The Death of an Icon

Article by: Josh McPherson

In May of 1989, North American gamers were treated to the first issue of what would be a long legacy for the print gaming publication Electronic Gaming Monthly. For nearly 20 years, EGM endured while other gaming magazines, faced with declining ad revenues and strong online competition, had ceased publication. Perhaps it was the mainstays like Dan “Shoe” Hsu and his insightful reviews or thoughts on the state of the industry, Quartermann’s Gossip corner (one of my personal favorites) or the annual April Fools joke. Regardless of what the appeal was, many North American gamers have either read a handful of issues or been a subscriber at one time or another.

Sadly, on Tuesday January 6th, 2009, Ziff Davis (the former publishing company) have decided to sell and all the sites associated with the 1up brand, including EGM, to The Hearst Corporation and the UGO network. According to Joystiq, a number of the staff members at and EGM have been let go, with only a fraction of the original staff retained by UGO. To what extent they will be used is still not known. So what will happen to our beloved EGM magazine? That I intended to find out.

As a loyal subscriber for the past 10 years, I recently renewed for the maximum term. When I first heard about the cancellation of the publication I took it upon myself to contact the customer service department to inquire what was happening with the magazine and subsequently, the rest of my subscription. The customer service representative I spoke with was very helpful and made sure to take down my comments when I expressed how much I loved this magazine and that I was disappointed with the decision to end the publication. The rep assured me that there was no final decision as to what UGO would be doing with EGM now or in the future but there would not be another issue coming my way in the next 30 days. Instead, the rep informed me that there was a possibility that they may take the popular magazine to an online monthly subscription format. The rep also told me that anyone who had the monthly mail delivery, would get the option to receive a refund for the remainder of their subscription or subscribe to the digital e-Zine format.

If you're a subscriber of EGM and would like to speak with a Ziff Davis customer service rep to discuss your options, contact the customer service department at phone #
US/Canada: 386-597-4371
International: 386-597-4370
Could the recent announcement of EGM shutting down be the death rattle for printed gaming publications? When a magazine such as EGM that’s been around for so long and widely regarded as the best in the business falls, like it or not, it sure looks to be a sign of the times.