By the time you’ve read this, GAME! would have prolly already been placed on the racks.
There were many people involved with the creation of the second local gaming title (the first is Games Master) in the Philippines. But it is also important to note that this is the first all-Filipino gaming magazine. This means that content isn’t syndicated from abroad (unlike Games Master that syndicates some of its content from the West).
Going back to the people involved, there are many many many of them who labored hard, enduring sleepless nights to get this thing conceptualized, laid-out, flattened, CMYK-ed, and printed. There’s Mitch, Aiza, Adel, Poch, Topper, and Joey to name a few, as well as the writers – I apologize if I forget to name all – Karl, Kiven, Ryu, Raphy, Jones, Karen … there’s just so many, I’m overwhelmed at the amount of support you’ve all given.
Now for the juicy part.
For those who’ve been paying attention to the gaming industry, there was a rumor back then that an Inquirer sister company (hi there!) was going to bring in a local franchise of Electronic Gaming Monthly, one of, if not the best magazine gamers my age (I’m 25) have grown up with. This wasn’t a rumor. In fact, it was highly possible for something like this to happen since this sister company (hello again!) was already publishing the local franchise of PC Magazine Philippines, which, like EGM is also a Ziff Davis title. There was a lot of emotion involved in this decision making process, whether to pursue EGM or not.
In the end, the following points were raised:
First. EGM’s target market was very different from the market we intended to reach. I grew up reading EGM. I can remember that since the 1980’s, there was a magazine that featured the very best of the 8-bit era. So that era has come and gone, and the gamers that we were before .. well a lot of us evolved to the online scene. Some of us have moved on and stopped playing altogether. A few have gone totally hardcore. But, truth be told, the market has changed. The gamers now aren’t the gamers of before. My generation has a nostalgic excitement for EGM. But the youth of today don’t really care (it showed in several of our studies). They grew up with Wytch, Anime, the Internet …
Second. The gaming culture here is very different from the States. Though we are also a console-playing country, we get most of our games from bootleg sources (aka piracy). That’s why the gaming industry here in the Philippines takes the online gaming model where a series of checks and controls are implemented to make sure that pirating a game is impossible. Thus you have Ragnarok, Khan, RAN Online, PangYa, O2 Jam and many many more. That brings in the bucks.
Third. We decided that it is much better to invest in the Philippines. With all the things going on now in this country, we do need a pep talk. One thing about GAME! that a lot of you prolly don’t know is that we have on board with us Joey Alarilla, a fellow gamer, the guy behind hackenslash, the founder of the Asian Gaming Journalists Association (AGJA), and a bunch of other embarassing things he’d rather not disclose.
So there you have it. P80.00 for a full glossy gaming magazine. 100% Filipino. Made by the publishing group of the nation’s biggest broadsheet. Oh, nice poster inside too 🙂