Totalled: Total PC Gaming Closes

By Kieron Gillen on March 22nd, 2010 at 12:41 pm.

Sorry for the poor photoshopping here.

While rumours have been flying up and down the gaming grapevine for the last few weeks, it’s been confirmed that issue 31 of Total PC Gaming will be its swan song. In its run it moved from being a magazine-only cheaper more-pages format, to matching PC Gamer/PC Zone’s DVD-covermount plus higher price model – which I always thought a shame, but also a sensible way to help its bottom line. This leaves Future having a duopoly on PC Games magazines in the UK, with their PC Gamer and PC Zone. Our best wishes to everyone involved. Good luck in finding a fine landing.

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97 Comments »

  1. Alex Bakke says:

    *Bugle*

  2. Heliocentric says:

    Pc gaming is dead!

    More seriously, future has a duopoly on a dead/dying media+subject combination.

    I wonder if we’ll see a flurry of content packed blogs pop up now all these journos are unemployed.

    • Huggster says:

      The last time I bought PCZone was many years ago, maybe 4 or more.
      I decided that they really were not worth it, the web was always far more current and versatile for computer gaming.

  3. Mario Figueiredo says:

    The death of a magazine about PC games. Like the death of many other thematic magazines facing that thing called the internet that leverages information like no other media in history at a fraction of the cost for the consumer and, I suppose, publishers.

    I’ve seen before Total PCGamming on Portuguese stands (we adopt UK gaming and even computer media well since the ZXSpectrum and we love it). But I must say starting the mid 90s I systematically reduced my purchases of gaming magazines until by around 2000 I stopped. And I’m the guy that has every single issue of Crash lovingly and religiously stored on the attic.

    It’s just not a good time for magazines unless… someone comes with a unique publication that steers away from mainstream media with high quality and non biased or sponsored articles and is willing to maintain a small following cult and somehow perform the miracle of staying afloat. That magazine… I’ll buy.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Wired has seen much better days. I canceled my subscription some 2 years ago on account of 2/3 of it being ads and the remaining 1/3 having lost much of what made Wired unique; extensive, thoughtful, and actually interesting articles. Wired is today just one step away from a Sunday paper and I won’t certainly be spending my money on a magazine that can only produce one or 2 good and interesting articles every 6 months when the rest of the time it behaves like a news agency.

      But anyways, I was speaking of PC gaming magazines.

    • panik says:

      “That’s Wired.”

      ‘Wired’ is the geography teacher at the school disco saying “hey, great beat”.

    • Joe Martin says:

      I was talking comparatively mind, there’s really no mag out there which fulfils that criteria totally.

    • Tam-Lin says:

      Unrelated to gaming, but take a look at Coilhouse.

  4. lhzr says:

    i thought no one buys print magazines anymore, except for people unfamiliar with the internet.
    pc gamers shouldn’t fit into that category, though, so the surprising part here is that pc gaming print mags still exist.

    • MikeArthur says:

      I read RPS and other PC gaming sites but have a PCGUK subscription. It doesn’t cost a lot of money, there’s times when I don’t have access to the net and generally the reviews are longer and really well written. There’s various types of articles that you might get on a random blog somewhere but to have them at length in a magazine is really rather good. I also trust them as a reviewing source more than most other places around and use them to guide my purchases as a result.

    • Arsewisely says:

      I subscribe to PC Gamer Uk. The sub really isn’t an awful lot for what you get. Still, I do wish they’d kick it up a notch. It’s a bit too sanitary for my liking (if that makes any kind of sense), not willing to take any major stylistic or editorial risks. I wish the mag was little more like the podcasts and flew a little closer to the wind; bringing out the personalities of the writers a bit more. I suppose what I’m saying, tentatively, is thay there really needs to be a new Amiga Power out there.

    • Will Tomas says:

      The problem with that sort of unsanitised, more ideosyncratic way of writing is that it’s harder for that to appeal to a broad audience. I would argued that PC Zone tried that, to an extent, by making the magazine more aggressive and (to my eyes) teenage, what with their very subjectively-opinionated reviews and swears and whatnot, but it can be off-putting. For Gamer, which is generally trying to get as many people to read it as possible, that’s a harder decision to make, as it does risk cutting down their audience, sadly.

