Play Magazine, dead?

Looks like it’s official. Today (Feb. 1, 2010) I received a “Notice of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of
Creditors and Deadlines” concerning Fusion Publishing, Inc. The meeting
of creditors is 11 a.m., March 1, 2010, at 21051 Warner Center Lane,
#105, Woodland Hills, CA 91367. The case number is 1:10-bk-10979-GM.

Taking a look at the Wall for the magazine, it appears they folded Geek Monthly awhile back, with people not being able to get refunds:

Good lord.


people, stop giving money to halverson!

Now where will I get my street-legal hardcore octopus-on-samurai-girl porn?

Maybe Dave Long has a suggestion.

“Play dead!”

Too bad. I have to admit that when I looked through game magazines in the book stores, Play was my favorite. Great pictures.

You couldn’t take their reviews seriously though. They loved everything. They should have just stuck with previews, where it’s OK to love everything.

It’s true, they never had a harsh word about anything, ever. Made for boring reading and not at all useful if you’re actually interested in a game they’re reviewing/previewing because you have no idea if their praise is genuine or not. I don’t agree that it’s ok to love everything in previews, though giving the game the benefit of the doubt is surely in order.

Another one bites the dust.

So it’s up to Game Informer and Gamepro alone now, along with the re-launched EGM?

EGM hasn’t relaunched that I’m aware of. I’ve yet to see it on a newsstand.

This sucks. Play was a lot of fun to read every month. The industry needs more cheerleaders and less cynicism. Jaded hatred and misery wins again.

It wasn’t cheerleading as much as it was illiterate cock-sucking.

Play had great production values but horrible content.

Yes, the industry, no, the world, needs more hard-hitting coverage such as this.

A quick look found one of the best sentences ever written by someone who didn’t work for IGN.

If it makes you feel any better, Dave, Jose Liz is still out there somewhere.

I’ve pretty much given up on game sites anyway. The only two I ever read with regularity anymore are/were fidgit and crispy. Crispy’s gone now. How long will Fidgit last?

I just don’t see much reason to read reviews anymore. I can’t really trust any of them. The best I can do is identify someone who’s views I understand, and then follow that person. Then at least I know when I will disagree with them, and when I won’t.

Problem is, it’s hard to follow a single person’s reviews or opinions, unless they have a voice and a site to themselves like Tom does.

shrug Nowadays I just stick to the opinions of friends whom I trust. I’ve purchased far less duds in the past few years since starting that. Sure it means I don’t really get to play things at launch, but I always lag behind the conversation anyway.

That’s what’s weird to me: It’s clear that the game “site”, as a bizarre portal-like agglomeration of content, is dead. But game blogs are much more readable and require fewer people – so why aren’t there more of them? Joystiq and Kotaku are basically doing the same thing as news/rumor blogs; Fidgit and Dubious Quality (Bill Harris) are both good personal review/analysis type blogs; and… that’s it? Are there other good gaming blogs I should be adding to my RSS feed?

Rock, Paper, Shotgun.


I actually liked play - mostly for their art design, interviews, and focus on the fringes of gaming (would anyone else put Voodoo Vince or Death Jr on their front cover?) - but c’mon: they even gave the “Dark Angel” game a positive review. There’s cheeriness and then there’s a flat-out lack of standards.

I don’t mind rah-rah previews as long as they tell me something interesting about games; but I expect some measure of objectivity from reviews. I’m not sure Dave Halverson ever played a game he didn’t like: that’s great as far as maintaining his love & enthusiasm for games goes, but his spooge-fests don’t help readers evaluate a game’s merits & flaws.

QFT (and send your $2 / month to them so they stay in business!)

Additionally I subscribed to “EDGE” since they run kickass stories about everything videogame-related.
Way above every other magazine.

He often does mention stuff that’s not so good in a game, but doesn’t make it a feature of the review. Once they switched to no scores on reviews, it worked a lot better that way.

I have no clue about the behind the scenes of Play, but like Gamefan before it, the magazine got me excited about playing games. Heather Anne Campbell’s stuff was really good, even if I disagreed with her on some things. Eric Patterson did good work too. And having read Dave Halverson for so many years, I know where he stands on games, so his cheerleading was entertaining and not at all a problem for me like it is for everyone else.

Halverson definitely has his own style, but I’m not sure “enthusiastic fanboi” is one we should be encouraging in professional games journalists. :-) I’m not looking for jaded post-modern nihilism in my games writing (“Everything is derivative shit, but this is slightly less shitty than the rest, so you could play if you have nothing better to do than play with shit, I suppose”), but I do prefer folks who can bring an experienced critical eye to game reviews (critical in the “objective evaluator” sense, not the “nitpicking whiner” sense). Halverson is definitely experienced; I just wish he dialed down the gushing a bit and was a little more critical in his reviews.

Fitting, as I would say Gamefan is one of the most horrible things to ever happen to game journalism. It created so much of what is awful about the fanbase now. Gamefan was the first place I encountered console fanboyism, import game snobbery, Western vs. Eastern game design wars, and so many other things that are hallmarks of the “noise” part of GAF’s signal to noise ratio.

Heather Anne Campbell’s stuff was really good, even if I disagreed with her on some things.

It is awesome that she’s the one you have a caveat about, because as far as I’m concerned she’s the only one on that staff with her head on straight. She keeps the gushing to a minimum, she calls mediocrity out where she sees it, and she gave Castlevania Judgment the thrashing it deserved. I have no idea how Halverson tolerated her, but she was the sole voice of reason in that magazine.

And having read Dave Halverson for so many years, I know where he stands on games, so his cheerleading was entertaining and not at all a problem for me like it is for everyone else.

I’ve read Halverson since Gamefan days and his burbling positivism is just as irritating and embarrassing as it ever was. Look at that Bayonetta quote. How can you take anything in the review seriously after that? What purpose does it serve? What good does it do anyone to just praise everything to the heavens no matter how flawed or lazy it is? I love Bayonetta, but that review is useless to anyone who isn’t Dave Halverson. All I learn from it is that Dave Halverson loves Bayonetta far more than any human should, and my previous experience with him allows me to know that this is absolutely nothing new.

Jaded hatred and misery wins again.

It’s called “criticism,” Dave. It’s how things grow, evolve and improve. What Halverson does is essentially advertising.

Also, what exactly constitutes “jaded hatred”?