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Electronic Gaming Monthly
Egm cover new pub.png
December 2009 cover
Type Video game magazine
Format Paper and Online magazine
Owner Steve Harris
Founder Steve Harris
Publisher EGM Media, LLC
Editor James "Milkman" Mielke
Founded Summer 1989, by Steve Harris in Lombard, Illinois
Language English
Headquarters Beverly Hills, CA
ISSN 1058-918X
Official website [1]

Electronic Gaming Monthly (often abbreviated to EGM) is an American video game magazine being re-launched by EGM Media, LLC. It was previously published by Ziff Davis as part of the 1UP Network and released 12 issues a year (and an occasional extra "13th" issue for the Christmas season, also known as the "Smarch" issue, a reference to an episode of The Simpsons).

EGM has concentrated on news regarding current video game consoles (see magazine content for detailed information). The December 2006 issue introduced new sections, expanded reviews, and more focus on the acronym of the magazine's title in a redesign. This was the first issue redesign since June 2003. EGM has said that the reason for the design shift was to keep more in line with the site layout of their once-owned website, 1up.com. In 1994, EGM spawned EGM2. EGM2 focused on expanded cheats and tricks (i.e. with maps and guides). The spin-off publication eventually became Expert Gamer, and finally the defunct GameNOW.

Publication of EGM was suspended on January 6, 2009, following the acquisition of the online element of the 1UP network by Hearst Corporation. It was announced that the January 2009 issue would be the final issue of EGM.[1][2] On May 29, 2009, EGM founder Steve Harris announced that he has acquired print and online publishing rights for the magazine and plans to relaunch it in the second half of 2009.[3]. The April 2010 edition of EGM will be the first issue set to be released for the relaunch. The magazine will be available this March [4].

Contents

Staff

Writers for the magazine included founder Steve Harris, long-time editor-in-chief Ed Semrad, Martin Alessi, Ken Williams (Sushi-X), "Trickman" Terry Minnich, Andrew "Cyber-Boy" Baran (who died in 2009), Danyon Carpenter, Marc Camron (later Director of Operations), Joe Funk (later Editorial Director), Mark "Candyman" LeFebvre, Todd Rogers, Mike Weigand a.k.a Major Mike (now Managing Editor at GamePro), Al Manuel, Howard Grossman, Mark "Mo" Hain, Mike Vallas, Jason Streets, Ken Badziak, Scott Augustyn, Dave Ruchala, former 1 UP network Editorial Director Dan Hsu (aka "Shoe"), James Mielke, artist Jeremy "Norm" Scott, Shawn "Shawnimal" Smith, West Coast Editor Kelly Rickards, John Davison, Kraig Kujawa, Dean Hager, and Mark Macdonald (who later went on to become director of Gamevideos.com before leaving Ziff-Davis).

Personalities featured in the magazine included gossip columnist "Quartermann," (or Q-Man or The Q) originally penned by Steve Harris and assisted by Ed Semrad, Danyon Carpenter, Andrew Baran and Chris Johnston. Near the end of EGM's original run, Quartermann had been penned by former editorial director John Davison and executive editor Shane Bettenhausen. Many items from the column have indeed come to fruition (such as the impending announcement of a competing game console by Microsoft, which eventually became the Xbox), though many have not (Panzer Dragoon sequel on the Dreamcast). Controversy followed the magazine in April 2000 when the column speculated on a port of Metal Gear Solid (PS1) for the Dreamcast, with many gaming news outlets (including international ones) taking this as fact and reporting it as their own, leading to a virtual scolding by the columnist a month after for this practice.

Another long-time personality is Seanbaby, who penned the "Rest of the Crap" section found at the end of the magazine. The column reviewed poor-quality games or included more unorthodox columns and lists. Favorite targets included the "Barbie" games, as well as games based on the TV show That's So Raven, cosplayers, and those who frequent gaming tradeshow E3.