    • Arsewisely says:

      Yeah, I completely agree with what you’re saying. They are trying to appeal to an international market as well so they don’t want to be too idiosyncratic. Still, I’d really like to see some more daring writing and a little more personality. They’re have the talent to attempt it without being juvenile – but the market is, sadly, very fragile and not conducive to experimentation as your point implies.

    • Nick says:

      It did used to be a lot more personality driven, I finally gave up with it several months ago after 12 or so years of solid subscribing.

    • Jacques says:

      I still buy PCGUK, I like reading on the toilet, and I can’t really drag my gaming laptop in there with me whenever I feel like dropping a deuce.

  5. Grunt says:

    Once I realised the internet could deliver the same news i was looking for on a daily basis, not monthly, that was it for print magazines for me, too. Shame for Total – I bought that once or twice to pass time on train journeys/flights/whathaveyou and really enjoyed reading it…just not enough to do so monthly.

    • archonsod says:

      Same for me. Used to be a regular PCGUK reader until about a year ago. Although in part that switch was caused by a decline (imho) in quality of the magazine too. And too much bloody WoW coverage.

  6. Sly Boots says:

    Find it a little strange that as a long-term subscriver to TPCG, in addition to PCGUK, this is the first I’ve heard of it. In fact, only a few weeks ago I got an email confirming the sub.

    It’s a bit disappointing, but in truth I was already thinking about cancelling… guess I won’t have to now.

  7. Joe Martin says:

    Eh, I only read Custom PC anyway…for obvious reasons,

    :worried:

  8. battles_atlas says:

    Wonder how long PCG and Zone will exist as separate entities. Is Zone aimed at a younger audience? Never bought it myself. I still buy PCG most months – they do have some great writers and the magazine format is just much more user friendly than being stuck to a desk for yet another reason. The time lag is a real issue though. Really PCG needs to move to a model where a sub to the mag gets you access to the same content online, but in real time.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Pczone always used to just be like Pcgamer but better imo, don’t think they had a particularly different demographic. Stopped reading both a long time ago though since getting broadband and what not.

    • Eidolon says:

      I also had the impression that Zone was funnier than Gamer, but generally not as well written. I haven’t read it since Brooker left, though.

    • Leonard Hatred says:

      I used to read PC Zone for Charlie Brooker & Duncan MacDonald.

      Charlie’s post-Zone journalism is common knowledge (and largely confined to, admittedly amusing, moaning like an old woman with verbal acid-reflux) but i always wondered what happened to Duncan.

  9. Will Tomas says:

    Personally I’m sad about this – Total PC Gaming did much better hardware reviews and analysis than the other mags, and were great at pointing out deals on good, affordable, gaming PCs. So it’s a real shame. However, the price-point for PC magazines, especially since I wasn’t interested in the coverdisks, has rather meant that I haven’t been buying them. Plus with RPS and Eurogamer I can get more gaming information and reviews than I need from writers I really like. Honestly, the only games writer not on RPS/Eurogamer I think is worth reading consistently is Tom Francis.

    • Arsewisely says:

      And now Gamer are having him concentrate on writing the blog, so he’ll be online a lot more.

    • Lewis says:

      “the only games writer not on RPS/Eurogamer I think is worth reading consistently is Tom Francis.”

      Tom is great. But there are plenty of fantastic people writing about games at the moment. Moreso than ever. There’s just a lot more out there, so there’s a certain amount of wading to do before you get to them.

    • Will Tomas says:

      Fair comment, but there’s only so many hours in the day.

  10. Langman says:

    Aye, former religious PCG UK subscriber here. Haven’t bought a PCG mag in over a year though, there’s just no reason to any more.

    The internet possesses far more up-to-date and relevant information (plus the ability to discuss matters on gaming forums as they happen, etc). Also, too much emphasis on MMOs, leaving vast portions of the mag unread as far as I’m concerned. I have far more choice when it comes to choosing what I want to read about when it comes to online articles.

    The quality of the journalism – however good – is almost irrelevant when equally good journalism on similar subjects exist on sites like RPS, and many others. It’s a shame, but it’s totally inevitable I think.

