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 U.S. 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.
The winners of GameFan 's annual Golden Megawards were chosen by editors.
|Award||Skid||Brody||Tom Slick||The Enquirer|
|Streets of Rage 2
|Street Fighter II
|Best Import Game||Landstalker
|Final Fantasy V
|Best Arcade Translation||Street Fighter II|
|Best Handheld Game||Shinobi 2||Dracula||Mario Land 2|
|Best Action Platform Game||Wonderdog||Sonic 2||World of Illusion|
|Best One-on-One Fighting Game||Art of Fighting||Street Fighter II|
|Best Action Fighting Game||TMNT: Hyperstone Heist||Streets of Rage 2|
|Best Movie Game||Alien 3||Star Wars|
|Best Shooter||Air Zonk||Thunder Force IV||Space Megaforce|
|Best Cartoon Game||Taz-Mania||World of Illusion||Taz-Mania||World of Illusion|
|Best RPG||Soul Blazer||Zelda: A Link to the Past|
|Best Puzzle Game||Q*bert 3||Lemmings||Krusty's Fun House||Q*bert 3|
|Best Simulation||Steel Talons||Battletank||Steel Talons|
|Best Sports Game||Baseball Stars 2||Madden '93||Baseball Stars 2|
|Best Driving Game||Mario Kart||Top Racer||Mario Kart|
|Best Strategy Game||Warsong||Rampart||Warsong||Rampart|
|Best Action Adventure||Legend of Mystical Ninja||Cybernator||Prince of Persia||Legend of the Mystical Ninja|
|Best Sound Effects||Global Gladiators||Super Star Wars|
|Best Intro||Wonderdog||Out of This World|
|Best Game Music||Wonderdog||Streets of Rage 2||Super Adventure Island||Legend of Mystical Ninja|
|Best Music (Import Game)||Lunar
|Nobunaga's Ninja Force||Final Fantasy V|
(Street Fighter II)
(Street Fighter II)
|Best Boss||Smoke Ring Boss
(Thunder Force IV)
|Best New Peripheral||Sega CD|
|Worst Game||All THQ Games|
|Game of the Year||Gunstar Heroes (Genesis)||Star Fox (SNES)
|Best Action Platform Game||Gunstar Heroes (Genesis)||Tiny Toons (SNES)|
|Best Action/Adventure||Alien 3 (SNES)||Flashback (Genesis)|
|Best Fighting Game||Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition (Genesis)||Street Fighter II Turbo (SNES)|
|Best Shooter||Silpheed (Sega CD)||Star Fox (SNES)|
|Best Action/Arcade Game||Batman Returns (SNES)||Final Fight CD (Sega CD)|
|Best Movie Game||Aladdin (Genesis)||Alien 3 (SNES)|
|Best Cartoon Game||Stimpy's Invention (Genesis)||Taz-Mania (SNES)|
|Best Puzzle Game||Mean Bean Machine (Genesis)||Lost Vikings (SNES)|
|Best Simulation||AH-3 Thunderhawk (Sega CD)||MechWarrior (SNES)|
|Best Strategy Game||Shining Force (Genesis)||King Arthur's World (SNES)|
|Best Action/RPG||Landstalker (Genesis)||Secret of Mana (SNES)|
|Best RPG||Lunar (Sega CD)||Paladin's Quest (SNES)|
|Best Driving Game||Crash & Burn (3DO)||Formula One (Genesis)
Rock & Roll Racing (SNES)
|Best 2 Player Game||Dashin' Desperadoes (Genesis)||Battletoads (SNES)|
|Most Innovative New Game||Landstalker (Genesis)
|Best Music||Lunar (Sega CD)||Star Fox (SNES)
Gunstar Heroes (Genesis)
Sonic CD (Mega CD)
|Best New Character||Bubsy (Bubsy)||Aero (Aero)
Sparkster (Rocket Knight Adventures)
|Best System of '93||Sega Genesis||SNES|
|Best Handheld||Game Gear|
|Best New System||Atari Jaguar||3DO|
|Game of the Year||Earthworm Jim (Genesis)|
|Import Game of the Year||Clockwork Knight (Saturn)|
|Action/Platform Game of the Year||Earthworm Jim (Genesis)|
|Action/Adventure Game of the Year||Metroid (SNES)|
|Action/Arcade Game of the Year||Contra (Genesis)|
|Fighting Game of the Year||Super Street Fighter II Turbo (3DO)|
|Shooting Game of the Year||Novastorm (3DO)|
|Movie Game of the Year||Demolition Man (3DO)|
|Cartoon Game of the Year||Mickey Mania (Sega CD)|
|Simulation Game of the Year||Iron Soldier (Jaguar)|
|Strategy Game of the Year||Shining Force 2 (Genesis)|
|Role Playing Game of the Year||Final Fantasy III (SNES)|
|Action/RPG Game of the Year||Illusion of Gaia (SNES)|
|Driving/Racing Game of the Year||Road Rash (3DO)|
|Puzzle Game of the Year||Bubba 'n' Stix (Genesis)|
|Best Adventure/RPG||Snatcher (Sega CD)|
|Best 2 Player Game||Contra (Genesis)
Eternal Champions (Sega CD)
Super Street Fighter II (SNES)
|Best Soundtrack||Earthworm Jim (Genesis)|
|Best Music||Final Fantasy III (SNES)
Burning Soldier (3DO)
|Best Special Effects||Castlevania: Bloodlines (Genesis)
Donkey Kong Country (SNES)
Guardian War (3DO)
|Best FMV||Loadstar (Sega CD)
Burning Soldier (3DO)
|Best New Character||Earthworm Jim (Earthworm Jim)|
|Best New System||Sega 32X|
|Best System '94||Panasonic 3DO|
|Game of the Year||Yoshi's Island (SNES)|
|16-Bit Game of the Year||Yoshi's Island (SNES)|
|32-Bit Game of the Year||Jumping Flash (PlayStation)|
|SNES Game of the Year||Yoshi's Island|
