Every English-Language Video Game Magazine Still In Printby Frank Cifaldi October 3, 2019
One of the functions of the Video Game History Foundation is to maintain a library of print magazines that cover video games and the video game industry. One of our core beliefs is that a robust collection of video game media provides historians with an instant window into how games were played, advertised, and discussed at the time of their release.
While this library mainly consists of publications from the industry’s pre-internet past, we recently decided to not only focus our efforts on more recent publications, but on staying current as well. Which meant finding and subscribing to all of the English-language magazines we could find.
As it turns out, this is much easier said than done! While there are quite a few magazines being published, there hasn’t been an index that we could find up until now. And in many cases, these magazines don’t have an internet presence! In more than one case, a magazine only made it on to this list because we happened upon them by taking the time to explore physical magazine racks.
A tremendous amount of research went in to not only substantiating these magazines, but on securing subscriptions to them, so we thought it was worth publishing the results of our work for the sake of any other video game-related libraries out there – or for potential readers who might not know their options!
We hope to maintain this post as a living document. Did we miss anything? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 4, 2019: Added Eight Bit Magazine and HyperPlay RPG. Keep those suggestions coming!
“Aimed at kids aged 7-12, each issue comes with awesome free gifts as well as all the latest game reviews and previews. If that’s not enough, you can catch up on YouTuber exclusives with DanTDM, Stampy and EthanGamer, and play like a pro with walkthroughs, Minecraft tips, and Fortnite pro guides!
Covering all gaming platforms and featuring only age appropriate content, make sure you ‘level up’ and get your copy!”
This British magazine is squarely aimed at children. Like many European magazines in this demographic, each issue is poly-bagged with bonus toys: issue 66 (pictured), for example, includes a keychain, thumb grips, posters, and trading cards.
Download: Minecraft Official Magazine
Each issue is jam-packed with hints, tips and step-by-step builds that show you how to improve your game and hone your building skills. All the tips and guides are presented by four hardy adventurers – Sparks, Bear, Scout and Monty – who also star in the magazine’s official comic strip, co-created by Mojang.
You also get the chance to access behind the scenes and exclusive peek into a selection of builds created by the Minecraft community as well as tough quizzes games only the biggest fans can find the answers to!
This is the magazine the Minecraft community have been waiting for!”
Minecraft Official Magazine in the UK appears to have merged into Download Magazine, a publication that switches is content focus month to month (other subjects include Fortnite and Star Wars).
Download: Fortnite, Independent & Unofficial
Country: United Kingdom
Subscription (Download Magazine): Newsstand
Like Minecraft Official Magazine, this Fortnite-specific publication is actually the occasional issue of Download, a magazine that has zero web presence and switches its focus month-to-month.
“Edge is a global authority on videogame art, design and play, providing subscribers with a regular source of trusted videogames industry insight.”
The UK’s oldest surviving video game magazine. Not nearly as influential as it once was, but still a great resource for developer insight and thoughtful criticism.
“After a highly successful kickstarter issue 2 onwards will be published quarterly. Each issue will be at least 68, A5 pages in full colour with the goal of creating the excitement of computer magazines of the 1980’s. Topics covered will be everything 8-bit, from hardware, software, programming and 8-bit culture. Our eyes won’t be totally focused on the past as the 8-bit scene is still going strong and growing stronger. We will cover the release of new hardware and software and best of all, meeting the people involved in the scene who love those computers as much as we do.”
This retro tech zine also has an annual compendium, and an upcoming spinoff magazine, Retro Format.
“FREEZE64 is a home-grown, A5 pro-printed, full colour, gloss, Commodore 64 gaming, cheat and coding fanzine, which you can buy and have sent to you wherever you are in the world.
“Each issue is full of C64 game news, mini game reviews, coder interviews (recent interviews include Jon Hare, David Darling, Andrew Braybrook, John Darnell, Gary Penn, Nick Taylor, Peter Liepa, Shaun Southern, Chris Shrigley, Karl Hornell, Mark Greenshields, Duncan Kershaw, Tony Pomfret…) game ending reviews, desert island disks, special guides on game hacking, tips, revealing hidden game messages, exclusive POKES ‘n CODES, and lots, lots more. If you love gaming on your C64 and want to learn more about cheating in games, as well as reading game reviews, features and interviews, then this is the fanzine for you.”
This Commodore 64 fanzine is shockingly prolific, with editor Vinny Mainolfi managing to secure multiple interesting interviews in each issue.
“Each issue (from issue #2) will be 60 pages in length, A5 in size and printed in high quality silk paper.”
It’s worth noting that an American syndication of Fusion’s content is set to debut soon as “Retro Fusion,” a continuation of Retro magazine.
The oldest surviving English-language video game magazine, having started way back in 1991! Thanks to subscriptions being included with the GameStop rewards card, the magazine’s circulation is over 7 million – the fourth largest overall circulation in the country.