    I am genuinely interested in how long PCG UK/PC Zone can carry on for before the plug is pulled. Can they keep the wolves at the door for, say, another 12 months?

    • Langman says:

      Like someone else mentioned, perhaps they will last longer if they join together?

    • Will Tomas says:

      Yeah, but if they join together you’re not only losing a lot of the audience from both magazines who’ll feel they’re not getting what they’re used to (especially if they join and – as I think would happen – basically just keep PC Gamer with Zone staff added, but that would remove Zone’s audience), but also that would mean staff redundancies, since you only need a certain number of permanent staff on a magazine for it to be cost-effective. It’s why freelancers still get used – they’re not on salary.

      I can’t see a way they can join effectively – no one would pay for a double-length £11.99 monthly magazine, so unless Gamer can afford to pay more staff on their current subs and retail, then I can’t see it happening. Sadly I’m not convinced the audience would migrate.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Will: Don’t expect to see magazines join up until the lower selling one is about to actively lose money.

      KG

    • kwyjibo says:

      They’re not going join, Future aren’t exactly pro-active. They’re more passive and pathetic.

      Look at how they handled Custom PC’s entry into the market. Future kept PC Format exactly as same as it always was (which was unbelievably shit and aimed at dullards). They kept it exactly the same as it always was, until Custom PC took all their readership.

      Now they’ve tried to liven things up again. And by liven things up, I mean copy Custom PC meticulously, and hope that the newsagents put their magazine in front.

      Not exactly pro-active.

    • battles_atlas says:

      Yeah Future must be utter simpletons. The irony is painful given the name – the PCG site has been one of the worst things on the internet up until very recently. Clearly a strong online presence is crucial to any print mag’s future, especially one concerned with PCs. And yet the website was treacle slow, largely devoid of content, and confused by terrible branding decisions that came from making PCG a sub-site of CVG. In fact even today if I open a link on the PCG home page in a new tab, then click on the forum link, it links to the CVG forum instead of the PCG one. And whats with games radar? whats the point of that?

    • Grunt says:

      Thank you, Battles_atlas! I had wanted to say something about Future’s terrible website in an earlier comment but couldn’t quite get the thought to gel. Yours says exactly what I was aiming for.

  11. AVarotsis says:

    Meh, monopolies are bad. And yes, print is still sticking around, no matter what people say. I’m single handedly keeping EDGE and PCG in business, for one.

  12. DazzeL says:

    I would be interested to see how well PCG and PCZ actually do, they must be quite high margin at the £5.99 price point. This, of course, all depends on how many copies they shift,

    I’m saddened by this though. I do agree that the internet gives you all the information, reviews and articles that you need but there’s something to be said for having a magazine to read it from instead. Perhaps it’s just my nostalgia – my teenage years were littered with copies of all sorts of gaming publications and, pre-broadband, the demo discs were a real treat. I still buy PCG most months but simply discard the demo disc and try to pretend it didn’t just cost me £6.

    • Arsewisely says:

      A quick bit of journalistic investigation reveales that future’s pre-tax profits are down 61% in 2009. No necessarily something to worry about – still reading their 100 page account document…

    • Arsewisely says:

      2008 Games revenue was £27.7m, 2009′s is £23.9m. Their portfolio doesn’t seem to get any more specific viz. actual publications. That’s the UK figures, their US revenue shows a similar decline.

    • Pod says:

      I don’t have the latest copy to hand (it’s at home), but the ABC figures for Gamer are at 15k or something pathetic.
      I remember when it was 200k :’(

    • kwyjibo says:

      PC Gamer does 27k.
      PC Zone does 11k.

      The ABCs on Wikipedia are up to date.

      Fairly shitty, but that’s what happens when you sell the same mag twice. One of them needs to die, and I had hoped that TPCG may have killed off Zone, but Future obviously have the bigger pockets to keep them going.

    • Will Tomas says:

      That’s admittedly not great, but it could be much worse – they’re still an established name. If a new PC mag started it would be incredibly tough to carve out a niche and get anything like that number of people buying. It does show you how tough the magazine business is, though. I wonder how some of the more specialist magazines can keep going when they can’t be doing more than 5,000 or so per month. Sad.

