Electronic Gaming Monthly
name = Electronic Gaming Monthly
caption = May 2006 cover
Video game magazine
format = Paper magazine
foundation = Summer 1989, by Steve Harris
ceased publication =
price = US$5.99 CAN $7.99
publisher = Ziff Davis Media
editor = James "Milkman" Mielke
founder = Steve Harris
language = English
San Francisco, California
ISSN = 1058-918X
website = [http://egm.1up.com egm.1up.com]
"Electronic Gaming Monthly" (often abbreviated to "EGM") is an American
video game magazine. It is published by Ziff Davisas part of the 1UP Network and releases 12 issues a year (and an occasional extra "13th" issue for the Christmas season, also known as the " Smarch" issue, a reference to an episode of " The Simpsons").
"EGM" concentrates on news regarding current
video game consoles (see magazine content for detailed information). The December 2006issue introduces new sections, expanded reviews, and focuses more on the acronymof the magazine's title in a redesign. This is the first issue redesign since June 2003. "EGM" has said that the reason for the design shift is to keep more in line with the site layout of their website, [http://www.1up.com/ 1up.com] .
1994, "EGM" spawned " EGM2". EGM2 focused on expanded cheats and tricks (i.e. with maps and guides). The spin-off publication eventually became " Expert Gamer", and, finally, to the defunct " GameNOW".
Writers for the magazine, past and present, include founder Steve Harris, long-time editor-in-chief Ed Semrad, Martin Alessi, Ken Williams (Sushi-X), "Trickman" Terry Minnich, Andrew "Cyber-Boy" Baran, Danyon Carpenter, Mark "Candyman" LeFebvre, Todd Rogers, Mike Weigand a.k.a Major Mike,(now Managing Editor at
GamePro), Al Manuel, Howard Grossman, Mark "Mo" Hain, Mike Vallas, former 1 UP network Editorial Director Dan Hsu(aka "Shoe"), current EGM Editor-in-Chief James Mielke, artist Jeremy "Norm" Scott, Shawn "Shawnimal" Smith, Kelly Rickard, John Davison, Kraig Kujawa, Dean Hager, and Mark Macdonald (who later went on to become director of Gamevideos.com before leaving Ziff-Davis). Currently, EGM features: Todd "The Sports Game Guy" Zuniga, Crispin Boyer, John Ricciardi, Jennifer Tsao, Greg Sewart, Michael Donahoe, Demian Linn, Greg Ford, and Shane "Mangod" Bettenhausen.
Personalities featured in the magazine include gossip columnist "Quartermann," (or Q-Man or The Q) originally penned by Steve Harris and assisted by Ed Semrad, Danyon Carpenter, Andrew Baran and Chris Johnston.Fact|date=November 2007 More recently, Quartermann has been penned by former editorial director John Davison and executive editor
Shane Bettenhausen.Fact|date=November 2007 Many items from the column have indeed come to fruition (such as the impending announcement of a competing game console by Microsoft, which eventually became the Xbox), though many have not (" Panzer Dragoon" sequel on Sega Dreamcast). Controversy followed the magazine in April 2000 when the column speculated on a port of " Metal Gear Solid" (PS1) for the Dreamcast, with many gaming news outlets (including international ones) taking this as fact and reporting it as their own, leading to a virtual scolding by the columnist a month after for this practice.
Another long-time personality is
Seanbabywho pens the "Rest of the Crap" section found at the end of the magazine. The column reviews poor-quality games or includes more unorthodox columns and lists. Favorite targets include the " Barbie" games, as well as games based on the TV show " That's So Raven", cosplayers, and those who frequent gaming tradeshow E3.
Perhaps the most infamous personality is "
Sushi-X", a pseudonym for a reviewer (and, at times, someone who had a mini-letters section) who was modeled after Taco-X of the multi-panel review team of the Japanese publication " Famitsu," which inspired EGM's own review style. A supporter of fighting games (" Street Fighter" in particular) and detractor of RPGs and portable systems, Sushi-X was originally David Siller in the early years and then taken over by Ken Williams for almost a decade.
