GameSpite Issue 14 has been cancelled

But don’t worry, it’s not really gone. It’s just been renamed. Same delicious “gently-used games journalism” taste, but now with the piquant nostalgia of print media.

It’s like this: when I was first hired at 1UP, I was excited to have steady work, sure… but I was even more enthusiastic about the fact that I’d be working at the company responsible for the last few American game magazines worth reading. I’d always wanted to be a published author, and working with GMR, EGM, OPM et al. gave me that opportunity. Needless to say, I watched the magazines die one by one with grim disappointment, and when they finally pulled the plug on EGM I was crushed. The death wasn’t a surprise, of course. I don’t know if the gaming press can realistically sustain a healthy print arm anymore, at least not in the U.S. Distribution costs here are too high, the audiences spread too far apart, tastes too diverse. Even in the U.K., Edge only exists because it’s a bragging point, and the Japanese gaming press (minus niche publications like Continue) is basically 300 weekly pages of mild pablum carefully vetted by game publishers’ PR agents.

No one’s going to make a profit printing game magazines in America these days. But at the same time, I really miss print: I miss the substance of physical media, and I miss single looming deadlines, and I miss pages of content without animated roadblock-style Flash ads bordering them. No one’s going to make a profit publishing a game magazine, but I realized we can do it here without a loss, and that’s good enough. I mean, I already make a living doing online game writing for a company that has no interest in taking us into print, and this site already has lots of great content that will eventually be bundled into collected print volumes. So we’ve decided to reverse the process a little and do print first: thus, GameSpite Quarterly, Issue 1.

We’ll still be posting content online, though. In fact, there’ll be some articles that only appear online. But instead of publishing web content first and then compiling it into print, we’re going to do it backward and write for print, then post that material gradually online. We get to write themed content for a set deadline with a really nice end product in-hand, and you get the same writing as usual with the option to grab it all in one go.

I’m using Japan’s Continue magazine as our model, here: every quarter they publish about 150 pages of niche content in a small squarebound format and charge $10 for it. We’ll be doing roughly the same — maybe each issue won’t be quite 150 pages, and maybe it’ll cost a dollar or two more, but the content will definitely be niche, and we’re ultimately sticking fairly close to Continue‘s overall style. I’ve learned a lot from GameSpite Year One, Vol. 1, including “don’t distribute the magazine myself” and “work in smaller increments as opposed to a single 350-page volume.” I’m mailing out the last handful of hardbacks this weekend, finally, and there’s no way I’m subjecting myself (and you) to that mess again. All orders will be purchased through and shipped by, thanks very much. I’ll post all necessary info for interested parties once the issue is ready to go up for sale. And again, just about everything in the magazine will make its way onto the site; the book format is just for people who, like me, still have a fondness for paper.

As you can see, the first issue will be covering Game Boy’s birthday, which admittedly you may be sick of after our 20th anniversary blitzkrieg on Retronauts. I think this will be different, and worth reading, though! But then, I’m biased.

We’re still wrapping up the magazine. Text will be finalized this weekend, and layouts will be completed the week after, and then it’ll take a while to get a proof copy and make sure the issue is distribution-worthy. Orders will be opened only once the magazine is edited and ready to ship — no preorders, no delays. I figure you should have your copy in hand by the time E3 rolls around, and then we’ll get to working on the second issue.

I should probably be spending my free time on weekends doing something besides more of what I do at work, but I can’t help it. I miss print. This little endeavor won’t change anything; it certainly won’t turn the tide of game writing away from traditional media. But the project has been fun to plan and create, and while we’ll probably just sell a few dozen copies, we’re really not in it for the money… just the egoistic satisfaction of seeing our names in print.

Anyway, that’s what we’ve been doing with our free time lately.

Edit: Some clarifications!

This is not a news magazine; it not intended to fill any void left by EGM except the one in my arrogant need to see my name in print. It’s a quarterly journal printing the same kinds of articles that already appear on this site every week. Think… McSweeny’s, but without as much ironic post-hipsterism. Also, I don’t want it to conflict with my day job. To that end, it won’t include any advertising, and I’m not going to be promoting it — it sells what it sells, and if it doesn’t sell much, that’s fine. That’s not why we’re doing this.

We’ll still publish collected volumes of the existing content; I hope to have the next out over the summer, time permitting. And the first book is permanently available if you click the little picture of it in the upper-right corner of the site. See? Right up there.

Edit Again: People seem to be making a bigger deal of this than it actually is (i.e. Kotaku). Nothing’s really changing; this book is nothing more than the collective, weekly-ish game musings that have been posted here over the past two years, but now they’re simply being bundled into print before going online. I’m a little nervous that what is supposed to be a small side project seems to be gathering so much attention.

54 thoughts on “GameSpite Issue 14 has been cancelled

  1. Hi where do I sign to give you money.

    Seriously though, pretty cool idea. Looking forward to my new favorite (only?) print gaming rag.

  2. One thing the boss forgot to mention is that the dimensions will be the same as the paperback version of the first collected edition, so it won’t be EGM sized or anything like that.

    But yeah, this was fun to write for, more so than usual.

  3. If we can get this and Gamespite Vol. II sometime this summer, I’ll be one happy camper.

  4. Well, I guess when you pitch it like you have I can hardly say no. I can still keep coming here and I can get a niche mag? Sounds like something I can dig.

  5. Thank You!!! I will buy this and everyone after. I have no print anymore with EGM gone and I can’t keep up with my RSS reader enough to read everything on my computer.

