|Founder||Robert C. Lock|
The original publication began as Game Players Strategy to Nintendo Games (the cover featured a tagline that claimed no affiliation with Nintendo). The magazine evolved over the years, even spinning off a separate publication called Game Players Sega Genesis Guide when Sega entered the console market. These two magazines were later folded together into one magazine.
In 1996, the magazine changed its name to Ultra Game Players and introduced a radically different format. At the end of its run, it turned into Game Buyer, before being cancelled in 1998.
Games Players was a groundbreaking publication for its time - it was the very first independent monthly video game magazine of the 8-bit generation, it was not affiliated with a first party publisher (such as Nintendo or Sega). In addition, it was the very first video game magazine to feature a CG cover.
Signal Research was eventually purchased by Future Publishing UK (mainly for Game Players) as an entry into the North American media publishing field. Future Publishing then operated under the name of Imagine Media in the United States.
As the magazine evolved, the staff began to develop a zany humor that pervaded almost every videogame review and image caption. Readers' letters came at the beginning of the magazine and were often one of the highlights of the magazine. The magazine often included a "newsletter" with irreverent jokes about magazine staffers, as well as cartoons. The introduction of Ultra Game Players was intended to coincide with the release of the Nintendo 64 and Super Mario 64 (originally, the Nintendo 64 went by the name Nintendo Ultra 64).
Ultra Game Players featured an updated design which placed the readers' letters at the end of the magazine. One of the interesting features of Ultra Game Players was a "prize store" in which readers answered trivia questions for chances to win prizes. However, many readers complained that the humor that had made Game Players such an enjoyable magazine was missing from the Ultra version, which prompted a return to form soon after the switch.
Ultra Game Players continued until June 1998, at which point it was replaced by Game Buyer. Game Buyer ran for four more months before being cancelled by Imagine Publishing.
- Former magazine Editor in Chief Chris Slate became Editor in Chief at Nintendo Power, and is now Editor in Chief of MacLife.
- Managing Editor Bill Donohue went on to PSM.
- Francesca Reyes became Editor in Chief at Official Xbox Magazine, another Future publication.
- Frank O'Connor, who helmed the later issues of UGP and Game Buyer is now at Microsoft, became director of the Halo franchise.
- Roger Burchill became Managing Editor at PSM.
- Rick Sanchez, the disc editor for Game Players, went to GameTap.
- Vince DiMiceli became the editor of The Brooklyn Paper.
- Chris Charla also went to Microsoft and now heads the Xbox One's Independent Developers division.
- Mike Salmon became Editor in Chief of PC Accelerator magazine and later Official Xbox Magazine, and is currently Director of Research and Planning for 2K Games.
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (November 2013)|