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EGM is no more


The Coop
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For those of you who are fans of 1up.com, Jeff Green's blog details a little more about what happened and what to expect. I found it to be informative.

http://jeff-greenspeak.blogspot.com/2009/01/no-youre-not-same-1up.html

EDIT:

Some other good reads about the goings on at 1UP and EGM:

Thierry Nguyen's blog: http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=8977895&publicUserId=5380025

Matt Leone's blog: http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=8977863&publicUserId=5380373

James "Milkman" Mielke's blog: http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=8977836&publicUserId=4549175

Jeremy Parish's blog: http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=8977660&publicUserId=5379721

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... you might have a point ...

Hey, if you want to buy into corporate propaganda under the guise of a magazine, that's your call. If you like the writing style and you enjoy reading it, then who am I to tell you to stop. I'm merely addressing your initial statement of the fact that you weren't aware that Game Informer was owned and published by GameStop.

It's a little naive to assume that GameStop would allow one of its products (Game Informer) to dissuade customers from buying other more profitable products in their stores. If a store decides to start a magazine then you can safely assume that the said magazine is their for a reason... to assist in sales of GameStop's number one product: video games. It does not exist as independent, free-thinking journalism because since its inception it has always been funded by the store, which sells the products they review. Despite the efforts of the writers or editors, Game Informer is nothing more than a giant GameStop ad. If you like the pretty pictures then dandy. Hell, if Game Informer had some cool pictures of a game I really liked I might even buy it, but keep in mind where the source of the money is coming from, because in the end that will always influence the magazine's writing, reviews, and previews.

My dislike of GameStop doesn't affect the fact that the company has a vested interest in what is printed on the pages of Game Informer. And anyway, my main issue with GameStop is how they do business with their customers, as a former employee 7 or 8 years ago. They screw over people on trade-ins, the used game card is a rip off unless you spend inordinately large amounts of money on used games, and they deliberately cause launch shortages so they can ensure people are forced to get preorders, now that they've bought off most mom and pop shops in urban areas, leaving the consumer with very few video game retailers to shop at. Have you ever checked Fry's or Best Buy when popular games come out? GameStop is out of stock because you didn't preorder (want to preorder a different game while we're at it to avoid this next time?), but they'll usually have stack upon stacks of the games at other stores. Combine that with the whole Game Informer thing, and that's why I don't like them and unless there are no alternatives, I refuse to continually support their practices with my money.

Way off topic. Sorry thread.

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For everyone complaining about advertising... you do realize that magazines make basically pennies from subscriptions, right? Advertising is by far where the revenue comes from. Subscriptions barely factor in at all. So, if a magazine is featuring tons of ads, chances are that's because they are not in good financial shape. The best magazines IMO are ones with high subscription fees but no ads. For example, Consumer Report.

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Hey, if you want to buy into corporate propaganda under the guise of a magazine, that's your call. If you like the writing style and you enjoy reading it, then who am I to tell you to stop. I'm merely addressing your initial statement of the fact that you weren't aware that Game Informer was owned and published by GameStop.

Actually, I did know that. I just pointed to the fact that they don't even mention Gamestop, and there is no evidence that Gamestop influences what they publish.

It's a little naive to assume that GameStop would allow one of its products (Game Informer) to dissuade customers from buying other more profitable products in their stores. If a store decides to start a magazine then you can safely assume that the said magazine is their for a reason... to assist in sales of GameStop's number one product: video games.

And it does that by spiking people's interest in games, not to mention it makes money through actual ads just like any magazine, and that's disregarding subscription fees. If their job was to rate bad games as good so they would sell, then people would know it. It wouldn't even make sense, especially seeing as a fair amount of games on their front cover have gotten bad reviews. That doesn't add up if they are simply trying to give these games PR. There is no evidence Game Stop fixes the reviews Game Informer publishes, and the only naivety lies in assuming that they do based on no real evidence. Simply maintaining that Game Stop is an interested party doesn't mean anything except that they make money, directly, by owning a good magazine.

My dislike of GameStop doesn't affect the fact that the company has a vested interest in what is printed on the pages of Game Informer. And anyway, my main issue with GameStop is how they do business with their customers, as a former employee 7 or 8 years ago. They screw over people on trade-ins, the used game card is a rip off unless you spend inordinately large amounts of money on used games, and they deliberately cause launch shortages so they can ensure people are forced to get preorders, now that they've bought off most mom and pop shops in urban areas, leaving the consumer with very few video game retailers to shop at. Have you ever checked Fry's or Best Buy when popular games come out? GameStop is out of stock because you didn't preorder (want to preorder a different game while we're at it to avoid this next time?), but they'll usually have stack upon stacks of the games at other stores. Combine that with the whole Game Informer thing, and that's why I don't like them and unless there are no alternatives, I refuse to continually support their practices with my money.