Perhaps the most infamous personality was "Sushi-X", a pseudonym for a reviewer (and, at times, someone who had a mini-letters section) who was modeled after Taco-X of the multi-panel review team of the Japanese publication Famitsu, which inspired EGM's own review style. A supporter of fighting games (Street Fighter in particular) and detractor of RPGs and portable systems, Sushi-X was originally David Siller in the early years and then taken over by Ken Williams for almost a decade.

After Ken's departure the moniker was used by several people through the years until phased out by Ziff Davis as a "maturing" of the magazine; initially, the magazine did seem to have planned to have another fictional character, Elephant Sak (or E-Sak) which was the name of a character by the editors from the game WWF Attitude created to take over Sushi-X. The magazine teased the audience with a highlighted silhouette of the character in the photo box as the next reviewer in the issues from the last half of 1999. This never came to fruition.

Late-term "mascots" for the magazine included a Space Invaders alien, which acted as an anchor to any written work in the mag as well as symbolizing reactions from games from E3 ("Awesome", "Terrible", etc.). Additionally, there was also a robot handed out as a trophy for their yearly awards as well as an award named after Tobias Bruckner from Turok: Evolution, which was given as dubious honors to the worst aspects of the past year in gaming.

Contributing editors Scott Steinberg and Hal Halpin alternate monthly columns related to business and political/cultural issues, respectively.

Magazine content

During its initial run, EGM featured news coverage on current video game consoles, the most recent focus being on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii consoles. It also covered the portable gaming systems Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable, in addition to reviews and previews for the games released on the aforementioned consoles. Computer games were more prominent in earlier days, but, by the end of the first era, were just occasionally mentioned, as these were the territory of EGM's discontinued sister publication, Games for Windows: The Official Magazine. Cell phone games had also seen coverage in the magazine as well, though this was rare.

The first issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly came out in the summer of 1989, featuring Mega Man 2 as its cover story. The third issue famously featured a then-obscure Fabio on the cover for the game Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II and yet another issue featured Bruce Willis as Hudson Hawk in Issue 23, promoting the game based on the movie of the same name, along with Jean-Claude Van Damme reprising his role as Colonel Guile to promote Street Fighter: The Movie on the cover of Issue 75.

After the editorial, the magazine began with the letters section, followed by Press Start, which included newsbits, previews of upcoming games, and developer interviews. This was then followed by their features for the month (including the cover story), then the review section. The issue ended with more light-hearted fare such as Seanbaby's "Rest of the Crap", Jeremy "Norm" Scott's "The Adventures of Hsu and Chan" comic (which stopped appearing in EGM after August 2008 to continue on 1Up.com), and a transcript of a debate on a current topic, among others.

Until 2005, the magazine also had a cheats and tricks section named "Tricks of the Trade", originally ran by Terry "Trickman" Minnich and proceeded by David Hodgson in the early 2000s.

Issues from the early 1990s also featured heavy coverage on arcade games and international games (particularly from Japan and Europe), complete with full previews and hints and tricks, although this had been scaled back in recent years to a single page for the international section, with the Arcade Action section essentially defunct. Similarly, a more "general entertainment" section rounded out the magazine at this period of time as well, including reviews of comic books, movies, and gadgets.

Throughout much of its initial publication, the magazine had included multiple covers (including the South Park issue, as well as the Kingdom Hearts II intro issue, the Xbox 360 intro, the 200th issue, the Gears of War issue), and the Super Smash Bros. Brawl issue), mini-posters for then-current games with the newsstand issues, as well as occasional one-page extras such as alternate game box cover art slips and calendars for such titles as Jade Empire and God of War.

Occasionally, the magazine also left secret messages in their writing, deciphered by combining the first letters found in every sentence in a paragraph. For the most part, the messages were simple ones such as "EGM Rules", although rumor has it that the messages sometimes took pot-shots at their competitors and non-favored game companies. For a while during the later run, a picture of a chimpanzee with yellow flowers in its hand was placed in one photo per issue. When one reader brought this up in a mail section, the editors sarcastically responded that he should "lay off the drugs". They had also embedded funny slogans or sayings in the last lines of fine print publishing info towards the end of the magazine.

