There was a time where I’d buy just about any gaming related magazine off the store shelves, but these days I don’t buy any. The last one that I read with any sort of regularity was Games For Windows magazine, but that died some time ago. Before that, PC Gamer was my mag of choice.
I can actually remember picking up the very first issue of PC Gamer, complete with a demo of Theme Park on a floppy disk. For several years after that, I purchased and read every single issue. I tried a subscription once but that was a horrible experience. My issues would show up a solid month or two late. The following months issue would already be on store shelves before I got my subscription issue for the previous month. I could understand that if I lived in the North Pole, but I’m in the middle of Canada for crying out loud (insert North Pole joke here). Needless to say, I didn’t renew and just continued to purchase them off the shelf.
If I had to guess, I’d say it was about five or six years ago when I stopped buying them every month. I’d still get the occasional issue here or there, but it was mostly restricted to when I was really bored and wanted something simple to read or when I was traveling somewhere.
I would suggest that it was around the time when Greg Vederman left as editor in chief that the quality of the writing took a steep nosedive. Just a few months ago I picked up an issue on a whim and it was littered with potty jokes and all manner of sophomoric “humour”. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good poop joke just as much as anybody, but it was pretty bad. The layout was also terrible, using some ridiculous font which made the whole magazine look completely low budget and ugly. Finally, the articles themselves were poorly written and extremely short, presumably to make room for all the pretty screen shots.
The point of all this is to say that I’m not surprised to notice that PC Gamer has all but disappeared from all the stores I normally would have bought it from here. It’s been about two months since I’ve seen one on a shelf in the grocery store I shop at, the local 7-11, or even the bookstores. It all feels eerily similar to the situation leading up to the close of Games For Windows magazine. I checked the PC Gamer website and it appears as though the magazine is still operating, having just announced another new editor in chief, but from where I am it looks as though it’s going belly up. Any word?