    • TeeJay says:

      A history of PC Gamer ABCs…

      (1993-2001 = ???)
      July-Dec 2001 78,553
      July-Dec 2002 76,059
      Jan-June 2003 65,573
      Jan-June 2004 57,748
      Jan-June 2005 48,326
      Jan-June 2006 45,295
      Jan-June 2007 41,600
      July-Dec 2007 38,654
      Jan-Dec 2008 32,619
      Jan-Dec 2009 26,487

  13. bill says:

    Does anyone else find that they actually secretly miss the days of print?

    these days I have access to way more news, as it happens, and i can choose what news i want to access, with the chance to comment on it and hear feedback from other readers. But while theoretically everything is better, I somehow feel it’s less productive and less, er… wholesome. or something.

    There used to be something satisfying about sitting down and reading a newspaper. You got a nice overview of a range of news, you didn’t feel a pressure to always keep up, and at the end you felt you’d achieved a little some thing. News on the web always seems like a race to keep up.

    For games mags, I never used to buy a particular one, or buy every month. It tended to be based on what was on the cover/dvd, or if i was going to take a long train journey.
    But it still felt satisfying. There was no actually NEED to have up to date news, and you heard about a wide range of games you might not otherwise have read about. I used to spend weeks reading the mag bit by bit.

    It seems like the web has made games news much more aggressive and tabloid. Every piece of news is dissected, criticised, attacked and commented on within minutes of coming out. And if you’ve somehow missed an important piece of news for more than 2 days then you’re an uninformed outcast.

    And kids these days are all turning into yobbos!!!

  14. Tim E says:

    “I subscribe to PC Gamer Uk. The sub really isn’t an awful lot for what you get. Still, I do wish they’d kick it up a notch. It’s a bit too sanitary for my liking (if that makes any kind of sense), not willing to take any major stylistic or editorial risks. I wish the mag was little more like the podcasts and flew a little closer to the wind; bringing out the personalities of the writers a bit more. I suppose what I’m saying, tentatively, is thay there really needs to be a new Amiga Power out there.”

    It’s something I’ve felt a bit, actually. I quite like it when we cut loose.

    • Arsewisely says:

      Please, do!

    • Leonard Hatred says:

      I think you’re right as it goes, but i do wonder how much of it is political rather than linked to marketability – if Future retain a handle on the style of the mag they do’t run the risk for creating names bigger than any of the others – something the mag has inadvertently flirted with in the past.

      For me at least, last time i picked up PCG it seemed to walk the line between mainstream Videogames Journalism and the unashamedly freewheeling excess of ‘zines like the long-dead State Mag. It’s safe, it’s familiar, but sometimes it catches you off guard without ever losing the familiarity.

      If i want dangerous, sexy videogames journalism i don’t go to PCG. Start doing dangerous and sexy, and i’d be concerned long-term readers would go elsewhere.

  15. Primar says:

    I still sub to PCG UK, but it’s not been as great as it used to be when the RPS crew were writing for it full time. It’s lost some of the charm and humor that I liked – the back page is seriously lame now – and it seems like writers lack the personality that the old PCG team had, and all the little in-jokes you could pick up (ANGRY HOUSES). Before, you could pretty much tell just by reading the article if it was Gillen’s or Rossignol’s etc, but now it seems a lot more generic and… I dunno, bland.

    It’s still nice sitting down and reading through a paper mag, and some of the feature articles are pretty great, like Tom Francis’ Spelunky feature. I still trust their reviews over anything else (alongside RPS), but, eh. I dunno. Maybe it’s just nostalgia of growing up with the mag and seeing some of the names move on to pastures new.

    I wish they’d give me the option of buying a cheaper DVD-less mag as well. I don’t think I’ve ever used it since broadband became commonplace, and it just seems a bit redundant.

    • Primar says:

      Oh, and the PCG site always makes me a little sad, because it is a complete mess to actually try and read or find any useful content. I understand they’re starting to do a lot more with the blog, but unless they migrate away from the CVG/Games Radar site (which I know isn’t really a choice they have anything to do with), it’s just too painful to try and find anything on.

      I mean, look at it. There’s just so much tat that gets in the way of actually reading the content, compounded by the fact it’s forcibly sized to 1024/x, even at larger resolutions. :(

    • TeeJay says:

      “I mean, look at it”

      Is this what it looks like when a computer vomits?

