Electronic Gaming Monthly

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Electronic Gaming Monthly
EGM logo 5th revision.png
Egm cover new pub.png
Spring 2010 cover, featuring Mass Effect 2
EditorSteve Harris
Categories Video game journalism
PublisherEGM Media, LLC
FounderSteve Harris
Year founded1988
First issueMarch 31, 1989;30 years ago (1989-03-31)
CountryUnited States
Based in Lombard, Illinois
Language English
Website www.egmnow.com
ISSN 1058-918X

Electronic Gaming Monthly (often abbreviated to EGM) is a monthly American video game magazine. [1] [2] [3] It offers video game news, coverage of industry events, interviews with gaming figures, editorial content, and product reviews.

Video game journalism is a branch of journalism concerned with the reporting and discussion of video games, typically based on a core "reveal–preview–review" cycle. There has been recent growth in online publications and blogs.



The magazine was founded in 1988 as U.S. National Video Game Team's Electronic Gaming Monthly under Sendai Publications. [4] [5] In 1994, EGM spun off EGM² , which focused on expanded cheats and tricks (i.e., with maps and guides). It eventually became Expert Gamer and finally the defunct GameNOW . After 83 issues (up to June 1996), EGM switched from Sendai Publishing to Ziff Davis publisher. [6] Until January 2009, EGM only covered gaming on console hardware and software.

U.S. National Video Game Team

The U.S. National Video Game Team (USNVGT) was founded in July, 1983 in Ottumwa, Iowa, United States by Walter Day and Jim Riley as part of the Electronic Circus tour, with Steve Sanders as the first captain. After the Circus folded, Day re-established the team with himself as the captain, taking the team on a bus tour. The team challenged the players of arcades across the country and attempted to challenge other countries through visits to foreign embassies. In the years that followed the team ran numerous competitive contests.

Expert Gamer was a United States-based video game magazine that was published by Ziff Davis from August 1998 to October 2001. There are 39 issues of Expert Gamer in total. The bulk of XG's content was video game strategy guides and cheat codes. There were no reviews and only occasional light-hearted features.


GameNOW was a United States-based video game magazine that was published by Ziff-Davis from November 2001 to January 2004. A total of 27 issues were published. In addition to video game consoles like PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, and Game Boy Advance, GameNOW also covered games for personal computers.

In 2002, the magazine's subscription increased by more than 25 percent. [7]

The magazine was discontinued by Ziff Davis in January 2009, following the sale of 1UP.com to UGO Networks. [8] The magazine's February 2009 issue was already completed, but was not published. [9]

<i>1UP.com</i> American entertainment website

1UP.com is an American entertainment website that focused on video games. Launched in 2003, 1UP.com provided its own original features, news stories, game reviews, and video interviews, and also featured comprehensive PC-focused content. Like a print magazine, 1UP.com also hosted special week-long "online cover stories" that presented each day a new in-depth feature story, interview with the developers, game screenshot gallery, game video footage, and/or video of the game studio and creators.

UGO Networks

UGO Entertainment, Inc. was a website that provided coverage of online media in entertainment, targeting males aged 18–34. The company was based in New York, New York, United States.

In May 2009, EGM founder Steve Harris purchased the magazine and its assets from Ziff Davis. [10] The magazine was relaunched in April 2010 by Harris' new company EGM Media, LLC, widening its coverage to the PC and mobile gaming markets. [11] [12]

Notable contributors to Electronic Gaming Monthly have included Martin Alessi, Ken Williams (as Sushi-X), "Trickman" Terry Minnich, Andrew "Cyber-Boy" Baran, Danyon Carpenter, Marc Camron (later Director of Operations), Mark "Candyman" LeFebvre, Todd Rogers, Mike Weigand a.k.a. Major Mike (now Managing Editor at GamePro Magazine), Al Manuel, Howard Grossman, Arcade Editor Mark "Mo" Hain, Mike "Virus" Vallas, Jason Streetz, Ken Badziak, Scott Augustyn, Chris Johnston, Che Chou, Dave Ruchala, Crispin Boyer, Greg Sewart, Jeanne Trais, Jennifer Tsao, artist Jeremy Norm Scott, Shawn "Shawnimal" Smith, West Coast Editor Kelly Rickards, Kraig Kujawa, Dean Hager, Jeremy Parish, and Mark Macdonald (who later went on to become director of Gamevideos.com before leaving Ziff-Davis). Writers who also served stints as editor-in chief include Ed Semrad, Joe Funk, John Davison, James Mielke, [13] artist Jeremy "Norm" Scott, and Seanbaby. In addition, writers of EGM's various sister publications – including GameNow, Computer Gaming World/Games for Windows: The Official Magazine, Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine – would regularly contribute to EGM, and vice versa.

Jeremy "Norm" Scott is the creator of the comic strip Hsu and Chan that appears in the video game magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly. In addition to the monthly strip, Hsu and Chan also have their own comic book published by Slave Labor Graphics. In 2006, Jeremy started a daily Hsu and Chan webcomic.