I agree with you in that I'm not a big fan of Gamestop either, and you not supporting them with your money makes sense given your dislike of them, but that has nothing to do with how Game Informer is run. Just because Gamestop is an interested party doesn't indicate anything as to how they run their magazine, only that their magazine ultimately makes money for their company -- which it logically would through ads and subscription fees as well as spiking interest in games throughout the gaming community.

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Hey, if you want to buy into corporate propaganda under the guise of a magazine, that's your call. If you like the writing style and you enjoy reading it, then who am I to tell you to stop. I'm merely addressing your initial statement of the fact that you weren't aware that Game Informer was owned and published by GameStop.

It's a little naive to assume that GameStop would allow one of its products (Game Informer) to dissuade customers from buying other more profitable products in their stores. If a store decides to start a magazine then you can safely assume that the said magazine is their for a reason... to assist in sales of GameStop's number one product: video games. It does not exist as independent, free-thinking journalism because since its inception it has always been funded by the store, which sells the products they review. Despite the efforts of the writers or editors, Game Informer is nothing more than a giant GameStop ad. If you like the pretty pictures then dandy. Hell, if Game Informer had some cool pictures of a game I really liked I might even buy it, but keep in mind where the source of the money is coming from, because in the end that will always influence the magazine's writing, reviews, and previews.

So... what you're saying is... Nintendo Power could maybenot be UN-Biased?

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It's sad to see but that magazine has been dead to me ever since they overhauled their review system to make it a lot more simplified (ie: removing individual ratings for sound, graphics, etc). If anything giving halo 1 and 2 both perfect 10's (ESPECIALLY part 2) really did it for me, I wouldn't be surprised if they did the same for part 3. I swear they gave halo 2 a 5 page spread every single issue until it came out, so it was almost like they had to give it the perfect 10. They also started to move away from feeling like a gaming magazine by trying to add attitude and feel more "edgy" (at least to me). With the advent of the information superhighway they slowly fell back due to the fact that people could acquire information instantly (and for free) vs paying for generally outdated info minus the exclusive every now and then.

If there was one cool thing I think most people liked was the rumor mill, it was always interesting to hear what they had to say...but again it was something that sort of bit the dust as well due to the net. I never was a big fan of game (Mis)informer, although while younger I always thought it was cool their mags were like 20 percent larger than anyone elses (bigger pics are always cooler right). Can't really speak for the 1UP side, but the death of the mag is just another case of internet killed the magazine star.

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Simply maintaining that Game Stop is an interested party doesn't mean anything except that they make money, directly, by owning a good magazine.

Game Stop being an interested party means everything. Any in-house publication (be it Nintendo Power, Game Informer, Offical PlayStation Magazine, etc.) will be biased (despite their respective audiences' subjective perceptions on whether or not the magazine is "good" or otherwise). Bias will exist, and must exist from in-house funded magazines, which further nullifies the concept of legitimate reviews in such sources, especially a corporation (and in turn a magazine) whose mere existence relies, ultimately, on the sale of video games.

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Game Stop being an interested party means everything. Any in-house publication (be it Nintendo Power, Game Informer, Offical PlayStation Magazine, etc.) will be biased (despite their respective audiences' subjective perceptions on whether or not the magazine is "good" or otherwise). Bias will exist, and must exist from in-house funded magazines, which further nullifies the concept of legitimate reviews in such sources, especially a corporation (and in turn a magazine) whose mere existence relies, ultimately, on the sale of video games.

Yeah but...it's not in-house. Gamestop doesn't make games. They can't have a biased magazine. They make money regardless the game you buy.

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Yeah but...it's not in-house. Gamestop doesn't make games. They can't have a biased magazine. They make money regardless the game you buy.

Actually, they can have a biased magazine, even if they don't make it themselves. It's well known that GI is essentially Gamestop's magazine (it's the only place to get GI after all), much like GMR was EB's (same situation). Even if GI isn't owned by Gamestop, they obviously have a deal of some kind going.

Now, if one were to roll with what's been suggested about GI, Gamestop could make sure its big incoming titles get good reviews. If Gamestop wants everyone to preorder and buy Halo Wars due to the popularity of the franchise, yet GI gives it a horrid score before it hits store shelves, they'd be shooting themselves in the foot with their own gun. So even if it is a bit conspiracy theory-like, Gamestop could have a biased magazine that takes steps to help them out with game sales, and not hurt them.

Keep in mind, I'm just playing devil's advocate here.

