A new issue of GamesTM appeared last week, the final one in which I’m credited as editor. In spite of the hassles that came with waiting for various post-GDC interviews to come through, I’m rather proud of how the magazine turned out, especially the cover feature. I’m less pleased about the cover itself. The main coverline was originally “The VR Revolution Will Resume Shortly”, hence the test card, but that line was deemed “too clever” and a last-minute change was insisted upon by the direktors. Mission accomplished: it is now deeply unclever. Oh well.
Gaming magazines are like koala bears: They don’t seem to go very fast, they eat trees like you wouldn’t believe and they absolutely love to be hugged. Perhaps more seriously the adorable creatures are increasingly threatened with extinction, which is why it’s always heartening to find out that a new one has been conceived.
Currently seeking funding via Kickstarter, Retro is being pitched as a US equivalent to Retro Gamer, only with a bit more in the way of current-gen stuff (“and a whole bunch more”), likely to keep as many younglings interested in turning pages as possible. You can read a preview of the first issue here, although I’d advise against dwelling too long on some of the pages. The Alcohol Breath-Testing Key-Ring review isn’t the only piece of writing that seems out-of-sorts.
Curiously the magazine will be bi-monthly (which I assume means every two months – you can never quite tell), with a minimum of 52 pages, four of which will be ads – quite a flimsy thing compared to the last US gaming magazine I read, which had all the heft and nourishment of an Argos catalogue. I’m assuming Retro won’t be making it to a newsstand anytime soon, even if it does manage to reach its $50K goal.
Despite my snarky Englishness I hope the makers of Retro come good, if only because the US could do with a decent home-grown gaming rag. Of the few gaming magazines still rolling off US presses, many I’m told are reconstituted from UK scrap. I found out a few weeks ago, for instance, that 80% of the US edition of PC Gamer originates from the UK mag, which in some ways is a little sad. Not as sad as there being no magazine at all, but still.