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Fusion

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Fusion was a game magazine devoted to all realms of the video-game spectrum, including movies, TV and the Internet. It was a full relaunch of the 1992 version of Electronic Games, but it didn't even last a year before it was further rebranded -- first as Intelligent Gamer's Fusion, then simply as Intelligent Gamer after Sendai bought the Intelligent Gamer Online website.

History

In its first editorial, Fusion claimed to be about "more than just video games and computer curios. It is the first magazine to address all aspects of electronic entertainment -- from the alternate realities living inside your PC to the man-made realities in film. Fusion examines the growing role that new technologies are playing when you are."

In addition to regular coverage of video games on consoles and PCs, Fusion had features on net websites, movies, and PC hardware. This created a magazine that diverged from Electronic Games' straight software coverage and tried to cover everything that a college-age nerd might have been interested in at the time. There were also plans for a CD-ROM and a website, www.transfusion.com, that would offer downloads of games and "the latest creations from the most talented minds," but neither appear to have actually launched.

Despite a much more colorful design and writing that was much more concise and to the point than Electronic Games', Fusion failed to stick out among what was quickly becoming a rabble of "multimedia" leisure magazines. Once circulation failed to rise after half a year, Sendai took the surprising step of buying game-news website Intelligent Gamer Online (one of, if not the most popular game site on the web in the mid 1990s) and installing its founder Jeremy Horwitz as the editor-in-chief. "We're thrilled to be working with Sendai on this new venture," Horwitz said in Sendai's press release. "We've worked very hard to win the trust and respect of our readers and the industry at large, and we've succeeded. This agreement will bring Intelligent Gamer's high standards to a much wider audience."

The magazine was renamed Intelligent Gamer's Fusion for the March 1996 issue with a claimed circulation of 200,000 copies; in June 1996, the "Fusion" was dropped entirely and the magazine became simply Intelligent Gamer. All the multimedia coverage gradually faded away, and after a few months the magazine covered largely the same beat as the Next Generation of the time -- straight-on reviews, previews, and features on upcoming games, written for adults and featuring very little adornment.

Horwitz left the magazine in mid-1996 to attend law school, and with that Intelligent Gamer became a de-factor Ziff Davis in-house publication. However, with little advertising revenue and only a very small hardcore audience, the higher-ups at Ziff quickly deemed the magazine to be redundant in the marketplace and killed it in late 1996. (Horwitz is now the editor-in-chief of iLounge.)

I believe the January 1997 issue of Intelligent Gamer is the last one; there may have been one more, but that's unconfirmed at this time. Subscribers received Electronic Gaming Monthly after the magazine folded.


Fusion Index

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1995 1 2 3 4 5
1996 6 7 8 9 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1997 8


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Information

    Title:Fusion
    Editor: Joe Funk, Jeremy Horwitz, John Ricciardi
    Categories: Console/PC video games, multimedia
    Frequency: Monthly
    First Issue: Aug 1995
    Final Issue: Jan 1997 (?)
    Publisher: Decker Publications (1995-96), Ziff Davis Media (1996-97)
    Country: United States

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