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Gamepro magazine, May 2010 issue cover: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction
|Vice President, Content||Julian Rignall|
|Categories||Video game journalism|
|First issue||Magazine: April 1989|
|Final issue||Magazine: Winter 2011|
|Based in||Oakland, California|
GamePro was an American multiplatform video game magazine media company that published online and print content covering the video game industry, video game hardware and video game software. The magazine featured content on various video game consoles, PC computers and mobile devices. Gamepro Media properties included GamePro magazine and their website. The company was also a part subsidiary of the privately held International Data Group (IDG), a media, events and research technology group.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
The video game industry is the economic sector involved in the development, marketing, and monetization of video games. It encompasses dozens of job disciplines and its component parts employ thousands of people worldwide.
International Data Group, Inc. (IDG) is a Chinese-owned media, data and marketing services and venture capital organization. IDG evolved from International Data Corporation (IDC) which was founded in 1964 in Newtonville, Massachusetts, by Patrick Joseph McGovern. IDC provides market research and advisory services and is now a subsidiary of IDG. IDG operates in 97 countries and is headquartered in Boston. IDG's brands include CIO, Computerworld, PCWorld, Macworld, InfoWorld, and JavaWorld. IDG produces these and its other publications on a national level in each country.
Originally published in 1989, GamePro magazine provided feature articles, news, previews and reviews on various video games, video game hardware and the entertainment video gaming industry. The magazine was published monthly (most recently from its headquarters in Oakland, California) with October 2011 being its last issue, after over 22 years of publication. GamePro's February 2010 issue introduced a redesigned layout and a new editorial direction focused on the people and culture of its gaming.
Oakland is the largest city and the county seat of Alameda County, California, United States. A major West Coast port city, Oakland is the largest city in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, the third largest city overall in the San Francisco Bay Area, the eighth most populated city in California, and the 45th largest city in the United States. With a population of 432,897 as of 2019, it serves as a trade center for the San Francisco Bay Area; its Port of Oakland is the busiest port in the San Francisco Bay, the entirety of Northern California, and the fifth busiest in the United States of America. An act to incorporate the city was passed on May 4, 1852, and incorporation was later approved on March 25, 1854, which officially made Oakland a city. Oakland is a charter city.
GamePro.com was officially launched in 1998. Updated daily, the website’s content included feature articles, news, previews, reviews, screenshots and videos covering video games, video game hardware and the entertainment gaming industry. The website also included user content such as forums, reviews and blogs. In January 2010, the website was redesigned to reflect the same new editorial changes being made in the print magazine.The website was based at Gamepro's headquarters in San Francisco from 1998–2002 and then in Oakland, California from 2002–11 . Gamepro.com also had international variants that have now outlasted their parent publication in countries such as Germany, and France.
San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is a city in, and the cultural, commercial, and financial center of, Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th-most populous city in the United States, and the fourth-most populous in California, with 883,305 residents as of 2018. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second-most densely populated large US city, and the fifth-most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is also part of the fifth-most populous primary statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area.
Gamepro was first established in late 1988 by Patrick Ferrell, his sister-in-law Leeanne McDermott, and the husband-wife design team of Michael and Lynne Kavish. They worked out of their houses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area before leasing their first office in Redwood City, California at the end of 1989.Lacking the cashflow to be able to sustain growth after publishing the first issue, the founding management team sought a major publisher and in 1989 found one with IDG Peterborough, a New Hampshire-based division of the global giant IDG. Led by a merger and acquisition team comprising IDG Peterborough President Roger Murphy and two other executives, Jim McBrian and Roger Strukhoff, the magazine was acquired, then a few months later spun off as an independent business unit of IDG, under the leadership of Ferrell as president/CEO. The later addition of John Rousseau as publisher and editor-in-chief Wes Nihei, as well as renowned artist Francis Mao, established Gamepro as a large, profitable magazine worldwide publication. Francis Mao, acting in his role as art director for the nascent GamePro, contracted game illustrator Marc Ericksen to create the premiere cover for the first addition of the magazine. Ericksen would go on to produce five of the first ten covers for GamePro, eventually creating eight in total, and would continue a secondary role creating a number of the double page spreads for the very popular monthly Pro Tips section.