After Ken's departure the moniker was used by several people through the years until phased out by Ziff Davis as a "maturing" of the magazine; initially, the magazine did seem to have planned to have another fictional character, Elephant Sak (or E-Sak) which was the name of a created character by the editors from the game "
WWF Attitude", take over Sushi-X. The magazine teased the audience with a highlighted silhouette of the character in the photo box as the next reviewer in the issues from the last half of 1999. This never came to fruition.
More recent "mascots" for the magazine include a "
Space Invaders" alien, which acts as an anchor to any written work in the mag as well as symbolizing reactions from games from E3 ("Awesome", "Terrible", etc.). Additionally, there is also a robot handed out as a trophy for their yearly awards as well as an award named after Tobias Bruckner from "", which is given as dubious honors to the worst aspects of the past year in gaming.
"EGM" features news coverage on current
video game consoles including, at the moment, the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wiiconsoles. It also currently covers the portable gaming systems Nintendo DSand PlayStation Portable, in addition to reviews and previews for the games released on the aforementioned consoles. Computer gameswere once more prominent but are now just occasionally mentioned, as these are the territory of "EGM's" now discontinued sister publication, "". Cell phone games have recently seen coverage on the magazine as well, though this has been rare as well.
The first issue of "Electronic Gaming Monthly" came out in the summer of 1989, featuring "
Mega Man 2" as its cover story. The third issue famously featured a then-obscure Fabio on the cover for the game ' and yet another issue featured Bruce Willisas " Hudson Hawk" in Issue 23, promoting the game based on the movie of the same name, along with Jean-Claude Van Dammereprising his role as Colonel Guile from the movie to promote ' on the cover of Issue 75.
After the editorial, the magazine begins with the letters section, followed by Press Start, which includes newsbits, previews of upcoming games, and developer interviews. This is then proceeded by their features for the month (including the cover story), then the review section. The issue ends with more light-hearted fare such as Seanbaby's "Rest of the Crap", Jeremy "Norm" Scott's "The Adventures of
Hsu and Chan" comic (which according to the comic itself will stop appearing in EGM after August 2008), and a transcript of a debate on a current topic, among others.
Until 2005, the magazine also had a cheats and tricks section named "Tricks of the Trade", originally ran by Terry "Trickman" Minnich and proceeded by David Hodgson in the early 2000s.
Issues from the early 1990s also featured heavy coverage on arcade games and international games (particularly from Japan and Europe), complete with full previews and hints and tricks, although this has been scaled back in recent years to a single page for the international section, with the Arcade Action section essentially defunct. Similarly, a more "general entertainment" section rounded out the magazine at this period of time as well, including reviews of
comic books, movies, and gadgets.
Throughout much of its publication, the magazine has included multiple covers (including the
South Parkissue, as well as the " Kingdom Hearts II" intro issue, the Xbox 360 intro, the 200th issue, the " Gears of War" issue),and the Super Smash Bros. Brawl issue. mini-posters for then-current games with the newsstand issues, as well as occasional one-page extras such as alternate game box cover art slips and calendars for such titles as " Jade Empire" and " God of War".
Occasionally, the magazine also leaves secret messages in their writing, deciphered by combining the first letters found in every sentence in a paragraph. For the most part, the messages were simple ones such as "EGM Rules", although rumor has it that the messages sometimes took pot-shots at their competitors and non-favored game companies.Fact|date=November 2007 Even more recently, a picture of a
chimpanzeewith yellow flowers in it's hand has been placed in one photo per issue. When one reader brought this up in a mail section, the editors sarcastically responded that he should "lay off the drugs".
From October 2004 to January 2005 (and including 2004's "Smarch" issue), the magazine included
DVDs with newsstand issues, which gained both positive and negative feedback. Positive feedback was mostly received for having plenty of features and interesting Bonus Material, like a Seanbaby video diary of E3, clips of the top upcoming games, desktop wallpapers, MP3s by game-inspired artists, and exclusive or rare episodes of internet phenom " Red vs. Blue", but negative feedback was also received for increasing the price of newsstand issues including the DVDs, as well as not being available with subscriber issues (this last point is also a consistent complaint about the mini-posters, although posters have been included with subscriptions in recent years).
