Electronic Gaming Monthly

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Electronic Gaming Monthly
Electronic Gaming Monthly EGM 2nd Logo.png
Egm cover new pub.png
EGM Spring 2010 cover
Editor Steve Harris
Categories Video game journalism
Frequency Monthly
Publisher EGM Media, LLC
Founder Steve Harris
Year founded 1988
First issue March 31, 1989
Country United States
Based in Lombard, Illinois
Language English
Website www.egmnow.com
ISSN 1058-918X

Electronic Gaming Monthly (often abbreviated to EGM) is a monthly American video game magazine.[1][2][3] It offers video game news, coverage of industry events, interviews with gaming figureheads, editorial content, and product reviews.


In 1988, the publication was originally founded as U.S. National Video Game Team's Electronic Gaming Monthly under Sendai Publications.[4][5] In 1994, EGM spun off EGM², which focused on expanded cheats and tricks (i.e., with maps and guides). It eventually became Expert Gamer and finally the defunct GameNOW. After 83 issues (up to June 1996), EGM switched from Sendai Publishing to Ziff Davis publisher.[6] Until January 2009, EGM only covered gaming on console hardware and software. It was relaunched in April 2010, then published by EGM Media, LLC, widening its coverage to the PC and mobile gaming markets.[7][8]

Notable contributors to Electronic Gaming Monthly have included artist Jeremy "Norm" Scott, Dan Hsu, Sushi-X, and Seanbaby. In addition, writers of EGM's various sister publications – including GameNow, Computer Gaming World/Games for Windows: The Official Magazine, Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine – would regularly contribute to EGM, and vice versa.

Magazine structure[edit]

The magazine includes the following sections:

  • Insert Coin
    • Letter from the editor - the editorial
    • Login - Letters from readers and replies by the magazine
  • Press Start
    • This section contains a general article about video gaming
    • EGM RoundTable - discussions around video games
    • The Buzz - industry rumors
    • The EGM Hot List - background information about a critically acclaimed game
  • Features - feature articles
    • The EGM Interview - interview with a person from the gaming industry
    • Cover Story - preview of the game featured on the magazine cover
    • Next Wave - previews of upcoming games
    • Launch Point - short previews of upcoming games
  • Review Crew - review section
    • Review Recap - recapitulation of the review scores from the preceding issue
  • Game Over - Commentary articles on video gaming related topics

The Review Crew[edit]

EGM's current review scale is based on a letter grade system in which each game receives a grade based on its perceived quality. Games are reviewed by one member (originally a team of four until the year 2000, then a team of three, and finally 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 a 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 score of zero was almost never utilized, with notable exceptions being Mortal Kombat Advance, The Guy Game, and Ping Pals.

International expansion[edit]

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 April 2002. 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 (Entertainment + Game World).

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[edit]

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 four at a time) of EGM on 1UP.com. 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.

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,[when?] 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.


Cover of the first issue of EGM2 (July 1994): Super Street Fighter II vs. Mortal Kombat II
Publisher Sendai
First issue July 1994 (1994-july)
Country USA
Language English

EGM2 (stylized as EGM²) is a video game magazine published by Sendai Publishing from July 1994 to July 1998 as a spin-off of Electronic Gaming Monthly. Unlike EGM, however, EGM2 lacks a reviews section and had a greater emphasis on import games. Although there is a superscript in the name, the official name of the magazine is "EGM Two" and not "EGM Squared".

Starting in August 1998, EGM2 became Expert Gamer (often abbreviated as XG). Although with a different name, XG continued EGM2's numbering system. XG lasted for 39 issues until October 2001 (with the last issue being XG #88).


The first issue of EGM2 was in July 1994. The magazine lasted 49 issues with the last issue under the original name coming out in July 1998. The change of name prompted a cleaner looking redesign although the content of the magazine would remain the same.


In a 2014 retrospective, Polygon said "For two decades, EGM maintained a focal position in the games media landscape. In the time before the internet, the periodical was a vital conduit for American readers interested in the hobby.".[9]


  1. ^ Sliwinski, Alexander (June 22, 2009). "Here's your new issue of EGM! It's called Maxim". Joystiq. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ Kohler, Chris (January 2009). "1up Sold to Hearst Publications, EGM Closing Doors". Wired. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  3. ^ Kath Brice (December 22, 2009). "Electronic Gaming Monthly to relaunch in March | GamesIndustry International". GamesIndustry International. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Lombard Publishers Acquired". Chicago Tribune. May 9, 1996. Retrieved December 17, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Steve Harris". Giant Bomb. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 
  6. ^ EGM #83, June 1996; EGM #84, July 1996
  7. ^ Gilbert, Ben (February 7, 2010). "Relaunched EGM subscriptions now available, magazine details remain hazy". Joystiq. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  8. ^ "EGM Announces March Return For Magazine". Gamasutra. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  9. ^ Hall, Charlie. "Old gaming magazines tell the awkward tale of an industry growing up". Polygon. Vox Media, Inc. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 

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