Games For Windows, known as Computer Gaming Monthly prior to its marriage to Microsoft, is no more. The go-to authority on PC gaming has succumbed to the reality of the magazine business: they’re too costly to make for their own good. Editor-in-chief Jeff Green, whose columns I enjoyed for a number of years, has written a eulogy of sorts on his 1UP blog, wherein he laments the state of the industry yet simultaneously accepts that Internet publishing is the future. It’s simple economics, really: continue to chop down trees and ship them off every which way, or upload a couple of HTML files to a central server?
Other than the terrible economy and prospect for magazines as a whole, GFW faced a number of problems. Like, um, exactly what purpose do gaming mags serve these days? Other than a couple of features I read in the past two issues—PC game packaging through the Ages and the use of character death as a crux—there was hardly anything in there that I didn’t already know. News can’t be broken in mags, and I can only stand so much “analysis.” I have a brain; I can figure out WHAT THINGS MEAN on my own, gracias.
On the other hand, there’s something to be said about the well-developed magazine feature. (But that could simply be because I was trained to appreciate them as an art form.) The one on Valve a few months ago was great, and I’m pretty sure no one on the Internets has the patience to read page after page of why Gabe Newell is a genius.
So yeah, end of an era. Just wanted to make sure y’all were aware. It’ll still exist as an online entity, podcast included, just no more paper mag to look forward to every other month.