Its only a matter of time now with the kind of articles theyre publishing. No background checks, not any redeeming literary value; just filler. i guess what flipped me were three recently published articles: the Age Of Mythology looking for a publisher, the gigantic Space Empires 4 guide, and the mmorpg convention reviews from god knows how long ago.
If the writer had used 1 microjoule of brain energy she would have realized that if Ensemble is publically calling RTS3 'Age of' anything, its getting published by Microsoft. Intead its just words and totally pointless; most bbs have more intelligent speculation.
cdmag.com has become something of a grognard site; but instead of Europa Universalis, an awesome 4x that for the first time ever has a real diplomatic system, they guide to SE4. Now ive played both, and i have to say that SE4, throwback to the old turn based games that it is, and despite its arthouse appeal, is exactly the model reason WHY 4x games are dying. Huge amounts of micro, virtually no interaction with the other races, arbitrary and unbalanced items and techs, ect... Sure editing it is cool, but heck, why dont' they make a guide to editing Rebellion? At least you get Star Destroyers. Its as if theyre not just grognards but GEEKY grognards.
Intead of some interesting throught provoking editorials detailing, say, how mmorpg games, which derive income for a small subset of gamers, and use pyramid-scheme models of character advancement which forces huge amounts of game playing time, endangers all computer gaming into being pigeonholed because of their immense financial success, or just some interesting article, they talk about MMOPRG conventions with a few "look Geeks!" pics.
I used to go to cdmag all the time but with the kind of empty content today its hard to imagine them being around much longer.
By Geo on Saturday, May 5, 2001 - 04:10 pm:
> not any redeeming literary value
I'm pretty sure I've never, ever experienced that in any gaming news site. :)
But, ahem, this thread seems like the equivalent of pouring lighter fluid all over oneself and then running around at a pyromaniac's convention passing out torches. :D
By Tom Ohle on Saturday, May 5, 2001 - 04:41 pm:
But, ahem, this thread seems like the equivalent of pouring lighter fluid all over oneself and then running around at a pyromaniac's convention passing out torches.
About the Age of Mythology, there's long been speculation that Ensemble was looking at other possible publishers. I even heard that at one point they were thinking about signing with G.O.D.
It's not that they didn't like Microsoft, but the royalty structure that MS is rumored to force on developers isn't always as good as they can get elsewhere. OTOH, the support and testing you can get from MS is probably the best in the business.
And yes, I know Windows has bugs.
By Bub (Bub) on Sunday, May 6, 2001 - 01:09 am:
as of just 3 days ago Microsoft's Ed Fries was not confirming with me they were publishing Age of Mythology. Sure, Cindy could have speculated but CDMag is running magazine content for the most part. That means that article was written about 30 days ago at least. For her to speculate might have been justified, for her to name Microsoft would have been irresponsible.
PS: Primary Colors was your best book, keep up the good work.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Sunday, May 6, 2001 - 01:14 am:
This thread is flame-bait, so I won't touch it, except to say this:
cdmag.com (soon cgonline.com, and looking much better) is the online presence for Computer Games Magazine. The focus is now increasingly on being an archive and promotional site for the magazine. Which isn't to say that the site won't continue to have original content that isn't published in the magazine--it most certainly will. But they'll often serve more as compliments to magazine features.
The upcoming D&D stuff on the site complimenting the D&D/Neverwinter Nights cover issue is a good example.
BTW---I know you guys are running freebie forum software or something, but I gotta say, I really dig the forums where anonymous posts show the posting IP address. It's easy to see the "plants" and stuff on flamebait or self-congratulatory posts with a little whois lookup. =)
By Mark Asher on Sunday, May 6, 2001 - 01:26 am:
"BTW---I know you guys are running freebie forum software or something, but I gotta say, I really dig the forums where anonymous posts show the posting IP address. It's easy to see the "plants" and stuff on flamebait or self-congratulatory posts with a little whois lookup. =)"
Well, as much as I dislike offensive posts, I don't want to police the board. I want it to work like Usenet, for good or ill. Anyone can post under any name. If trolling gets to be an issue, maybe we'll do something.