EGM is also notorious for its
April Fool'spranks, with many readers sending threatening letters to "EGM". Their most popular jokes have included:
*1992: The legendary
Sheng Longcode for " Street Fighter II" in which players had to complete near-impossible tasks all the way through the final boss, M. Bison: Once there, the player could neither touch nor be touched by the boss for ten rounds, but at the end of this period the character Sheng Long would jump into the screen, destroy M. Bison, then challenge the player, this is EGM's first (and possibly most infamous) prank.
*1998: "All Bonds" cheat in "
*2000: The announcement of the new game system Giga
Intellivisionfrom Mattel, complete with "Sense Heightening Interactive Technology" (S-H-I-T), which was supposedly more powerful than the then-upcoming PlayStation 2's Emotion Engine, complete with the tagline, "Feel it, Sony". Because the same issue came with the announcement of the mature-rated Conker's Bad Fur Dayfrom Nintendo, additional controversy arose because many people believed that the Conker announcement was, in fact, the joke.
*2001: Issue included a small article in which the writers announced that Sega had found a warehouse full of old Sega Neptunes and was selling them on a website. The site referenced redirected to an online shopping site, where internet users were greeted by an "April Fools!" after adding the product to the cart.
Super Smash Bros. Melee" 's "Unlock Sonic and Tails" code, where players had to defeat 20 opponents in Cruel Melee mode. The prank went widely believed for months, to a point where rival magazine " Nintendo Power" had to create a blurb to try and explain the origin of the rumor. It also ended in retribution for readers who wanted their favorite Segacharacters duking it out with Nintendo's characters, which would seem like a play on their rivalry back in the 1990s. After the prank was revealed, "EGM" held a contest where those who sent in videos of their Cruel Melee battles with over 20 KOs would win a copy of "Sonic Adventure 2 Battle." In the November 2006 issue (#209), an article named "the BIG ones" suggests Sonic will reappear as a playable character in " Super Smash Bros. Brawl", which turned out to be true.Fact|date=February 2007
*2003: The topless cheat for "
Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball" in which you were supposed to go to a career mode and reset the game while at the same play no beach volley ball and return to the menu and in the suit-selection menu there would be a topless feature, this confused many people, some attempted it and sent several angry letters.
*2004: A small false preview for a
The Lord of the RingsKart-Racer that EGM claimed for it to be one of the first games for the PSP. There was a small clue in the fake game-screen, it showed the lap times that the total time would add up to 4/1/04 subliminally saying April Fools Day.
*2005: EGM told readers if they preordered the upcoming realistic-looking Legend of Zelda game (which would eventually be called ') they would receive a copy of ' with updated graphics equal to those of the new game, accompanied by a screenshot. Ironically, Anime Insider believed the prank and published a small article telling people about the supposed preorder deal in the video game section, and many readers of the magazine were left infuriated that they had asked game stores about it only to get a puzzled look in return.
*2006: A report stating that Apple was making a portable gaming device called the
iGame, as well as an idea that Apple will sell games for it. However, Apple now sells games for the iPodas part of the iTunes Music Store, which eventually did prove some of the article true.
*2007: A preview for "Mushroom Kingdom Hearts", a new game in the "Kingdom Hearts" series, exclusive to the
Wiiand the third installment into the Kingdom Hearts Series (fourth if the side-story "" is to be counted). The game would star numerous Disney characters as well as exactly 41 characters from Nintendo properties such as Mario, who would be a playable character.
*2008: A preview for "
The Greatest 200 Videogames of Their Time
As a celebration of their 200th printed issue, "Electronic Gaming Monthly" released their list of "The Greatest 200 Videogames of Their Time." They ranked the games based on how much of an impact the titles originally had on arcade or consoles, rather than a compilation of games based upon how well they hold up today.
Super Mario Bros." topped the list; among the 200 games are ten starring Mario, including four titles in the top twenty. " Pac-Man" followed at number two, with " Street Fighter II", " Tetris", and " The Legend of Zelda" completing the top five. Only three games from the 2000sare featured in the top forty. The games are: " Grand Theft Auto III" at number nine, "" at number 18, and " Phantasy Star Online" at number 21.
