Next Generation Magazine Shuts Down5 Dec, 2001 By: John Gaudiosi
After six years, Imagine Media has pulled the plug on its flagship video game magazine, Next Generation, which covered console platforms and PC games. The January 2002 issue will be the finale. Editor-In-Chief Tom Russo recently left the magazine to take an executive job at video game channel G4. Imagine will continue to cover videogames through its other print outlets like Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer, and PlayStation Magazine.
“Sadly, at the end of the 32-bit cycle the market and the zeitgeist seemed to shift away from Next Generation,” said Jonathan Simpson-Bint, president of Imagine Media. “Next Generation's mantra of reaching the top 20 percent of consumers who have 80 percent of the influence and power seemed to lose its appeal and at the same time, readers became harder to satisfy and to know. Ultimately, despite several makeovers and our best efforts Next Generation appears to have been a magazine of its time and that time now seems to have passed.”
Despite the growing retail strength of the video game industry, Web, print and other outlets covering video games continue to struggle. With the transition to next generation gaming platforms, many large game publishers have scaled back marketing budgets, which have hurt the consumer magazines that cover the industry.
Next Generation is the largest game publication to go under since Computec Media closed both incite PC Games and incite Videogames, as well as online sites MCV.com and incite.com last year. Imagine closed down FGNonline.com last week. Other video game closures in the past 12 months include CNET's GameCenter.com, Dailyradar.com and HappyPuppy.com.
Ziff Davis Media recently resurrected Gamers.com, which was operating on a one-man skeleton crew after it went under, and will use the site to promote its lineup of game magazines, including “Electronic Gaming Monthly, Official PlayStation Magazine and Computer Gaming World.