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Do you think there's a chance that gaming magazines will ever make a comeback?

Following on from The Guardian's article on "the return of video game magazines", I've noticed that there are an increasing number of niche publications that have sprung up in recent years. These being Amiga Addict, Sega Mania, Sega Powered... However, they tend to mainly be distributed via mail-order (and are also fairly expensive at around £6).

Having said that though, and given the fact that there are hardly any gaming magazines left on mainstream newsagent shelves, do you think there's a chance that gaming magazines will ever make a comeback?

I'm mainly thinking from the perspective of gaming magazines being niche cottage industry publications, where the magazine is distributed / sold in gaming stores and independent newsagents.

I know that in the USA, magazines are pretty much dead due to the economics of distribution in what is essentially an extremely large region. But what about a region that's a LOT smaller (ie the UK)? Or maybe we can go smaller still (ie a city)?

I sometimes walk into comic shops and see "fanzine comics" that have extremely low print runs, and which sell for around £2-3. Could something similar not be applied to gaming magazines? That way, videogames magazines could still be relevant (even as cottage industry publications).

What do you think?

Also, if anyone has experience on the matter, then your insightful comments would be sincerely appreciated.
 

DaGwaphics

Member
I don't know about print magazines, but it would be great if the platform holders would get serious about some type of monthly ezine type deal delivered directly over the platforms. Something with a slick presentation that blends video/articles/demos into something cohesive.
 
Comic books are pretty much dead, so gaming magazines have no chance unfortunately. We learn gaming related news and industry leaks almost instantly now due to social media anyway, so having to wait a month for someone to editorialize these things on print is pretty redundant. The only thing magazines have going for them these days is cool cover artwork and exclusive game reveals/interviews but I don't think that's enough to justify a yearly sub.
 

RPSleon

Member
They died for me when they stopped including playable demo disks.
Just started giving us trailers on a disk. I stopped buying them mostly during ps2 era.

Internets way too fast for it to be relevant anyway.
 

Bullet Club

Member
It's mainly just magazines dedicated to retro games and computers that are still around and sell OK. With modern day gaming the news is on the net straight away, and so are previews and reviews.

Edge is a mag that's still going, but that's due to a strong almost 30 year following that like their reviews and features.

The world has moved on. People like free, people like fast.
 
Most of the popular publications have been moving towards online distribution for some time now and those that have died out. There are still some magazines that are remarkably still around. Edge, Game Informer, PC Gamer, Pocket Gamer and Retro Gamer (bottom marks for naming originality) are mostly supported by longtime fans who grew up reading them.
 

UnNamed

18+ Member
Some game magazine had a revival because the particular niche they cover, mainly retrogaming.

A normal magazine based on review or news has no sense, but someone could make a magazine full of in-depth analysis on new or old games.
 

Esca

Member
Maybe cause I grew up with them but I do miss picking up and reading a magazine, much different experience than electronically. I tried doing a digital sub and it wasn't for me
 

John Wick

Member
EGM and Diehard Gamefan were good.

Most of the US mags didn't have the humour of the UK mags though.
EGM and Gamefan were mainly screenshots. Hardly any decent written articles.
Yeah British humour different level. I still remember Richard Leadbitter writing for C+VG along with Jazz Rignall
 
In France there are still a few magazines being published. But I don’t think magazines will ever come back in force though I’d love to.
 

Crayon

Member
I subscribed to edge about a year ago because I kind of missed magazines. Mostly though because I wanted to read some decent writing about games. I found it disappointing though. I can only take so many six page spreads interviewing indie game makers.

Plus, was magazine text always this tiny!? My eyes are pretty good but it seems so small.
 

JayK47

Member
I prefer magazines still. I hope they all make a comeback. I currently subscribe to Game Informer. They are not doing so well and the content is not as good since the layoffs.
 

anthraticus

Member
In the UK you still have Edge. The UK mag scene was great back in the day. The American ones were pretty shite even back in the day.
Yea, the console focused ones were pretty much dogshit. Computer Gaming world was fucking great though. At least until the buyout in the mid 90s... and after that it was still better than the other rags you see get brought up all the time.

Just looked and it was sold to Ziff Davis in 1993....so up until that point it was gold. Issues are available here...

 
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CAPSOL

Member
Yea, the console focused ones were pretty much dogshit. Computer Gaming world was fucking great though. At least until the buyout in the mid 90s... and after that it was still better than the other rags you see get brought up all the time.
Agree for the most part but GAMEFAN Magazine was an exception
 
I wish, I loved reading gaming and tech magazines growing up, Club Nintendo in south america being my absolute fav. Nintendo power was good too. Are there any magazines still going strong in Canada? I might sub to one for the memories. Physical media is very hard to let go off, I read a lot digitally but nothing like holding an actual book or magazine in your hands.
 

NanaMiku

Member
I don't know about print magazines, but it would be great if the platform holders would get serious about some type of monthly ezine type deal delivered directly over the platforms. Something with a slick presentation that blends video/articles/demos into something cohesive.
The news section on Nintendo Switch is kinda like this.
 