From October 2004 to January 2005 (and including 2004's "Smarch" issue), the magazine included DVDs with newsstand issues, which gained both positive and negative feedback. Positive feedback was mostly received for having plenty of features and interesting bonus material, like a Seanbaby video diary of E3, clips of the top upcoming games, desktop wallpapers, MP3s by game-inspired artists, and exclusive or rare episodes of internet phenom Red vs. Blue. Negative feedback was also received for increasing the price of newsstand issues including the DVDs, as well as not being available with subscriber issues. The latter point was also a consistent complaint about the mini-posters, although posters were included with subscriptions in more recent years.

April Fool's Day

EGM was also notorious for its April Fool's Day pranks, with many readers sending threatening letters to EGM. Their most popular jokes have included:

  • 1992: The legendary Sheng Long code for Street Fighter II in which players had to complete near-impossible tasks all the way through the final boss, M. Bison: Once there, the player could neither touch nor be touched by the boss for ten rounds, but at the end of this period the character Sheng Long would jump into the screen, destroy M. Bison, then challenge the player. This is widely considered EGM's most infamous prank.
  • 1998: "All Bonds" cheat in GoldenEye 007
  • 2000: The announcement of the new game system Giga Intellivision from Mattel, complete with "Sense Heightening Interactive Technology" (S-H-I-T), which was supposedly more powerful than the then-upcoming PlayStation 2's Emotion Engine, complete with the tagline, "Feel it, Sony". Because the same issue came with the announcement of the mature-rated Conker's Bad Fur Day from Nintendo, additional controversy arose because many people believed that the Conker announcement was, in fact, the joke.
  • 2001: Issue included a small article in which the writers announced that Sega had found a warehouse full of old Sega Neptunes and was selling them on a website. The site referenced redirected to an online shopping site, where internet users were greeted by an "April Fools!" after adding the product to the cart.
  • 2002: Super Smash Bros. Melee's "Unlock Sonic and Tails" code, where players had to defeat 20 opponents in Cruel Melee mode. The prank went widely believed for months, to a point where rival magazine Nintendo Power had to create a blurb to try and explain the origin of the rumor. It also ended in retribution for readers who wanted their favorite Sega characters duking it out with Nintendo's characters, which would seem like a play on their rivalry back in the 1990s. After the prank was revealed, EGM held a contest where those who sent in videos of their Cruel Melee battles with over 20 KOs would win a copy of Sonic Adventure 2 Battle. In the November 2006 issue (#209), an article named "the BIG ones" suggests Sonic will reappear as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, which turned out to be true.
  • 2003: The topless cheat for Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball in which you were supposed to go to a career mode and reset the game while, at the same time, play no beach volley ball, then return to the menu and, in the suit-selection menu, there would be a topless feature; this confused many people, some attempted it and sent several angry letters.
  • 2004: A small false preview for a Lord of the Rings kart-racer that EGM claimed was one of the first games for the PSP. There was a small clue in the fake game-screen, it showed the lap times that the total time would add up to 4/1/04 subtly saying April Fools' Day.
  • 2005: EGM told readers if they preordered the upcoming realistic-looking Legend of Zelda game (which would eventually be called The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess) they would receive a copy of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker with updated graphics equal to those of the new game, accompanied by a screenshot. Anime Insider believed the prank and published a small article telling people about the supposed preorder deal in the video game section, and many readers of the magazine were left infuriated that they had asked game stores about it only to get a puzzled look in return.
  • 2006: A report stating that Apple was making a portable gaming device called the iGame, as well as an idea that Apple will sell games for it. Incidentally, Apple now sells games for the iPod as part of the iTunes Music Store.
  • 2007: A preview for Mushroom Kingdom Hearts, a new game in the Kingdom Hearts series, exclusive to the Wii. The game would star numerous Disney characters as well as exactly 41 characters from Nintendo properties such as Mario, who would be a playable character.
  • 2008: A preview for Lego Halo, which provoked many angry letters from people accusing Bungie (the makers of the Halo series) of encouraging small children to play violent video games.