"EGM"'s review scale is based on a letter grade system in which each game receives a grade that indicates the quality of the game. Games are currently reviewed by a team of three members (originally four until the year 2000) out of a pool of editors who are known as "The Review Crew." They each assign a grade to the game and write a few paragraphs about their opinion of the game. The magazine makes a strong stance that a grade of C is average. Towards the top of the scale, awards are given to games that average an B- or higher from the three individual grade: "Silver" awards for games averaging a grade of B- to B+; "Gold" awards for games averaging a grade of A- or A; and "Platinum" awards for games with three A+ grades. (This award has not yet been given under the revamped system). The current letter grade system has replaced a long-standing 0-10 scale as of the April 2008 issue.
In addition, they give the game (or multiple games in the event of a tie, as with "" for Xbox and "
NCAA Football 2006") with the highest average score for that issue a "Game of the Month" award. If a "Game of the Month" title receives a port to another console, that version will be disqualified from that month's award, such as with " Resident Evil 4", which won the award for the Nintendo GameCube version and subsequently received the highest scores for the PlayStation 2 port months later, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, which won the Platinum award for two separate versions of the game. Oddly enough, this rule should have disqualified the Xbox version of "San Andreas" from tying "NCAA Football 2006" in the August 2005 issue, as the PlayStation 2 version had tied " Halo 2" for the award in the Holiday 2004 issue.
In 2002, "EGM" has also begun giving games that earned unanimously bad scores a "Shame of the Month" award. As there isn't always such a game in each issue, this award is only given out when a game qualifies.
Originally, a team of four editors reviewed all the games. This process was eventually dropped in favor of a system that added more reviewers to the staff so that no one person reviewed all the games for the month.
Though the scores range from 0-10 (on the previous numerical scale), the only games that the magazine gave a zero to so far were "
Mortal Kombat Advance", " The Guy Game", and " Ping Pals".
There have been many Silver and Gold awards given at "EGM" over the years but the prestigious "Platinum" award has been rarely given. To date, "EGM" only has a recorded 14 Platinum-worthy games (again, not including games in the era when games scoring 9.0 or up were given the same-named award)-- Japanese gaming publication "Famitsu" and British gaming magazine "Edge" are some of the few magazines that have given fewer games 'perfect' scores. These games in chronological order of when they were reviewed are as follows:
Metal Gear Solid" (1998, PlayStation)
* "" (1998, Nintendo 64)
Soul Calibur" (1999, Sega Dreamcast)
Gran Turismo 2" (1999, PlayStation)
* "" (2000, Nintendo 64)
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2" (2000, PlayStation, Sega Dreamcast)*
* "" (2001, PlayStation 2)
* "" (2001, Xbox)
* "" (2002, PlayStation 2)
Metroid Prime" (2002, Nintendo GameCube)
Halo 2" (2004, Xbox) **
* "" (2004, PlayStation 2) **
* "" (2006, Wii)
Bioshock" (2007, Xbox 360)
"*" "Both the PS and DC versions of "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2" earned 10-averages but are treated as one game in "EGM"'s records as the Dreamcast version was only reviewed by a single reviewer whereas the PlayStation game was handled by the standard team of 3"
"**" "Halo 2" and "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" were both given the commendation in the same issue (December 2004), receiving the distinction of being the only two Platinum-rated games reviewed in the same issue."