  16. James G says:

    Have you tried Wired UK? It launched recently(ish) and is certainly far less than 2/3 adverts. Also has some of the most impressive page design I’ve seen in a magazine. (If you like that kind of thing.)

  17. airtekh says:

    I too have a subscription to PCGUK.

    I find that the ‘seriousness’ of the mag is more than compensated for by their podcasts, which are less formal and quite funny. I think they complement the mag splendidly.

  18. DMJ says:

    It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that the last true bastion of PC games journalism is RPS. I’m re-evaluating my “why subscribe to a blog” stance since I never used to have a problem buying PCG religiously but stopped when RPS became the same – but better – and more! When my bout of unemployment is over I shall subscribe. Until that time I shall offer to share these boots I’m boiling up in a tarnished kettle for my dinner.

  19. jsutcliffe says:

    I rarely buy games magazines but I really like them when I do — when left to my own devices to find information about games on the web I’ll just pick and choose stories that sound interesting, whereas I tend to read a print magazine cover to cover. That means I’ll come across things that I wouldn’t ordinarily find in my web reading and I’ve found quite a number of things I really liked that way, so I can see the value in a print publication even when its newsiest news might be weeks out of date by the time I see it. I enjoy the PC Gamer UK podcasts enough that I expect to subscribe to the mag when I’m back in Blighty in a few months.

  20. gulag says:

    Gaming magazines stayed at the Publishers/Advertisers tit for too long and got bolderdiesed, editorialised, and review embargoed to death. As one commenter pointed out above, a litte more piss and vinegar might have helped them hang onto more readers.

  21. terry says:

    Can’t say I buy any games mags except Retrogamer but its a shame to see them closing. I blame covertapes!

  22. Tei says:

    We are evolving from a Client2Server model to a Peer2Peer model. The P2P model is not better, but has some winning traits, like speed (is almost realtime), convenience (you read it where and wen you want to) and has the bonus power of all social things (peer pression, you meet new people, other people meet you, …).

    There is something to be said about quality and expectations related. How low res Youtube videos of cats can have more viewers than most movies. But I dunno of what is, or will look like antisocial If I follow the idea to his ultimate conclusion (people is stupid).

    People is not stupid. Or people is not stupid the way the phrase “People is stupid” seems to mark. You can teach your cats do tricks, very smart cats can learn very complex tricks, and people can learn tricks way more complex that that (like driving a car, or doing everyday job ) so people must be infinitelly more smart than cats, and cats are very smart.

    And about Quality and the Infinite Love for Low Red videos and Fast Food. Fast Food is delicious, no one can argue against that. And Is way easier to find Fast Food, than anything else. Is convenience over quality. Producing convenience AND quality is possible, but is not cheap, so you are expensive, and you still have to compete with something that is almost free ($1 hamburger), very convenient and probably will have better marketing than you.

    Conclussion:

    Cats are very smart and can produce fun Youtube videos faster than most TV Produccers / Magazine Editors can. People want speed and convenience over anything else. To begin first, these TV Producers and Magazine editors have a job because TV *was* the most convenient thing. Now theres something more convenient. Cats win.

  23. SanguineAngel says:

    This is a terrible shame. TPCG was the only pc mag I regularly picked up as it was more reliable and generally better than the rest for my money. they also covered a lot more areas of PC gaming than the competitors in general, which I appreciated. Good luck to all the team.

  24. Sjors says:

    I haven’t bought a gaming magazine since PC Accelerator was cancelled. Loved that magazine.

  25. Tiktaalik says:

    Yeah, I’ve subscribed to PCG UK since ooh… a long time ago. I think Doom II was on the cover of the first one I bought! I have to admit I feel it’s become ‘safer’.

    I really like the extra life section, where I think the personalities come through more, and the writing about indie games, but features like “The seven upcoming MMOs you need to know about”, and “the ten best MMO alternatives to WoW” do nothing for me. Not because I’m not interested in MMOs, but because it’s so… generic. If I want articles like that I’ll read Kotaku. More interesting, quirky features (that one where everybody tried to build a pc with some miniscule amount of money and then blew up each others pcs so they could win was great) and indie games are what’s needed. And the back page does suck now.