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Now, if one were to roll with what's been suggested about GI, Gamestop could make sure its big incoming titles get good reviews. If Gamestop wants everyone to preorder and buy Halo Wars due to the popularity of the franchise, yet GI gives it a horrid score before it hits store shelves, they'd be shooting themselves in the foot with their own gun. So even if it is a bit conspiracy theory-like, Gamestop could have a biased magazine that takes steps to help them out with game sales, and not hurt them.

Then they've shot themselves in the foot numerous times. Wouldn't make sense if that "conspiracy theory-like were true, would it? I'm not saying it isn't possible that they do that, but there isn't any evidence to support it, and as DarkeSword said, they make money regardless of what games you buy.

Also, I just thought I'd mention that many people come to these conclusions because they don't understand Game Informer's rating system. Game Informer, unlike most other review sources, uses a review system similar to that of school. They consider 7 average ©, an 8 is equivalent to a B, a 9 is the equivalent of an A, and anything above is outstanding. Because of this it may look like they give more games higher ratings, when in fact that isn't the case. The average review score in Game Informer is a 7, and a little while back GI said that is pretty close to what you get if you actually average all of their reviews scores.

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Then they've shot themselves in the foot numerous times. Wouldn't make sense if that "conspiracy theory-like were true, would it? I'm not saying it isn't possible that they do that, but there isn't any evidence to support it, and as DarkeSword said, they make money regardless of what games you buy.

[DA mode]Yet as we all know, Gamestop sells games. The more games GI bashes, the greater the chances of sales (or $ale$ as Gamestop says... seriously) being affected. The more sales are affected, the greater the chances of hands being played to ensure it happens less. And when it's a game that Gamestop is really pushing their employees to pimp on customers, well...

Also, I just thought I'd mention that many people come to these conclusions because they don't understand Game Informer's rating system. Game Informer, unlike most other review sources, uses a review system similar to that of school. They consider 7 average ©, an 8 is equivalent to a B, a 9 is the equivalent of an A, and anything above is outstanding. Because of this it may look like they give more games higher ratings, when in fact that isn't the case. The average review score in Game Informer is a 7, and a little while back GI said that is pretty close to what you get if you actually average all of their reviews scores.

I have a feeling more people understand GI's rating system than you think, and that's why they get bent out of shape over it. If I were to continue the X-Files stuff, with other review sources having a 5 as average, GI's system can be construed as inflating scores by making their "average" what others have labeled as "good" when you take the GI/Gamestop connection into account. GI may be honestly sticking with their rating system, but on paper, the higher scores look better regardless of the rating system behind them... both to customers and to game companies (both of which can benefit Gamestop).

GI has 7 as "average", with 5 as "passable". That seems like a good sized area for what could be considered average overall (average is passable in school after all). Get someone who really questions the GI/Gamestop relationship, and the theories will be off and running.[/DA mode]

Again, I'm not saying it's happening, or that it's even happened in the past. I'm just trying to take a completely objective look at both sides of this, and why people are saying these things. And as I do this, to be truthful, the scenario is certainly there for it to happen, given the arrangement Gamestop and GI have. As such, what I am saying, is that I can understand why people make the accusations, even if there's no proof of wrong doing.

Society as whole is a lot more suspicious of things than it used it be, which is why people are so questioning about the GI/Gamestop stuff. When you couple that with the fact that Gamestop has done some pretty shitty things to their employees and customers over the years, it's like Mr. Jackson being seen with a kid that's not his... the accusations fly. It's no great stretch of the imagination given the company's history and other informational tidbits, you know? And that's likely why people question the integrity of GI's reviews, and overall honesty.

just64helpin- Yeah, that was an interesting coincidence, wasn't it?

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I have a feeling more people understand GI's rating system than you think, and that's why they get bent out of shape over it. If I were to continue the X-Files stuff, with other review sources having a 5 as average, GI's system can be construed as inflating scores by making their "average" what others have labeled as "good" when you take the GI/Gamestop connection into account. GI may be honestly sticking with their rating system, but on paper, the higher scores look better regardless of the rating system behind them... both to customers and to game companies (both of which can benefit Gamestop).

I wouldn't be surprised if they adopted the rating system partially so that games to look better on paper, as that would actually benefit Gamestop with little more than a slight spin. However, rigging ratings is far beyond that, and based on their averages they do stick to around an average of 7. Most reviews in the magazine get a 7 or less.

GI has 7 as "average", with 5 as "passable". That seems like a good sized area for what could be considered average overall (average is passable in school after all). Get someone who really questions the GI/Gamestop relationship, and the theories will be off and running.[/DA mode]

That leaves more bad ratings available to GI than good. I would think that would indicate that they don't hesitate to give a game what it deserves.

