Pew Pew Laser Blog

Code. Glass art. Games. Baking. Cats. From Seattle, Washington and various sundry satellite locations.

Blogs about egm

A Great Wrong Has Been Righted.

7.4.2010

The New EGM, and a Refund From MAXIM I am now the proud recipient of my very first new EGM, as well as a $3.33 refund for my old EGM subscription, which was replaced with MAXIM when they stopped publishing EGM. Yes, 3 dollars and 33 cents, and it was totally worth it. It's the principle of the thing.

I had to write 2 letters to get this response from the publishers of MAXIM. I received no response from the first letter I wrote and sent in June of 2009. In May of this year, I sent a follow-up letter (mentioning the first), and my check came shortly thereafter. I was prepared to send many more followup letters, punishing the offensive publisher by wasting their resources opening my letters.

MAXIM.

7.27.2009

You may remember that I was distressed when Electronic Gaming Monthly stopped publishing in January. The publishers have finally sent me a new magazine to fulfill my EGM subscription: MAXIM.

MAXIM?!? The issue I received features an "article" identifying America's Sexiest Beaches. It's thinly veiled smut. Mouth-breathing morons. I sent the publishers a letter stating that I do not wish to receive MAXIM, and requesting a check for the remainder of my paid subscription. Perhaps I will spend it it on a good magazine - such as Cook's Illustrated or Mental Floss.

I've identified what infuriates me (and others) so much about receiving MAXIM as a replacement for EGM. The publisher (Dennis Publishing, owned by Hearst) used the most naively simple demographic group in choosing a new magazine for EGM subscribers: males, age 18-30. I'd been a subscriber for nearly 10 years; surely the publisher would have learned a little more about me during such a long relationship. But they invested no time in researching the market segment that subscribed to EGM. The print publishing industry clearly has a lot to learn - expressed interest is a much more effective segment identifier than the barely considered guess that the publisher made.

Consider the significant portion of children who subscribed to EGM. MAXIM may not be rated R, but it is certainly not PG. Consider the many female gamers. In fact, I would suspect that EGM had a larger-than-average female subscriber base compared to other gaming magazines. One of the reasons that I was a loyal EGM reader was that they rarely wasted space on top-heavy "hot chicks" or comic-book style fantasy gaming pictures. I was highly irritated by all of the "page babes" that littered the pages of the one other gaming magazine I read once.

Good news, though. It appears that EGM will be reborn. (Official Press Release, Article on 1up.com) You can bet I'll subscribe to that as soon as I can.

A Lament.

1.12.2009

I am suspicious of the relationships between video game publishers and the many organizations in the video game press. It seems to me that there exist far too many cozy relationships between most reviewing organizations and publishing organizations.

I've been an EGM subscriber for many years, and that publication has always worked conscientiously to create a culture where reviewers could give accurate scores (good or bad); independent of the advertising that had been purchased in their pages. They've written trustworthy reviews with accurate and specifically described the features, pros and cons of the game under review. In fact, EGM (and it's sister website 1up.com) is the only video game magazine that I trust.

I have read other video game magazines in the past, and I found them lacking. Their coverage breadth was too shallow, and too many reviews were positive to the point of straining credibility. Also, there were far too many glossy shots of bosomy “hotties” - which I find irritating and disrespectful to the reader. The other magazines were not for me.

Alas, last week EGM and 1up.com were sold from ZiffDavis, and the new owner has shuttered EGM, and let go much of the staff. Without EGM, it seems that Penny Arcade (a game-focused webcomic) will be my only remaining trustworthy source of game reviews. In addition to the webcomic, the writer Jerry Holkins shares his thoughts on video games that catch his fancy. I find my tastes run quite similar to his; I've purchased (and loved) Puzzle Quest and The World Ends With You pretty much on his say-so.