The Gaming Magazine Industry

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The Gaming Magazine Industry

Postby Jeff on Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:27 am

As you may or may not know, I work as an executive for a large magazine distributor in the US. Even before the financial crisis of not easy access to credit, magazines have been folding left and right. I hear of a few magazines fold every single day now, to the point that I joke around saying that I feel like more of a magazine mortician than in sales. I predict you will hear some BIG ones going down in the coming months. I've signed publishers big and small into many of the chain stores you shop at on weekly basis.

The video game magazine industry is practically dead, I don't see many (or any) lasting down the road. I see the sales and they are horrific. (like 7% sold). EGM has ceased print, I am in bewilderment that Gamepro is still alive. But just about all of them seem to be on a death march.

I would like to ask you if you are saddened by this, if you are indifferent, or even happy? Do you find yourself to be a former reader of video game magazines? I'd like to hear your thoughts on this subject.

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Re: The Gaming Magazine Industry

Postby Yukupo on Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:28 am

I don't really think the print industry is practical in these times. Depending on the type of magazine, of course, most information becomes outdated practically before it's printed. (For clarification, I'm focusing more on news rather than articles or scholarly research journals.) Sure there are always people who really like their magazines and newspapers, so few will probably be around for quite some time still. But, I think it's just not efficient in a world where we can get information as up to date as when the event is actually happening. Not to mention I've always seen it as a huge waste of paper.

But that's just me. I've never really had subscriptions or cared.

On a different note, contradictory to the opinion I've expressed already, I'm not sure how much I care for the unifying of information in digital medium. If all of our information is in one place, it makes it easier for us to lose access to it all, no? A scary thought for the future, indeed.

(Also, I don't know how Gamepro is still around either.)
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Re: The Gaming Magazine Industry

Postby Vyse Hazuky on Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:42 am

I think game magazines had it's importance before because they were unique vessels of information. They showed us all the games that were coming, with hands-on articles, reviews, stuff that was only coming out in Japan or something, interviews... and more recently (comparatively) demo cds or dvds.

But now you can get all that for free. If magazines want to keep afloat, they should either complement the printed editions with competent websites (with advertisement and premium paid content), or focus on niche markets that can guarantee a stable buying public (the best example is the UK-based Retrogamer magazine).

It's sad in the way that many gamers have fond memories of the old printed magazines that brought them so much happiness before, but now it just doesn't pay, when you can get everything you want for free on the web.
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Re: The Gaming Magazine Industry

Postby Ryudo on Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:17 am

ALL printed media is in it's death stages and many new this was coming a couple years ago but thought it would take up to ten years to start taking a dramatic effect but the bad economy gave it a big boost and shortened it's life dramatically.

Another thing that has helped kill it is the Kindle as it grows in popularity and is doing for newspapers and books what Ipod did for music.

I miss having my hardcopy of EGM as I loved that mag and subscribed for over 10 years and kept them all with so many many great games and the old E3 coverage when it was still awesome and even the hype to the DC launch and Shenmue and much more.

But all good things must come to and end.
And a new beginning starts.
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Re: The Gaming Magazine Industry

Postby RobotWillie on Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:49 pm

Ryudo is the voice of hope, and truth.

Just like at the Seattle Post Intelligencer, you probably heard a few weeks ago was their last printed newspaper, its all online now. Even look at mail, they considered to stop delivering mail on the slowest day for the USPS, the demand isn't the same as it was 10 years ago.

So this, it doesn't sound good, but this industry still isn't as vital as a lot of other industries that are hurting, I personally think some of those damn tabloids should go under, are people still buying those?
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