Again, I'm not saying it's happening, or that it's even happened in the past. I'm just trying to take a completely objective look at both sides of this, and why people are saying these things. And as I do this, to be truthful, the scenario is certainly there for it to happen, given the arrangement Gamestop and GI have. As such, what I am saying, is that I can understand why people make the accusations, even if there's no proof of wrong doing.

Yeah, I see what you're saying, and it's definitely worth taking an objective look.

Society as whole is a lot more suspicious of things than it used it be, which is why people are so questioning about the GI/Gamestop stuff. When you couple that with the fact that Gamestop has done some pretty shitty things to their employees and customers over the years, it's like Mr. Jackson being seen with a kid that's not his... the accusations fly. It's no great stretch of the imagination given the company's history and other informational tidbits, you know? And that's likely why people question the integrity of GI's reviews, and overall honesty.

It's a shame, about society, too. I read GI, and it rings true to me, and the writers seem genuine -- more so than most gaming magazines I've read. Yeah, Gamestop is "big corporation" so naturally people seem to assume anything they do is bad, but it seems a little unrealistic to me that Gamestop is somehow so desperate for more cash that they'd resort to making a magazine with rigged reviews. Of course, that's just my take.

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That leaves more bad ratings available to GI than good. I would think that would indicate that they don't hesitate to give a game what it deserves.

True, but what they say according to their ratings system, isn't necessarily how going to be how it's perceived by others (or used by others as well, since we all know how companies love higher numbers to spout off about). Lots of stuff with 7s that got 5s from others, 8s that got 5.5s or 6s from others... it all might ring as GI being less critical at a glance to people, even with the reviews basically saying the same things overall between the various magazines/sites. It again falls to the "on paper" comment I made, and that's something I believe is part of the anti-GI/Gamestop argument, as GI giving an average rating looks better than say, GamePro or EGM giving an average rating.

Anyway, that's my take on it. GI may be 100% honest and truthful with their reviews, and I'm not going to comment on that one way or the other. I haven't picked up an issue in many years (a decade I think), so I can't speak of their current status and crew. I'm just trying to shed a little light on why some folks don't see GI in the same light as yourself and others. Hopefully I did that without being prickish or confrontational :-)

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I probably still flip through Game Informer anyway just to see what IS coming out and to, you know, be informed about games. :-P I believe that there CAN be a bias because Gamestop MIGHT want a hand in something... I guess... But I think if you just look at reviews and previews objectively and focus on what you're looking for in a game, I don't think GI is THAT bad.

Of course I feel like a douche talking about EGM since I never read a single issue, although I was a huge fan of OPM back when I had a subscription to it, and I know that a lot of people there either worked on EGM at the same time or migrated there when OPM was done, so there's definitely a lot of talent that will be missed.

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Also, I just thought I'd mention that many people come to these conclusions because they don't understand Game Informer's rating system. Game Informer, unlike most other review sources, uses a review system similar to that of school. They consider 7 average ©, an 8 is equivalent to a B, a 9 is the equivalent of an A, and anything above is outstanding. Because of this it may look like they give more games higher ratings, when in fact that isn't the case. The average review score in Game Informer is a 7, and a little while back GI said that is pretty close to what you get if you actually average all of their reviews scores.

It's worth noting that having a different rating system than everyone else can really skew the ratings of games on stuff like GameRankings.com or other sites that compile multiple reviews. In addition (and this may have been mentioned already) it really makes average games seem better than they are. I've been subscribed to GI for 8 months, and I didn't know that their 7 was different from someone else's 7 until I read this thread.

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It's worth noting that having a different rating system than everyone else can really skew the ratings of games on stuff like GameRankings.com or other sites that compile multiple reviews. In addition (and this may have been mentioned already) it really makes average games seem better than they are. I've been subscribed to GI for 8 months, and I didn't know that their 7 was different from someone else's 7 until I read this thread.

GI says how they rate their games in every magazine, and they don't write their magazine to appease GameRankings.com, though one would hope GameRankings would be smart enough to take this different rating systems into account. The average games only seemed better than they were to you because you didn't read GIs rating system -- plenty of magazines have different rating systems. I mean, GIs rating system is in every magazine on the same page as the games of the month (the first review page), so it's not exactly fair to say that's misleading.

if you just look at reviews and previews objectively and focus on what you're looking for in a game, I don't think GI is THAT bad.

Exactly.

I'm just trying to shed a little light on why some folks don't see GI in the same light as yourself and others. Hopefully I did that without being prickish or confrontational :-)

Hah, have you ever sounded prickish or confrontational, Coop? :-)

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