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 1989
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.

History[edit]

In 1988, the publication was originally founded as U.S. National Video Game Team's Electronic Gaming Monthly under Sendai Publications.[4] In 1994, EGM spun off EGM², which focused on expanded cheats and tricks (i.e., with maps and guides). Until January 2009, it was published by Ziff Davis, only covering 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.[5][6] It eventually became Expert Gamer and finally the defunct GameNOW.

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.

April Fool's Day[edit]

EGM has gained a reputation for its notorious April Fool's Day pranks, which often fool readers and cause them to send angry letters.

The Greatest 200 Videogames of Their Time[edit]

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.[7]

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 (decade) are featured in the top fifty. The games are: Grand Theft Auto III at #9 on the list, Halo: Combat Evolved at #17, Phantasy Star Online at #21 and Resident Evil 4 at #46.

Awards[edit]

To accompany the old numerical scoring system were "awards" given to select titles. There have been many Silver and Gold awards given at EGM over the years, indicating a game got no less than an 8.0 or 9.0, respectively, from all reviewers, but the prestigious "Platinum" award was much less common, indicating a game that received a score of 10 from all reviewers. EGM only has 15 recorded Platinum-Award-winning games in its entire history. These games, in chronological order of when they were reviewed, are as follows:

* 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.
*** Only a single review was given to Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix in contrast to the standard team of three or four.
**** Following the reformation as EGMNow.com reviews were done by one person as compared to the team of three or four when the magazine was published.

Game of the Year[edit]

The magazine has an annual Game of the Year (along with other standard awards such as best 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 are these:

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.

EGM2[edit]

EGM2
EGM2-01.jpg
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).

History[edit]

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.

EGM2 is the first videogame magazine to have broken the exclusive on Grand Theft Auto 3 as well as Resident Evil.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

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.".[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sliwinski, Alexander (2009-06-22). "Here's your new issue of EGM! It's called Maxim". Joystiq. Retrieved 2014-01-06. 
  2. ^ Kohler, Chris. "1up Sold to Hearst Publications, EGM Closing Doors | Game|Life". Wired.com. Retrieved 2014-01-06. 
  3. ^ Kath Brice (2009-12-22). "Electronic Gaming Monthly to relaunch in March | GamesIndustry International". Gamesindustry.biz. Retrieved 2014-01-06. 
  4. ^ "Steve Harris". Retrieved March 8, 2015. 
  5. ^ Gilbert, Ben (2010-02-07). "Relaunched EGM subscriptions now available, magazine details remain hazy [update". Joystiq. Retrieved 2014-01-06. 
  6. ^ "EGM Announces March Return For Magazine". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2014-01-06. 
  7. ^ "EGM's The Greatest 200 Videogames of their time". 1up. 
  8. ^ Hall, Charlie. "Old gaming magazines tell the awkward tale of an industry growing up". Polygon. Vox Media, Inc. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 

External links[edit]