Country: United States
“What you will find is a mag that can’t be found anywhere else: informative, entertaining, off-beat insights into the best that retro RPGs and Nintendo have to offer. To be held and, yes, sniffed in your trembling hands. Who knows, these issues themselves may one day become collector’s items…”
Independent & Unofficial Guide to Fortnite (UK)
Publisher: Dennis Publishing
Country: United Kingdom
We’ll help you make sense of Save The World, profile the world’s best Fortnite players and show you how to get involved in Fortnite eSports tournaments. And if you’re still stuck, you can always seek advice from our no-nonsense agony aunt Fortessa!”
A monthly magazine for the Fortnite fan. Can occasionally be found at vendors in the U.S., though there is no official way to subscribe.
Independent & Unofficial Guide to Fortnite (US)
Country: United States
U.S. syndication of the British magazine, with its own numbering scheme and a slightly different page size.
It, like its publisher, is a bit of a mystery – I’ve only seen two issues for sale, and I’ve only ever seen them at CVS pharmacy. The current, undated issue seems to be #2, though the actual content seems to mirror the UK’s issue 11 – from all the way back in June, an eternity in Fortnite time. It’s been in stock at my local CVS since at least August.
It is unclear if any more issues are coming, but given that it is still available for purchase, it is included here.
Independent and Unofficial Guide Minecraft World
“Become an expert by subscribing today – learn how to protect yourself against the mobs, test out new recipes and discover everything you need to know about all the different blocks.
“Whether you love to play, or you know someone that does, Minecraft World is the best independent guide available.”
A surprisingly long-lasting magazine that got in early on the Minecraft craze – the current issue as of this writing is number 57.
Independent & Unofficial Ultimate Fortnite Challenges
“Tick off all the sub-challenges and you can tick the box at the end that says you’ve completed that challenge! Can readers tick off the Bronzes, Silvers and Golds in every issue? That really is the Ultimate Fortnite Challenge!”
Sister publication to Indpendent & Unofficial Guide to Fortnite, with a fairly unique premise. Issue 8, with no cover date, is the most recent, but given the magazine’s lack of a web presence it is unclear if issues are still being published.
Krash Presents: Fortnite
Spin-off of Krash, an Australian boy’s magazine. One of several Fortnite-specific magazines currently being published around the world.
The actual content here is created by Old Mate Media – in fact, according to his LinkedIn profile, the sole author of this magazine is editor Chris Stead, who is also the games editor at Krash. It is unclear if this magazine is still being published, as it has no web presence. A UK edition of the magazine with its own numbering scheme was also printed at one point, but appears to no longer be active.
“These are all parts of our industry and MCV reflects every diverse aspect of it, with up to date analysis and insight. It will help everyone make better informed business decisions, and provide an independent and trusted platform for the industry to communicate through.”
The long-running British publication is the only video game trade magazine still being printed in English, not counting those handed out only at trade shows (such as gamesindustry.biz magazine at E3). Complimentary subscriptions are offered only to members of the industry in the UK. Paid subscriptions are available, but have to be arranged manually via email.
“Inside each issue, you’ll find previews and reviews on the latest SEGA games and retro reviews and retrospectives on your favorite games from your youth. It also contains unique feature and personality stories on the people behind our favorite SEGA series, as well as coverage of the SEGA indie and community scene, and much more!
“Each issue contains original cover and interior art and 64 pages of retro-style design that will make you feel like you’re back in the early ’90s. Our art team also creates original art for each retrospective and featured retro review to give each issue a unique look and feel.
“Our goal is to create a video game magazine that’s collectible, not disposable.”
Sega mega-fans Chris Powell and Gaham Cookson have been publishing fan work about the company since way back in the Dreamcast days. Mega Visions was a successfully-funded Kickstarter in 2016, and is now offered via Patreon.
Well, we didn’t want to see that legacy die. So we assembled a dream team of the most well-known Nintendo journalists from around the world and launched a new magazine four years ago! The first issue went on sale on January 11, 2013, exactly one month after Nintendo Power ended.
NF Magazine is not Nintendo Power, but we’re carrying its torch forward into the future by paying homage to the best parts of NP’s past while forging a new identity with an all-new team. So join the Force! Subscribe to NF Magazine by becoming a patron here on Patreon, and get all-new Nintendo magazines coming to your mailbox, your email inbox or directly to your digital reading device of choice!”
Old School Gamer Magazine
“This magazine is dedicated to the gamer who enjoys everything from Arcade Game collecting – refurbishing – playing to the gamer reliving his childhood from the 70s, 80s and 90s and passing it on to the next generation of gamers. Those that collect the arcade machines, bring that back to life and play them, those that collect and enjoy games from the first generation to the current.”
It is worth noting that the digital edition of this is free on the website.
PC Gamer (UK)
“PC Gamer is the world’s best videogames magazine, delivering in-depth reviews, bespoke features and extensive hardware coverage in every issue.”
