good stuff, with an appropriate length on their stories for bathroom reading.

        Back on topic, it is sad to see projects get shut down. I skimmed a few EGMs and every once in a while they would have some tidbit of information early. Still those exclusives were few and becomin
      • Reading while on the toilet is a terrible habbit.

    • Most of those gamer magazines have 90% advertising ads in them and takes like 5 minutes to read anything worth while. Most of the time when I pull some of them out of the mail box and start reading/walking back to the house, I am done by the time I hit the door and it's in the the recycling bin.

      And that which is not advertising is either previews that do nothing but hype upcoming games as The Best Ever Game That We've Ever Seen or reviews that then tear down said Best Ever Game upon it's release. I'd love t

  • When it comes to the printed page format, information media have a very hard time competing with the internet. Digital information online has no print equipment, no raw materials, no distribution and delivery channels to contend with (or at least nowhere near as high) and can be updated daily. Comments sections can be put everywhere as opposed to a single reader letters page or two, and the simple presence of the internet has greatly increased reader expectations as to the value of content offered.

    The que

    • What can printed magazines offer? Any kind of tangible, material bonus would likely be rather expensive, and there's just no way for magazines to compete with internet sites for content.

      Granted, there are some (myself included) who prefer reading a magazine for the whole "experience", but there's really no denying that if you want more current information you'll check online.

      I liked EGM because some of the information was interesting, some was funny (big fan of Hsu & Chan and Rest of the Crap), and ev
      • by FenrirIII (965763)

        I don't know about you, but lugging a laptop into the bathroom can be a little cumbersome and uncomfortable. That's why books for me will always outweigh electronic books/devices. Plus there's just something about holding the book in your hand that adds a weight to it that improves the experience.

        Physical media is only good as bathroom reading material (and layers for pet cages). I came across a bunch of old (torn) Nintendo Powers back from the early editions and looked through them... Not much there really

      • by MarkOden (214497)

        What can printed magazines offer? Any kind of tangible,

        How about something to read while going to the bathroom?

      • by badasscat (563442)

        What can printed magazines offer?

        In-depth features that web sites don't do.

        A few years back, EGM did a 12 page spread on Ralph Baer. Have you seen anything like that online anywhere? (At least anything that was current at the time, with a new interview with him, was well-written and well-organized, and visually interesting?)

        It's no different than asking "what can a newspaper do that a blog can't?" Well, investigative reporting, for one. That stuff takes a long time, is expensive, and actually requires some journalistic skills. And it'

        • that's not true. the web is an incredibly diverse communication medium. blogs are just one format that digital media exists in. there are plenty of in-depth articles/interviews/exposés on the web--probably more than print media these days. even if you want to argue that mainstream news sources are superior to independent journalism, print publications like the NYTimes, Harper's, The New Yorker, Scientific American, etc. are all now on the web.

          the quality or level of detail of a piece of reportage has n

  • by cursorx (954743) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @08:10AM (#26370635)
    Game magazines (and professional web news sources) are usually terrible, industry co-opted publications. It's hard to tell legitimate praise from marketing, and criticism is basically nonexistent: exclusive access to early builds of games conditioned by promises of good reviews ruin any possibility of unbiased, critical writing. Gerstmanngate [wikipedia.org] is symptomatic of a lot of what is wrong with professional game press.

    But EGM...it had the same problems that plague game magazines, but sometimes very good stuff slipped through the usual crapfest. I also have fond memories of reading EGM when I was growing up, it was my main source of game news and reviews. I can't say the same about Gamepro or other game magazines, which contained writing that even an average kid could tell was poor.

    What saddens me most, though, is the demise of the 1up podcasts. By which I mean the demise of 1up Yours [1up.com], which was very, very fun and much more informative than anything print EGM or 1up itself published. Garnett Lee has hinted on Neogaf that the podcast will somehow survive, but I question how wise UGO's decision was to pull the plug on this show. It's quality content, which they desperately need. And it has a fanbase, which they also need, especially during this transition period.

    With EGM gone, the only print game publication worth reading remaining is Edge...in truth, a much superior magazine than EGM ever was, even though it suffers from the same problems that exist in any industry controlled press.

    • With EGM gone, the only print game publication worth reading remaining is Edge...in truth, a much superior magazine than EGM ever was, even though it suffers from the same problems that exist in any industry controlled press.

      Really? I've always liked GI (Game Informer), actually. They tend to have good reviews, cover all the systems including PC, and if a game sucks, they make a point of telling you that it sucks.

      • by snuf23 (182335)

        Yeah just so long as you realize that most games that suck still receive a rating of 7 in the magazine.

  • by 222 (551054)
    Sure, the internet is faster, more interactive, and in almost every respect better, what the hell am I going to read on the crapper?

    I'm being serious; print media may not be as attractive, but it really isn't the same.
    I also find this particularly sad. When EGM was a fairly new mag, my allowance almost always went towards purchasing a copy. It really was a great magazine, and compared to the competition (Gamepro sucked!) nothing could touch it. Instead of killing it, they should have created some sort of h
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      EGM killed itself with a lack of quality. They turned into GI, and given that GI is free, there was no reason for EGM to exist. Maybe if they would actually give bad games a bad review they could have differentiated themselves from all the other magazines which have no reason to exist in the age of the internet.

