Exclusive: CGM and Massive Close
Gamasutra and Bill Harris have more-or-less simultaneously announced the immediate closure of one of the oldest print games magazines, Computer Games Magazine as well as their recently established sister publication, Massive.
According to Gama (and Bill) the closures are due in no small part to the recent lawsuit filed in June of last year by MySpace against the magazines' parent company, The Globe. The Globe was recently found liable in a California court for hundreds of thousands of spam messages sent to MySpace users.
The Escapist talked with a source inside Computer Games Magazine's parent organization who, for obvious reasons, wished to remain anonymous. Considering a number of his statements reflected similar stories from similar sources, and the fact that this source is a long-standing friend of The Escapist and a reliable source, we feel comfortable reprinting his revelations here.
According to our source The Globe will be shutting down it's portal theglobe.com, and has laid off at least 60 employees - 14 in their games division - in spite of the fact that the revenues for the games division have actually gone up 50% for the year to date.
The news came as a bit of a shock to just about everyone here, but also to CGM and Massive's employees. Our source indicates that CGM and Massive staff, many of whom were in San Francisco last week covering GDC, were informed as late as this week of the closures.
According to Gamasutra, calls to publisher Jayson Dubin were not returned, and were instead answered by an automated recording suggesting the line had been disconnected.
The cover illustraton in the article is from a unrelated magazine titled "Computer Games". The current Computer Games launched in the US in 1990.
From the Gamasutra article: "According to an SEC filing from TheGlobe: 'Total damages under CAN-SPAM could therefore range between about $40 million to about $120 million.'"
Nice to see the concept of proportional justice is alive and well and functioning oh-so-smoothly in the American justice system. Also, as of 10:30 am on March 15, it is still possible to fill out the subscription form for Massive. Not sure what happens if you actually try to subscribe - I have no interest in the magazine or an accidental subscription - but for now at least, it appears as though there's still momentum in the machine.