The San Francisco Bay Area is a populous region surrounding the San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun Bay estuaries in the northern part of the U.S. state of California. Although the exact boundaries of the region vary depending on the source, the Bay Area is defined by the Association of Bay Area Governments to include the nine counties that border the aforementioned estuaries: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, and San Francisco. Other sources may exclude parts of or even entire counties, or expand the definition to include neighboring counties that don't border the bay such as San Benito, San Joaquin, and Santa Cruz.
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.
Over the years, the Gamepro offices have moved from Redwood City (1989–1991) to San Mateo (1991-1998) to San Francisco (1998-2002) and lastly Oakland. In 1993, the company was renamed from Gamepro Inc. to Infotainment World in reflection of its growing and diverse publication lines.
San Mateo is a city in San Mateo County, California, approximately 20 miles (32 km) south of San Francisco, and 31 miles (50 km) northwest of San Jose. San Mateo had an estimated 2017 population of 104,748.
The magazine was known for its editors using comic book-like avatars and monikers when reviewing games. As of January 2004, however, Gamepro ceased to use the avatars due to a change in the overall design and layout of the magazine. Meanwhile, editorial voices carried over to the community on its online sister publication, www.gamepro.com.
A comic book or comicbook, also called comic magazine or simply comic, is a publication that consists of comics art in the form of sequential juxtaposed panels that represent individual scenes. Panels are often accompanied by descriptive prose and written narrative, usually, dialog contained in word balloons emblematic of the comics art form. Although comics has some origins in 18th century Japan, comic books were first popularized in the United States and the United Kingdom during the 1930s. The first modern comic book, Famous Funnies, was released in the U.S. in 1933 and was a reprinting of earlier newspaper humor comic strips, which had established many of the story-telling devices used in comics. The term comic book derives from American comic books once being a compilation of comic strips of a humorous tone; however, this practice was replaced by featuring stories of all genres, usually not humorous in tone.
In computing, an avatar is the graphical representation of the user or the user's alter ego or character. An icon or figure representing a particular person in a video game, Internet forum, etc. It may take either a three-dimensional form, as in games or virtual worlds, or a two-dimensional form as an icon in Internet forums and other online communities. Avatar images have also been referred to as "picons" in the past, though the usage of this term is uncommon now. It can also refer to a text construct found on early systems such as MUDs. The term "avatar" can also refer to the personality connected with the screen name, or handle, of an Internet user.
Gamepro was also most widely famous for its ProTips, small pieces of gameplay tips and advice depicted with game screenshot captions. It also features a special corner section known as Code Vault (formerly C.S.A.T. Pro), where secret codes are all posted. These particular features have since gradually vanished. Code Vault was also published in print format and sold as a quarterly cheats and strategy magazine on newsstands.
There was also a TV show called GamePro TV . The show was hosted by J. D. Roth and Brennan Howard. The show was nationally syndicated for one year, then moved to cable (USA and Sci-Fi) for a second year.
In 1993, Patrick Ferrell sent Debra Vernon, VP of marketing, to a meeting between the games industry and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Realizing an opportunity, the team at the now-entitled Infotainment World launched E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo. The industry backed E3 and Ferrell partnered with the IDSA to produce the event. It was one of the biggest trade show launches in history.
Early in its lifespan, the magazine also included comic book pages about the adventures of a superhero named Gamepro who was a video game player from the real world brought into a dimension where video games were real to save it from creatures called the Evil Darklings. In 2003, Joyride Studios produced limited-edition action figures of some of the Gamepro editorial characters.
Gamepro also appeared in several international editions, including France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, Australia, Brazil and Greece. Some of these publications share the North American content, while some others share only the name and logo but do feature different content.
Early in 2006, IDG Entertainment began to change internally and shift operational focus from a "Print to Online" to "Online to Print" publishing mentality. The first steps; build a large online network of web sites and rebuild the editorial team. Enter: George Jones, industry veteran.
In February 2006, Gamepro's online video channel, Games.net, launched a series of video-game related shows. The extensive online programming is geared towards an older and more mature audience.
In August 2006, the Gamepro online team spun off a new cheats site, GamerHelp.com. It was shortly followed by a video game information aggregation site, Games.net, and a dedicated gaming downloads site, GameDownloads.com.
