RIP EGM, Microsoft, Midway Sucks


Paper is so 20th century

Happy New Year to all! Welcome to the first Wrath of El Pato for 2009. I hope everyone had a good Christmas and had Santa show up at their door loaded with presents. I got a pink slip! It was so nice of him, let the job hunt begin!

It’s been so long since I’ve done a news editorial that I felt like doing one. Typically I do this with a topic, but since I’m tired from running around all week, I’ll just go through a few things in my mind.

The big news of the week…and there were a few things big, but none other than Electronic Gaming Monthly shutting its doors. While I guess I could call them competition, since 1up is in the same industry as [OC], they still are fondly remembered as THE video game magazine at one point.

It is truly sad, as several writers are losing their jobs, and EGM was a staple in the video game industry. I remember pretty badly wanting to work there out of college and not getting a fricken job interview, but I digress. It really is a blow to videogames as this was the TV guide of the game industry in my day.

The sad part is, EGM isn’t going to be the last. The internet is just flat KILLING written publications. Publishing something on the net is cheap, editable, and much easier for a reader to access than a magazine. It isn’t going to happen tomorrow, but I’d expect several other magazines to go under in the next decade that were once popular. It really isn’t a good start for 2009 with those guys. Wow, that’s all I can say.

A lot of you may not remember far back, but this was one of the magazines everyone read growing up. It basically started with Nintendo Power, then as we got a bit older we switched to EGM somewhere in the 16-bit or 32-bit eras. It was the Sports Illustrated of gaming. Now I am not going to defend them, as their editorial quality has been sorely lacking a few years back and just now was starting to look better, but I knew something was up. After Dan Hsu and Crispin Boyer both left at the same time, I think the writing was on the wall about Ziff-Davis’s financial problems. It’s not good for the economy either, because gaming journalists like myself who look for freelance work are in line behind guys who have done it for a profession since I was in high school. I’m sure a bunch of them will remain with 1up, but make no mistake, a lot of people are getting canned in this. I guess I don’t need to send job apps to ZD anymore.

Considering that Ziff-Davis has filed for chapter 11, and I don’t think this is the first magazine to go bye-bye anytime soon.

Microsoft says during CES that it was the 360’s best year ever and I tend to agree with them. The 360 is basically the “game console” of choice now as the PS3 is never going to catch up with the installed fan base Microsoft has now. If anything that means Sony will have to f*ck things up even more and make another machine that costs a gazillion dollars. I bet by E3 this year there will be some huge upgrade for the PS3 much like Sega did with the Genesis when Nintendo beat their ass.

What Microsoft didn’t mention was how the 360 is dead f*cking last in the Japanese market. Not that Japan is doing that great anyways. According to a study Japanese game sales are down 15 percent from last year. Analysts attribute this to no new console launches.

Huh? Where’d they find these guys? Console launches have NOTHING to do with this slump. One thing contributing is something called a “Bad Economy”. People aren’t buying 500 games every friggen month. It isn’t just the US, most of the world is taking a recession of some sort. Another reason games in Japan are down? They are getting too inaccessible and too redundant. It’s like I’ve been saying all along-we no longer have an industry with a million genres and sub genres. It’s now, MMORPG, first person shooter, and sports titles, only ONE of those genres appeals to a Japanese gamer.