      • by Sporkinum (655143)

        PC Gamer will be next. It really irritates me that as the magazine become fewer, it seems like they become shills more and more. Like the way PC Gamer keeps inflating scores on turds like the PC version of GTA IV or saying Securom really isn't bad.

    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      Sure, the internet is faster, more interactive, and in almost every respect better, what the hell am I going to read on the crapper?

      I'm being serious;

      In all seriousness - I've been known to take my netbook into the bathroom with me. I often need to "take a break" after work that will last 10-15 minutes anyways, so it's a good time to check up on my email and such :).

    • by KDR_11k (778916)

      MS once made an internet-enabled toilet, that might work.

    • by master_p (608214)

      I am posting this from the crapper, you insensitive clod!

      (laptops have wi-fi, ya know)

  • I've been a long time reader of EGM, and many other gaming magazines. My parents recently dumped off all of them and I've been going through and sorting them, planning some stuff for my site. There's really nothing like reading a magazine if you ask me.

    I think I had an interesting gaming news cycle. When I was younger, all my news would come from magazines, Nintendo Power, Game Players, etc. Then I actually saw an add for N64.com in a magazine back in 1996, which lead me to getting all my news from them

  • Man I wasted a lot of money on that mag back in the day. I still have EGM's 1990 Video Game Buyer's Guide that I bought from Electronic Boutique.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm not so sure that this is a bad thing. Sure, some of the writers there were good at what they did, but an equal number of them just wrote tripe that was painful to read. Seriously, the caliber of their writing was about what you'd see in a high school journalism class. This, of course, leads every jackass with an Internet connection who got a C or better in his/her creative writing class to start up a video game site (searching Google for 'Video Game Blog' returns over 22 million results [google.com]).

    So now we have

  • Gaming magazines are probably going to die out completely at some point, at least those that offer little more than previous and reviews. Gaming is a visual medium, who want's to see a printing of a screenshot when I can go online and see it exactly as it will appear in the game. Not only that, I can get videos online and news is much more timely.

    Really, for a magazine to survive in this medium it needs to offer something more. Those might be exclusives, developer diaries, compelling content that others don

  • End of an era (Score:5, Informative)

    by HalAtWork (926717) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @11:31AM (#26373173)
    EGM was THE video game magazine that you got when you were a kid (besides Nintendo Power that is). They brought us the first huge otaku celebrity, the made-up Sushi-X. They invented Quartermann, who brought us often reliable industry rumors. And they brought some great personality and spirit to video games. The whole crew at EGM and 1up were totally dedicated to what they did, and are incredibly passionate about video games. I really hope they are able to keep 1up going exactly as it was, and their amazing video and audio podcasts as well.

    The 1up Show - Video podcast - Humorous and intimate discussions about games with interviews and game footage
    1up Yours - Audio - Experienced editors gather to discuss news of the week, and other hot topics
    1up FM - Audio - Interns and newcomers to 1up discuss their views on gaming news, with a "backlog" segment where they play through older games together that have been overlooked while they were busy playing other games
    Retronauts - Audio - Expansive coverage of specific titles or eras in retro gaming
    And a lot more.

    These guys are really awesome. Download all of their podcasts and listen to old episodes, they are all worth listening to. If the 1up crew gets broken up, I'm definitely going to try to keep up with what they're up to to see if they are putting out gaming coverage through other outlets. Hopefully they sell off DVDs of scanned EGM issues and DVD dumps of their web site's editorials if they decide to go down, it would really be a shame if all that stuff got taken down.
    • The only thing I thought was worthwhile in that entire magazine was Quarterman. Sushi-X was annoying, and I certainly wouldn't call him huge. The personality was lame, the spirit juvenile.

      The reason EGM went under? It was blog-level writing that was generally 2 months late with reviews and news.

  • Loved EGM in the early 90's. Then after the web picked up, they started trolling gaming sites, their forums, and even IRC chat stealing information to put in their publication without giving due credit to the authors of the original material. They stole work mainly from authors of fighting game FAQs. From MK2, DOA, to Tekken even. I'm sure there were more. Even found an old article on here talking about it. http://games.slashdot.org/games/06/01/23/1244234.shtml [slashdot.org] They had a very good mag I thought, but I sto
  • by Ozaark (881514)
    I remember sending a fan art envelopes to those bastards when I was nine, (I can legally drink your beer now) and they do this to us? Well actually we did it to ourselves by celebrating this vast place we dubbed the 'web' so... damnit my shitty fan art isn't getting dibs on thousands of paper prints I almost made it onto. I say redemption. Your shitty fan art will never be printed again either. damnit.
  • Ah, I remember those halycon days of reading EGM on the bus on the way to school in the morning. It was the best way to figure out how to do those horribly convoluted moves in Mortal Kombat II. Then you could unleash them at the arcade and people would be impressed! Of course, arcades are pretty much dead too. Sad.

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