The other thing, Jason, is that we're all seeing websites shut down and magazine advertising is in a downturn too. Couple that with theglobe.com's stock price and debts, and we can't help but speculate, just as we speculate about IGN and other sites. I know it's personal for you, but don't take it personally. It's driven me from doing this full-time to looking for another job. At least for you the other shoe hasn't dropped. For me the other shoe was a steel-toed boot that dropped and then bounced up and planted itself in my ass. :)
By Bub (Bub) on Sunday, May 6, 2001 - 02:05 am:
"For me the other shoe was a steel-toed boot that dropped and then bounced up and planted itself in my ass. :)"
Here's to the honest hope of us all that CGM continues onward. Raises their circ as high as the sky. Increases their page count, ad count and most of all gives raises to all their deserving and wonderful editors.
--and increases the amount of freelancer content and raises the per page rate--
....and uses me more....
and world peace...
...and blesses Grampa Hank in heaven.
By David Finn on Sunday, May 6, 2001 - 02:25 am:
amen bub, stomp them suckers! Erm goes for you to Jeff, hehehe
By mtkafka (Mtkafka) on Sunday, May 6, 2001 - 07:57 am:
BTW, TOm Chick's end editorial at the back of the last CG mag (got the mag Friday) is priceless! yeah its "cool"... at least he gets to go to E3... I just get pixelated snapshots on the web...
also, at first the new layour of that mag was kinda plain. . . but then after browsing it more its easier on the eyes and as well the layout makes it easier to read page by page... the layout emphasis seems to be on the writing instead of the screenshots... i like that...also, Cindy Yans rocks (ahem, dont let her get away, she can be both humorouse without being too clever and still be informative and inciteful), shes a pretty good writer.
btw again, the NWN article was very good, I am more hyped than ever about the game... it looks like they took the time to make it SUPER easy to make online modules... which will make it much much more popular (and add a longer life as well). But its slated for xmas 2k1... oh well. We WILL get Arcanum to satisfy the rpg needs (no way its pushed bakc past septemeber 2k1 now).
btw again again, the dnd article rightfully gives Arneson credit for DnD, and the inclusion of the "Mazes and Monsters" info was nice as well, though i dont think that was the downfall of DnD's popularity in the early to mid eighties (I think it was arcades and consoles)
glad i resubscribed...
btw 3rd time the demo disk had operation flashpoint demo... this game looks "revolutionary", get the mag and try the demo (or just dl it) looks like a Delta Force game with much more depth (run drive and fly things and also shoot stuff and command as well) ...
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Sunday, May 6, 2001 - 01:31 pm:
>Raises their circ as high as the sky. Increases their page count...
Well, those two things actually COST money, rather than bring in more. The more pages you print, the more it costs, and the more of those you ship, the more it costs. Combine them, and you're paying more for printing AND shipping more issues that each weigh more.
The possible upshot would be that, if you can convince everyone that you have more circ and stuff, you can get more ads. In this market, that's a really LONG shot. So I think you're going to see the mags getting a little slimmer for the next few months.
Mark--Oh, I'm fully aware of the economic realities of the business right now, believe me. And don't think it hasn't affected us here. Mr. Anonymous' post was not that the market will force cdmag.com down, but that its poor content will. I'm not trying to argue it or anything, just explain what the site's focus is.
CGO will almost certainly be around as long as the magazine--the additional costs to run the site are minimal, and worth it if only from an "archive and marketing tool for the magazine" standpoint. Fortunately, we can make the site more than just that without TOO much additional effort.
Yeah, magazine stuff is grim. A big part of that is because it's a downturn year. If your magazine/site can survive for another year, you'll make it. The publishers are losing money because they're blowing development and marketing money on next-gen consoles that either haven't shipped yet or have small installed bases. So they don't yet have their return on investment. PCs might have a stable market, but the publishers' sell for both PC and console, and money is down. As per usual, marketing and PR are the first budgets to get cut.
Give the market 8-12 months to swing around (maybe even less) and the publishers will start making money again. Then the ads will return. And they'll be back for 3-4 more years until the next transition year. Ad rates on the web will never get back where they were, and lots of sites will still close if they can't figure out how to keep their costs of production and bandwidth down, but that's almost another issue.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Sunday, May 6, 2001 - 01:35 pm:
Something to consider--
The video/computer games market grows, on the whole, like 10-20% a year (depending on what metrics you use). That is, it gets around 15% more "broad" each year.
Any magazine or website that has the same piece of the pie and doesn't intentionally grow their audience can reasonably expect a 15% growth rate per year.
Here's the rub--that COSTS money. It increases your bandwidth costs 15%, or your printing/shipping costs 15%. Unless your ad sales guys can sell 15% more ads or charge 15% more for the existing ad volume (or some combination), that free growth will COST money.