The Greatest 200 Videogames of Their Time

As a celebration of their 200th printed issue, Electronic Gaming Monthly released their list of "The Greatest 200 Videogames of Their Time." They ranked the games based on how much of an impact the titles originally had on arcade or consoles, rather than a compilation of games based upon how well they hold up today.

Super Mario Bros. topped the list; among the 200 games are ten starring Mario, including four titles in the top twenty. Pac-Man followed at number two, with Street Fighter II, Tetris, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario 64, Space Invaders, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Grand Theft Auto III and Pong completing the top ten. Only four games from the 2000s are featured in the top fifty. The games are: Grand Theft Auto III at number 9, Halo: Combat Evolved at number 18, Phantasy Star Online at number 21 and Resident Evil 4 at number 46.

Review philosophy

EGM's review scale was based on a letter grade system in which each game receives a grade that indicates the quality of the game. Games were reviewed by one member (originally a team of four until the year 2000, then knocked down to one in 2008), except for "the big games", which were reviewed by one of a pool of editors known as "The Review Crew." They each assign a grade to the game and write a few paragraphs about their opinion of the game. The magazine makes a strong stance that a grade of C is average. Towards the top of the scale, awards are given to games that average an B- or higher from the three individual grade: "Silver" awards for games averaging a grade of B- to B+; "Gold" awards for games averaging a grade of A- or A; and "Platinum" awards for games with three A+ grades. The current letter grade system replaced a long-standing 0-10 scale in the April 2008 issue. In that system, Silver went to a game with an average rating from 8 to 9, Gold to a game reviewed at 9 to 10, and Platinum to a game that received nothing but 10 ratings. Until 1998, as a matter of editorial policy, the reviewers rarely gave scores of 10, and never gave a Platinum Award. That policy changed when the reviewers gave Metal Gear Solid four 10 ratings in 1998, with an editorial announcing the shift.

In addition, they gave the game (or multiple games in the event of a tie, as with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for Xbox and NCAA Football 2006) with the highest average score for that issue a "Game of the Month" award. If a "Game of the Month" title receives a port to another console, that version will be disqualified from that month's award, such as with Resident Evil 4, which won the award for the Nintendo GameCube version and subsequently received the highest scores for the PlayStation 2 port months later, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, which won the Platinum award for two separate versions of the game. Oddly enough, this rule should have disqualified the Xbox version of San Andreas from tying NCAA Football 2006 in the August 2005 issue, as the PlayStation 2 version had tied Halo 2 for the award in the Holiday 2004 issue.

In 2002, EGM has also begun giving games that earned unanimously bad scores a "Shame of the Month" award. As there isn't always such a game in each issue, this award is only given out when a game qualifies.

Originally, a team of four editors reviewed all the games. This process was eventually dropped in favor of a system that added more reviewers to the staff so that no one person reviewed all the games for the month.

Though the scores ranged from 0-10 (on the previous numerical scale), the only games that the magazine gave a zero to were Mortal Kombat Advance, The Guy Game, and Ping Pals.

Platinum awards

There have been many Silver and Gold awards given at EGM over the years but the prestigious "Platinum" award was rarely given. EGM only has 15 recorded Platinum-Award-winning games (again, not including games in the era when games scoring 9.0 or up were given the same-named award)-- Japanese gaming publication Famitsu and British gaming magazine Edge are some of the few magazines that have given fewer games 'perfect' scores. These games in chronological order of when they were reviewed are as follows:

  • Metal Gear Solid (1998, PlayStation)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998, Nintendo 64)
  • Soulcalibur (1999, Sega Dreamcast)
  • Gran Turismo 2 (1999, PlayStation)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (2000, Nintendo 64)
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (2000, PlayStation, Sega Dreamcast)*
  • Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (2001, PlayStation 2)
  • Halo: Combat Evolved (2001, Xbox)
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002, PlayStation 2)
  • Metroid Prime (2002, Nintendo GameCube)
  • Halo 2 (2004, Xbox) **
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004, PlayStation 2) **
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006, Wii)
  • BioShock (2007, Xbox 360)

* Both the PlayStation and Dreamcast versions of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 earned 10-averages but are treated as one game in EGM's records as the Dreamcast version was only reviewed by a single reviewer whereas the PlayStation game was handled by the standard team of 3.

