Game Players (spelled Game Player's until 1991) is the multiplatform magazine in the stable of Signal Research publications that launched in the late 1980s. Along with VideoGames & Computer Entertainment, it was the one of the only magazines at the time to include both PC and console game coverage.
The history of Game Players can be divided into two parts, based on its two separate publishing runs. Read about the second publishing run.
The first era (1989-1991)
Signal Research was founded in 1988 by Robert Lock, the former publisher of COMPUTE!, who set up the outfit in Greensboro, NC, the same town as his old company. After releasing a series of successful Nintendo magazines in 1988, Signal founded Game Players as the flagship of a series of publications and media about all forms of games, including videotapes on soccer training.
The magazine, much like early issues of Electronic Gaming Monthly, was heavily text-oriented with only a few screenshots and other art. This gave it an extremely bland look that was improved upon only slightly in later issues, making it look outdated compared to the competition in 1991. This led to the curious situation of Game Players (the alleged flagship magazine) being outsold by its Nintendo sub-magazine, Game Players Nintendo Guide.
In October 1991, Signal defaulted on a loan from one of its venture-capital investors, thanks to over-optimistic sales expectations, mounting printing costs, and the 1991 recession. The company made a last-ditch attempt to save itself by canceling three titles, but this didn't stave off its creditors, and it was officially foreclosed in February 1992.
This means that the October 1991 issue (which, ironically, is a redesign-launch issue) is the last known edition of the first era of Game Players. A November 1991 issue was almost certainly completed, but it is unknown whether it was actually published. If anyone has it, we'd like to know.
Game Player's (1989) Index