Under the new leadership of George Jones, Gamepro magazine underwent a massive overhaul in the March 2007 issue. While losing some of the more dated elements of the magazine, the new arrangement focused on five main insertions: HD game images, more reviews and previews per issue, www.gamepro.com community showcase, user contributions and insider news. However the German Gamepro website is still run, however this time, by "GameStar" as their partner, as that website have a message at the top of the screen saying "Partner of GameStar" (Note: This is written in German)
In 2009, Gamepro's 20th anniversary coincided with 20-year industry veteran John Davison joining the newly named Gamepro Media team in October 2009 as executive vice president of content.Under Davison's direction, the magazine and website were redesigned in early 2010 with an editorial shift toward focusing on the people and culture of gaming. The redesigned magazine and website were met with an enthusiastic audience response.
In addition to announcing the hire of Davison in October 2009, the company also announced an "aggressive growth plan throughout 2009 and beyond, with numerous online media initiatives to deepen consumer engagement and create new opportunities for advertisers." Plans included partnering with sister company IDG TechNetwork to build a "boutique online network of sites."The result was the introduction of the Gamepro Media Network.
In September 2010, Gamepro Media announced a new alliance with online magazine The Escapist offering marketers joint advertising programs for reaching an unduplicated male audience.The partnership was named the Gamepro Escapist Media Group.
In November 2010, Julian Rignall joined Gamepro Media as its new vice-president of content, replacing John Davison, who resigned in September 2010.
Gamepro ended monthly publication after over 22 years with its October 2011 issue. Shortly after that issue, the magazine changed to Gamepro Quarterly, which was a quarterly publication using higher quality paper stock as well as being larger and thicker than all of the previous standard magazine issues. Gamepro Quarterly hit newsstands within the first half of November 2011.The quarterly endeavor lasted for only one issue before being scrapped. On November 30, it was announced that Gamepro as a magazine and a website would be shutting down on December 5, 2011. Gamepro then became part of the PC World website as a small section of the site covering the latest video games, run by the PC World staff.
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At first, games were rated by five categories: Graphics, Sound, Gameplay, FunFactor, and Challenge. 's reviews became esteemed enough that some games would display their GamePro ratings on their retail boxes.Later the "Challenge" category was dropped and the "Gameplay" category was renamed "Control". The ratings were initially on a scale of 1.0 to 5.0, in increments of 0.5, but a possible 0.5 score was later added. The first game to receive such a score was Battle Arena Toshinden URA for the Sega Saturn. Starting in October 1990, each score was accentuated with a cartoon face (The Gamepro Dude) depicting different expressions for different ratings. The ratings faces remained in use until about 2000. GamePro
After 2000, the category system was eliminated in favor of a single overall rating for each game on a scale of 1.0 to 5.0 stars. A graphic of five stars were shown alongside the written review. The number of stars a game earned was indicated by the number of solid stars (e.g., a game's 4-star rating was represented by showing 4 solid stars and one hollow star). No game ever received less than one star. An Editors' Choice Award was given to a game that earned either 4.5 or 5.0 stars.
GamePro had a "Role-Player's Realm" section dedicated to the coverage and reviews of role-playing video games. In the January 1997 issue, they published a list of "The Top Ten Best RPGs Ever" which consisted of the following games:
Later in 2008, GamePro published another list of "The 26 Best RPGs of the All Time", the top ten of which consisted of the following games:
GamePro is credited with coming up with the concept of "Protip", a short piece of advice as if spoken by an expert usually attached to an image, which was explained by former writer Dan Amrich that as part of their editorial process, they were encouraged to caption the three-to-seven images used in an article with such advice. One purported image from a GamePro review of Doom (1993) had a caption for an image of the game's final boss as "PROTIP: To defeat the Cyberdemon, shoot at it until it dies". The advice, which is common sense and obvious advice for players of first-person shooters like Doom, was made fun of and created a meme of similarly obvious protips added as captions to pictures. However, the image was revealed to be a fake, created as an April's Fool joke by Andrew 'Linguica' Stine, the maintainer of the fansite doomworld.com.
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Every April, as an April Fools' Day prank, Gamepro printed a 2-5 page satirical spoof of the magazine called Lamepro, a parody of Gamepro's own official title. The feature contained humorous game titles and fake news similar to The Onion, though some content, such as ways to get useless game glitches (games getting stuck, reset, or otherwise), was real. It seemed that no one was safe from Lamepro's satirical pen, even themselves. Many other game magazines were the butt of jokes by Lamepro.
