GameFan Volume 7, Issue 12 - December 1999
|First issue||October 1992|
Volume 8, Issue 12
|Company||DieHard Gamers Club (1992-1996)
Metropolis Media (1996-1998)
Shinno Media (1999-2000)
|Country||United States, Canada|
GameFan (originally known as Diehard GameFan) was a publication started by Tim Lindquist and Dave Halverson in September 1992 that provided coverage of domestic and import video games. It was notable for its extensive use of game screenshots in page design because of the lack of good screen shots in other US publications at the time. The original magazine ceased publishing in December 2000. On April 2010, Halverson relaunched GameFan as a hybrid video game/film magazine. However, this relaunch was short-lived and suffered from many internal conflicts, advertising revenue being the main one.
GameFan's legacy extends far beyond that of its intended "hardcore" gaming legacy. The idea for the name Gamefan came from the Japanese Sega magazine called Megafan. Although it began as an advertising supplement to sell imported video games mostly from Japan, the small text reviews and descriptions soon took on a life all their own, primarily due to the lack of refinement and sense of passion. Caricatures were given in place of actual editor profile, with profiles drawn exclusively by Terry Wolfinger. This particular method of reviewing and commenting seemingly freed its editors from the creative restraints commonly associated with competing publications. It also allowed certain editors like Dave Halverson to write multiple reviews of the same game under different pseudonyms.
GameFan Magazine was well known for its extensive import game coverage and its expansive coverage of the emerging interest in anime. Another major feature that separated Gamefan from other gaming magazines was the high quality paper it was printed on. Gamefan’s game screen shots were the most colorful and faithfully resembled the game graphics.
GameFan Magazine was also a champion of RPGs (role playing games). Mostly ignored by American audiences, this genre was a favorite of many GameFan staffers. The magazine's extensive coverage of the genre helped create and foster acceptance for the style of gameplay. This support came to its climax with the release of Final Fantasy VII, of which GameFan was chosen as the on-box quote proclaiming the title “Quite Possibly The Greatest Game Ever Made”.
The death of GameFan Magazine is usually attributed to several factors. The primary cause was due to the effects of a series of lawsuits which had haunted the magazine for nearly its entire run (mainly stemming from a cadre of investors that felt they were fleeced during the earliest years of the publication's run), following it through numerous corporate iterations and change of hands. It is this lawsuit that, in fact, had prevented the sale of the print magazine and its continuation as a going concern (as it turns out, the deal was virtually all but final and was derailed at the 11th hour due to the aforementioned suit).
Even after its demise, several staff members attempted to have the brand resurrected by the publisher of Computer Strategy Plus, based in Burlington, Vermont. Unfortunately, a deal could not be reached and the magazine was shuttered shortly thereafter (around the end of the 1st quarter of 2001.)
In the September 1995 issue of GameFan, an article was printed that contained several derogatory comments about Japanese people (naming them "little Jap bastards", a racially derogatory term that was used to insult Japanese descendants and Japanese-Americans during the years of World War II). The scurrilous text took the place of one of the paragraphs of one of the sports games reviews. The article discussed a Namco flight-simulator, Ace Combat, rather than College Football '96 (which was the topic of the article) and was extremely poorly written.
GameFan's official explanation was that a rogue employee had sabotaged the magazine in order to alienate its Japanese audience and fanbase. However, later reports indicated that it was actually filler text (nonsense text that temporarily takes up space in the layout) that someone forgot to remove, and the whole thing was an internal joke that accidentally got printed. Gamefan issued the following press release, apologizing for the error:
|“||August 18, 1995
GameFan, more so than any other American title covering the gaming industry, has been the greatest proponent of the Japanese market and culture. This is a known fact in the industry and among gamers.
We are also the fastest growing gaming magazine on the market, despite the fact that our cover price is 20% higher than that of our competitors. We are thought of by readers of all gaming titles as the magazine with the highest production quality and editorial integrity. For these reasons, we are the constant target of our competitors.
Our September issue was the aim of sabotage. The intention was to include language in our issue offensive to the Japanese to damage relationships and set our friends against us.
During the production process, text containing various profanities and language offensive to the Japanese culture was woven throughout the text of the issue. We were able to remove the majority of the language. Despite our efforts, one paragraph contained within an editorial made it through the production process. By the time we discovered this, some of the copies were already distributed to retail outlets.
Unfortunately, because our production process largely involves digitized information on disk and it travels through the hands of several outside sources, it is subject to this type of manipulation. We were caught with our guard down, never having expected such an outrageous act. We have put safeguards in place to insure that this will never occur again.
The action was undoubtedly directed to harm GameFan.
We ask that you accept our deepest apologies for any offense that it may have caused. Please consider that the persons responsible for this action intended not only an offense against the Japanese, but against GameFan. This type of motive and behavior should not be condoned.
Carefully consider the circumstances and our integrity and help us maintain it by not reacting against GameFan, but together with GameFan.
