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.
The July 2011 issue cover
|Frequency||Monthly (12 per year)|
|First issue||August 1991|
Game Informer debuted in August 1991 as a six-page magazine. It was published every two months until November 1994, when the magazine began to be released monthly.
Since 2001 Game Informer has been published by Cathy Preston, who has been working as part of the production team since 2000. It was under her that the publication became an integral part of GameStop's customer loyalty program, Power Up Rewards.
In 2010, Game Informer became the 5th largest magazine in the US with 5 million copies sold, ahead of popular publications like Time, Sports Illustrated, and Playboy. By 2011, Game Informer had become the 3rd largest magazine in the US topping 8 million copies circulated. However, in 2014 it had fallen to 4th place with 6.9 million copies sold. Recent figures still place the magazine at 4th place with over 7 million copies sold. The financial success of Game Informer has been attributed to its good relationship with publishers, ties to GameStop, and the lack of gaming magazine competition.
In each year's April edition, Game Informer includes Game Infarcer, an annual feature in the magazine, as an April Fool's joke. On the cover is "World's #1 Pretend Magazine" where it would ordinarily say "World's #1 Video Game Magazine", and the word "Parody" is written on the bottom of each page. Game Infarcer articles are accredited to the fictional editor-in-chief Darth Clark, who is addressed in hate mail every year sent to Game Informer. The heated responses to parody articles are often featured in later Game Informer issues.
Game Informer has included four "Sacred Cow Barbecues". Similar in style to a celebrity roast, the occasion is meant to "knock some of gaming's most revered icons off their high and mighty pedestals." The first Sacred Cow Barbecues featured in issue 158 (June 2006). Other issues featuring Sacred Cow Barbecues are: 183 (July 2008), 211 (November 2010), and 261 (January 2015). Sacred Cow Barbecues articles are considered controversial among those gamers who aren't amused with their games being mocked.
Game Informer Online was originally launched in August 1996, and featured daily news updates as well as articles. Justin Leeper and Matthew Kato were hired on in November 1999 as full-time web editors. As part of the GameStop purchase of the magazine, the site was closed around January 2001. Both Leeper and Kato were eventually placed on the editorial staff of the magazine.
GI Online was revived in September 2003, with a full redesign and many additional features, such as a review database, frequent news updates, and exclusive "Unlimited" content for subscribers. It was managed by Billy Berghammer, creator of PlanetGameCube.com (now known as NintendoWorldReport.com). Berghammer is currently the editor in chief of the EGM Media group 
On March 2009, the online staff began creating the code for what would be the latest redesign to date. The redesign was to release hand-in-hand with the magazine's own redesign. On October 1, 2009, the newly redesigned website was live, with a welcome message from Editor-In-Chief Andy McNamara. Many new features were introduced, including a rebuilt media player, a feed highlighting the site activity of the website's users, and the ability to create user reviews. At the same time, the magazine's podcast, The Game Informer Show, was launched.
In February (sometimes January), Game Informer's editors round up to count and judge the "Top 50 Games of last year". The games are sorted in order of release date. They do not have rankings, but they do commemorate special games with awards like Game of the Year and other examples. They also have mini top 10 charts of differing categories, both in the Top 50 games section of the website and in the regular magazine.
In August each year, Game Informer includes a "E3 Hot 50", a special section that reviews the year's E3 and most to all of its games, which also temporarily replaces the "previews" section.
In November 2009, Game Informer was launched in Australia by former Australian GamePro, Gameplayer and Official PlayStation Magazine editor Chris Stead and publisher Citrus Media. By June 2010, Game Informer Australia had become the first local games publication to pass 10,000 subscribers. By August 18, 2010, it had become Australia's biggest selling video games publication.
Game Informer Australia has picked up three Australian Magazine Awards for best in category, multiple nominations in the Lizzie awards and the 2013 MCV award for Print Publication of the Year. Chris Stead also received the 2013 Journalist of the Year gong at the MCV awards.
Game Informer currently reviews games on PCs, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation VR, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS, Android, iOS.  Older games, three per issue, were given brief reviews in the magazine's Classic GI section (compared with the game's original review score, if one exists). This was discontinued in 2009, months before the redesign of the magazine. The magazine's staff rate games on a scale of 1 to 10 with quarter point intervals. A score of 1 - 5 is considered terrible; 10 is a rare, "outstanding", nearly perfect game; and 6-7 is "average", a decently, playable, and sometimes fun (but flawed) game.