Lamepro, however, was not without its own controversy. While some readers saw Lamepro as a chance to have a laugh at themselves and each other, some were offended by the types of jokes that were made. In 2000, a spoof advertisement made reference to a newer (and short-lived) game magazine called Incite: Video Games. At an industry charity auction, Incite bid and won an advertising space within Gamepro; in the spirit of charity, Gamepro agreed to advertise its own competition, even though it could be considered vaguely tasteless (a mailman delivering a copy of Incite to a female's door, with the legend "It must be that time of the month"). However, in the next Lamepro, a fake ad for a magazine named "In spite" was used as bird-cage lining, with the white-background ad saying "You get what you pay for," making reference to the first Incite issue costing 99 cents on newsstands. The following month, Incite responded in their Letters To The Editor section, spouting off in their subwords "Get it, GamePROSE," and many supposed fans of their magazine defending them against the spoof ad. During the remainder of the magazine's 10-month lifespan, Incite ran the "GamePROSE" quote in every issue.
In 2005, another spoof advertisement had a similar effect, and had an even greater controversy. The spoof was on account of gaming supersite IGN. Once again, on a white background, the ad showed a phony game site screenshot, with a logo similar to IGN's, spelling out "GNO.com" and the phrase "You can't spell ignorance without GNO." This sparked a letter to one of IGN's staff members who does a weekly feedback column on the site, who answered humorlessly that Gamepro wasn't mature at all for taking such a shot at IGN. Just a few weeks after the issue hit newsstands, word came out that there was an actual site on the internet that had the address GNO.com. The site was actually an internet publishing site, and Gamepro ran an apology in their letters section a few months later, stating they had no prior knowledge of the site before the issue went to print. Apparently the two sides eventually made peace, as no civil suits were filed.
Lamepro was not included in the April 2007 issue after Gamepro's magazine redesign.
What was called a "sister publication" to GamePro, PC Games, was published by IDG until 1999. 's print edition.It was founded in August 1988, but changed its name to Electronic Entertainment in late 1993 and PC Entertainment in early 1996. The title reverted to PC Games in June 1996. Its PC Games Online website was merged with several other IDG properties, including GamePro Online, to form the IDG Games Network in late 1997. The print version of PC Games was the fourth-largest computer game magazine in the United States during 1998, with a circulation of 169,281. In March 1999, it was purchased and closed by Imagine Publishing; its April 1999 issue was its last. Following this event, Imagine sent former subscribers of PC Games issues of PC Gamer US and PC Accelerator in its place. According to GameDaily, the move came as part of IDG's rebranding effort to lean more heavily on the GamePro name: coverage of computer games was thereafter centralized at PCGamePro.com, and in the "PC GamePro" section of GamePro
Game Informer (GI) is an American monthly video game magazine featuring articles, news, strategy, and reviews of video games and associated consoles. It debuted in August 1991 when FuncoLand started publishing a six-page magazine. The publication is owned and published by GameStop Corp., the parent company of the video game retailer of the same name, who bought FuncoLand in 2000. Due to this, a large amount of promotion is done in-store, which has contributed to the success of the magazine; it is now the 4th most popular magazine by copies circulated. Game Informer has since become an important part of GameStop's customer loyalty program, PowerUp Rewards, which offers subscribers access to special content on the official website.
PC Gamer is a magazine founded in the United Kingdom in 1993 devoted to PC gaming and published monthly by Future plc. The magazine has several regional editions, with the UK and US editions becoming the best selling PC games magazines in their respective countries. The magazine features news on developments in the video game industry, previews of new games, and reviews of the latest popular PC games, along with other features relating to hardware, mods, "classic" games and various other topics.
GameStar is a monthly released PC computer game magazine in Germany. Gamestar is the best sold German language magazine focused on PC gaming and it also hosts the largest videogaming related portal in the German-speaking internet.
PC World, stylized PCWorld, is a global computer magazine published monthly by IDG. Since 2013, it has been an online only publication. It offers advice on various aspects of PCs and related items, the Internet, and other personal technology products and services. In each publication, PC World reviews and tests hardware and software products from a variety of manufacturers, as well as other technology related devices such as still and video cameras, audio devices and televisions.
Electronic Gaming Monthly is a monthly American video game magazine. It offers video game news, coverage of industry events, interviews with gaming figures, editorial content, and product reviews.
