Electronic Gaming Monthly (1989-2009)

January 7th, 2009 by Benj Edwards

Electronic Gaming Monthly - May 1993In Memoriam: EGM (1989-2009), American video game magazine par excellence.

As far as I can recall, this is the first issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly I ever bought. I spotted it on a newsstand in a grocery store and begged my mom to buy it for me. Over the next few months of 1993, I bought each new issue from the same source until I convinced my parents that it would be cheaper just to subscribe. So they signed me up, and I’ve been a subscriber to EGM ever since.

Until now. Troubled publisher Ziff-Davis — owner of the 1UP Network and EGMrecently announced the sale of its 1UP property to UGO Entertainment. Sadly, EGM isn’t going along for the ride, but is instead shutting down. January 2009 will be the last issue of EGM in print.

Prior to discovering EGM, my only exposure to video game magazines had been Nintendo Power, the official Nintendo-sanctioned magazine devoted only to Nintendo products. As a publication, Nintendo Power spoke with a sterile, self-censoring voice that was low on speculation and high on propaganda. In contrast, EGM, with its edgy style, gossip column, international coverage, and devotion to multiple platforms (including arcade! — that blew my young mind), opened up a whole new side of the video game industry to me and ignited a passion for the field that persists to this day.

EGM Covers

As a writing professional, EGM’s closure stings for reasons beyond simple fandom. Since writing for 1UP.com and visiting EGM’s offices in early 2008, I’ve been fortunate enough to befriend a number of EGM’s editors and staff. As news goes around that over 30 employees’ jobs fell victim to the shakeup, I find myself wincing and hoping the best for all of my colleagues in writing and publishing. Those that met the unsparing axe of nickel-and-dime economics will likely find new jobs elsewhere in time — hopefully sooner rather than later. Until then, I wish them the best of luck, and I’d like to thank EGM’s staff (past and present) for twenty years of incredible, inspiring work.

22 Responses to “Electronic Gaming Monthly (1989-2009)”

  1. Multimedia Mike Says:

    Dang! But I knew it. I knew this was coming. There were all kinds of signs. I have been an EGM subscriber for the past 3 years (and a frequent buyer before that; and an occasional buyer before that, after EGM published info about a game website I used to run). About a half year ago, little clues started to materialize. One of my favorite features, the Hsu & Chan comic ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hsu_and_Chan ) ended its run. Plus, the review staff was cut way back. But here was the biggest telltale clue: They weren’t including subscription cards in every single issue. That struck me as odd (and also annoyed me because I used that card as a bookmark).

    So, this might be a bit self-centered, but… what becomes of our remaining subscriptions? 🙂 I actually just resubscribed in November. I actually didn’t expect the renewal notice, suspecting EGM to be on the way out. But when it came, I renewed. Since the publisher owns a number of other publications, I assume they allow you to use the remainder towards other magazines.

  2. Benj Edwards Says:

    I think that EGM was actually Ziff-Davis’s last print publication. I don’t know what will happen to subscriptions — they’ll probably just be swallowed up into the black hole of failed business.

    By the way, I think you’re the only person who’s ever been annoyed by a lack of subscription cards. 🙂

  3. Multimedia Mike Says:

    I often thought the same about subscription cards. Thing is, I want just one *one*. Any greater quantity annoys me. 🙂

  4. Bill Says:

    It is a sad day indeed…EGM was a lot of fun to read…Too bad someoone else could not pick it up and keep it going..It would seem someone could make a small profit from running the magazine…I do not know the business so my thoughts are probably just wanting a way to keep the mag going…

  5. Layne Says:

    It’s actually getting close to the end for MOST printed subscription information. As a long time internet user (Anyone need a copy of pre-Netscape Mosaic?), I could see it happening. Now that “everyone” is on the net, people don’t read magazines and newspapers as much. By the time it gets into print and delivered to your door, the news is stale, the less-newsy stuff is just cheaper to deliver via a network pipe.

    I enjoyed EGM over most of the other mags (and in the early CD-ROM days loved their disks….imagine trying to download some of those demo’s at 2400 baud). But I haven’t read an issue in years because I could just Google for game reviews and have several in a matter of seconds.


  6. Kitsunexus Says:

    YAAAAAAAAY! EGM is the most TERRIBLE video game magazine there is! Glad to see it go! ALL HAIL GAME INFORMER!

  7. Benj Edwards Says:

    Once I saw your name pop up in my comments inbox, Kitsune, I thought to myself, “I bet he’s going to trash EGM.” True to form, you delivered. At least you’re consistent.