    I still think their reviews are the ‘gold standard’ though.

    And, on another topic, I’ll never forgive PC Zone for hating Outcast, so they shouldn’t merge with PCG. It’s that simple.

  26. gulag says:

    Here is an excersise that might bear fruit. Can we winnow out the online presences of those staff writers Total PC Gaming is about to shed, and direct our eyeballs there? Lets show these fellows that there is an audience for there work, unfettered by the pernicious finger of the PR drone.

  27. mandrill says:

    Why don’t future simply merge the two mags and call the resulting mag PC GamerZone?

    Print is dead anyway, the interwebs is the way to go from here on in.

  28. Carra says:

    Here in Belgium we only have one. Two seems a luxury!

  29. Maxheadroom says:

    Anyone remember Zero’s The Black Shape & The Alan P. Thorpe Radio Show?

    Now that was a games mag I looked forward to buying! Magazines these days play it too safe

  30. Bob says:

    I stopped reading pc mags when I realized I could buy a game for the same price! They are too overpriced for what you get.

  31. Kid B says:

    With Ipads, IBooks etc. taking off, is that not an avenue that all magazines will have to follow? Or have they already, RPS is kind of like a slimline magazine.

    I don’t know ……..

    I think there is a Market and always will be for print, even if it does get smaller every year.

    A kind of unrelated point, but there has been a resurgence of Vinyl over the last couple of years.

  32. kwyjibo says:

    It’s a real shame. I had hoped that TPCG’s entry would have fucked Future’s incompetent output.

    It’s just that Future somehow still have the money to dump into these mags whereas Imagine don’t. Future’s £6 – coaster included magazines are a fucking farce. In the era of broadband and bittorrent, the only reason for inclusion of a cover disk is to inflate the price.

  33. LionsPhil says:

    TBH, the previous two issues of PC Gamer sit next to me, unopened in their crimson subscriber packaging. I really must cancel that.

    It doesn’t help in the least that i) interesting PC games seem to be getting thin on the ground ii) the best PCG writers seem to have largely migrated here to RPS, and Richard Cobbett also doesn’t seem to be so prolific iii) it’s suffered a chronic influx of tongue-bathing Microsoft of late. “Vista problems? Oh, well, you see, it’s because your games were optimised for XP…but we’re sure Windows 7 fixes everything! And GfWL will soon be better than Steam!”

    • Arsewisely says:

      I’m not entirely sure what your last sentence means, but if you’re suggesting the PCG is somehow pro microsoft, that is completely incorrect. No one has been more critical of GFWL than they have been.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I’m not digging through back issues for specifics, but the sentiment has been there; the worst part was all the apologetic defence of Vista. Until 7 was on the horizon, in which case Vista became the enemy to compare 7 favouribly to.

      It’s not as if I’m grinding an axe about advocating any other platform as a sensible choice for gaming, here. There was just a horrible breakdown of proper journalistic critique around the whole thing, and a lack of will to say “actually…there’s no good reason for this to be a step back from XP”.

      Oh, and the tech section towards the end of the mag is usually a guaranteed facepalm. As on the Internet, 99% of Windows tweaking advice is utterly pointless or outright counterproductive garbage unsupported by empirical testing or even bothering to understand what you’re changing.

  34. Monchberter says:

    Where does PC Format stand in all this? I find it harder and harder to find a copy, and the games coverage is generally quite pithy.

  35. Richard says:

    “the best PCG writers seem to have largely migrated here to RPS, and Richard Cobbett also doesn’t seem to be so prolific”

    Ouch, sir. Ouch.

    • LionsPhil says:

      You were excluded from that set as I was under the impression you were not one of the “core” RPS set—you don’t appear on the “about” page.

    • Richard says:

      Heh. I was just amused to see it as “All the best writers have left. And Richard Cobbett’s not writing much either…” I choose to believe I know what you mean though ;-)

      (I don’t write for RPS, BTW. But it’s a great site)

  36. CyberPowerUK says:

    I have issue #1 in my hands, :cry: while it’s sad to see a mag with some non-standard articles and content go it always felt a bit Jack of all trades with some really good stuff underneath getting squeezed out.