64bitmodels

Reverse groomer.
i think we should focus more on getting the 'tude of magazines back. We can live without print media, but what's the point if the online stuff is fucking boring?
 

DavidGzz

Member
It's crazy to me that there is still a large section at Walmart and other stores dedicated to magazines. Guess in 20 years when people who still buy them die out, that section will be gone.
 
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No, and why should they? There's nothing in them that's not exactly the same in format and content over the internet.

Honest to goodness books, the kind filled with hundreds of pages of research and in depth insight over every conceivable aspect of any given subject matter, not restrained by wordcount, driven by ad revenue, or to the slave to the impatience of readers, on the other hand...
 
Doubtful. Especially, with the global effort to shift to an ecological and sustainable future. Magazines were great, but they would just be a waste of natural resources these days.
 
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Banjo64

Member
Used to regularly buy ONM and EDGE but with the advent of gaming websites they’re now obsolete. The last few EDGE magazines I bought I was just reading rehashed month old news.
 
print is a dying medium thanks to the internet. Even a paid subscription for a digital version will be a hard sell. It'll be hard to compete as a mainstream, so you have to go for a niche market.
 

cireza

Member
I have been checking a few retro magazines but never bought one. Problem is that I already know pretty much everything about the games and consoles I am interested in, and these magazines simply put on paper all the "common" knowledge spread out over the internet, misinformation included, without much to develop on.

Still I gave a go to two Bitmap Books recently : Go Straight and A Guide to JRPG.
The first one was a great read, quality presentation and good enough text. The second one however is pretty bad. I wrote a review for it on their site but it seems that they only publish reviews that recommend the book, how convenient.
 
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NahaNago

Member
I mostly only ever buy the retro gaming magazines sometime these days. I wouldn't mind if they did make a comeback but I just don't see it happening. We get all of our information as it happens so who would want to wait a month for that info. I do think a gaming magazine that focus mostly on indie games would work pretty well since there are ton of indies and they don't get that much coverage.
 
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nbkicker

Member
Never only decent magazine i buy is retro gamer and thats just cause i get it free with apple news+ sub plus it nice to read about old hadware and games i use to own, get play magazine (use to be official uk playstation magazine) free with news as well but never look at it, everything in it is at least a month behind what u already no online or even seen, writing inside is rubish and screenshots used are months out of date, id say its only surviving cause it prob being paid so much on apple news store for being there
 
Some game magazine had a revival because the particular niche they cover, mainly retrogaming.

A normal magazine based on review or news has no sense, but someone could make a magazine full of in-depth analysis on new or old games.
precisely my thoughts.

Magazines take time to print, the way the internet goes the info would be outdated in that time. unless it's an opinion piece of a 1994 game.
 

ZywyPL

Banned
No. By the time the magazines are published all the news are already old if not outdated.

I remember there was some case about Bluzzard like teens years ago that was flipping back and forth within a week, while in a magazine that was published after all the dust settled there was just the first, initial info that wasn't true anymore, only next month they corrected it explaining all the ups and downs that happen and where the case ultimately sits at.

So where it comes to sheer speed of publishing news or updating/correcting them, magazines stand absolutely no chance vs the interet, which can be nowadays accessed anytime, anywhere thanks to smartphones.

Plus, when it comes to gaming, you prefer to actually watch the gameplays yourself, rather that see a few static screenshots and read someone's impressions of what he saw.

Reading a magazine is a nicer, better experience in my book personally (especially on the toilet, it just hits different there ;p), but like I said, it's basically re-reading weeks old news you already know. And since magazines are in decline for quite some time their prices have went up while the volume decreased, so it's honestly not wise at all to buy them for reasons other than nostalgia.
 

manzo

Member
You guys actually want to pay for some purple-haired person to complain about the game being sexist or is not inclusive enough? You can read that trash online as much as you want. For free. The opinion pieces are actually the worst of game journalism these days.

Something like Super Play just wouldn't work anymore. There is no magic, no previews, no imagination to be had from screenshots of beta releases.
 
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thatJohann

Member
For a gaming print magazine to survive nowadays, it has to be a very niche polished collectors type situation full of deep dives and evergreen content. It cannot have anything like news or reviews cause it will always be dated.
 
I miss magazines. My brothers and I had subs to Nintendo Power and EGM but we would also head down to the local Co-op mall and buy Gamefan, Gamepro, Next Generation, etc. It was a time when leaks didn't exist and news still caught people off-guard.

Gaming magazines will never make it back, it's just too easy to search the info on the internet and get immediate news about any upcoming game. With asshole leakers being as common as they are almost nothing is kept secret anymore (see Nier: Automata on Switch reveal most recently being spoiled for example).

Magazines breathed their last years ago, forums are on life support and are being steamrolled by services like Discord and Twitter. A lot of posts here are just links to outside sites which all have their own methods of discussion included.
 
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