Game of the Year
The magazine also has its Game of the Year (along with other standard awards such as Game of the Year in a given genre or a certain console or technical accomplishments), which are usually announced in the March issue. Game of the Year winners since the magazine's inception are:
*1989 - "
Ghouls n Ghosts" (Sega Genesis)
*1990 - "
Strider" (Sega Genesis)
*1991 - "Sonic The Hedgehog" (Sega Genesis)
*1992 - "
Street Fighter II" (Super NES)
*1993 - "
Samurai Shodown" (Neo Geo)
*1994 - "
Donkey Kong Country" (Super NES)
*1995 - "
Twisted Metal" ( PlayStation)
*1996 - "
Super Mario 64" ( Nintendo 64)
*1997 - "
GoldenEye 007" ( Nintendo 64)
*1998 - "" (
*1999 - "
Soul Calibur" ( Dreamcast)
*2000 - "
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2" ( PlayStation, Dreamcast)
*2001 - "" (
*2002 - "
Metroid Prime" (GameCube)
*2003 - "" (
PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube)
*2004 - "
Halo 2" ( Xbox)
*2005 - "
Resident Evil 4" (GameCube, PS2)
*2006 - "" (
*2007 - "
Bioshock" ( Xbox 360, PC)
[http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/EGM_en_espa%C3%B1ol EGM en Español] was released in
Mexicoin November 2002. It is published by Editorial Televisa and is edited by a different staff. Sometimes the content is more focused to the Latin American gaming crowd (e.g. soccer games have more attention than NASCARor American footballgames), as well as the humor and other features. Sometimes it features jokes among the Mexican community (much of this is credited to Daniel Avilés, former managing editor, who expands his particular humour on his [http://press-start.vg/densho blog] and podcast) and sometimes supports the production with a poster. Adrián Carbajal “Carqui”, with a long experience in Mexican gaming magazines (prior to [http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/EGM_en_espa%C3%B1ol EGM en Español] , he worked in now competitor publications "Club Nintendo" and "Atomix"), is the editor-in-chief since issue #1. There is a weekly official podcast called "Playtime!" hosted by the most of the editorial staff.
"EGM" was also published in
Brazilas "EGM Brasil" by Conrad Editorasince 2003. Since the last quarter of 2005, "EGM Brasil" is being published by [http://www.futurocomunicacao.com.br Futuro Comunicação] , a new company founded by André Forastieri, one of Conrad Editora's former owners.The magazine has gathered a strong user base along the years, featuring (or having featured) well-known gaming journalists such as Pablo Miyazawa, Eduardo Trivella, Fabio Santana, Eric Araki, Théo Azevedo, Renato Viliegas, Odair Braz Junior, Orlando Ortiz, Ronaldo Testa, Rodrigo Guerra, Ronny Marinoto, Ricardo Farah and many others in its staff.
In 2006 three other editions of "EGM" were published around the world. "EGM
Thailand" is published by Future Gamer Company Ltd., "EGM Singapore" is published by MediaCorp Publishing and "EGM Turkey" is published by Merkez Dergi.
EGM online, EGM Live*, and 1UP FM
In 1995, EGM's first online website was nuke.com. It merged with gamespot.com in 1996 after Ziff-Davis purchased Sendai Media Group. In 2003, EGM created their current website, "
1UP.com", and the gamespot.com brand was shunted to the CNET Networks.
EGM Live* is a podcast, done every Monday by the editors (usually 4 at a time) of EGM on 1Up.com, usually moderated by managing editor Jennifer Tsao or reviews editor Greg Ford. The usual crew of the podcast includes
Shane Bettenhausen, Bryan "Fragile EAgle" Intihar, Crispin Boyer, Michael Donahoe(sometimes), and Dan Hsuwith Mike Cruz manning the soundboards. The podcast is available for download at 1up.comor the iTunesmusic store.
Much like other podcasts on the 1up network, the program can include discussion of various message board topics, an analysis of new games being reviewed, a mailbag section, a deeper look into the most recent issue of the magazine, or interviews with special guests such as Marcus Henderson and Ted Lange from
Harmonixand Cliff Bleszinskifrom Epic Games.
EGM Live* also has a weekly trivia contest, wherein a randomly selected 1UP.com member who answered their question. There are generally three types of questions: an expository (eg., "Describe the ending of the arcade edition of "
Golden Axe"), straight trivia question (eg., "At what specific time period did current editor-in-chief Dan Hsu take time off from EGM [to work at gaming site gamers.com] ?"), and an essay question in which the editors selling the top 3 answers and debate on air as to who gets the prize (eg., "What would you like in a future edition of " Ratchet and Clank"?").
The "*" at the end of the name is to de-note that the podcast is not actually "live" in the general media sense. This has become a bit of an in-joke amongst those behind the podcast. It has since been change to 1UPFM, another weekly Monday podcast where 1UP crew members Nick Suttner and Phil Kolar host the show, along with other 1up members.The FM stands for "Feature Mondays", but was jokingly referred to as "Fuck Mondays" on the first podcast.