The year 2015 saw releases of numerous video games as well as a follow-up to Nintendo's portable 3DS console, the New Nintendo 3DS. Top-rated games originally released in 2015 included Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Bloodborne, Undertale, and Fallout 4. Sales of video games in 2015 reached $61 billion, according to analysis firm SuperData, an 8% increase from 2014. Of this, the largest sector was in computer game sales and subscription services, accounting for $32 billion. Mobile gaming revenues were at $25.1 billion, a 10% increase from 2014. Digital sales on consoles made up the remaining $4 billion.In the United States, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and the NPD Group estimated total video game market revenues at $23.5 billion, a 5% increase from 2014. Of this, the total software market was $16.5 billion, with the NPD Group estimating retail sales subset at $13.1 billion. The ESA reported that there were 2,457 companies in the United States involved in video game developing or publishing that directly supported 65,678 workers (37,122 in developing, 28,556 in publishing) with about another 154,000 indirectly supporting the industry, such as through contracting or video game journalism. The total contribution to the US's gross national product from the industry was $11.7 billion.In the United Kingdom, the total video game market was valued at nearly GB£4.2 billion, according to figures from Ukie and MCV. The largest segments were in digital software (£1.2 billion) and mobile gaming (£664 million), while sales of consoles dropped to £689 million.2016 in video gaming
Numerous video games were released in 2016. New hardware came out as well, albeit largely refreshed and updated versions of consoles in the PlayStation 4 Pro, PlayStation 4 Slim, and Xbox One S. Commercially available virtual reality headsets were released in much greater numbers and at much lower price points than the enthusiast-only virtual reality headsets of earlier generations. Top-rated games originally released in 2016 included Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Inside, Overwatch, Forza Horizon 3, NBA 2K17, Dark Souls III, and Battlefield 1.Billy Berghammer
Billy Berghammer is the creator of former site Planet Gamecube, now named Nintendo World Report, and was the director of G4tv.com, Berghammer is now a member of Nintendo of America's Treehouse division.Dreamcast
The Dreamcast is a home video game console released by Sega on November 27, 1998 in Japan, September 9, 1999 in North America, and October 14, 1999 in Europe. It was the first in the sixth generation of video game consoles, preceding Sony's PlayStation 2, Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox. The Dreamcast was Sega's final home console, marking the end of the company's 18 years in the console market.
In contrast to the expensive hardware of the unsuccessful Sega Saturn, the Dreamcast was designed to reduce costs with "off-the-shelf" components, including a Hitachi SH-4 CPU and an NEC PowerVR2 GPU. Released in Japan to a subdued reception, the Dreamcast enjoyed a successful U.S. launch backed by a large marketing campaign, but interest in the system steadily declined as Sony built hype for the upcoming PlayStation 2. Sales did not meet Sega's expectations despite several price cuts, and the company continued to incur significant financial losses. After a change in leadership, Sega discontinued the Dreamcast on March 31, 2001, withdrawing from the console business and restructuring itself as a third-party publisher. 9.13 million Dreamcast units were sold worldwide.
Although the Dreamcast had a short lifespan and limited third-party support, reviewers have considered the console ahead of its time. Its library contains many games considered creative and innovative, including Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio and Shenmue, as well as high-quality ports from Sega's NAOMI arcade system board. The Dreamcast was also the first console to include a built-in modem for Internet support and online play.Electronic Entertainment Expo 2015
The Electronic Entertainment Expo 2015 (E3 2015) was the 21st Electronic Entertainment Expo held. The event took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California. It began on June 16, 2015, and ended on June 18, 2015, with 52,200 total attendees.
Major exhibitors at the convention included Activision Blizzard, Atlus, Bethesda Softworks, Electronic Arts, Microsoft Studios, Nintendo, Nvidia, Sony Computer Entertainment, Square Enix and Ubisoft.While E3 is a closed event to only members of the video game industry and the media, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) allowed access to the event from gamers for the first time by distributing 5,000 tickets the various exhibitors that they subsequently distributed to their fans.GameStop
GameStop Corp. (more known simply as GameStop) is an American video game, consumer electronics, and wireless services retailer. The company is headquartered in Grapevine, Texas, United States, a suburb of Dallas, and operates 7,267 retail stores throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. The company's retail stores primarily operate under the GameStop, EB Games, ThinkGeek and Micromania brands.In addition to retail stores, GameStop also owns Game Informer, a video game magazine; Simply Mac, an Apple products reseller; and Spring Mobile, an AT&T wireless reseller.Kingdom Hearts III
Kingdom Hearts III is an action role-playing game developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It is the twelfth installment in the Kingdom Hearts series, a sequel to Kingdom Hearts II, and the final chapter in the Dark Seeker saga. Set after the events of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, returning protagonist Sora is joined by Donald Duck, Goofy, King Mickey and Riku in their search for the seven Guardians of Light and the "Key to Return Hearts" as they attempt to thwart the restored Xehanort's plan to bring about a second Keyblade War. Their journey has them cross paths with characters and visit worlds based on different Disney and Pixar intellectual properties.
Concepts for the game began as early as 2006 after the release of Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix in Japan, with the game not being announced until 2013, following years of rumors and speculation. Kingdom Hearts III sees many returning gameplay features from the series, while expanding parties to five characters total, introducing new "Attraction Flow" attacks that incorporate various Disney Parks attractions, and minigames inspired by classic Walt Disney Productions Mickey Mouse cartoons in the style of 1980s LCD games. The game was built using Unreal Engine 4.
