Next Generation (magazine)
The cover of the January '95 issue of Next Generation.
|First issue||January 1995|
Volume 4 No.13
Next Generation (also known as NextGen) was a video game magazine that was made by Imagine Media publishing company (now Future Network USA). It was affiliated to and shared editorial with the UK's Edge magazine. Next Generation ran from January 1995 until January 2002. It was published by Jonathan Simpson-Bint and edited by Neil West. Other editors included Chris Charla, Tom Russo, and Blake Fischer. Unlike its competitors GamePro and Electronic Gaming Monthly, Next Generation was directed towards a different readership by focusing on the industry itself rather than individual games.
In September 1999, Next Generation was redesigned, its cover name shortened to simply NextGen. This would start what was known as "Lifecycle 2" of the magazine. A year later, in September 2000, the magazine's width was increased from its standard 8 inches to 9 inches, however this wider format lasted less than a year. Subscribers of Next-Gen Magazine received issues of PlayStation Magazine when the magazine's life-cycle was terminated.
Differences between Next-Gen and its contemporaries
Notable differences between Next Generation and other video game magazines of the time:
- Most video game magazines rank a game in several different categories (graphics, sound, gameplay, etc.) and sometimes provide an average score based on those numbers. Next Generation's review ranking system, on the other hand, was based on a number of stars (1 through 5), that ranked games based on their merits overall compared to what games were already out there.
- Its content didn't focus on screenshots, walkthroughs, and cheat codes. Instead the content was more focused on the game industry from an artistic perspective.
- Its interviews with people in the gaming industry often featured questions about gaming in general rather than about the details of the latest game or game system they were working on.
- Next Generation had a few editorial sections like "The Way Games Ought To Be" (originally written every month by game designer Chris Crawford) that would attempt to provide constructive criticism on standard practices in the video game industry.
- The magazine's construction and design also differed from its competitors. The design was decidedly simple and clean, its back cover having no advertising on it initially, a departure from most other gaming magazines. The first several years of Next Generation had a heavy matte finish cover stock, unlike the glossy paper covers of its competitors. The magazine moved away from this cover style in early 1999, only for it to return again in late 2000.
|Lifecycle 1||Lifecycle 2|
When the company publishing Next-Gen was forced to make cutbacks, the magazine ceased print. The brand was later revived and moved online. The website, Next-Gen.biz, carries much the same articles and editorial as the print magazine, and in fact reprints many articles from Edge, the UK-based sister magazine to Next-Gen. In July 2008, Next-Gen.biz was rebranded as Edge-Online.com.
- "Imagine Media is now Future Network USA". Future Network USA. 2005-01-22. Archived from the original on 2005-02-10. Retrieved 2007-01-30.
- "Classic Videogame Games INTERVIEW - Chris Charla". Good Deal Games. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
- Future to rebrand Next Gen website as Edge // News // GamesIndustry.biz