|Genesis Game of the Year||Vectorman|
|PlayStation Game of the Year||Jumping Flash|
|Saturn Game of the Year||Virtua Fighter 2|
|3DO Game of the Year||D|
|Portable Game of the Year||Red Alarm (Virtual Boy)|
|Action Platform Game of the Year||Yoshi's Island (SNES)||Hermie Hopperhead (PlayStation)|
|Action Adventure Game of the Year||Skeleton Warriors|
|Fighting Game of the Year||Virtua Fighter 2 (Saturn)
Killer Instinct (SNES)
|Shooter of the Year||Panzer Dragoon (Saturn)||Darius Gaiden (Saturn)|
|Movie/Cartoon Port Game of the Year||Skeleton Warriors|
|RPG of the Year||EarthBound (SNES)||Mystic Ark (Super Famicom)|
|Action RPG of the Year||Beyond Oasis (Genesis)||Tenchi Sozo (Super Famicom)|
|Racing Game of the Year||Sega Rally Championship (Saturn)||Motor Toon GP (PlayStation)|
|Puzzle Game of the Year||Zoop (PlayStation)||Puyo Puyo Tsu (Saturn)|
|Simulation/Shooting Game of the Year||Warhawk (PlayStation)|
|Strategy Game of the Year||Ogre Battle (SNES)||Tactics Ogre (Super Famicom)|
|Racing/Combat Games of the Year||Wipeout (PlayStation)
Off-World Interceptor (Saturn)
|Graphic Adventure/FMV Games of the Year||Mansion of Hidden Souls (Saturn)
|Special Effects Game of the Year||Warhawk (PlayStation)|
|Soundtrack of the Year||Skeleton Warriors|
|New Character of the Year||Astal (Astal)|
|Top GameFan Game of 1996||Tomb Raider|
|Best Import Game of the Year||Enemy Zero||Keio Yu Gekitai|
|Coin-Op Game of the Year||Virtua Fighter 3||Street Fighter Alpha 2|
|16-Bit Game of the Year||Virtua Fighter 2 (Genesis)||Donkey Kong Country 3|
|Portable Game of the Year||Wario (Virtual Boy)||Red Alarm (Virtual Boy)|
|Alternative Game of the Year||Nights||Tail of the Sun|
|Side-Scrolling Game of the Year||Guardian Heroes||Metal Slug|
|Action/Platform Game of the Year||Crash Bandicoot||Pandemonium|
|Action/Adventure Game of the Year||Tomb Raider (PlayStation)||Super Mario 64|
|Action/RPG Game of the Year||The Legend of Oasis||Legacy of Kain|
|Corridor Game of the Year||PowerSlave (Saturn)||Final Doom|
|Shooting Game of the Year||Panzer Dragoon Zwei (Saturn)||Virtua Cop 2|
|Fighting Game of the Year||Street Fighter Alpha 2||Fighting Vipers|
|Racing Game of the Year||Ridge Racer Revolution, Wave Race 64||Jet Moto, Daytona CCE, Formula 1|
|Racing/Combat Game of the Year||Wipeout XL||Motor Toon GP, Wipeout (Saturn)|
|Puzzle Game of the Year||Tetris Attack (Super NES)||Puzzle Fighter|
|RPG Game of the Year||Suikoden||Super Mario RPG|
|Strategy Game of the Year||Return Fire (PlayStation)||Tecmo's Deception|
|Simulation Game of the Year||GunGriffon (Saturn)||Pilotwings 64|
|Best Sports Game of the Year||Worldwide Soccer '97 (Saturn)||Cool Boarders|
|Best Game Story of the Year||Suikoden||Legacy of Kain|
|Best Special Effects of the Year||Super Mario 64||Tomb Raider|
|Best Soundtrack of the Year||Suikoden||Tekken 2|
|Best Use of FMV/CG of the Year||Tekken 2||Legacy of Kain|
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||July 2015 (Issue 11)|
|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. GameFan would later go on a two-year hiatus, returning in 2015 with a rebooted, redesigned magazine and website. On February 2015, GameFan released issue 10 both digitally and in newsstands. The digital version was released for free on Magzter with the use of a promotional code. The magazine went through a complete overhaul, drastically simplifying its layouts and design, most likely in order to have the magazines completed on schedule. The size of the print magazine is significantly smaller compared to previous issues. In addition to that, they also redesigned their logo and their mascot, Monitaur.
On May 6, 2015, GameFan had announced a partnership with Destructoid to help promote the GameFan brand with collaborations and free subscription offers. The initial plan was to bring back the dual-cover format from the first two issues, only instead of a MovieFan portion, it will be exclusive content created by Destructoid for the magazine. According to GameFan's official Facebook page, the deal with Destructoid will have allowed for the magazine to be released on a monthly schedule.  The deal with Destructoid fell through and only one issue of the GameFan/Destructoid magazine was ever released. Now, Destructoid is considering making their own stand-alone magazine. With GameFan's website and all of their social media accounts having been inactive since July 2015, it's highly likely that the magazine is, once again, dead.
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