Open main menu

GameFan (originally known as Diehard GameFan) was a publication started by Tim Lindquist and Dave Halverson in September 1992 that provided coverage of domestic and import video games.[1] It was notable for its extensive use of game screenshots in page design because of the lack of good screen shots in other U.S. publications at the time. The original magazine ceased publishing in December 2000. On April 2010, Halverson relaunched GameFan as a hybrid video game/film magazine.[2] However, this relaunch was short-lived and suffered from many internal conflicts, advertising revenue being the main one.

GameFan
Gamefan-27.jpg
Volume 7, Issue 12 (December 1999)
EditorDave Halverson
David Hodgson
Eric Mylonas
CategoriesGaming, Anime
FrequencyMonthly
First issueOctober 1992
Final issue
Number
December 2000
Volume 8, Issue 12
CompanyDieHard Gamers Club (1992-1996)
Metropolis Media (1996-1998)
Shinno Media (1999-2000)
CountryUnited States, Canada
LanguageEnglish
Websitehttp://gamefan.com (defunct)
ISSN1092-7212

HistoryEdit

The idea for the name GameFan came from the Japanese Sega magazine called Megafan. Although it began as an advertising supplement to sell imported video games mostly from Japan, the small text reviews and descriptions soon took on a life all their own, primarily due to the lack of refinement and sense of passion. Caricatures were given in place of actual editor profile, with profiles drawn exclusively by Terry Wolfinger. This particular method of reviewing and commenting seemingly freed its editors from the creative restraints commonly associated with competing publications. It also allowed certain editors like Dave Halverson to write multiple reviews of the same game under different pseudonyms.

GameFan was well known for its extensive import game coverage and its expansive coverage of the emerging interest in anime. Another major feature that separated GameFan from other gaming magazines was the high quality paper it was printed on. GameFan's game screen shots were the most colorful and faithfully resembled the game graphics. The death of GameFan is usually attributed to several factors. The primary cause was a series of lawsuits which had haunted the magazine for nearly its entire run (mainly stemming from a cadre of investors that felt they were fleeced during the earliest years of the publication's run), following it through numerous corporate iterations and change of hands. It is this lawsuit that, in fact, had prevented the sale of the print magazine and its continuation as a going concern (as it turns out, the deal was virtually all but final and was derailed at the 11th hour due to the aforementioned suit).

Even after its demise, several staff members attempted to have the brand resurrected by the publisher of Computer Strategy Plus, based in Burlington, Vermont. A deal could not be reached and the magazine was shuttered shortly thereafter (around the end of the first quarter of 2001.)

ControversyEdit

In the September 1995 issue of GameFan, an article was printed that contained several derogatory comments about Japanese people (naming them "little Jap bastards", a racially derogatory term that was used to insult Japanese descendants and Japanese-Americans during the years of World War II). The text took the place of one of the paragraphs of one of the sports games reviews. The article discussed a Namco flight-simulator, Ace Combat, rather than College Football '96 (which was the topic of the article) and was poorly written.

GameFan's official explanation was that a rogue employee had sabotaged the magazine in order to alienate its Japanese audience and fanbase. However, later reports indicated that it was actually filler text that someone had neglected to remove, and the whole thing was an internal joke that accidentally got printed.[3] A long apology (dated August 24, 1995) was published in DieHard GameFan's October 1995 issue in both English and Japanese,[4] and a further apology appeared in the November 1995 issue.[5]

StaffEdit

Staff members of GameFan magazine had amusing aliases.

Within the magazine there was a comic strip, The Adventures of Monitaur, an anime-derived series. Although the title character Monitaur was only drawn for the strip, the rest of the magazine's staff personae appeared as characters. Monitaur's main storylines were his struggles against The Blowmeister, who metaphorically represented the leadership of rival magazines such as Electronic Gaming Monthly''.

Golden MegawardsEdit

The winners of GameFan's annual Golden Megawards were chosen by editors.

Related publicationsEdit

GameFan's original editor-in-chief, Dave Halverson, went on to publish Gamer's Republic, and then Play Magazine (an American video-gaming magazine, not to be confused with the English publication of the same name), consisting mostly of former GameFan and Gamer's Republic staff members. Gamer's Republic had a short run of 35 issues and has ceased publication back in July 2001 when the dot-com bubble burst. Play had a far more successful run of 97 issues until the publishing company filed for bankruptcy.

Tim Lindquist, along with several other members of the original GameFan team, began a new magazine, Hardcore Gamer. They also began developing strategy guides as a part of their publishing company, DoubleJump Books (now called Onionbat Books). The magazine had a short run of 36 issues before they began focusing exclusively on their website.[11]

The DieHard GameFan name was resurrected by Alex Lucard as a website, Diehard GameFAN, with Halverson's blessings.[12] While there is plenty of coverage on the major releases, the site also prides itself on reviewing more "indie" games, much in the spirit of the original magazine.

2010 relaunchEdit

GameFan/MovieFan/Destructoid Magazine
EditorDave Halverson
Wesley Ruscher
James Bacon
Brandon Justice
CategoriesGaming, Movies, Comics, Anime, Manga
FrequencyInconsistent
First issueApril 2010
Final issueJuly 2015 (Issue 11)
CompanyPaper Planet LLC
CountryUnited States, Canada
LanguageEnglish
Websitehttp://gamefanmag.com (defunct)

After the bankruptcy of Fusion Publishing and the closure of Play, Dave Halverson immediately began work on his latest magazine, a relaunch of GameFan. The magazine returned to newsstands on April 2010, headed by Halverson and a few key staffers from Play with Rob Duenas serving as the new art director. It was available in both print and digital formats, the latter of which was sold directly through GameFan's online shop.

