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Long-running Official PlayStation Magazine becomes Play Magazine, and now no more official magazines are left

VysePSU

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The long-running Official PlayStation Magazine has become Play Magazine - marking the end of official video game magazines.

OPM, which has been going for 25 years, was the last officially-licensed console magazine in the UK after Official Nintendo Magazine closed in October 2014, and Official Xbox Magazine closed in March 2020.

In a FAQ, Future Publishing said:

"All good things come to an end, and along with Sony we felt that the Official PlayStation Magazine had finally earned a well-deserved retirement. However, we still love PlayStation and magazines, and we know you do too, so Play Magazine came to life."

However, the same editorial team behind OPM is making Play, with previous editor Ian Dean at the helm.

It's a better outcome than that experienced after Future folded Official Xbox Magazine, letting its staff go.

In a statement issued at the time, Bath-based Future said the decline in video game retail had impacted the sales figures of its magazines.

Official PlayStation Magazine began life in November 1995 to coincide with the launch of the PSone in Europe. The officially-licensed magazine model involved the publisher, in this case Future, paying the console manufacturer, in this case to Sony, a licence fee in order to slap the word "official" on the cover of the mag.

At its peak before the emergence of the internet, OPM was comfortably the best-selling video game magazine in the world, and by the end of the '90s was shifting half a million copies a month - more than the likes of FHM.

According to Future, OPM had a circulation of 21,117.


Hey, GAF, remember video game magazines? I used to read OPM along with PSM back in the day.
 
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nerdface

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I haven’t subscribed to a gaming magazine for a long time.

I used to get PCGamer, cause I was on 56k. It came with a CD every month, and not only did I get game demos, but I got the patches I needed.
 
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VysePSU

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For me it was the PS2 era. That's how I found out about games like Siren, Okami and Shadow of the Colossus.

It's kind of funny how the need for demo disks ended once the PlayStation Store was first introduced on the PS3 and you could just download individual demos directly to the console.
 
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Unknown?

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For me it was the PS2 era. That's how I found out about games like Siren, Okami and Shadow of the Colossus.

It's kind of funny how the need for demo disks ended once the PlayStation Store was first introduced on the PS3 and you could just download individual demos directly to the console.
Except demos also faded out with the store. There were far more demos on PS1/2 than 3/4/5.
 

xrnzaaas

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I'm glad that there are three videogame magazines left in my country, especially since two of them started out back in the 90s. A lot of my friends have stopped buying all magazines altogether, but I'm a traditionalist and need some physical magazine to read and browse while I'm taking a shit.
 
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GHG

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For me it was the PS2 era. That's how I found out about games like Siren, Okami and Shadow of the Colossus.

It's kind of funny how the need for demo disks ended once the PlayStation Store was first introduced on the PS3 and you could just download individual demos directly to the console.

We barely get demos anymore unfortunately. Back then it was rare when a game didn't have a demo at some point. It's a shame that publishers seemed to collectively decide to go the route of aggressive marketing instead of continuing to allow people to try games before they purchase them.#

At least Steam refunds and subscription services exist to mitigate the issue somewhat.
 

BlackTron

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Vivid memories of the Official Dreamcast mag with all the demo disks, and 90's Nintendo Power.
 
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Shodan09

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This seems like quite a sad milestone. I used to love reading as many game mags as I possibly could. The ones by Future always seemed to be a step above the rest. There never was and never will be any gaming publication that comes close to N64 Magazine.

Solve my maze!
 

Krappadizzle

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Pouring Austin Powers GIF


Whenever I find myself in a thrift shop I always try and see if they have old videogame magazines. It's fun to get that snapshot in time when that was really your only way of getting videogame info.

Didn't know that OPM was still around!

The memories that I have for that magazine (Finnish version) and the demo discs in the PS1 era will forever cherished.

This is probably my favorite cover:


I had a buddy that was subscribed during the PS1 era and it was like a little gift everytime those little demo discs showed up.

I remember Pizza Hut running a PS1 demo disc thing for a while and I begged my dad to order delivery so much just to get that MGS1/TR3 demo disc that they were giving away. We got it on the second try if I remember right.
 
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StreetsofBeige

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Oct 26, 2018
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I swear there was a game mag called Play Magazine around 10 years ago. Guess they went broke. That was the shill mag which always had reviews scores early and every game was given a 9 or 10/10.
 
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Dream-Knife

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I loved video game mags as a kid, but I stopped subscribing once I got broadband. I also kind of stopped caring so much about them around that time too.

