Jeff Green of GFW: Print is in Trouble

Jeff Green of GFW: Print is in Trouble

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Jeff Green, the former Editor-in-Chief of Games for Windows magazine, has left journalism with the message that "print is in trouble."

Shortly after leaving his job at 1Up running the remains of the Games for Windows brand online following the magazine's closure, Green appeared on the Gamers With Jobs Conference Call to discuss why so many industry publications are failing or struggling to survive.

"I think that print is in trouble. I'm no genius, this is no revelation. You see it across all media. This isn't just gaming. I canceled my subscription to my local newspaper because I'm reading all my news online, so it's not like any of us are immune to that or not responsible in some way," said Green. He went on to say that the challenge for gaming mags in particular is staying relevant for a tech-savvy audience.

"How do you come out every four weeks with a magazine you made six weeks earlier and still be relevant?" asked Green. "That's my biggest frustration with what happened with Games for Windows magazine. [The team] and I had actually started to figure that question out. We can't compete on this level, we can't provide them updated news. We can't provide them timely reviews. Screw it, let's not even try. You can't even pretend anymore that you're not in the internet age, you just go with it. We tried to do alternate features, longer interviews, things that the web is actually not good at. You don't get people to click on page after page in an interview. I felt that at the end of our run there we were just getting to this place where we were justifying our existence. 'Okay, we know you're on the web all day, that's cool, so are we. Here's this every month to go along with that.'"

If any one thing was to blame for the fall of GFW, continued Green, it was the loss of ad revenue as advertisers found other places to spend their money. "This is where the success of gaming in mainstream culture hurts the niche. If EA knows that they can spend their ad dollars on a Madden ad that will reach how many millions of people on TV, it's less important to put an ad in a niche hobbyist press. They don't need it now, it's not their priority."

For more thoughts from the former Editor-in-Chief, read Jeff Green's writings on his personal blog.

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Well duh.

I always enjoyed reading his articles, and CGW in general. Print gaming magazines have been on a downward spiral for years now, which is an unavoidable shame. I always enjoyed reading paper more then having to stare at a screen.

I should probably get a Kindle...

Good thing you guys are an online magazine that e-mails me!

Kross:
Print gaming magazines have been on a downward spiral for years now, which is an unavoidable shame. I always enjoyed reading paper more then having to stare at a screen.

Gaming Magazines perhaps. Print? Nah. There's always room for magazines and books, just accept their limitations and strengths.

Harry Potter has proven that Print isn't dead by a long shot. Necromotium!

That's too bad that the print industry suffers as it is right now.

I'll still buy my mag subscriptions though. I still need something to read in the bathroom at work, and I doubt I'm gonna carry articles from the printer into the can with me.

Alone Disciple:
That's too bad that the print industry suffers as it is right now.

I'll still buy my mag subscriptions though. I still need something to read in the bathroom at work, and I doubt I'm gonna carry articles from the printer into the can with me.

You don't have a Nintendo DS in the bathroom?

Good riddance to print magazines. I've been getting my news online since Gamespot was still part of ZDNet, before GameFAQs had message boards, since Ozzy Osbourne was still coherent, for cryin' out loud.

Once I discovered that I could get information about video games that wasn't two months out of date (and was free besides!), that was it for me and print mags.

I haven't regularly read any gaming mags since Computer Games Strategy + was still good.

I have bought the occasional Playstation mag if it bundled a particularly compelling game demo, but other than that, *shrug*.

But then, I finally signed up for a Gamestop card, and that includes a subscription to Game Informer, so I guess I have new bathroom literature now.

Gaming magazines are becoming Archaic. It's silly to think that you can survive as a printed publication on gaming news alone, especially old gaming news, when people can get it online, immediately for free.

Just as long as they don't start making car magazines online only, I'm fine with that. The slow pace of automotive news means that they still suit a magazine format, and it will be a sad day when they turn to online news only.

I for one will find it dreadfully ironic if the print-powers-that-be take Green's advice - which I think is right on the mark - and find success by shifting their efforts toward longer articles, more in-depth reviews, alternate features and so forth. Why ironic? Go read a mid-90s edition of Computer Gaming World and maybe you'll see for yourself.

 

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