We're about to embark upon a new adventure, and we're asking for your
support and advice in these very exciting times. If you have any
suggestions or questions once you've read this announcement, please
address them to me.
- Jer Horwitz
SPECIAL ADVANCE ANNOUNCEMENT:
Sendai Signs to Bring Intelligent Gamer Online to Newsstands
Chicago, Illinois -- January 5, 1996 -- In an exclusive arrangement,
Sendai Media Group announced today that it has signed with Intelligent
Gamer Online's Jer Horwitz and Anthony Shubert to bring the Internet's
leading supplier of game-related information onto newsstands.
Beginning with the March issue, Sendai's FUSION magazine will
become FUSION/Intelligent Gamer, providing game players with the first
word on the next generation of gaming. Editorial content will focus on
insider news and information, lengthy hands-on reviews of upcoming game
products, and hard-hitting interviews with the developers and executives
who are shaping the video game and CD-ROM landscapes. The first issue of
the new magazine will have a projected distribution in excess of 200,000.
Throughout the last year, Intelligent Gamer Online has received
industry-wide acclaim for its accurate, comprehensive and
up-to-the-minute coverage of new video game products. "We knew that IG
Online was special when we saw it," explains Steve Harris, president of
Sendai, "and we know that these guys will make a great addition to
Sendai's winning team."
The Intelligent Gamer Online service has been the subject of rave
articles in several magazines, where it has been deemed "well-designed
and informative," "arguably the most reliable" and "unrivalled." Named
both "Cool Site of the Day" and "Cool Place of the Day," Intelligent
Gamer Online is read worldwide and has been used as an information source
by printed magazines from the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia.
"We realize that there are many video game magazines on the
market already," comments Joe Funk, Sendai's Editorial Director, "but
Intelligent Gamer's content is unique. On the Internet, hard-core gamers
trust IG, people in the industry quote IG, and parents rely on IG for
advice on which games to choose for their kids. There will definitely be
room in the marketplace for a product of this quality."
"We're thrilled to be working with Sendai on this new venture,"
says Jer Horwitz, who will become Editor-in-Chief of FUSION/Intelligent
Gamer. "We've worked very hard to win the trust and respect of our
readers and the industry at large, and we've succeeded. This agreement
will bring Intelligent Gamer's high standards to a much wider audience."
The new magazine's Editor at Large, Anthony Shubert, notes that "when we
were just starting out, one magazine's editor told us that 'Intelligent
Gamer' was an oxymoron, and that's just the attitude we've proved
outdated. Surrounded by so many new titles and new types of hardware,
today's gamer is a careful consumer first and foremost, and that's the
audience we reach."
The Sendai Media Group produces magazines targeting the male
youth market that range from ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY, the leading
magazine covering the exploding world of electronic entertainment, and
CINESCAPE, which provides coverage of action and science fiction film and
TV productions. Sendai's publications are read by more than 35 million
people annually world wide.
Intelligent Gamer Online can be found on the Internet's World
Wide Web at http://igonline.escape.com and
http://www.utiweb.com/~igonline, and in the video games forums of leading
commercial online services.
I believe that Sendai will have (almost?) no editorial input to the print
version of Intelligent Gamer. I'll start to panic when Jer starts to hand
out nom de plumes for the IGO staff...
Send whatevers to rj...@netcom.com | If it has pixels, I'm for it.
"You weren't chosen because you are the best pilot in the Air Force. You were
chosen because you are the class clown and frankly, you're expendable."
A couple of questions:
1. How much will the this magazine cost on the stands
to the consumer?!?
2. Will IGO retain its review formats (VERY lengthy, end
summaries, etc.) in the print format?!?
3. Will the online version still be available and continue
to be of the same quality, or will it eventually
be available only through paid online services, and not
to the general internet public?!?
Good luck IGO!
: I admire IGO more than any other print/online vid game
: magazine out there, but I just have to wonder if Sendai
: will not suck your brains dry after a few months of
: having things your way, and reduce IGO to another hyped
: up magazine. Look at EGM, back at issue 2 when I first
: started buying it monthly, they were accurate, unbiased
: and informative. But now....their company has gone
: to trash and will actually be the ones paying your
: salaries! I certainly am happy for your success, IGO,
I should just mention that Sendai publishes many magazines, not just EGM,
though EGM continues to be a very strong seller for the company and caters
to a mostly teenaged audience. IG Online has been devoted to the "mature
gamer," and if you find that EGM isn't your type of gaming publication,
that's where the new publication will meet your needs. =)
: A couple of questions:
: 1. How much will the this magazine cost on the stands
: to the consumer?!?
