EGM Magazine is Dead

egm-magazineEGM Magazine Closed by Buyer

Well, EGM Magazine lovers… I feel guilty, although I probably shouldn’t.

On Jan. 7th, Ziff Davis announced that they’ve closed down the entire EGM magazine publishing operation, only days after my post criticizing the clipping problem they had on their Gears of War 2 cover.

Okay, I admit that there’s definitely zero correlation between my tiny knock (mostly aimed at the GoW 2 game artist, anyhow) and the shuttering of this game writing and analysis institution. Still, I feel a little bad for having thrown some flack in their direction at such a lousy stage of their lifespan.

Technically, Ziff* didn’t kick EGM and its many game writers to the curb. It was UGO Entertainment, a branch of Hearst, which bought EGM and promptly snuffed the mag and its antiquated print operation. Paper! Hmph! Who reads paper, anyhow?

Well, suckers, I do. I get sick of staring at a monitor for hours a day.

EGM and Vinyl

A decade ago, people couldn’t wait to unload their old records. Now collectors are pursuing lost vinyl treasures, USB turntables are in stock at every Best Buy, and DJs sweat buckets transporting milk crates of records from gig to gig.

We may be readying for a new era of e-ink where everything we read is digital and looks like paper. But that “paperless society” meme has clearly revealed itself to be the worst kind of marketing horseshit.

EGM Had Real Value

Also, Ziff and UGO are fools for trashing one of the game industry’s finest brands. We’re talking about EGM. Magazine, schmagazine, this is the last grand game review stalwart. We’re supposed to read Game Informer now? And after the dustup at Gamespot, how can we trust game websites?

Ask any marketing student or business professor. A brand is worth hard currency; it’s a name that carries weight and has been built into a reputable entity over decades of effort. I know newspapers and magazines are struggling to monetize their brands, but if you owned The New York Times, would you shut it down cold because you can’t figure out how to make a buck off it?

* Ziff does own the singular distinction of having deep-sixed the legendary CGW, which they first slapped with the moniker Games for Windows as a final insult.

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Game visuals in Gears of War 2, and RIP CGW

Two quick notes for you game-hungry readers…

First

if you’ve seen the screenshots for Gears of War 2, you might want to compare them with the screenshots for Gears of War 1.

You’ll notice that:

a) GoW 2 is gorgeous.  Haze, smoke, particles. Details recede into the background. Textures are richer and more plentiful. AND…

b) GoW 2 is a lot browner. In fact, if you’re old school, you’ll think that GoW 2 has caught the infamous Quake 2 disease of obsessive brownness. Yellow-browns, red-browns, greenish browns, blackish browns. Every tint and shade of brown is fully represented. Color contrasts, however, are hard to find.

Hopefully the full game will show more variety, because it looks like hella fun to play. I just don’t want it so rococo with texture maps that it causes me to lose the brown spectrum in my eyes.

Second

I got a postcard a few days ago from Games for Windows Magazine, once the mighty CGW. (And boy, is that a step down, to lose a feared and respected moniker like CGW in favor of Microsoft’s paltry G4W tag.)

Well, the ignomy doesn’t stop there. My postcard says,

Dear G4WM subscriber,

We regret to inform you that Games for Windows Magazine has ceased publication with the April/May 2008 issue. I am, however, happy to inform you that the remainder of your subscription will be fulfilled with Electronic Gaming Monthly – The #1 Videogame Magazine.

Quaint, especially for PC gamers who care not a whit for the console-heavy content of EGM.

Yeah, you bet EGM is #1. Once again, corporate greed and ridiculous marketing strategems waste money and take choices away from the consumer. RIP, CGW. You deserved better.

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