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Mar 17, 2006

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1.

Second. Massive Online Gaming was the first, but didn't quite make it to its second issue (they had it laid out, but couldn't get it printed).

2.

And the third if MMO Gamer launches before then.

3.

It will fail and who cares?

The correct acronym is MMOG, not MMO.

4.

Well, "MMO" is really just the prefix to any number of things. :)

But otherwise, I agree with Technocrat: I just don't see this being successful.

Print magazines cannot keep up with the pace of change in a genre founded upon the very concept of dynamically-updated content. Even a weekly publication would have huge overhead of staffers trying to keep pace with the dozens of MMOGs out there and their changes.

But worse, all of this is already covered. Sometimes without ads but all times in *real* time.

Sure it can hit a zillion newstands, but to what end? The barrier of entry to MMORPGs isn't awareness of them. There's scores of millions of online gamers out there. They're not here because of the *game experiences* themselves, not because they don't know about them.

So what is the value add for a monthly publication about MMOs?

5.

I get my news from the internet, and its updated daily... why have a quickly-obsolete monthly source?

6.

Mikado: "I get my news from the internet, and its updated daily... why have a quickly-obsolete monthly source?"

Because you need something to read on airplanes during the time when you have to shut off all electronic devices.

7.

The correct acronym is MMOG, not MMO.

When, who, and what made that official, how, and why?

8.

Technocrat>It will fail and who cares?

Why will it fail? And I care!

>The correct acronym is MMOG, not MMO.

The correct acronym is MUD, if you want to be prissy about it.

Richard

9.

Darniaq>Print magazines cannot keep up with the pace of change in a genre founded upon the very concept of dynamically-updated content.

They don't have to be newspapers. Regular computer games are well served by print magazines and web sites, but people still buy them every month. There are plenty of interesting things to write about other than the latest games (ie. the crocked beta version the journalists spent 30 minutes with 3 months before the publication date of their review).

Examples:
- comparing the graphics of WoW and EQ2
- the newbie experience in today's UO
- what makes RvR tick in DAoC
- a look at Korean games
- the RMT debate
- an analysis of the skill tree for warlocks in WoW
- maps, walkthroughs
- interviews with designers
- how to run a guild
- your first raid
- children who play
- convention reports
- merchandise (books, games, action figures etc.) reviews
- writing add-ons

Those are just off the top of my head. Yes, sure, you could look them up on the net and find comment on all of them, but you'll get garbage as well as good stuff. Also, you have to know you want to know it before you look...

>Sure it can hit a zillion newstands, but to what end?

There are magazines out there for antique collecting. To what end? It's not as if there are any new antiques.

The magazines are to foster community, to legitimise a hobby, to educate people, and to make the publisher some money.

>The barrier of entry to MMORPGs isn't awareness of them.

I don't think the point of the magazine is to draw in new players, although I dare say it could have that effect occasionally.

Richard

10.

A few questions... Is Massive targeted at aficionados of MMOGs? Could its success be seen as a validation of MMOGs? Does anyone know about the media preferences of MMOG players?

11.

Massive Online Gaming was well received by readers and the industry alike, as I recall. It's too bad it fell victim to ... politics, I suppose. It never had a chance to succeed or fail on its own (although it did, ultimately, fail so I suppose that last statement is a bit silly).

I think there is a market for this newest magazine. Richard commented that there are "no new antiques", but there are new MMOs (MMOGs, MUDs) and they seem to happen on a daily basis. And Richard's right, a magazine serves a community. That's why there are very successful magazines for pet grooming, public works, convention center management, and sewage treatment. Magazines that may not appeal to us, but certainly have an audience.

It may be hard for a print mag to keep up with the online variety, but with the right kind of coverage it can make for a very appealing read. And maybe it's just me, but I tend to see better (much) writing in print than online.

12.

As I pointed out on Raphs site, I think the strength is the attached DVD (if it has one), which could provide several MMORPG installs a month for trial. This saves people the time/effort to download 1+ gig, and could be a good vehicle for lower-budget (aka: non-retail) MMORPGs to be distributed.