Seanbaby American writer

Sean Patrick Reiley, better known as Seanbaby, is an American writer, video-game designer and martial arts enthusiast best known for his comedy website and frequent contributions to video game media outlets Electronic Gaming Monthly and 1UP.com, as well as the humor website Cracked.com.

<i>Computer Gaming World</i> American video game magazine

Computer Gaming World (CGW) was an American computer game magazine published between 1981 and 2006.

The magazine is known for making April Fools jokes. [14] Its April 1992 issue was the source of the Sheng Long hoax in Street Fighter II: The World Warrior . [15] [16]

Magazine structure

2nd revision of the EGM logo Electronic Gaming Monthly EGM 2nd Logo.png
2nd revision of the EGM logo

The magazine includes the following sections:

The Review Crew

EGM's current review scale is based on a letter grade system in which each game receives a grade based on its perceived quality. Games are reviewed by one member (originally a team of four until the year 2000, then a team of three, and finally knocked down to one in 2008), except for "the big games", which were reviewed by one of a pool of editors 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 a 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. The current letter grade system replaced a long-standing 0–10 scale in the April 2008 issue. In that system, Silver went to a game with an average rating from 8 to 9, Gold to a game reviewed at 9 to 10, and Platinum to a game that received nothing but 10 ratings. Until 1998, as a matter of editorial policy, the reviewers rarely gave scores of 10, and never gave a Platinum Award. That policy changed when the reviewers gave Metal Gear Solid four 10 ratings in 1998, with an editorial announcing the shift.

In addition, they gave the game (or multiple games in the event of a tie, as with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas 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 is 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.

In 2002, EGM began giving games that earned unanimously bad scores a "Shame of the Month" award. As there is not 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 ranged from 0–10 on the previous numerical scale, the score of zero was almost never utilized, with exceptions being Mortal Kombat Advance , The Guy Game , and Ping Pals .

International expansion

EGM en Español was released in Mexico in November 2002. It was published by Editorial Televisa and is edited by a different staff. Sometimes the content was more focused to the Latin American gaming crowd (e.g. soccer games were paid more attention than NASCAR or American football games), as well as the humor and other features. Sometimes it featured jokes among the Mexican community (much of this is credited to Daniel Avilés, former managing editor, who expands his particular humour on his blog and podcast) and sometimes supported the production with a poster. Adrián Carbajal “Carqui”, with a long experience in Mexican gaming magazines (prior to EGM en Español, he worked in now competitor publications Club Nintendo and Atomix), was the editor-in-chief through the entire run. There was a weekly official podcast called "Playtime!" hosted by most of the editorial staff. EGM en Español has been cancelled as of December 2008 due to Ziff Davis Media's economical problems.

EGM was also published in Brazil as EGM Brasil by Conrad Editora since April 2002. Since the last quarter of 2005, EGM Brasil was being published by Futuro Comunicação. With the suspension of U.S. sales of the EGM, the Brazilian EGM was rebranded to EGW (Entertainment + Game World).

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.

Internet presence

In 1995, EGM's first online website was nuke.com. It merged with GameSpot in 1996 after Ziff-Davis purchased Sendai Media Group. In 2003, EGM created a new website, 1UP.com , after GameSpot was sold to CNET Networks. Since the magazine's relaunch in 2010, the affiliated website has been egmnow.com

EGM Live* was a podcast hosted every Monday by the editors of EGM on 1UP.com. The podcast was available for download at 1UP.com or the iTunes music store. Much like other podcasts on the 1UP network, the program could 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 Harmonix and Cliff Bleszinski from Epic Games. The "*" at the end of the name was to denote that the podcast was not actually "live" in the general media sense. It was later replaced by 1UPFM, another weekly Monday podcast where 1UP crew members Nick Suttner and Phil Kollar hosted the show, along with other 1UP members.


Cover of the first issue of EGM2 (July 1994): Super Street Fighter II vs. Mortal Kombat II
First issueJuly 1994;24 years ago (1994-07)
Final issueJuly 1998 (1998-07)

EGM2 (stylized as EGM2) is a video game magazine published by Sendai Publishing from July 1994 to July 1998 as a spin-off of Electronic Gaming Monthly. Unlike EGM, however, EGM2 lacked a reviews section and had a greater emphasis on import games.

Starting in August 1998, EGM2 became Expert Gamer (often abbreviated as XG). Although with a different name, XG continued EGM2's numbering system. XG lasted for 39 issues until October 2001 (with the last issue being XG #88).


The first issue of EGM2 was in July 1994. The magazine lasted 49 issues with the last issue under the original name coming out in July 1998. The change of name prompted a cleaner looking redesign although the content of the magazine would remain the same.


In a 2014 retrospective, Polygon said "For two decades, EGM maintained a focal position in the games media landscape. In the time before the internet, the periodical was a vital conduit for American readers interested in the hobby.". [17]

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