By Mark Asher on Sunday, May 6, 2001 - 03:59 pm:
"Here's the rub--that COSTS money. It increases your bandwidth costs 15%, or your printing/shipping costs 15%. Unless your ad sales guys can sell 15% more ads or charge 15% more for the existing ad volume (or some combination), that free growth will COST money."
Heh -- no kidding. It's one of the reasons why we haven't tried to grow this site. Our traffic's been increasing at a slight rate. We could probably double it in 30 days if we were more aggressive about putting up content. That would just put more stress in our lives, though, and raise our costs without resulting in any new revenue.
I honestly don't know how sites like Blue's are going to make it. I can see at some point this year they may have zero revenue and still have several thousand dollars in bandwidth expenses each month, to say nothing of the time they spend maintaining the site. Maybe they'll find some advertising revenue or go to a donationware model -- who knows? It's tough out there.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Monday, May 7, 2001 - 11:44 am:
>I honestly don't know how sites like Blue's are going to make it.
The key to most of those news sites is that they have low bandwidth costs, relative to sites like DailyRadar and IGN. Very few screenshots (if any), very few hosted files (with low capped bandwidth), and they don't throw up big quicktime movies every day.
It definitely is "tough out there" though. They're probably losing money in this market (or at least, they're costing UGO more than they're bringing in). Whoever can survive to this Christmas season might make it. We're in for some more shutdowns, though.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Monday, May 7, 2001 - 11:44 am:
>We're in for some more shutdowns, though.
I should qualify that--by "we" I mean "gamers" and not "theglobe.com." =) More game sites are going to shut down between now and Christmas.
By Robert Mayer on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 10:17 am:
Well, I must say that the tone of the original post in this thread is rather amusing, in a dark sort of way.
We published the SEIV guide to mods because it was pretty well written--and it came courtesy of the developer, i.e., it was industry-generated content, like designer diaries. As for the Ensemble (now owned by Microsoft) piece, about Age of Mythology, the article (a first look, by nature not terribly in-depth) notes that the title is a working title; i.e., a logical if uncreative moniker that Ensemble tossed onto the game while they were negotiating for publishing. I rather think that assuming this tentative title indicated any "message" from Ensemble that they were going to be acquired by Microsoft is reading too much into it.
CGONLINE has never had a separate staff. We are all magazine people (more so now than ever) and all the content is generated and edited by the same folks that do the mag content. There's less money to go around now, and that means less freelancers, which in turn means less content for the web. Much of what is getting trimmed is stuff we would never have put in the mag anyhow. Our strength has been our quality of content (certainly not our look, though next week that will change), and that will continue to be true.
As Jason noted, our primary function is to boost the Computer Games brand--we're the online arm of the print mag, we're not nor have we ever been a full-up independent site like Gamespot. We don't host downloads. We don't cover consoles. We extend CGM onto the web, and provide services and information for serious gamers.
By Land Murphy (Lando) on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 12:52 pm:
So, Bob, those screenshots in this month's mag of the site-- are those representative of the new look?
By Land Murphy (Lando) on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 12:53 pm:
Doh....talk about confusing.
Let me rephrase that.
So, Bob, those screenshots of the website in this month's mag-- are they representative of the new look?
(I'd say it has to be a huge improvement, whatever the case may be)
By Land Murphy (Lando) on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 12:54 pm:
Oh, and one more thing--is this anonymous guy the same one with unimpeachable credibility?
By Geo on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 04:15 pm:
>> and provide services and information for serious gamers.
Then why are there so many obnoxious, non-serious gamers on the CGO message boards driving reasonably intelligent folks like myself away and to places like this and The Pub? :)
That's just a pointless rhetorical question there, no response needed, as you can't very well keep people out for being rude or thoughtless or being Jonah Falcon or whatever. ;)
By Land Murphy (Lando) on Friday, May 11, 2001 - 11:16 pm:
Wait a minute! What would be so hard about banning anyone daring to use the name of Jonah Falcon? Sounds pretty easy to me - now all we need are a few sites to test it out.
By Jonah Falcon on Saturday, May 12, 2001 - 12:49 am:
You're all just talking about me because you're upset at how great I am!
[Just testing a theory :)]
By Land Murphy (Lando) on Saturday, May 12, 2001 - 11:56 pm:
That's it! I'm going back to the Pub.
By Geo on Sunday, May 13, 2001 - 11:42 am:
Hey, my trick worked! :)