  6. Awesome. Cannot wait for the the first issue.

    May I ask what company you guys are going through? I’m putting together a print on demand quarterly anthology myself and am flipping back and forth between and myself. Any chance I could find out what GameSpite Quarterly will be using?

  7. I can’t promise much with the way that I mistreat my cash flow, but I still have not let go of my love of actually holding articles in my hand and flipping through the pages, so I’ll be watching for this. This may have been answered before, but will Gamespite Vol. 1 ever be offered for sale again?

  8. Pretty excited about this. I know it’ll be good because it’s written by the Gamespite crew.
    Consider this one more copy sold. :)

  9. Spanish printed videogame media only survive because of the “free” gifts they include with the magazines (seriously, because their quality is awful). Last time I bought one of them was because of the game (Beyond Good & Evil PC for €4.50) and threw away the magazine into the nearest recycle bin.

    Yeah, I’m guilty of the death of the printed media. Which is ironic, because I too love it – I buy the newspaper every single day, and I buy Edge any time I travel (because it’s hard as heck to find UK magazines here), but I’m not willing to throw money at printed media just for the principle of the thing. I want quality!

    Anyway, looking forward to Gamespite Quaterly. I’ll have to weight the shipping costs to Europe, though :(

  10. I love the idea. Plus, my mailbox will feel a little less lonely (it doesn’t like hanging out with the bills and ads).

  11. There’s a humble warmth in that last sentence that really sums up what I love about GameSpite.

    I also think it’s nice that there’s so much respect and love in this community that any mention of money (while nice, as a formality) is wholly unnecessary; we will always support the things we care about.

  12. I can’t wait! I appreciate what you guys are doing and have a lot of respect for you. I can’t stand browser-reading. Print is so much easier to relax with and really take in what you’re reading. Thank you!

    P.S. When can we expect to see Gamespite Year One, Vol. 2?

  13. Totally just J.I.M.P. (google Lonely Island).

    Clearing a spot on the old shelf for a new magazine right now!

  14. This is great! Thanks Jeremy.

    Will these quarterly issues be printed in lieu of the previously mentioned July-ish printing of Volume 2 of the full-size book, or is that still in the lineup as well (just wanted to set aside some money, that is all)?

  15. Paper! I do so love the paper! (And since I got this job in library special collections, I love it even more. And even more so for niche paper!) I’ll be looking forward to buying a copy for my personal periodical shelf!

  16. I feel like these forthcoming magazines will deserve more nerd-style care than a simple spot on the shelf; like putting each one in a dust-proof plastic covering, or something. Exciting times.

  17. This is the best news I’ve heard all week. I can’t express how much I’ve missed quality print media for gaming. Yay!

  18. If I had any sort of skill with Photoshop, I’d photoshop your guys’ heads onto that picture of Iwata and Miyamoto using the Wii to print money.

    Except instead of a Wii printing money, it’s just me calmly handing you 10 dollars.

  19. hey hey neat neat neat

    Will there be a call for submissions for future issues at any point?

  20. I pride myself on my cynicism, but I’ll admit I’m a little excited about this.

  21. The enthusiasm for this is really great. I’m assuming I speak for all the authors in this when I say you guys are awesome.

  22. I missed out on your hardbound book, but I am seriously considering ordering this magazine. (KEEP it small and dedicated. I was peripherally involved in one magazine mislaunch, *cough*gamego*cough*, and it was a spectacular mess.)

  23. The authors on this site are fantastic and deserve to have their stuff printed, and paid for.

    I will be buying each issue.

  24. How long will each issue likely be available? I ask to see if I can consider saving some shipping in the long term, being a bit antipodean and all. Maybe a yearly 4-pack could be an idea?

  25. Dude this is AWESOME. I LOVE Retro Gamer and all those British game mags. I’ve always wanted a US magazine like those, and now my dream has come true…

    Thanks Jeremy!

  26. pimento: Because the books are being fulfilled through, they will be available forever and ever. If you wait a year, sure, I suspect you can buy four issues and pay less for shipping. I won’t be offering subscriptions or anything of the sort, though. No one here will be handling payments or shipping directly.

  27. I put in my order for Vol 1 just now. After several years of trying to pretend a computer screen is a piece of paper, I’ve finally realized there just is no substitute. Here’s to hoping some of the classic Toastyfrog PSI content sees print too.

  28. Finally, something to replace EGM on the can.

    I don’t like NP/Gamepro/GI. Definitely not can worthy publications. Can-worthiness is imminent.

  29. So this is the big announcement? Count me as pleasantly surprised. A pre-congratulatory pat on the back and thanks to you and all the gamespite writers.

  30. Cut the crap, Mr. Parish (said lovingly). It’s big, big news in this day-and-age when a talented writer gets a bunch of other talent on board and collects the group’s output in a paper medium. You put yourself here by being good at what you do, and people recognize it. They aren’t MAKING this into a big deal; you’re just getting what you deserve! Haha… ;-)

  31. I wish I could preorder it because I’m afraid I won’t be reminded about it when it comes out. If it hadn’t been for Kotaku I might not have heard of this in the first place.

  32. I can already see my wife roll her eyes and shake her head when the first issue arrives and I ignore life to read it.

  33. Niiiiiice! I am still meaning to purchase GS Vol. 1 I may pick up both at the same time. Good luck Parish.

  34. i can’t wait! i have always wanted to read more gamespite articles, but i’m old and old-fashioned and simply can’t focus for very long when reading on a screen.

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