|Computer Gaming World|
Computer Gaming World Issue 249 - March 2005
|Editor||Russell Sipe (1981–1992)|
Johnny Wilson (1992–1999)
George Jones (1999–2001)
Jeff Green (2002–2006)
|First issue||November 1981|
|Company||Russell Sipe (1981-1993)|
In 1979 Russell Sipe left the Southern Baptist Convention ministry. A fan of computer games, he realized in spring 1981 there was no magazine dedicated to computer games. Although Sipe had no publishing experience, he formed Golden Empire Publications in June and found investors. He chose the name of Computer Gaming World (CGW) instead of alternatives such as Computer Games or Kilobaud Warrior because he hoped that the magazine would both review games and serve as a trade publication for the industry. The first issue appeared in November, at about the same as rivals Electronic Games and Softline. (Sipe's religious background led to "Psalm 9:1-2" appearing in each issue. His successor as editor, Johnny L. Wilson, was an evangelical Christian minister.)
The first issues of Computer Gaming World were published from Anaheim, California, and sold for $2.75 individually or $11 for a year's subscription of six issues. These early bi-monthly issues were typically 40-50 pages in length, written in a newsletter style, including submissions by game designers such as Joel Billings (SSI), Dan Bunten (Ozark Software), and Chris Crawford. As well, early covers were not always directly related to the magazine's contents, but rather featured work by artist Tim Finkas. In January/February 1986 CGW increased its publication cycle to nine times a year, and the editorial staff included popular writers such as Scorpia, Charles Ardai, and M. Evan Brooks.
CGW survived the video game crash of 1983, which badly hurt the market; by summer 1985 it was the only survivor of 18 color magazines covering computer games in 1983. In autumn 1987 CGW introduced a quarterly newsletter called Computer Game Forum (CGF), which was published during the off-months of CGW. The newsletter never became popular; only two issues were published before it was cancelled. Some of CGF's content became part of CGW, which became a monthly.
The magazine went through significant expansion starting in 1991, with growing page counts reaching 196 pages by its 100th issue, in November 1992. During that same year, Johnny Wilson (who started as a contributor in 1983), became editor-in-chief, although Sipe remained as Publisher. In 1993, Sipe sold the magazine to Ziff Davis—by then the magazine was so thick that a reader reported that the December issue's bulk slowed a thief who had stolen a shopping bag containing it—but continued on as Publisher until 1995. The magazine kept growing through the 1990s, with the December 1997 issue weighing in at 500 pages. In January 1999, Wilson left the magazine and George Jones became editor-in-chief, at a time when print magazines were struggling with the growing popularity of the Internet. Jones had been the editor-in-chief of CNET Gamecenter, and had before that been a staffer at Computer Gaming World between 1994 and 1996. He was replaced by Jeff Green in 2002.
On August 2, 2006, Ziff Davis and Microsoft jointly announced that Computer Gaming World would be replaced with Games for Windows: The Official Magazine. The final CGW-labeled issue was November 2006, for a total of 268 published editions.
Simultaneously with the release of the final CGW issue, Ziff Davis announced the availability of the CGW Archive. The Archive features complete copies of the first 100 issues of CGW, as well as the 2 CGF issues, for a total of 7438 pages covering 11 years of gaming. The Archive was created by Stephane Racle, of the Computer Gaming World Museum, and is available in PDF format. Every issue was processed through Optical Character Recognition, which enabled the creation of a 3+ million word master index. Although Ziff Davis has taken its CGW Archive site offline, the magazines can be downloaded from the Computer Gaming World Museum.
CGW featured reviews, previews, news, features, letters, strategy, and columns dealing with computer games. While console games are occasionally touched on, these are primarily the territory of CGW's sister magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly.
In 2006, two of the most popular features were "Greenspeak", a final-page column written by Editor-In-Chief Jeff Green, and "Tom vs. Bruce" a unique "duelling-diaries" piece in which writers Tom Chick and Bruce Geryk logged their gameplay experience as each tried to best the other at a given game. "Tom vs. Bruce" sometimes featured a guest appearance by Erik Wolpaw, formerly of Old Man Murray.
For many years, CGW never assigned scores to reviews, preferring to let readers rate their favorite games through a monthly poll. Scores were finally introduced in 1994. However, beginning in April 2006, Computer Gaming World stopped assigning quantifiable scores to its reviews. In May of the same year, CGW changed the name of its review section to Viewpoint, and began evaluating games on a more diverse combination of factors than a game's content. Elements considered include the communities' reaction to a game, developers' continued support through patches and whether a game's online component continues to grow.