Kingdom Hearts III was released worldwide in January 2019. Upon release, the game was met with positive reviews from critics. The game sold over 5 million copies worldwide one week after release.Lara Croft
Lara Croft is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the video game franchise Tomb Raider. She is presented as a highly intelligent, athletic, and beautiful English archaeologist who ventures into ancient tombs and hazardous ruins around the world. Created by a team at British developer Core Design that included Toby Gard, the character first appeared in the video game Tomb Raider in 1996.
Core Design handled initial development of the character and the series. Inspired by Neneh Cherry and comic book character Tank Girl, Gard designed Lara Croft to counter stereotypical female characters. The company modified the character for subsequent titles, which included graphical improvements and gameplay additions. American developer Crystal Dynamics took over the series after the 2003 sequel Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness was received poorly. The new developer rebooted the character along with the video game series. The company altered her physical proportions, and gave her additional ways of interacting with game environments. Croft has been voiced by six actresses in the video game series: Shelley Blond (1996), Judith Gibbins (1997–98), Jonell Elliott (1999–2003), Keeley Hawes (2006–14), Camilla Luddington (2013–present), and Abigail Stahlschmidt (2015).
Lara Croft has further appeared in video game spin-offs, printed adaptations, a series of animated short films, feature films, and merchandise related to the series. Promotion of the character includes a brand of apparel and accessories, action figures, and model portrayals. She has been licensed for third-party promotion, including television and print advertisements, music-related appearances, and as a spokesmodel.
Critics consider Lara Croft a significant game character in popular culture. She holds six Guinness World Records, has a strong fan following, and is among the first video game characters to be successfully adapted to film. Lara Croft is also considered a sex symbol, one of the earliest in the industry to achieve widespread attention. The character's influence in the industry has been a point of contention among critics; viewpoints range from a positive agent of change in video games to a negative role model for young girls.Metroid (video game)
Metroid is an action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo. The first installment in the Metroid series, it was originally released in Japan for the Family Computer Disk System peripheral in August 1986. North America received a release in August 1987 on the Nintendo Entertainment System in a ROM cartridge format, with the European release following in January 1988. Set on the planet Zebes, the story follows Samus Aran as she attempts to retrieve the parasitic Metroid organisms that were stolen by Space Pirates, who plan to replicate the Metroids by exposing them to beta rays and then use them as biological weapons to destroy Samus and all who oppose them.
Metroid was developed by Nintendo Research & Development 1 (Nintendo R&D1) and Intelligent Systems. It was produced by Gunpei Yokoi, directed by Satoru Okada and Masao Yamamoto, and scored by Hirokazu Tanaka. The game's style, focusing on exploration and the search for power-ups that are used to reach previously inaccessible areas, influenced other video games. Its varied endings for fast completion times made it a popular game for speedrunning. It was lauded for being one of the first video games to feature a female protagonist, though the player must complete the game in under five hours for this to be revealed, with the game's English-language instruction manual even using "he" to refer to the protagonist.
Nintendo Power ranked Metroid 11th on their list of the best games for a Nintendo console. On Top 100 Games lists, it was ranked 7th by Game Informer and 69th by Electronic Gaming Monthly. The game was re-released for the Game Boy Advance in 2004 as part of the Classic NES Series. It was released on the Wii Virtual Console in Europe and North America in 2007, and in Japan the following year. It is currently available to play through Nintendo Switch Online.Radiata Stories
Radiata Stories (ラジアータ ストーリーズ, Rajiaata Sutooriizu) is an action role-playing video game. It was developed by tri-Ace and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 2. It was released on January 27, 2005 in Japan and September 6, 2005 in North America. The game was well received in Japan but received a more mixed reception in North America. It sold over 413,000 copies worldwide. Noriyuki Iwadare composed the soundtrack.Sonic R
Sonic R is a 1997 racing video game developed by Traveller's Tales and Sonic Team and published by Sega for the Sega Saturn. The player races one of ten Sonic characters in various Sonic-themed race tracks as they attempt to stop Doctor Robotnik from stealing the Chaos Emeralds and enslaving the world.
Sonic R is the third Sonic racing game, and the first in 3D. It was the second collaboration between Traveller's Tales and Sonic Team and was developed over nine months, designed to take advantage of the Saturn hardware. Sonic R was the only original Sonic game released for the Sega Saturn; Sonic 3D Blast is a port of the Sega Genesis game, and Sonic Jam is a compilation of the first four Sonic games.
Sonic R was praised for its visuals, but its controls and short length were criticised, and its soundtrack, composed by Richard Jacques, polarised players. It was rereleased for Windows in 1998, and for the PlayStation 2 and GameCube as part of Sonic Gems Collection in 2005.