Computer Gaming World (CGW) was an American computer game magazine published between 1981 and 2006.
PC Zone, founded in 1993, was the first magazine dedicated to games for IBM-compatible personal computers to be published in the United Kingdom. Earlier PC magazines such as PC Leisure, PC Format and PC Plus had covered games but only as part of a wider remit. The precursor to PC Zone was the award-winning multiformat title Zero.
GMR was a monthly magazine on video games that was published by Ziff-Davis — the publisher of such magazines as PC Magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly, and Computer Gaming World. GMR was launched in February 2003, being sold in only the Electronics Boutique (EB) chain of video game stores. The magazine was unusual among multiconsole magazines in that it covered PC as well as console games, as well as its minimalistic cover art, and, in its last few months, its shift in focus toward promotion of less mainstream titles. It lasted exactly two years, as the 25th and last issue was the February 2005 edition.
PC PowerPlay (PCPP) is Australia's only dedicated PC games magazine. PC PowerPlay focuses on news and reviews for upcoming and newly released games on the Microsoft Windows platform. The magazine also reviews computer hardware for use on gaming computers. The magazine is published by Future Australia.
PC Format was a computer magazine published in the United Kingdom by Future plc, and licensed to other publishers in countries around the world. In publication between 1991 and 2015, it was part of Future plc's Format series of magazines that include articles about games, entertainment and how to get the most out of the platform. Despite the occasional mention of alternatives, PC Format takes the term 'PC' to mean a Microsoft Windows-based computer.
Edge is a multi-format video game magazine published by Future plc in the United Kingdom, which publishes 13 issues of the magazine per year.
Next Generation was a video game magazine that was published by Imagine Media. It was affiliated to and shared editorial with the UK's Edge magazine. Next Generation ran from January 1995 until January 2002. It was published by Jonathan Simpson-Bint and edited by Neil West. Other editors included Chris Charla, Tom Russo, and Blake Fischer.
Hyper is a multi-platform Australian video game magazine and Australia's longest running gaming magazine, published from 1993 to present day.
Official Xbox Magazine is a monthly video game magazine which started in November 2001 around the launch of the original Xbox. A preview issue was released at E3 2001, with another preview issue in November 2001. The magazine was bundled with a disc that included game demos, preview videos and trailers, and other content, such as game or Xbox updates and free gamerpics. The discs also provided the software for the Xbox 360 for backward compatibility of original Xbox games for those without broadband and Xbox Live access. As of January 2012, OXM no longer includes a demo disc. In mid-2014, the U.S. version was merged into the UK version on the website, which lasted only a few months until Future plc announced that it was closing its website along with all the other websites that Future has published, including Edge and Computer and Video Games. In February 2015, OXM and all of Future's video game websites were redirected into GamesRadar. The magazine itself continues to be published in the UK, US and Australia.
LEVEL is a computer and video games magazine originating in the Czech Republic with branches in Romania and Turkey. These three brother divisions occasionally exchange content. In addition to publishing the magazine, LeveL also organizes many yearly gaming competitions for players in two of the countries ; it is one of the biggest Turkish sponsors of international gaming contests.
Julian "Jaz" Rignall is a publishing veteran with experience launching and managing numerous video game magazines and websites. A writer and editor, Rignall has also produced content for corporate websites such as GamePro Media, publisher of GamePro magazine and GamePro.com, marketing collateral and advertising campaigns.
Mega, subtitled "100% pure Sega Mega Drive...", was a monthly magazine, published in the United Kingdom, aimed at users of the Sega Mega Drive and its additions, the Mega-CD and 32X. During its time as one of the main Mega Drive publications, Mega covered the golden age of the Sega Mega Drive from 1992 to 1995. The magazine went through many changes including a re-design in content and layout before being sold to a rival publisher.
Igromania is a Russian video game website and formerly a magazine.
Otaku USA is a bimonthly magazine published by Sovereign Media, which covers various elements of the "otaku" lifestyle from an American perspective. The issues were accompanied by a DVD featuring three anime episodes but as of 2009 the DVD feature was dropped and the double sided poster feature of the Magazine was also dropped starting with the February 2010 issue.
Donya ye Bazi was an Iranian biweekly Persian-language computer games magazine.
... back then the Control category was called Gameplay ...