For the first two issues, GameFan featured a section titled MovieFan which covered movies, anime, and comics. The first two-thirds of the magazine were devoted to GameFan, then readers needed to turn the magazine upside down in order to read the MovieFan magazine. As of issue 3, the MovieFan portion of the magazine was discontinued, but later issues would still feature anime and comic reviews similar to Play. In its second and final issue, MovieFan conducted one of the last known interviews with late filmmaker, Satoshi Kon.[13]

Up until issue 5, the magazine had been on a consistent, bi-monthly release schedule. Unfortunately, problems occurred with the magazine's development due to issues with advertising revenue, causing the sixth issue to be released on August 2011, eight months after issue 5, and with an entirely new editing team, headed-up by newcomer James Bacon. Issue 7 was assembled by only three people - Editor in Chief Dave Halverson, Art Director and Graphic Designer Rob Duenas, and Managing Editor James Bacon - and was released in December 2011. Soon thereafter Duenas resigned. The reason for his departure was due to an overwhelming workload stating that he worked "20 hours a day for two weeks straight and [he was] still short cover art".[14] Despite the stressful working conditions, Duenas harbored no ill will towards Halverson or the magazine, stating that he would have still been willing to contribute with cover illustrations or providing assistance with layouts. Soon after Duenas' departure, Bacon left for reasons unstated.

A press release was issued on April 18, 2012, highlighting the supposed future of Paper Planet brands: GameFan and Girls of Gaming. The company planned on increasing their online presence through app development for mobile devices as well as a new GameFan TV online channel. None of these plans had ever come to fruition, with the slight exception of a YouTube channel. Former Destructoid editor Wesley Ruscher was named the magazine's new editor-in-chief but resigned shortly after the release of issue 8 stating that it "lacked the necessities to keep food in [his] belly and a roof over [his] head."[15]

As of June 2013, GameFan's web presence had been in a mostly inactive state for about a year. Issue 9 was finally made available in February 2013 after missing their holiday 2012 release. This issue was only worked on by two people, Dave Halverson and Greg Orlando. Issues 8 and 9 were only available in a digital format. GameFan would later go on a two-year hiatus, returning in 2015 with a rebooted, redesigned magazine and website. In February 2015, GameFan simultaneously released issue 10 digitally and in newsstands. The digital version was released gratis on Magzter with the use of a promotional code. The magazine went through a complete overhaul, simplifying its layouts and design, most likely in order to have the magazines completed on schedule. The size of the print magazine is significantly smaller compared to previous issues. In addition to that, they also redesigned their logo and their mascot, Monitaur.

On May 6, 2015, GameFan had announced a partnership with Destructoid to help promote the GameFan brand with collaborations and free subscription offers. The initial plan was to bring back the dual-cover format from the first two issues, only instead of a MovieFan portion, it would be exclusive content created by Destructoid for the magazine.[16] According to GameFan's official Facebook page, the deal with Destructoid would have allowed for the magazine to be released on a monthly schedule.[17] However, the deal with Destructoid seemingly fell through as only one issue of the GameFan/Destructoid magazine had ever been released.[citation needed] As of January 2019, there have been no new updates regarding GameFan's overall status in more than three years.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Lindquist, Tim (June 28, 2004). "Onionbat Publishing Message Boards". Retrieved 2012-05-10.
  2. ^ "Gamefan / Moviefan Magazine". YouTube. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
  3. ^ "20 Biggest Gaming Controversies". Gamepro. May 5, 2009. Archived from the original on May 9, 2009. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  4. ^ Halverson, Dave. Editorial Zone. DieHard GameFan. Volume 3. Issue 10. No.34. Pg.4. October 1995.
  5. ^ Halverson, Dave. Editorial Zone. DieHard GameFan. Volume 3. Issue 11. No.35. Pg.4. November 1995.
  6. ^ GameFan, volume 1, issue 3 (January 1993), pages 70-71
  7. ^ GameFan, volume 2, issue 2 (January 1994), pages 54-58
  8. ^ GameFan, volume 3, issue 1 (January 1995), pages 68-75
  9. ^ GameFan, volume 4, issue 1 (January 1996), pages 104-106
  10. ^ GameFan, volume 5, issue 2 (February 1997), pages 34-36
  11. ^ Lachel, Cyril (August 4, 2006). "Defunct Games > On Running Feuds > One Hardcore Gamer's Redux". Retrieved 2008-08-04.
  12. ^ "DIEHARD GAMEFAN 2.0 INTERVIEW". Web.archive.org. 2012-03-25. Archived from the original on 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
  13. ^ "Interview: Satoshi Kon «". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2014-01-27. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
  14. ^ "Goodbye GameFan. by RobDuenas on DeviantArt". Robduenas.deviantart.com. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
  15. ^ "Wesley Ruscher on Twitter: "@Fr0gboss lacked the necessities to keep food in my belly and a roof over my head."". Twitter.com. 2012-09-06. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
  16. ^ "GameFan Magazine & Destructoid Join Forces". Gamefanmag.com. 2015-05-06. Archived from the original on 2015-07-16. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
  17. ^ "Timeline Photos - GameFan Magazine". Facebook. Retrieved 2015-08-17.

External linksEdit