The reviews were formerly based on a simple five-star structure, with five stars marking a truly outstanding game, and one star signalling virtual worthlessness. Three games, Postal² by Robert Coffey, Mistmare by Jeff Green, and Dungeon Lords by Denice Cook "...form an unholy trinity of the only games in CGW history to receive zero-star reviews."
Bruce F. Webster reviewed the first issue of Computer Gaming World in The Space Gamer No. 48.Webster commented that "I strongly recommend this magazine to computer gamers, and just one reason alone will (in my opinion) suffice: You can now start getting from just one publication the information that you've been having to dig out of three or four or five (or six...). Get it."
In 1988, CGW won the Origins Award for Best Professional Adventure Gaming Magazine of 1987.
The New York Times repeatedly praised CGW, placing it as one of the premier computer game publications of its time. In 1997 the newspaper called it "the leading computer game magazine", In 1999 "the bible of computer game purists", and in 2005 "one of the top computer game magazines".
On August 2, 2006, Ziff Davis Media issued a press release detailing their plans to halt circulation of Computer Gaming World. As part of a joint-venture project with Microsoft, Ziff Davis launched a new magazine dubbed Games for Windows: The Official Magazine in Fall of 2006. The new magazine replaced CGW as part of Microsoft's Games for Windows initiative. In their press release, Ziff Davis indicated that much of Computer Gaming Worlds's core content and the entire staff will be transferred to the new magazine. Because of these announcements, Ziff Davis' actions appeared more on the order of a rebranding of CGW, rather than an actual cancellation.
CGW/GFW ended its 27-year run on April 8, 2008. At the GFW Radio Penny Arcade Expo reunion, Jeff Green claimed that the deal with Microsoft allowed CGW/GFW to continue operating, and that if it had not occurred Ziff Davis would have shut down CGW.
Ziff Davis operated a sister magazine to Computer Gaming World, entitled PC Gaming World, in the United Kingdom. It was the region's third-largest computer game magazine by August 2000. In 1998, journalist Stuart Campbell described PC Gaming World as a publication with a predominantly American bent, thanks to its "sober, serious, text-heavy style". He considered it to be out of step with the British game audience. Campbell later called the magazine an "oddity" that was "clearly aimed primarily at a 40-something audience and beyond", in comparison to more youthful rivals such as PC Gamer UK and PC Zone.
In July 2000, Ziff Davis sold its publishing arm in Europe to Verenigde Nederlandse Uitgeverijen (VNU), including three magazines in Germany, three in France and four in the United Kingdom. PC Gaming World migrated with these publications. At the time, The Register reported that VNU saw PC Gaming World as a poor match for its business model, which left the magazine's future uncertain. The publisher sold PC Gaming World to Computec Media a month after the purchase, citing its lack of synergy with VNU's existing brand. This transition was set to be completed in October 2000.
According to Golem.de, Computec planned to fold PC Gaming World together with its own PC Gameplay magazine, which it launched in 2000. PC Gaming World had closed by the first half of 2001; Computec moved the publication's subscribers to PC Gameplay, which nevertheless struggled to grow its base. The company "relaunched" PC Gameplay as PC Gaming World in 2003, but did not release the new publication's subscriber count through the Audit Bureau of Circulations during the first half of that year. Writing for GamesIndustry.biz, Kristan Reed noted that this decision was "never a healthy sign". Computec sold its entire British game magazine branch to competitor Future Publishing in late 2003.
To ensure clear market leadership position, Ziff Davis will transfer Computer Gaming World's veteran editorial staff and mission to Games for Windows: The Official Magazine. The new magazine and web initiative will carry on the editorial, production and art staff of Computer Gaming World, incorporating CGW's best-of-class style and tone while broadening the outlet's reach, influence and editorial content to complement the coming renaissance in Windows gaming.