Segments include Shelf Life, where they talk about the week's releases, Top 5, where they pick a subject and make a top five list of it, Backlog, where a few editors play a game for a month they're ashamed they haven't finished, Insert Disk, where they introduce a new staff member, and the Monday Feature (backwards, FM) where they have a discussion about a news story for the week. They also have a mailbag for people to write in to the podcast, similar to EGM Live*.
The podcast (and former podcast) is usually recorded on Fridays and released Mondays or Tuesdays. The shows have run anywhere between 30 minutes and two hours (the latter usually absent 1UP podcast producer Andrew Pfister's restraining influence).
List of 1UPFM Backlogs
Shadow of the Colossus"
In its February 2004 issue, EGM featured an article about the
PlayStation 2game "". The article featured a large picture of what appeared to be Russian soldiers holding copies of the game. In reality, the image had been edited.Fact|date=November 2007 The original picture showed a line of Russian Honor Guards at a memorial service, holding framed photographs of their fallen comrades during the ongoing operations in Chechnya.Fact|date=November 2007 Many readers, including military veterans, found the image to be in poor taste and an insult to anyone who has served in the military. Protests began springing up on internet forums and an online petition was started asking for a formal apology.Fact|date=November 2007 When a scan of the offending image was posted on a forum, Ziff Davisresponded by sending a notice to forum claiming that the scan was "an infringement of Ziff Davis' copyright." This action simply added fuel to the fire, forcing Editor-in-chief Dan Hsu to issue a personal apology, which was posted on EGM's website and sent to individual forums. The apology also ran in the April 2004 issue of EGM. The apology stated that the image was altered without knowing its original context. Some readers were doubtful of this claim, given the seemingly obvious black bands on the photographs of the dead soldiers.
Editor-in-chief Dan Hsu created a controversy in issue #199, where he ran an editorial which accused several of his competitors of selling article opportunities in exchange for advertising contracts. Much of the controversy arose from the fact that he did not give the names of any of the perpetrators, leading some to believe it was all a publicity stunt; although admittedly, much more controversy would have occurred had the editor named names. However, if true, the practice is actually unfortunately not so rare in the industry: a recent podcast has revealed that certain publishers only allow a publication to get the exclusive first review of a game if the game was only guaranteed to receive a particular score. Furthermore, it is quite well-known that upon the release of PC game
Doom 3, iD Software/ Activisionwas known to fly reviewers in to their own offices with top computers to review the game, as well as an optimal environment (i.e., with drinks and snacks). Additionally, in the early to mid-90s, games company Acclaim Entertainmentwas also known to threaten to pull advertising after bad reviews of their games (particularly the game adaptation of the movie Total Recall) were printed in magazines. The November 2007 firing of Jeff Gerstmannfrom Gamespotwhich is rumored to be because of a poor review for the game , that advertised heavily on the site has resulted in many people looking at Hsu's editorial and noting that Gamespot is not one of the sites [http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=6228583&publicUserId=5379799 mentioned] at the bottom as not taking money for reviews.
Another minor controversy began in regards to issue #201, dated March, 2006. Pages 60 and 61 contained a large image of a man sitting on a toilet, pants around his ankles, with his hands on his crotch, which was covered by a magazine featuring characters from the game "
Rumble Roses XX". The simulated image of a man masturbatingupset many people and so the magazine received many complaints for this graphic, not only because some thought it was in poor taste, but primarily because the issue's cover featured Disneycharacters Goofy and Donald, as well as Square Enix's character, Sora (all from " Kingdom Hearts II"). Some parents felt they could easily be fooled into buying the magazine for their children because of the family-friendly characters and a lack of warning of the magazine's content. EGM defended itself by claiming that these were using the magazine as a "substitute parent" and defiantly showed the picture a second time.
EGM April Fools' jokes
* [http://egm.1up.com EGM on 1UP.com] -– Official Website
* [http://www.press-start.vg "EGM México"]
* [http://www.egmbrasil.com.br/ "EGM Brasil"]
* [http://www.egmmag.com.tr "EGM Turkey"]
* [http://egmlive.1up.com "EGM Live*"]
* [http://egm.1up.com/do/feature?cId=3147448&did=2 The greatest 200 videogames of their time]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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