Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Green Herb + Blue Herb? Lifestyle + Gaming?

One of those combos works a treat. The other is a recipe for disaster! Following on from my last post I thought I would show you a sample of the editorial madness that we regularly indulged in over at Computec USA. After 10 years of 'normal' gaming editorial we all thought how cool it was to do something edgy. You know the thing, stylish and grown-up like Maxim and all the other 'real' mags. Still, after a great concept, after a superb photoshoot, after an exclusive early glimpse of Resident Evil, after the dust had settled what did we have? Eight pages of boredom and self-congratulatory wank that was ignored by gamers and Capcom alike!
Ninja Nockers
Gaiden II is a fantastic game. Not cutting edge or a system showcase but a solid, dismemberment-fest with mass carnage and some very large breasted women. Played through on Acolyte, which I admit was a doddle, and had been progressing nicely through Warrior setting when the game decides to freeze. Not just once though. Every time, same battle, same spot. Nothing I can do can prevent it either. Quality testing guys!

Monday, 2 June 2008

Aluminum? No. Aluminium you ass…

My tenure in the great state of California was a mixed bag. It began in 1996 with a stint at GameFan but ended in 2000 after Computec Media's US operation imploded in complete disaster with 30 mil washed down the toilet. So how does a successful media company blow 30 million down the swanny then? Quite simple really. Convince seasoned game journos to launch a magazine that features the biggest names in TV, music and movies playing games! Oh, get a few previews and a screenshot or two in there also. Just in case you want to actually *see* a game in the magazine. How did it fare? First issue of Incite: Video Games was actually a monster and still holds the record for best launch in the video games market with about 800,000 copies shifted. It did not last. Evil forces were afoot as all kinds of plotters and back stabbers were working tirelessly to discredit the magazine and scupper advertising deals. Future Publishing (or Imagine as they where known back then) sent letters to all the key advertisers telling them to 'resist the German invasion' and it was as close as calling us Nazis or mentioning the war as you could legally get! Of course they were cowardly sods so they got printers and other agencies to do the work for them. The magazine concept might have had the legs to weather the storm had there been a Wii or DS in the market but games back then were still pretty hardcore and most gamers couldn't care less for lifestyle garbage. It was amusing to have a photography budget for one issue that eclipsed what we spent on Mean Machines during it's entire life span!