The current cover cost of Fusion is $4.99.
: 2. Will IGO retain its review formats (VERY lengthy, end
: summaries, etc.) in the print format?!?
Absolutely. They're actually getting better, but you'll need to see how
we're doing that for yourself..
: 3. Will the online version still be available and continue
: to be of the same quality, or will it eventually
: be available only through paid online services, and not
: to the general internet public?!?
We're continuing IG Online through the Net and AOL for certain.
Like the print magazine, IG Online will grow over time.
: Good luck IGO!
- Jer Horwitz
IGO on AOL News 1:
Menu Heading:Rumor:Atari Corp. Apparently Shuts D...(Cutoff)
Article Heading: ATC Closes It's Doors In a Surprise Move
Rumor: Atari Corporation in Hard Times (News Update: 11-9): According to
several sources connected with Atari Corporation, makers of the Jaguar
64-bit game system, operations have come to a near-halt at Atari's
American offices in Sunnyvale, California. Sources speaking on condition
of anonymity report that employees (from the Vice Presidents on down) who
were arriving for work last Thursday morning were told that they should
leave the facility and not return. IG Online will have additional news on
this story in the days to come.
Transmitted: 11/9/95 2:24 PM (prona11b)
IGO on AOL News 2
Menu Heading: Atari Reconfiguration (11-9)
Article Heading: Atari Shakeup Further Explained
Update on Atari Reconfiguration Update (News Update: 11-9): A reliable
source in the Jaguar community (who wishes to remain anonymous) has
sourced IG Online the following update on Atari Corporation's recent
activities. "What Atari appears to be up to is the abandonment of the
Jaguar in favor of becoming a PC development house. However, they are
very busy right now pushing the remaining stock of the Jaguar hardware.
What they have done is to lay off almost the entire Jaguar development and
technical support crew including Bill Rehbock, Norman Kowalewski, and
others, many of the guys behind Club Drive and other works of art. They're
not closing their doors.
Key employees from Scott Sanders, Don Thomas, Greg and Sandy La Brec to
August Liguori remain and will be there for some time. Atari does have $50
million in the bank and plenty of ideas about how to [use] it. Apparently,
John Mathieson has quit as well, which pretty much guarantees there will
never be a Jaguar 2 ("Midsummer").
Contracts for Jaguar applications into mid-1996 remain intact though many
CD (but not all) projects were canned. The real issue here is Atari's long
term strategy. Now that they've dumped most of the deadweight, what are
they going to do next? I don't think any one will know until past
Christmas as at their current size, they do not have the staff to do
anything but push the remaining Jags out the door."
Transmitted: 11/9/95 6:09 PM (prona11c)
IGO on AOL News 3
Menu Heading:Atari's Don Thomas
Article Heading: An Interview with Atari's Don Thomas
Atari layoffs, future strategy: An Interview with Don Thomas
By Brian Osserman
In an attempt to get official word on a number of rumors that have
been flying across the globe in recent days, I called Don Thomas, Atari's
Vice President of Customer Service to see how much he could tell me.
First I asked about the issue that has spurred the most rumors: the
round of layoffs that occurred last week. Don Thomas told me that there
were a number of layoffs of internal developers, but he emphasized that
internal developers have produced very few Jaguar games; most are being
done either through outside contracting or as fully 3rd party games. Mr.
Thomas also stated that Atari still has a fully active testing department,
as they do much of the testing for outside contractors, and are still
committed to testing 3rd party games to be sure they are up to par.
Finally, to emphasize his point, he stated that only about a dozen people
were laid off last week.
On the subject of specific people, I asked him what Jeff Minter's
situation is. He confirmed that Minter has always officially been an
outside contractor, so his situation has not been affected at all (...cue
collective sigh of relief from Jaguar owners worldwide). Francois Bertrand
has been let go, although Don Thomas stated that as far as Atari is
concerned, Fight For Life's situation hasn't changed; it is still on
indefinite delay. He stated that rumors either that FFL has been killed or
that it is already in final testing are both incorrect.