Computer Games Magazine was a monthly computer and console gaming print magazine, founded in October 1988 as the United Kingdom publication Games International. During its history, it was known variously as Strategy Plus (October 1990, Issue 1) and Computer Games Strategy Plus, but changed its name to Computer Games Magazine after its purchase by theGlobe.com. By April 2007, it held the record for the second-longest-running print magazine dedicated exclusively to computer games, behind Computer Gaming World. In 1998 and 2000, it was the United States' third-largest magazine in this field.Eye of the Beholder (video game)
Eye of the Beholder is a role-playing video game for personal computers and video game consoles developed by Westwood Associates. It was published by Strategic Simulations, Inc. in 1991 for the DOS operating system and later ported to the Amiga, the Sega CD, Game Boy Advance and the SNES. The Sega CD version features a soundtrack composed by Yuzo Koshiro. A port to the Atari Lynx handheld was developed by NuFX in 1993, but was not released.
The game has two sequels, Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon, released in 1991, and Eye of the Beholder III: Assault on Myth Drannor, released in 1993. The third game, however, was not developed by Westwood, which had been acquired by Virgin Interactive in 1992 and created the Lands of Lore series instead.Fog of war
The fog of war (German: Nebel des Krieges) is the uncertainty in situational awareness experienced by participants in military operations. The term seeks to capture the uncertainty regarding one's own capability, adversary capability, and adversary intent during an engagement, operation, or campaign. Military forces try to reduce the fog of war through military intelligence and friendly force tracking systems. The term is also used to define uncertainty mechanics in wargames.Gobliiins
Gobliiins is a puzzle adventure video game series, consisting of four entries, released by Coktel Vision (and later Sierra On-Line) for the Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS, and Macintosh (and later iOS and Windows) platforms. The first three titles were released in the early 1990s, the fourth in 2009.Incunabula (video game)
Incunabula is a 1984 computer game by Avalon Hill. It was designed by Steve Estvanik. It is the original computerized version of Avalon Hill's Civilization board game. It was eclipsed by Sid Meier's much more successful Civilization, and its following series, released in 1991.Jeff Green (writer)
Jeffrey Green (born October 12, 1961) is an American writer and video game journalist, and the last editor-in-chief of the now-defunct Games for Windows: The Official Magazine (formerly Computer Gaming World), which was published by Ziff Davis Media. As of November 11, 2013, Jeff left PopCap Games, where he served as a director of editorial and social media. He was employed by the Sims division of developer Electronic Arts, where he has served as a designer, producer, and writer. Green kept his job at Ziff Davis after the closing of GFW for several months, before announcing his departure from the company. While an employee at Ziff Davis, Green hosted the weekly CGW Radio podcast (which later became GFW Radio), and hosted The Official EA Podcast.Operation Crusader (video game)
Operation Crusader is a 1994 computer wargame developed by Atomic Games and published by Avalon Hill.
Operation Crusader was among the first titles released in Avalon Hill's push to revive its computer game division during the 1990s, in an attempt to diversify its business because of falling board wargame sales. The company hired Atomic Games as a key to this initiative, and Crusader acted as the spiritual success to its earlier V for Victory wargame series, reusing and updating much of the game design and code from those titles.PC game
A PC game, also known as a computer game or personal computer game, is a video game played on a personal computer rather than a dedicated video game console or arcade machine. Its defining characteristics include: more diverse and user-determined gaming hardware and software; and generally greater capacity in input, processing, and video output. The uncoordinated nature of the PC game market, and now its lack of physical media, make precisely assessing its size difficult.
Home computer games became popular following the video game crash of 1983, leading to the era of the "bedroom coder". In the 1990s, PC games lost mass-market traction to console games, before enjoying a resurgence in the mid-2000s through digital distribution.Newzoo reports that the PC gaming sector is the third-largest category (and estimated in decline) across all platforms as of 2016, with the console sector second-largest, and mobile/smartphone gaming sector biggest. 2.2 billion video gamers generate US$101.1 billion in revenue, excluding hardware costs. "Digital game revenues will account for $94.4 billion or 87% of the global market. Mobile is the most lucrative segment, with smartphone and tablet gaming growing 19% year on year to $46.1 billion, claiming 42% of the market. In 2020, mobile gaming will represent just more than half of the total games market. [...] China expected to generate $27.5 billion, or one-quarter of all revenues in 2017."PC gaming is considered synonymous (by Newzoo and others) with IBM Personal Computer compatible systems; while mobile computers – smartphones and tablets, such as those running Android or iOS – are also personal computers in the general sense. The APAC region was estimated to generate $46.6 billion in 2016, or 47% of total global video game revenues (note, not only "PC" games). China alone accounts for half of APAC's revenues (at $24.4 billion), cementing its place as the largest video game market in the world, ahead of the US's anticipated market size of $23.5 billion. China is expected to have 53% of its video game revenues come from mobile gaming in 2017 (46% in 2016).Raid on Bungeling Bay
Raid on Bungeling Bay was the first video game designed by Will Wright. It was published by Brøderbund for the Commodore 64 in 1984 and ported to MSX (1985) and the NES (1987). The Commodore 64 version was published in the UK by Ariolasoft, and the NES version in Japan was from Hudson Soft. The game would inspire Wright to develop SimCity.Red Baron (1990 video game)
Red Baron is a video game for DOS, created by Damon Slye at Dynamix and published by Sierra On-Line. It was released in 1990.