Long-running magazine focused on the PC market. Note that the UK edition is not officially available in the U.S. – if you click the subscription link above, it will switch magazine regions based on your IP. We managed to use a VPN to trick the site into selling us a UK edition subscription mailed to the U.S., but were promptly refunded days later.
PC Gamer (US)
“We know the culture of PC better than anyone, and with each issue, we aim to share that passion with our loyal readers – and we’ll make a few jokes while doing it.”
The U.S. edition of PC Gamer has the same content as the UK edition, just less of it…about twenty fewer pages of editorial, in all.
PC Powerplay doesn’t just promote tech, it benchmarks and analyses it to help gamers make the most intelligent purchasing decision they can.”
PC PowerPlay appears to be Australia’s last surviving general interest video game mag, as Hyper quietly published its final issue recently.
PlayStation Official Magazine
“With unrivalled access, informed opinion, and sharp writing, Official PlayStation Magazine – UK is the definitive source for the latest PS4 news, features, and reviews; travelling the world to bring you the insider scoops and hottest new releases.
“The only magazine in the UK totally dedicated to all aspects of retro gaming, containing exclusive interviews with classic developers, behind the scenes access to the biggest games of all time, and fascinating new facts about all of your favourite games.”
This UK-centric nostalgia mag is about to celebrate its 200th issue!
Fusion Magazine is a great retro video game magazine made by Fusion Retro Books (Oliver Twins History and Ocean Software History Books). Their reporting and articles are top notch and their editorial team is very knowledgeable in terms of video gaming of the past.
So Thanks to this, finally we are going to be more efficient in terms of magazine issues for RETRO.
RETRO Fusion Magazine (will be the official name of these issues) will have an exclusive cover page produce only for the North American readership! And will ship at least 2 issues a year (Fusion is shipping 6 a year). The magazine will only feature 4 full page advertisements, the rest will be content (about 54-60 pages total).”
Formerly RETRO Magazine (pictured), RETRO Fusion is the North American syndicated version of Fusion out of the UK. As of this writing the first issue has not shipped.
Our magazine is packed with loads of awesome Switch coverage, whether that’s the latest reviews, features from amazing journalists, interviews with Switch developers and community contributions. You don’t have to go far on the internet to find Switch coverage online, as it’s new and shiny and very popular but we hope that our little magazine will offer a unique, relevant and detailed impression for everything from the world of the Switch.”
Ultimate Guide to Fortnite
Otherwise known as “Gaming Fun Presents The Ultimate Guide to Fortnite. This is, as far as we know, the only video game magazine published in the United States that can be purchased at a newsstand.
The content here, though mostly uncredited, appears to be provided by Goody S.A. out of Lisbon, and is translated and rewritten by Centennial’s staff in New York. Goody’s Fortnite content is syndicated to several publishers around the world.
Interestingly, Egmont in the UK has used this same content in its Showcase and Toxic magazines – with a completely different English translation!
Walmart GameCenter (and related)
Publisher: EGM Media
Country: United States
“Each edition is distributed in both print and digital formats that are accessible by gamers who visit any of the 3,000+ Walmart retail locations across North America in a permanent, metal rack on the video game end-cap.
“Walmart GameCenter Magazine is also available digitally. Each print edition is accompanied by a highly interactive digital edition, which is either available for download on all devices or downloads automatically on computers to users, who have downloaded our desktop newsstand app. The magazine is also easily viewable through our game-specific Launch Day Apps on iOS and Android mobile devices.”
For those wondering what happened to Electronic Gaming Monthly, here it is! EGM Media publishes magazines distributed exclusively at Walmart retail stores for free. In addition to Walmart GameCenter, there is also Geek and Walmart Parents Guide to Video Games. Though they are separate publications, they seem to share the same staff and publishing cadence.
“We ❤️ open source
“Wireframe magazine operates under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0). This means you are welcome to share and adapt the content of the magazine as long as you follow the licence terms.
“Wireframe magazine is published by Raspberry Pi Press, the publishing imprint of Raspberry Pi Trading Ltd. Like the purchase of any other official Raspberry Pi product, buying Wireframe magazine helps the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s charitable mission to put the power of computing in the hands of people all over the world. Every penny made by RPTL goes towards the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s charitable mission.”
It’s hard not to appreciate an open source print magazine – especially with content as diverse and interesting as Wireframe’s. A truly unique publication.
Xbox: The Official Magazine
“Great writing, expert opinion and unrivaled access to new games, the world’s biggest (and smallest) game studios and more, Official Xbox Magazine is the definitive source for the latest Xbox news, previews, reviews and in-depth features on all things Xbox.”
As of earlier this year, there are no longer separate UK and US editions of Xbox: The Official Magazine. The US edition has now merged numbering schemes with the UK magazine, and the only difference is the bar code and cover price – even the advertisements in the US magazine are for British sellers!