** Halo 2 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas were both given the commendation in the same issue (December 2004), receiving the distinction of being the only two Platinum-rated games reviewed in the same issue.

Game of the Year

The magazine also had its Game of the Year (along with other standard awards such as Game of the Year in a given genre or a certain console or technical accomplishments), which are usually announced in the March issue. Game of the Year winners since the magazine's inception were:

International expansion

EGM en Español was released in Mexico in November 2002. It was published by Editorial Televisa and is edited by a different staff. Sometimes the content was more focused to the Latin American gaming crowd (e.g. soccer games were paid more attention than NASCAR or American football games), as well as the humor and other features. Sometimes it featured jokes among the Mexican community (much of this is credited to Daniel Avilés, former managing editor, who expands his particular humour on his blog and podcast) and sometimes supported the production with a poster. Adrián Carbajal “Carqui”, with a long experience in Mexican gaming magazines (prior to EGM en Español, he worked in now competitor publications Club Nintendo and Atomix), was the editor-in-chief through the entire run. There was a weekly official podcast called "Playtime!" hosted by the most of the editorial staff. EGM en Español has been cancelled as of December 2008 due to Ziff Davis Media's economical problems.

EGM was also published in Brazil as EGM Brasil by Conrad Editora since 2003. Since the last quarter of 2005, EGM Brasil was being published by Futuro Comunicação. With the suspension of U.S. sales of the EGM, the Brazilian EGM was rebranded to EGW. In 2006 three other editions of EGM were published around the world. EGM Thailand is published by Future Gamer Company Ltd., EGM Singapore is published by MediaCorp Publishing and EGM Turkey is published by Merkez Dergi.

EGM online, EGM Live*, and 1UP FM

In 1995, EGM's first online website was nuke.com. It merged with gamespot.com in 1996 after Ziff-Davis purchased Sendai Media Group. In 2003, EGM created their current website, 1UP.com, and the gamespot.com brand was shunted to the CNET Networks.

EGM Live* was a podcast, done every Monday by the editors (usually 4 at a time) of EGM on 1Up.com, usually moderated by managing editor Jennifer Tsao or reviews editor Greg Ford. The usual crew of the podcast included Shane Bettenhausen, Bryan "Fragile Eagle" Intihar, Crispin Boyer, Michael Donahoe (sometimes), and Dan Hsu with Mike Cruz manning the soundboards. The podcast was available for download at 1UP.com or the iTunes music store.

Much like other podcasts on the 1UP network, the program could include discussion of various message board topics, an analysis of new games being reviewed, a mailbag section, a deeper look into the most recent issue of the magazine, or interviews with special guests such as Marcus Henderson and Ted Lange from Harmonix and Cliff Bleszinski from Epic Games.

EGM Live* also had a weekly trivia contest, which featured a randomly selected 1UP.com member who answered their question. There were generally three types of questions: an expository (eg., "Describe the ending of the arcade edition of Golden Axe"), straight trivia question (eg., "At what specific time period did current editor-in-chief Dan Hsu take time off from EGM [to work at gaming site gamers.com]?"), and an essay question in which the editors selling the top 3 answers and debate on air as to who gets the prize (eg., "What would you like in a future edition of Ratchet and Clank?").

The "*" at the end of the name was to denote that the podcast was not actually "live" in the general media sense. This had become a bit of an in-joke amongst those behind the podcast. It was eventually changed to 1UPFM, another weekly Monday podcast where 1UP crew members Nick Suttner and Phil Kollar hosted the show, along with other 1UP members. The FM stood for "Feature Mondays", but was jokingly referred to as "Fuck Mondays" on the first podcast.