The game is a flying simulation set on the Western Front of World War I. The player can engage in single missions or career mode, flying for either the German Air Service or the Royal Flying Corps. In the course of the game the player might find themselves either flying in the Red Baron's squadron Jasta 11, or encountering him as an enemy above the front.
A port of the game for the Nintendo 64 was announced, but was later cancelled.Rise of the Dragon
Rise of the Dragon is a graphic adventure game released in 1990 for DOS and Macintosh, and later remade for the Sega CD (1993) as well as the Amiga. It was one of the few adventure game titles developed by Dynamix, a company that was better known as an action and flight simulator game developer.Shovelware
Shovelware is derogatory computer jargon for software bundles noted more for the quantity of what is included than for the quality or usefulness.The metaphor implies that the creators showed little care for the quality of the original software, as if the new compilation or version had been created by indiscriminately adding titles "by the shovel" in the same way someone would shovel bulk material into a pile. The term "shovelware" is coined by semantic analogy to phrases like shareware and freeware, which describe methods of software distribution. It first appeared in the early 1990s when large amounts of public domain, open source and shareware demos and programs were copied onto CD-ROMs and advertised in magazines or sold at computer flea markets.Sid Meier's Pirates!
Sid Meier’s Pirates! is a video game created by Sid Meier and developed and published by MicroProse in 1987. It was the first game to include the name "Sid Meier" in its title as an effort by MicroProse to attract fans of Meier's earlier games, most of which were combat vehicle simulation video games. The game is a simulation of the life of a pirate, a privateer, or a pirate hunter in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.
Pirates! is set in the Caribbean. The Pirates! playing field includes the Spanish Main (namely the northern coast of South America), Central America and the Yucatán Peninsula, the entire Gulf of Mexico, Florida, and all Caribbean islands, plus Bermuda. The player is free to sail to any part of the above-mentioned lands, stopped by an invisible barrier southeast of Trinidad, all the way north to just northeast of Bermuda.
The game was widely ported from the original Commodore 64 version to numerous other systems. The Pirates! Gold remake, with minor improvements and better graphics, was released in 1993. An enhanced remake, also named Sid Meier's Pirates!, was released in 2004. Versions for mobile devices have also been released.SimLife
SimLife: The Genetic Playground is a video game produced by Maxis in 1992. The concept of the game is to simulate an ecosystem; players may modify the genetics of the plants and animals that inhabit the virtual world. The point of this game is to experiment and create a self-sustaining ecosystem.The Terminator (DOS)
For other games of the same name, see The Terminator (video game).The Terminator is a video game based on the film of the same name. It was the first officially licensed game based on the Terminator film series.Wasteland (video game)
Wasteland is a science fiction open world role-playing video game developed by Interplay and published by Electronic Arts in 1988. The game is set in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic America destroyed by nuclear holocaust generations before. Developers originally made the game for the Apple II and it was ported to the Commodore 64 and MS-DOS. It was re-released for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux in 2013 via Steam and GOG.com, and in 2014 via Desura.
Critically acclaimed and commercially successful, Wasteland was intended to be followed by two separate sequels, but Electronic Arts' Fountain of Dreams was turned into an unrelated game and Interplay's Meantime was cancelled. The game's general setting and concept became the basis for Interplay's 1997 role-playing video game Fallout, which would extend into the Fallout series. Game developer inXile Entertainment released a sequel, Wasteland 2, in 2014, and has announced plans to release a third game in winter 2019.Wooden Ships and Iron Men (video game)
Wooden Ships and Iron Men is a computer game published by Avalon Hill in 1987 for the Commodore 64.