Before the internet – and even during its rise – physical gaming magazines were the place to go for exciting news, interviews, and reviews on the industry. The rush of receiving and skimming through gorgeous booklet is unmatched to this day. However, the free and instantaneous nature of the internet has slowly been running print magazines into the ground.
As reported by Kotaku, two more physical publications are shutting down for this exact reason.
November 1st will be the last day for magazines GamesTM and GameMaster, both owned by Future Publishing. The group issued a statement to gamesindustry.biz:
“Despite the company’s strong performance overall, unfortunately games™ and GamesMaster are no longer profitable parts of the business, which means that their next issues, on sale November 1st, will be the final editions. The decision was an extremely difficult one, but everyone here is enormously proud of what the magazines have achieved in their lifetimes – an incredible 25 years in GamesMaster’s case – and we are currently redeploying affected staff within the company.”
Fortunately, staff will receive jobs in other areas of the company. That way, hopefully, nobody will be losing their jobs anytime soon. On the magazine’s Twitter, the current team at GamesTM commented on their time working together:
“We’re proud to say that gamesTM leaves as it entered; fiercely independent unrepentant, forthright, unwavering, driven, curious, passionate and above all else made by a small team of gamers who love that they get to do this for a living.”
GamesMaster has been around for 25 years, while GamesTM launched in 2002. Interestingly, UK magazines, of which both GamesMaster and GamesTM were, seem to perform much better than their United States counterparts. In America, magazines like Electronic Gaming Monthly and Game Pro began to shut down in the early 2000’s. In contrast, UK publications continued to perform well during the same time.
Hope Is Still Here
Magazines Edge, Official Xbox and Official PlayStation, PC Gamer, Retro Gamer, and MCV will all continue – each of which is managed by Future Publishing. However, it remains to be seen just how long they’ll continue.
In the United States, popular gaming retailer GameStop still publishes their Game Informer magazine. Yet, brick-and-mortar stores are beginning to disappear just as often as print magazines. Digital access has made it too easy for users to purchase games. Also, online spaces often provide much lower prices than physical ones.
Magazines are expensive, both to make and to purchase. However, each one tends to contain exemplary journalism not as easily found online. Subscribers can always expect multiple page interviews, in-depth game breakdowns, and special reports on more niche topics whenever they pick up a physical journal.
Print also provides alternatives to some rather annoying aspects of online media. For example, some websites hide behind paywalls while others offer similar information entirely for free. Some online articles may not perform as well as others and a majority of users will miss them. In a physical space, these stories all exist beside one another and will always be there to consume later on.
It’s always sad to see another publication close. Every shutdown leads to staff losing their jobs, and the absence of another space for quality journalism. There’s nothing quite like opening a magazine from shrink-wrap, carefully removing the booklet from its trap, being sure not to bend the pages, and finally, smelling the quality paper as you flip through each page.
Each sheet is a work of art, and you can be sure the writing will match the visual quality. Just as feel-good is showing off your pile of physical magazines after a long subscription session. These are feelings that online media will never replace.