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marktrade

"PC Games" magazine

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marktrade    614

I've been trying to figure out this magazine's history for a while now and I'm sure it'll take much longer, but I thought I'd share what I've found so far and hope this thread elicits more knowledge and research from others.

To make matters more confusing "PC Games" is also the title of the most popular PC gaming magazine in Germany from a different publisher. If you search English Wikipedia for PC Games magazine, you'll get the one from Germany. If you search English language game magazines on archive.org you will also get the German magazine, which is not in English.

Nothing against Germans but I'm gobsmacked one of their magazines managed to completely eclipse a title in English language searches that was published by IDG, the largest tech/game magazine publisher in the world during the 1990s.

IDG also published GamePro. Everyone's heard of GamePro but few have heard of PC Games. There isn't even a section for it here at Retromags under USA where it should be (there is under UK with zero issues listed, which makes me wonder if there's yet another magazine called "PC Games" out there).

First this column from former GamePro editor Kevin Gifford, aka Magweasel, which provides a basic outline.

http://www.gamesetwatch.com/2010/01/column_game_mag_weaseling_pc_g_1.php

PC Games (USA) was first published in August 1988 as a quarterly and focused mainly on reviews. The following year IDG would publish the first issue of GamePro and in short order IDG created a new office for its game magazines. They shared staff members and according to Gifford they shared a "flashy" airbrushed art style as well. This close association between the two magazines did not last, however, and in 1990 PC Games returned to its own office in a small town across the country, still publishing a handful of issues per year.

By 1993 PC Games was publishing 8 issues per year, but at the end of 1993 IDG closed PC Games and created the monthly Electronic Entertainment to fill its place in 1994. This magazine does have a spot on Retromags and I've been scanning a few of them.

You'll notice in the upper right corner of the covers of Electronic Entertainment there's a section saying "Featuring PC Games." I kept wondering what that was exactly. It's the logo of the magazine it replaced.

Electronic Entertainment covered what it called "the multimedia revolution," the era when CD-ROM drives first became a standard PC component. The space increase from floppy disks to CDs was absolutely enormous. Entertainment software companies piled on images, music, and movies and sold them as multimedia presentations and the "PC game industry" wasn't just about games anymore. Even though it was still basically a gaming magazine, Electronic Entertainment competed with other more general magazines like CD-ROM Today and Multimedia World.

At the end of 1995 Electronic Entertainment announced it was changing its name in 1996 to PC Entertainment, reflecting the decline of general purpose multimedia consoles like the 3DO. There's no section for this on Retromags but I have every issue! :fireflower:

This new name lasted only five issues and in June 1996 the name was changed "back" to PC Games. At this point Computer Gaming World and PC Gamer were the most popular PC gaming magazines. Despite starting and remaining in third place, PC Games lasted another three years until it was bought by PC Gamer in March 1999.

PC Gamer shutdown PC Games unceremoniously and started sending PC Games subscribers issues of PC Gamer. If PC Games subscribers were already subscribed to PC Gamer, they were sent issues of a new magazine called PC Accelerator with the tagline "We read PC Games so you don't have to." This magazine lasted about a year and half and ended in June 2000. There is also no section for this magazine on Retromags.

So that's the basic history of PC Games magazine published in the USA. Here's another perspective from gamingmagz.com:

http://www.gamingmagz.com/magazines/usa/electronic-entertainment#.VW1tQM7vaqe

If you've never heard of PC Games before now, I suppose you can be forgiven. I hadn't even known about its history pre-1997 until a few weeks ago and didn't even know about its history pre-1994 until yesterday!

So I guess there's a lot of digging to be done. I fear there's some material here that's been lost forever, forgotten. Even Kevin Gifford's collection, which he donated to the Strong Museum of Play in New York, was missing several issues, some of which I currently own. Still I don't know where else a human being can see what the inside of those early PC Games magazines even look like except at that museum (and only by permission). Same with 1994 issues of Electronic Entertainment. Although I'll be on the lookout.

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Phillyman    403

Yes, some of these magazines can be a real pain to figure out the history on. Kevin at Magweasel.com used to run a wiki over at his site for the history of these magazines. He gave Retromags permission years ago to port that information over to our site. However the only way to retrieve that info is via the Wayback machine at archive.org. He does have some entries.....

https://web.archive.org/web/20061109014806/http://www.magweasel.com/wiki/Electronic_Entertainment

Which I believe I ported to our Publication DB here....

http://www.retromags.com/publications/category/united-states/electronic-entertainment

Also GamingMagz.com is another one of my sites, that I had started back when I stepped away from Retromags. I believe everything in the USA section at Retromags has a publication page devoted to it, but the UK section still needs to be created. This is one of the reasons I have created these databases, because we need a place for this history to be preserved. Right now I am researching GameShark/Dangerous Waters and Rainbow Magazine. Quite a few magazines out there have little to no information on them, which is a shame.

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marktrade    614

And these databases are very useful!

It's hard to say if there were two publications in the US titled "PC Games" or whether both are part of one continuous history. Certainly the second PC Games is continuous with PC Entertainment and Electronic Entertainment but are they all continuous with the first PC Games as well? I think it could be treated either way.

Was there a UK edition of PC Games or is that an error?

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Was there a UK edition of PC Games or is that an error?

There was a UK magazine called "PC Games", but I don't think it's connected to the US one. It was published by EMAP. I've got 5 issues and I think there was only 13 before it closed. If I'm correct that there's only 13 it ran from Jun 1994 to Aug 1995. I believe there's a separate one launched in 1998 by Paragon Publishing as well, but I've not seen/got any of them.

http://magazinesfromthepast.wikia.com/wiki/File:PC_Games_Issue_1.jpg

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Areala    25,515

I'm a HUGE fan of Rainbow Magazine, having grown up with a TRS-80 in the house. I've got a ton of them in my collection, and they continued publishing well into the 90s, long after the Tandy Color Computer was retired from the shelves in Radio Shack. :)

Also, I'm sure I'm said this before, but I was mentioned by name in an editorial in the April 1999 issue of PC Games, which was the final issue published before PC Gamer assimilated them. The cover story was on Giants: Citizen Kabuto, but the editorial was about people who wrote Tomb Raider fan fiction. (Guilty as charged, your honour...) :)

*huggles*
Areala

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