We try to steer clear of journalism-journalism around here, but it’s a strange, sad day for anyone who’s been involved with or followed the UK games journo scene for a while. Friend-of-RPS Tom “Tom Bramwell” Bramwell is leaving Eurogamer after 15 years today, and Future Publishing is closing CVG after 33 years of life.
The Bramwell news is bittersweet – he’s leaving of his own volition, in search of new adventures after having been in one place for so long. I can highly recommend his exit interview with (newly-promoted – congrats!) dep ed Wes Yin-Poole, in which Tom says scurrilous things about major game executives (plus Edge magazine staff), reminisces about his favourite games and consoles, and reveals which articles got him into the hottest water. Also something something Doritos. Tom has steered one of the UK’s most impressive games writing ships for a long time, and he’s got the stories and scars to prove it. He is, trust me, one of the good guys.
All the best to Tom for whatever comes next, and congratulations to Eurogamer’s new editor and similarly upstanding fellow Oli Welsh.
Over at Future, it’s allegedly the end of the line for CVG – or Computer & Videogames, as it was once known. With 33 years of service to its name, both in print and online, CVG is the oldest games publication in existence. (Or was.) Whatever the name has meant in recent years, I sincerely doubt I’m the only person here for whom CVG was the first games mag they ever read. While Future has yet to officially announce the closure, trade site MCV broke the news, citing “sources close to the business”, earlier today.
The reported closure comes as part of an aggressive ‘streamlining’ process at Future, which recently saw the company’s London office closed, Official Nintendo Magazine cancelled and several lay-offs as a response to ongoing cashflow woes. A number of Future writers have also left games journalism rather than go down with any ships.
While no-one disputes that the company – and indeed much of the surrounding industry – is facing massive upheaval, Twitter today had many voices in games media lamenting the decision to close CVG despite its no longer being at the peak of its powers, given it’s such a well-known brand and one which did survive the transition from print to online.
The publisher recently merged sci-fi publication SFX and Total Film into a revised GamesRadar, while these days it claims TechRadar and PC Gamer as its leading online lights. Perhaps there really was no room for CVG in these belt-tightened times, but it’s very sad to see the old oak topple after so long. Commiserations and best of luck to all those affected by the closure.
These are dark times, there is no denying.
Update – and the stalwart Mike Rose of Gamasutra just announced that he’s leaving games writing too. What is it about today?