Staff members of GameFan magazine had amusing aliases. The following are some known members of GameFan:
|E. Storm||Dave Halverson|
|King Fausto||Tim Lindquist|
|The Wanderer||Rick Mears|
|The Enquirer||Andrew Cockburn|
|Nick Rox||Nicholas Dean Des Barres (Son of Michael Des Barres)|
|Substance D||Michael Hobbs|
|Tom Slick||Tom Stratton|
|Special K||Kei Kuboki|
|Hands On Harry||George Weising|
|K. Lee||Kelly Rickards|
|Hikaru, Mr.Goo||Frank Martinez Jr.|
|Chief Hambleton||David Hodgson|
|Big Bubba||Brandon Justice|
|Kodomo||Matt Van Stone|
|shidoshi||Eric L. Patterson|
|El Nino||Geoff Higgins|
|The Judge||Geoff Higgins|
|L.A. Akira||Gerald Abraham|
|Sergeant H. Core||Jeremy Corby|
|Slasher Quan||Matt Taylor (He worked for GamePro prior to working for GameFan)|
|The Postmeister||Mostly Dave Halverson|
|Reubus||Bruce Stockert (Art director for the last few years of GameFan's existence)|
|*unknown*||Terry Wolfinger (The original art director for GameFan)|
|BlackHorse||Wes Strait (hosting manager for GameFan Network)|
|Captain Smak||Sam Kennedy|
|Doctor J||Jay Boor|
|*unknown*||George Weising/Tim Lindquist (The Original production directors for GameFan)|
Within the magazine there was a comic strip, The Adventures of Monitaur, an anime-derived series. Although the title character Monitaur was only drawn for the strip, the rest of the magazine's staff personae appeared as characters. Monitaur's main story lines were his struggles against The Blowmeister, who metaphorically represented the leadership of rival magazines such as Electronic Gaming Monthly.
GameFan's original editor-in-chief, Dave Halverson, went on to publish Gamer's Republic, and then Play Magazine (an American video-gaming magazine, not to be confused with the English publication of the same name,) consisting mostly of former GameFan and Gamer's Republic staff members. Gamer's Republic had a short run of 35 issues and has ceased publication back in July 2001 when the Dot Com Bubble burst. Play had a far more successful run of 97 issues until the publishing company filed for bankruptcy.
After GameFan ceased publication, Eric Mylonas went on to edit GameGO! magazine. Only one issue of the magazine ever reached publication with the completed second issue being distributed in PDF format only. More recently, Mylonas has had success writing strategy guides for Prima Games.
Tim Lindquist, along with several other members of the original GameFan team, began a new magazine, Hardcore Gamer. They also began developing strategy guides as a part of their publishing company, DoubleJump Books (Now called Onionbat Books). The magazine had a short run of 36 issues before they began focusing exclusively on their website.
The DieHard GameFan name was resurrected by Alex Lucard as a website, Diehard GameFAN, with Dave Halverson's blessings. While there is plenty of coverage on the major releases, the site also prides itself on reviewing more "indie" games, much in the spirit of the original magazine.
|Categories||Gaming, Movies, Comics, Anime, Manga|
|First issue||April 2010|
|Final issue||February 2013 (Issue 9)|
|Company||Paper Planet LLC|
|Country||United States, Canada|
After the bankruptcy of Fusion Publishing and the closure of Play, Dave Halverson immediately began work on his latest magazine, a relaunch of GameFan. The magazine returned to newsstands on April 2010, headed by Halverson and a few key staffers from Play with Rob Duenas serving as the new art director. It was available in both print and digital formats, the latter of which was sold directly through GameFan's online shop.
For the first two issues, GameFan featured a section titled MovieFan which covered movies, anime, and comics. The first 2/3s of the magazine were devoted to GameFan, then readers needed to turn the magazine upside down in order to read the MovieFan magazine. As of Issue 3, the MovieFan portion of the magazine was discontinued, but later issues would still feature anime and comic reviews similar to Play. In its second and final issue, MovieFan conducted one of the last known interviews with late filmmaker, Satoshi Kon.
Up until issue 5, the magazine had been on a consistent, bi-monthly release schedule. Unfortunately, problems occurred with the magazine's development due to issues with advertising revenue, causing the sixth issue to be released on August 2011, eight months after issue 5, and with an entirely new editing team, headed-up by new-comer James Bacon. Issue 7 was assembled by only three people - Editor in Chief Dave Halverson, Art Director and Graphic Designer Rob Duenas, and Managing Editor James Bacon - and was released in December 2011. Soon thereafter Rob Duenas resigned. The reason for his departure was due to an overwhelming workload stating that he worked "20 hours a day for two weeks straight and I'm still short cover art". Despite the stressful working conditions, Duenas harbored no ill will towards Dave or the magazine, stating that he would've still been willing to contribute with cover illustrations or providing assistance with layouts. Soon after Rob's departure, Managing Editor James Bacon left for reasons unstated.
A press release was issued on April 18, 2012, highlighting the supposed future of Paper Planet brands: GameFan and Girls of Gaming. The company planned on increasing their online presence through app development for mobile devices as well as a new GameFan TV online channel. None of these plans had ever come to fruition, with the slight exception of a YouTube channel. Former Destructoid editor Wesley Ruscher, was named the magazine's new editor-in-chief but resigned shortly after the release of issue 8 stating that it "lacked the necessities to keep food in my belly and a roof over my head."
As of June 2013, GameFan's web presence had been in a mostly inactive state for about a year. Issue 9 was finally made available on February 2013 after missing their holiday 2012 release. This issue was only worked on by two people, Dave Halverson and Greg Orlando. Issues 8 and 9 were only available in a digital format and with GameFan's online store currently down, there is no way to purchase either of these issues. The possibility of a tenth issue is nonexistent at this point, making Issue 9 the final one.
- Lindquist, Tim (June 28, 2004). "Onionbat Publishing Message Boards". Retrieved 2012-05-10.
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym7oxb5_SvQ Gamefan / Moviefan Magazine 2010
- "20 Biggest Gaming Controversies". Gamepro. May 5, 2009. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
- Halverson, Dave. Editorial Zone. DieHard GameFan. Volume 3. Issue 10. No.34. Pg.4. October 1995.
- Halverson, Dave. Editorial Zone. DieHard GameFan. Volume 3. Issue 11. No.35. Pg.4. November 1995.
- Lachel, Cyril (August 4, 2006). "Defunct Games > On Running Feuds > One Hardcore Gamer's Redux". Retrieved 2008-08-04.