Demo discs were great. Still upset Nintendo Power never did them for the GC.
 
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Humdinger

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Kind of a bummer. I used to enjoy reading gaming mags. Now they are pretty much pointless, because all the news and interviews you could want are all over the internet, long before the magazine arrives.

I thought there already was a Play magazine. I guess it must've folded.
 

DonJuanSchlong

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I haven’t subscribed to a gaming magazine for a long time.

I used to get PCGamer, cause I was on 56k. It came with a CD every month, and not only did I get game demos, but I got the patches I needed.
Used to do the same. So many games I would have never been interested unless it were for that disc. Same with OPSM. I remember the gaming magazines sections would get raided for the demo discs, so you'd have to find one that was untouched.
 

StreetsofBeige

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Last gaming mag I bought was probably a GameFan mag around 1996. I think it had an article about that Saturn game Scorcher.

I stopped buying EGM years earlier. I found their mags too multi-platform with lots of stuff I didn't care about like handhelds and covering arcade machines. Their earlier mags that had more focus on console games with a Japanese import section were much better.

Unless you were a hardcore gamer that liked reading every home platform and arcade, I don't see how anyone could enjoy those mid 90s EGM mags. They also got into tons of fighting game coverage. And the only one I cared about was SFII as I wasnt a big fighting game fan.
 
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supernova8

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Jun 2, 2020
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Yeah well, times changes.

Besides, buying official magazines is like buying and watching a big add voluntarily.
Which in itself used to be fun back when internet was slow and shit and part of the day could be spent looking through the ads. Plus, a lot of the ads were for actual games so it didn't bother me.
 

PSYGN

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I always wanted this mag just for the demo disc as a kid.

If it weren't the demo disc I know I wouldn't have owned Frequency and MTV Music Generator. Demo discs allowed me to at least try games that I wouldn't have even bothered with the downloading now involved. Kinda miss them, tbh.
 
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Unknown?

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Yeah well, times changes.

Besides, buying official magazines is like buying and watching a big add voluntarily.
You're voluntarily watching a big ad by using Google or any social media really. They all feed you what you want to see. Nothing has changed.
 
Aug 30, 2014
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For me, the main draw of OPM was always the demo disks (the MGS one is still legendary, probably the best I've ever played). As far as the actual content of the magazines, I preferred PSM in the PS1 era.
 

Shakka43

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I kinda regret throwing away all my old gaming magazines(OPM, Gamepro, EGM and some other non official playstation mags) several years ago. It's always nice to go back and check old stuff to revive some nostalgia.
 

Reality Czar

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Woah this is crazy. I actually wish I had all my old magazines. Lots of good memories of Nintendo Power, EGM, Gamefan, etc. Those 80s and 90s art styles were so cool. RIP game magazines!

One of my DOOM levels ended up on a PC Gamer disc when I was like 15 and it made my day!
 

Nitty_Grimes

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I don’t know how it can be the UKs best selling games mag when they’ve only just changed it and it’s not on sale yet. Fucking hyperbole.
 

Nitty_Grimes

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I swear there was a game mag called Play Magazine around 10 years ago. Guess they went broke. That was the shill mag which always had reviews scores early and every game was given a 9 or 10/10.
There was. Didn’t go broke at all. Future publishing took over Imagine publishing and they closed it along with Games TM.

As they hold the naming rights simple way to just bring it back.

Also fuck Jim Ryan for not renewing the licence for the official PlayStation logo.
 
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Gloomnivore

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I love the random katakana on the front cover - what the fuck is 「キオカオソテハ」supposed to mean anyway? KIOKAOSOTEBA?

It means ‘we really want to be Super Play but we’re just not super enough so this’ll have to do’.

 

Mattyp

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Greatest magazine of all time, still have near every issue of the PS1 and every demo disc. With how many copies they printed they seem quite rare now to find.
 
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Trimesh

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It means ‘we really want to be Super Play but we’re just not super enough so this’ll have to do’.


Yeah, but that makes sense when you read it. Play could have gone with something like "Play Magazine" (プレイマガジン) - which is the same length, but actually means something.
 

GeorgPrime

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Yeah well, times changes.

Besides, buying official magazines is like buying and watching a big add voluntarily.

Like one of those hilarious mobile game adds which tell you that every game nobody knows is the "long awaited secret game"?

Standard gaming mags that didnt transform to an Online mag are fated to die out sooner or later
 
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YeulEmeralda

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It's not just gaming magazines. Lots of print media is dead or dying. At least newspapers are making a bit of a comeback.