It had to happen sooner or later, but the news of EGM‘s demise was still pretty crushing, to be honest. I’ve been reading that magazine since Sonic the Hedgehog was a fresh face on the cover; not quite the beginning, but close enough. Even when it went through a stint of having alternating Street Fighter/Mortal Kombat covers exclusively, it was still the best thing on the rack. It certainly served to show me, for the first time perhaps, that a game magazine could be more interesting than the (admittedly awesome at the time) console-exclusive gee-whizzery of Nintendo Power or the braindead zombie cartoon ramblings of Gamepro.
There have been better magazines over the years—I was big on Gamefan‘s enthusiasm, for instance—but I don’t think any gaming publication has enjoyed the consistency of EGM. I was always fond of their personalities and individual but cohesive styles of writing, and thought the majority of their major features were pretty impressive undertakings. On the videogame side of things, EGM probably had a bigger hand in getting me interested in writing for a publication than anything else. While some of the competition was perfectly happy to remain in permanent stasis, EGM grew up with its readership and the words reflected that, even if I didn’t agree with them all the time.
On the Internet side of things, I tended to consider 1up a pretty reliable source when it came to opinions on new games. But most of all, their podcasts got me interested in creating something similar with my friends, which has been a lot of fun. But beyond all of that, I think the saddest thing is that EGM isn’t going to get to leave the industry with a final hurrah. Rather, they’re forced to let out one last bubbling fart with a cover story sporting a hideous closeup image from the latest licensed Wolverine game. You can practically hear the party poppers exploding from here, can’t you?
Jeff Green’s blog post on the 1up firings sums it up kind of depressingly and certainly doesn’t make me want to visit UGO’s version of whatever the site will become. Instead, I’ll just pour some booze out for another great mag gone to the graveyard.