So, how does this affect Atari's future plans for the Jaguar? Mr.
Thomas stated that no projects have been cancelled as a result of the
layoffs (although he also added that if the question had been whether any
layoffs were caused by cancelled projects, his answer would have been "no
comment."). In response to rumors that Atari might not be present at E3
this year, he stated that they do in fact plan to attend, and that any
rumors to the contrary are completely unfounded. He stated that Atari
plans to continue to push the Jaguar heavily, with new games being
produced through outside contracting, and he pointed to immediate plans
for increased marketing, including mailings and TV spots, as well as the
Jaguar mall store as evidence that Atari has no plans whatsoever to back
away from Jaguar development.
Thomas also confirmed that Atari intends to develop a new line of PC
games, but stated that this is unrelated to the internal development
cutbacks, and is independent of, and will not replace, Jaguar product
development. The PC conversion of Tempest 2000 will one of the first games
in this line, and they are holding up any announcements regarding its
status until they are ready to make announcements about the entire line of
PC games. He did, however, state that the new line will include ports of
Finally, he confirmed that the Jaguar VR headset is up in the air until
a number of issues have been resolved; Atari rejected Virtuality's optics,
although Mr. Thomas wasn't sure as to whether the problem was a lack of
quality or an unfeasible production cost. He stated that for the project
to continue, the optics problem would have to be resolved, but he also
stated that some other factors would have to come together, with an
emphasis on the need for convincing research that the market is ready for
a Jag VR headset. He pointed out Virtual Boy's poor sales and suggested
that Atari wouldn't want to have the same thing happen.
From Atari's official description, the layoffs last week were an
indication more of Atari's dissatisfaction with the development that has
been done in- house up to this point (and which includes such notoriously
poorly-done games as Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy and Club Drive)
than of any plans to drop the Jaguar. We will know for sure in the weeks
and months to come.
- Brian Osserman
Transmitted: 11/11/95 4:06 PM (atarisav)
IGO on AOL News 4
Menu Heading:Atari Drops Jaguar Price
Article Heading: A Little Less Bite for 64 Bits
Atari Drops Jaguar Price (News Update: 12-17): Responding to changing
market conditions and increasingly competitive next-generation hardware
pricing, Atari Corporation has announced that it has dropped the price of
the 64-bit Jaguar game console to $99 from $149.95.
> Great. Now the print world will have the same level of anti-Atari rumors
> and pro-Nintendo and Sony articles that the online commumnity must now
> endure. IG+ IGO may have built its reputation on being objective in its
> news articles, but in the time I've read it the last two years, its news
> articles have hardly been unbiased or accurate. See the following from IGO
> on AOL.
> IGO on AOL News 1:
> Menu Heading:Rumor:Atari Corp. Apparently Shuts D...(Cutoff)
> Article Heading: ATC Closes It's Doors In a Surprise Move
> Rumor: Atari Corporation in Hard Times (News Update: 11-9): According to
> several sources connected with Atari Corporation, makers of the Jaguar
> 64-bit game system, operations have come to a near-halt at Atari's
> American offices in Sunnyvale, California. Sources speaking on condition
> of anonymity report that employees (from the Vice Presidents on down) who
> were arriving for work last Thursday morning were told that they should
> leave the facility and not return. IG Online will have additional news on
> this story in the days to come.
Jumping the gun on a story, and Atari killing rumors are two different
things. The worst that came out of it was that several print mags ran with
the story too (couldn't bother to ask Atari themselves it seems, or wait a
few days to see what developed...) At least IGO has quicker follow-ups
than print mags. One doesn't have to sit for a month hearing people
spouting the "unbiased and god-honest truths" of mags...
Lest we forget...
What's funny to me is that you're been offered the opportunity to E-mail
me personally at IG to discuss your complaints regarding our Atari coverage
and have somehow given up every chance to do so. (Brian Osserman has
addressed this issue in RGVAtari already, to my knowledge, and personally
addressed you among other people.) Instead, you've tried to re-post a bunch
of IG coverage of Atari, which at the very least shows that we not only
devote more attention to the company than any other magazine but also
get more accurate information... but I guess you'll just have to wait and
see more official confirmation before you accept the facts. Atari is not
closing -- we've made that clear in IG -- but they're most certainly
By the way, we haven't been online for two years -- only one. Accuracy
seems to be a top concern of yours, so practice what you preach.