Electronic Game Player was a monthly magazine devoted entirely to video and arcade games, with some extra computer coverage. It is the direct precursor to Electronic Gaming Monthly and shares much of the same early staff.
EGP was founded by Steve Harris, an arcade-game enthusiast who was a member of Twin Galaxies' U.S. National Video Game Team in the early 80s. He used the proceeds from an arcade-game tournament held in 1987 to establish it.
The magazine is an extension of Top Score, the arcade-industry newsletter Harris published throughout the mid-1980s, and it shares many similarities with the first few issues of EGM. While there are some reviews (with no ratings), the brunt of each issue is devoted to strategies, previews, and longform features on the current state of the game industry. Harris's arcade background is evident in most issues -- most include advertising from arcade manufacturers, although coverage of the NES still occupies most of the space.
EGP is also notable for being the magazine where Quartermann and his page of gaming gossip made their debut.
Although Harris's hunch that the world was ready for a consumer oriented video-game magazine was correct, EGP was just a tad too early. Distributors, wary of taking on a game mag after all of the classic-era ones failed in 1984-5, were not interested in taking a chance on the title, and EGP's store distribution was therefore spotty and largely confined to the West Coast.
The magazine folded with its fourth issue in the fall of 1988, unable to find a national distributor. The resounding success of Nintendo Power in the same year, however, brought more attention to Harris's project, and the magazine was relaunched nationally in 1989 under the name Electronic Gaming Monthly.
Electronic Game Player Index