  8. Toneroni Says:

    🙁 EGM was my favorite magazine growing up.
    The Street Fighter issues were always the best.
    Also remember those gigantic 300+ page issues?
    I wish I kept a few of them (instead of my stupid comic collection lol)

    Sad to see pieces of my gaming childhood falling to the wayside
    -mom and pop game shops

  9. Andrew Says:

    Related reading, this was an interesting read about the fate of 1UP:


  10. Jim Ulrich Says:

    Even though I used to read EGM at the grocery store while my parents went shopping, the first EGM I bought was the one with Super Mario World on the cover. What game do you think was the worse one ever to grace EGM’s cover? My vote goes to Hudson Hawk for the NES.

  11. Jim Ulrich Says:

    It looks like you can still subscribe to EGM on their website.

  12. Bill Says:

    Went and bought the Jan issue today from the grocery store..2 copy’s. 1 to read and 1 to save in the plastic to add to my collection…

  13. Gamer S Says:

    This is sad news indeed, and sadder still because they were only four issues away from having a twenty year run.

    EGM was one of my favorite gaming publications that was actually still in publication. Still have all of my old issues at least. I have to admit though, the EGM of recent years was but a mere shadow of its former self, but it at least had still retained a few talented writers.

    Most of all I will miss Seanbaby’s “Rest of the Crap” section. I felt he was the most brutally honest writer they had on their staff. If a game wasn’t worth the plastic it was made out of then he didn’t hesitate to say so. His work was the inspiration for my own reviewing style.

    ;( And just like ODCM before it, EGM leaves us with a preview for an issue that is never to be. Rest in Peace EGM, rest in peace.

  14. Brian Deuel Says:

    And now UGO is thinking about buying 1up?!?!?

    UGO is a useless, worthless, criminal, waste of a gaming site. They closed davesclassics.com, then stole the domain from he rightful owner, all because of the Sony PSX bios debacle. We were treated much better on the Gamefan Network (very sadly R.I.P.) and didn’t have to worry about being hijacked at all.

    If 1up goes through with this, you may as well R.I.P. 1up.com. UGO hasn’t done anything of substance since 1998.

  15. Bryce Says:

    Good riddence. Maybe Game Informer will be next.

  16. Fessic Says:

    Man I had totally forgotten about this magazine. But those images are opening up a flood of memories. That one with the barbarian on the cover…classic. What was that? Wizards & Warriors?

    @Toneroni – I do remember those 300+ page editions. Used to think that was the coolest thing ever since I could make it last until the next issue arrived.

  17. Zoyous Says:

    I read EGM from the start. Actually a couple of issues prior to its start, when it was EGP (Electronic Game Player) for four issues before being renamed. Kept with it until about ’93 or ’94 when I dropped out of gaming for the remainder of the millenium. I enjoyed EGM in those earliest days because they provided full coverage for the Sega Master System. I was always kind of impressed that EGM became such a huge success in spite of the fact that its graphic design was terrible for so many years… it sounds kind of funny or insulting to say that, but I think it’s a testament to the fact that it was started from the ground up by gamers, not by a board of directors at a huge conglomerate publishing company. Of course, that’s what it was later swallowed up by.

  18. Pinball Says:

    While I’ve been disillusioned with modern gaming magazines for many years (I want to go back in time and make Electronic Games live on), and haven’t read EGM regularly in a long time, I am still sorry to see it go. I’m not really quite ready for this whole death-of-the-magazine thing.

  19. t3hfr3ak Says:

    You know, i didn’t think this would bother me, until i realized… it was my favourite gaming magazine! I was just about to place a subscription on it (couldn’t remember the name of it till now) now i am quite saddened.

  20. SkoobyDoo420 Says:

    If anyone is interested I have the EGM issues from January 1992-July ’93 and the Apirl 1994 The January 1992 issue has the Star Trek cast on the cover; half of them still in the plastic bag they came in….this was the era when StreetFighter2 came on the scene in the arcade. Also two issues of GamePro the September 1993 and December 1993 . Let me know I’ll be posting on ebay soon.

  21. chubbz Says:

    I got my first issue in the late 90s, it was the issue highlighting Donkey Kong 64. I fell in love with it, and started buying every monthly issue when I started working with my dad in the early 00s. I had stack after stack of issues, and even checked 5 different stores for the FFX limited edition cover. I think I still have that floating around somewhere. To me, looking back, EGM represents more than my voracious appetite for learning about all of the new games, but it represents a time in my life I wish I could go back to. My dad passed in 2010 and looking at some of these old EGM covers brings me back to all of the summers and springs I was working with him, when he would front me the $20 for my early morning Wawa run of food and EGM.

    RIP, (original) EGM, you’ll be very missed.

  22. ArealTreat Says:


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