    PS: Can we have our monitor back please! I might let you off if you give us a couple of awards for the PC and actually print the review this time instead of giving a Tesco Value PC 9/10

  37. Super Bladesman says:

    What the PC needs is a magazine that actually reviews games. I am a long-time subscriber of PC Zone, and I’m growing increasingly bored of it carrying 50 pages of previews and 10 of actual reviews. Most of the reviews write about 50 words about the game, and the rest the reviewer’s comedy one-liners.

    I mean, surely Supreme Commander 2 deserves more than a one page review, most of which was probably taken up by screenshots.

    I suspect sooner rather than later I will be cancelling my sub.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Aye. It’s a different media these days.

      I really don’t wish to get preachy, but boy do I miss the times of Crash. You’d have previews sure. Very few because in those days games would mostly be known only after release. But the reviews? Works of art, most of the time.

      You’d get sometimes 4 pages reviewing a single game. Often you’d get more than one person with distinct game preferences writing the review so you, the reader, could hear more than one point of view. You would get a simple, yet engaging, game classification system that didn’t (oh the shock!) have an overall score. Only the partial scores. You’d get programming articles, you’d get cheat lists, you’d get hardware reviews, you’d get glimpses of alternative gaming (Pen & Paper, board games, etc)… you would get a much, much better magazine.

    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Oh, you’d even get novels, short stories and comics in the magazine.

    • Grunt says:

      lol@Mario

      “Why, in MY day….gerrofff me lawn!”

      But no, it’s actually true for a change and not rose-tinted nostalgia; magazines actually were better back then. I still miss Your Sinclair – it made me LAUGH, while still teaching me about games. Zero wasn’t bad either, having much of the same writing staff. PCG had it’s time but all the best writers are here now.

      PC Zone should be ashamed of itself, but at least it wasn’t as bad as those god-awful playstation magazines…

  38. Jimbo says:

    Never heard of it. I have no idea how any of these PC gaming mags manage to keep going. £6 for something which has precisely no benefits at all over internet coverage.

  39. Dr Snofeld says:

    I still quite enjoy PC Gamer. I mean it was better back in the day, when it was thicker, there were more funny reviews of cack games and you got some surprises (like opening a review with “What the fuck were they thinking?”). Still a fairly enjoyable read though, and occasionally quite creative. Anyone else remember that free Modern Warfare tip book that was half about combating bears?

  40. RedFred says:

    I used to buy UK PCG and PCZ back when I was younger. However as money started to become someone I understood more and more I held back on buying those two. They would often be airfreighted so they would cost at extra $10 or so. $28 for a magazine is pretty damn expensive.

    The US version of PCG was usually a bit cheaper but the quality was much, much worse. I mean those cardboard ads that you would have to shake out of the magazine? What the hell? Then there were the normal ads which would have been about 50% of the content.

    I don’t think I have bought a PC gaming magazine in over 5 years. Reading all these posts makes me want to pick up UK PCZ for old times sake. :(

  41. Stupoider says:

    I once bought this, but only realised it was Total PC Gaming and not PC Gamer until after I’d bought it. :) Makes for some good reading, nevertheless! Gonna be a shame to see a PC Gaming magazine go. :(

  42. GameOverMan says:

    I loved reading english gaming magazines back in the day. Luckily most of the best ones were available in my country (including my all time favourite, Amiga Power). They were expensive compared to the local ones but since they were so much better it didn’t matter. I bought lots of them but stopped by the time I had broadband, a decade ago. I remember them fondly, though, they bring me very good memories. It’s not the nostalgia talking, some of them were very well written, funny, witty, and informative as well.

    It’s sad when a magazine closes, but times are changing. Welcome to the future, for better or worse.

  43. Shadowcat says:

    I think I bought a Total PC Gaming mag once, but the main thing that put me off it in general was the large amount of space they dedicated to massively-multiplayer online gaming. I presume it was a sensible move, seeing as how so many people play them, but it’s hard enough to be sure that you’ll get a worthwhile number of relevant articles in a magazine without knowing that you can eliminate about a third of them before you even open it up.

    Maybe that’s a moot argument — for all I know they increased their page count by 50% to add the MMOG section — but it was off-putting nevertheless.

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