There is a new gaming magazine on the block and it is coming from a fairly unlikely source… Best Buy. Yes, Best Buy has decided to create their own “official” game magazine. It is kind of strange if you ask me as I believe Gamestop discontinued their game magazine not too long ago, and I think in general many of the gaming magazines are starting to die out. So why exactly would they bother creating something in a dieing format? I am not entirely sure, but maybe it sort of mirrors the idea of Best Buy in the first place as a lot I know have stopped shopping there in favor of the internet anyway.
Still, I do like the concept of magazines. I like actually paging through them, finding things I’ve not heard of before, and just perusing. There is something to it that the internet just can’t copy at all.
So when Best Buy decided to promote the new magazine by sending free copies of their first issue to their little gamer club members, I thought it was worth looking at. Because realistically, we do need more gaming magazines in this industry and too many recently have been going away. So it is nice that one is making a stab at it.
The first thing that struck me by the magazine was the lack of articles. @Gamer’s basic setup is like any other game magazine, there is a news section, reviews, and previews. There are no editorials or in depth articles or anything of the sort. About the closest you get to this is some letters to the editor which weren’t worth much except for the hilarious question of “I buy a magazine?” The news section is only a few pages, and half of the news on the pages seemed no more than previews.
The previews and the reviews were oddly very similar to each other. Each has a 4-5 paragraph description of the game, a section about what is good and what is bad and release information. The main difference is that the reviews have a section that details what is different between each platform and a score for the game. The reviews in particular are fairly disappointing because they don’t actually give opinions on the game, don’t tell you the good points or the bad points of the game really, don’t really speak much about the game except the company line.
The @Gamer in general seems more like an advertising platform than anything else. They basically take what the company gives them, put it on the pages, and then give what very well may be the average internet score for the games. They don’t give tips, articles, news, or in depth reviews of games.
@Gamer has a cover price of $5.99 per magazine and I gotta say this is quite a rip off. They advertise $145 in coupons within the issue, and this very well may be the only point of actually getting a copy for yourself. But even so you would need to plan on buying one of the games. I could totally see paging through a copy of the magazine, seeing a game you plan on buying with a $20 off coupon and then buying the magazine to save $15 off the game. There were only 8 coupons in this particular issue though and none of them interested me.
I don’t see any particular reason why anyone would want a copy of this magazine let alone a subscription. Too bad this was another blown opportunity. Considering the funding that Best Buy could give it, this could have been a really good opportunity.