Personally, the print part doesn't excite me, but perhaps that's because of the inane writing I've seen in most other games magazines. I suppose if the text were more Economist-like in depth, I might find it interesting, but I don't expect that since I'm only a very-very small minority.

13.

@Darniag: The arguments you present are sound and unassailable. (btw, I really like your website.I'm gonna poke around over there when I get some time.)

@Michael C: I said that half jokingly,I didn't mean to offend anyone. Cool? (it did sound a bit authoritarian though, didn't it?...hehe, sorry man!:D)

@Richard: The arguments you present are tenuous and easily swept aside. The examples that you give would indeed make excellent reading and I would love to see these kinds of subjects get the professional treatment they so richly deserve.

@The pro-magazine people in general: Do you really want to chop down a bunch of trees just to have something to read while your taking a dump or flying in an airplane? Anything that can be done in a magazine can be done 10x (at least) better on the internet! Dammit guys, this is so mind-numbingly obvious that...that...I'm speechless!

Why couldn't these same people (who are doing the magazine) create a slick, state-of-the-art website that caters to high-end gamers (there's a bunch of us out here.)and developers; people who truly appreciate the profundity of the genre and think nothing of dropping $10,000 on a custom rig? I'd pay $5 or $10 a month for something like that, so long as it doesn't have those unseemly flashing ads. :D

14.

Technocrat>@Richard: The arguments you present are tenuous and easily swept aside.

Go on, then: easily sweep them aside.

>Do you really want to chop down a bunch of trees just to have something to read while your taking a dump or flying in an airplane?

Chopping down trees removes carbon from the atmosphere, assuming that the tree is regrown. Flying in aeroplanes, on the other hand, is rather less good for the environment.

>Anything that can be done in a magazine can be done 10x (at least) better on the internet!

And yet magazines continue to sell. Go figure.

>Why couldn't these same people (who are doing the magazine) create a slick, state-of-the-art website that caters to high-end gamers

Who says they're not doing that as well? They'll have the content for the print magazine anyway, so maybe they're going to do an online version too? Then you and other progressive magazine-readers can subscribe to the online version with a clear conscience.

Richard

15.

"The correct acronym is MUD, if you want to be prissy about it."

I declare Richard the winner of this thread.

16.

@Richard: illovich has declared you the "winner", congratulations!

17.

Hi there, I'm the editor-in-chief of Computer Games Magazine, and am also involved in the production of this magazine.

We have no intention of "keeping up with the pace" of change in MMOs. The magazine will be less focused on specific products in the way people would expect, dumping the standard news/previews/reviews paradigm seen in other gaming magazines. Instead, as the press release said, it will focus more on the culture and players, and consist mostly of feature stories.

In fact, we've already been producing more of these kinds of features in CGM the last few years, and have produced two annual "Massively Multiplayer" issues. They were full of features, not just just "Ohmygod, 64 MMO masterpieces for 2006!"-style roundups. (We do those too from time-to-time.)

As Richard Bartle noted, there are plenty of topics you can cover that aren't seen everywhere else; in fact, we're already working on a couple of the ones he came up with off the top of his head. (I should also note that we've been in touch with people like Richard and Raph about contributing.)

We wouldn't even try to compete with the amazing websites out there producing daily content. Using the logic of "someone else does it" means there's little reason to create anything new. We hope it'll be something different that MMO fans will dig.

And there will be a digital version of the magazine, for those opposed to dead tree edition.

(As an aside, I like MMO over MMOG or MMORPG or some of the other variants. I hate acronymns in general, and am loathe to use them in print as they're exclusionary to anyone not attuned to the language of gaming. Having said that, MMO is shorter, looks better, and you eliminate some of that "MMOG game"-style redundancy.)

If anyone is interested in contributing, or has any great ideas for feature stories, feel free to contact me at sbauman@cgonline.com.

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