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CGW/GFW closing up shop

April 8th, 2008 by Troy Goodfellow · 9 Comments · CGW, Media

A little over a year ago I said good-bye to Computer Games Magazine. I refused then to accept the lesson of the closing to be that print was dead or unviable.

So, this really sucks.

Computer Gaming World is the oldest established electronic gaming magazine, and despite the renaming, Games for Windows was an extension of that legacy. A few weeks ago, Kevin Gifford wrote that “this issue of GFW is convincing me that the mag is turning into Computer Games in all the good ways”, a sentiment that gave far too little credit to Jeff Green, Shawn Elliott, Sean Molloy, Ryan Scott and the rest of the GfW crew. They’ve been trying to find a way to make print important in today’s media environment and after the failed experiment with “essay” reviews, the move towards stronger features and interviews was not only logical; it was something that many of them had advocated for some time.

I’m glad to hear that Green and company will continue to work to pump out PC content for 1up, but the site is still, well, not very user friendly. There’s just too much on the front page. Plus, the magazine had Bruce Geryk’s wargame column. And Tom versus Bruce. And Infinite Lives. And Greenspeak. And all in one place.

And as much as I appreciate all the work and content in PC Gamer, it was nice to have an alternative. And now there isn’t.

More than print being dead, however, this is all about the perceived decline of PC gaming as an industry. EGM limps on, after all.

All the core content providers will remain with 1up, so there is no great diaspora of writers struggling to find work like there was at the freelance heavy CGM. And hopefully they will redo the 1up PC page to make it easier to find stuff I am interested in instead of seven or eight different boxes to follow.

But this is a great loss for the media community and a blow to PC gamers like myself.

Thanks for all the good work you’ve done, guys. CGW was my first gaming magazine. It will be mourned.


9 Comments so far ↓

  • George Geczy

    This is very, very sad news indeed. Though after seeing how thin the last issue was I can’t say that it was a surprise.

    Of course, there’s even more here than the closing of CGW; there is also the fact that Microsoft intended to use this as a flagship of the GfW branding, and Microsoft continue to insist that gaming on PC is as important to them now as ever. That came up a number of times at GDC and in comments over the last few months. Not counting my issues with their handling of GfW (treating it more as an exclusive ‘club’ than a true brand), the death of the magazine of the same name can in no ways help.

    Sad news.

  • Toms

    I wonder how many magazines there will be in a decade. It’s becoming a wasteland.

  • Scott

    Agreed. I first read CGW after I got out of college in 1992 and was able to buy my first computer. Before CGW, I ended up buying whatever game looked the coolest which was a crapshoot. After CGW, I became an informed buyer and saved both my money and time.

    Godspeed CGW/GFW, godspeed.

  • Loredena

    I’ve been reading CGW often and on for the last 20 years or so. Computer Games Magazine was my favorite, and I still miss reading it, but I’ll miss CGW almost as much. The truth is PC Gamer is only ok in my mind (I’m SO not their target audience) , and as a PC gamer who, well, doesn’t go to 1Up, I’m bummed to find myself down to only one monthly PC gaming magazine to read. :(

  • Scott R. Krol

    What did CGW get out of being rebranding GFW? Besides scorn? Obviously not money. Or if they did, not enough.

  • George Geczy

    More often than not PC Gamer has not been a friend to strategy games (and I mean [i]real[/i] strategy, not Command&Conquer-17). (Though I should actually say “PC Gamer North America”, since Future Publishing’s European cousins are often much more kind to strategy, often given review scores significantly higher for the same game.) CGW was a editorially fair with a very solid core of reviewers and editors to deal with smaller genres like wargames and strategy.

    And yes, the question of where the money is to support the “GfW” rebranding is an interesting, albeit moot, point.

  • Bruce

    The re-branding was a tricky thing because CGW couldn’t take any money for it directly – that would have compromised their editorial credibility – nor did they want to. So the presumed advantage of it was to use Microsoft’s brand to get more leverage in newsstand distribution. This was seen, I think, as a significant advantage. Besides that, I think the magazine was just a victim of an association with a half-hearted marketing initiative that Microsoft never followed through on. But that’s only since the switch – people may question the GFW rebranding, but without it, the magazine may have been killed by Ziff at that point, and CGW would have died earlier, as CGW. So the conclusion that “GFW killed CGW” doesn’t necessarily follow.

  • Troy

    In fact, Jeff Green has publicly said that CGW was on the bubble in any case and that the GfW initiative bought them a little more time. It was a gamble, and one he might not take again, but gave them a shot.

  • Alan Au

    I was never entirely clear on the GfW renaming thing, mostly because I didn’t perceive Microsoft throwing much weight behind it and so I’m unclear on how much the new name helped. Regardless, the magazine itself will be missed.