Segments included Shelf Life, where they talked about the week's releases, Top 5, where they picked a subject and make a top five list of it, Backlog, where a few editors played a game they're ashamed they haven't finished for a month, Insert Disk, where they introduced a new staff member, and the Monday Feature (backwards, FM) where they had a discussion about a news story for the week. They also had a mailbag for people to write in to the podcast, similar to EGM Live*.

Both podcasts were usually recorded on Fridays and released Mondays or Tuesdays. The shows ran anywhere between 30 minutes and two hours (the latter usually absent 1UP podcast producer Andrew Pfister's restraining influence).

List of 1UPFM Backlogs

Controversies

Editor-in-chief Dan Hsu created a controversy in issue #199, where he ran an editorial which accused several of his competitors of selling article opportunities in exchange for advertising contracts. Much of the controversy arose from the fact that he did not give the names of any of the perpetrators, leading some to believe it was all a publicity stunt.

Another minor controversy began in regards to issue #201, dated March, 2006. Pages 60 and 61 contained a large image of a man sitting on a toilet, pants around his ankles, with his hands on his crotch, which was covered by a magazine featuring characters from the game Rumble Roses XX. The simulated image of a man masturbating upset many people, and the magazine received many complaints for this graphic, not only because some thought it was in poor taste, but primarily because the issue's cover featured Disney characters Goofy and Donald Duck, as well as Square Enix's character, Sora (all from Kingdom Hearts II). Some parents felt they could easily be fooled into buying the magazine for their children because of the family-friendly characters and a lack of warning of the magazine's content. EGM defended itself by claiming that they were using the magazine as a "substitute parent" and defiantly showed the picture a second time.

References

External links


Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) was a United States based video game magazine. It released 13 issues a year and was published by Ziff-Davis. The first issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly came out in the summer of 1989, and the last came out in December, 2008. EGM stuck mainly to the standard video game mag fare of news, previews, and reviews of current gen games and consoles as well as current gen handhelds. Their staff when the magazine was cancelled included Dan "Shoe" Hsu (editor-in-chief), Mark Macdonald (executive editor), Jennifer Tsao (managing editor), Crispin Boyer (senior editor), Shane Bettenhausen (previews editor), Demian Linn (reviews editor), Bryan Intihar (news editor), and Shawn Elliot (associate editor).

As video game journalism goes, Electronic Gaming Monthly was actually one of the more respectable gaming mags (which isn't really saying much).

Contents

EGM loved April

Old EGM logo

The writers at EGM let their inner tricksters out and make fools of many of their readers on an annual basis. Their April Fool's pranks included the claim of a cheat which would allow one to view the luscious ladies of Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball in the nude, and the prank which indicated that access to a realistic remake of the cell-shaded The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker would be given to anyone who would preorder the newest game in the Zelda series, now titled The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (please add more April Fool's pranks). Though some of the fans of the magazine quickly accepted and sometimes revelled in the jokes, others have gotten quite upset about being made the fool of and threatened to end their subscription to the magazine. EGM's April Fool's pranks lasted as long as the magazine itself did, but the ex-EGM staffers will likely continue the tradition where they end up working.

The Death of EGM

In January, 2009, as part of the UGO buyout of 1UP.com from Ziff-Davis, EGM was cancelled, and many of the staff that worked on it were laid off.

See also


Electronic Gaming Monthly
1989 - 1990 · 1991 - 1992 · 1993 - 1994 · 1995 - 1996 · 1997 - 1998 · 1999 - 2000 · 2001 - 2002 · 2003 - 2004
2005 - 2006 · 2007 - 2008

External Links

  • Electronic Gamimg Monthly on 1up.com
  • Ziff Davis Media: Electronic Gaming Monthly

This article uses material from the "Electronic Gaming Monthly" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

Electronic Gaming Monthly (abbreviated as EGM) is an American video game magazine published by Ziff Davis. It's one of the most popular gaming magazines in America.

April Fools' Day

Every April Fools' Day, Electronic Gaming Monthly does an April Fools' Day joke. One of the most famous is when they said that Sonic and Tails can be found in Super Smash Bros. Melee if the player completes a very hard task, and for a long time after that, people thought that they really were in. Sonic later appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.








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