Game Informer (GI) is an American monthly video game magazine featuring articles, news, strategy, and reviews of video games and associated consoles. As of December 2014, over 6.9 million copies are sold each month, making it the fourth-largest magazine in the United States by circulation.[2] Game Informer debuted in August 1991[3] when FuncoLand started publishing a six-page magazine. It is owned, and published by GameStop Corp., the parent company of the video game retailer of the same name, who bought FuncoLand in 2000. Due to this, a large amount of promotion is done in-store.[4] Purchasing a subscription to the magazine additionally gets the subscriber access to special content on the official website.

History

Magazine

Game Informer debuted in August 1991 as a six-page magazine. It was published every two months until November 1994, when the magazine began to be released monthly.[5]

In April each year, Game Informer includes Game Infarcer, an annual spin-off of the normal magazine, as an April Fool's joke.

Game Informer has included three "Sacred Cow Barbecues". Similar in style to a celebrity roast, the occasion is meant to "knock a few of gaming's most revered icons off their high and mighty pedestals."

Website

Game Informer Online was originally launched in August 1996, and featured daily news updates as well as articles. Justin Leeper and Matthew Kato were hired on in November 1999 as full-time web editors. As part of the GameStop purchase of the magazine, the site was closed around January 2001. Both Leeper and Kato were eventually placed on the editorial staff of the magazine.

GI Online was revived in September 2003, with a full redesign and a large number of additional features, like a review database, frequent news updates, and exclusive "Unlimited" content for subscribers. It was managed by Billy Berghammer, creator of PlanetGameCube.com (now known as NintendoWorldReport.com).[7] Berghammer is currently the editor in chief of the EGM Media group [8]

On March 2009, the online staff began creating the code for what would be the latest redesign to date. The redesign was to release hand-in-hand with the magazine's own redesign. On October 1, 2009, the newly redesigned website was live, with a welcome message from Editor-In-Chief Andy McNamara. Many new features were introduced, including a rebuilt media player, a feed highlighting the site activity of the website's users, and the ability to create user reviews.

In February (sometimes January), Game Informer's editors round up to count and judge the "Top 50 Games of last year". The games are sorted in order of release date. They don't have rankings, but they do commemorate special games with awards like Game of the Year and additional examples. They additionally have mini top 10 charts of differing categories, both in the Top 50 games section of the website and in the regular magazine.

In August each year, Game Informer includes a "E3 Hot 50", a special section that reviews the year's E3 and most to all of its games, which additionally temporarily replaces the "previews" section.

Australian edition

In November 2009, Game Informer was launched in Australia by former Australian GamePro, Gameplayer and Official PlayStation Magazine editor Chris Stead.[9] By June 2010, Game Informer Australia had become the first local games publication to pass 10,000 subscribers. By August 18, 2010, it had become Australia's biggest selling video games publication.[10]

Game Informer Australia has picked up three Australian Magazine Awards for best in category, multiple nominations in the Lizzie awards and the 2013 MCV award for Print Publication of the Year. Chris Stead additionally received the 2013 Journalist of the Year gong at the MCV awards.[11]

Reviews

Game Informer currently reviews games on the Wii, Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC, Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita consoles. Older games, three per issue, were given brief reviews in the magazine's Classic GI section (compared with the game's original review score, if one exists). This was discontinued in 2009, months before the redesign of the magazine. The magazine's staff rate games on a scale of 1 to 10 with quarter point intervals. A score of 1 is considered worse than terrible; 10 is a rare, "outstanding", nearly perfect game; and 7 is "average", a decently playable (but flawed) game. A running gag in every issue is that in the review table (where the magazine defines what each score means), the 1 score is always changed to a different joke.

To this date, 26 games have received a perfect "10":

Game Informer game reviews with a perfect "10" rating
TitleIssueNotes
Super Mario World2000 OctoberClassic GI review
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 22000 NovemberFor Playstation
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty2001 December
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City2002 November
Metroid Fusion2003 January
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker2003 April
Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal2004 November
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas2004 December
Halo 22004 December
Resident Evil 42005 Marchfor GameCube
Resident Evil 42005 Novemberfor PS2
God of War2005 April
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess2007 January
BioShock2007 September
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare2007 December
Grand Theft Auto IV2008 April
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots2008 July
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves2009 November
God of War III2010 April
StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty2010 October
Batman: Arkham City2011 November
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword2011 December
Mass Effect 32012 April
BioShock Infinite2013 May
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds2013 December
The Last of Us Remastered2014 SeptemberThe magazine gave the original PS3 game a score of 9.5.
Overwatch2016 May

Some games have even received scores of 1 or below by Game Informer: Batman: Dark Tomorrow received a 0.75,[12] Shrek: Fairy Tale Freakdown for Game Boy Color got a 0.5,[13] and the Xbox fighting game Kabuki Warriors scored a 0.5.[14] In the latter review, editor-in-chief Andy McNamara stated that "I literally won a match just by bashing the controller against my ass. I wish I was joking, but the score is seriously Kabuki Warriors zero, my ass one." This was confirmed by his fellow editors. An Additional game reviewed for Classic GI – Marky Mark: Make My Video for Sega CD – was given a 0, making it the lowest-rated game by Game Informer. A score of 1 was handed out to the Kinect game Hulk Hogan's Main Event in the December 2011 issue. A score of 1 was handed to Postal III, which was cited for its glitches and bad gameplay. In 2009, editor Bryan Vore handed a score of 1 to the Wii game Ready 2 Rumble: Revolution, calling it "Terrible in Every Conceivable Way". A score of 1 was given to Fighter Within.

Awards

1992
AwardWinner
Best Game of the YearStreet Fighter II
Best Playabilility in a Video GameStreet Fighter II
Best 8-Bit GameThe Empire Strikes Back
Best Hand Held Video GameFaceball 2000
Best Sports GameNHLPA Hockey '93
Best Puzzle/Strategy GameLemmings
Best Concept in a Video GameBart's Nightmare
Best Action/Adventure GameSonic the Hedgehog 2
Best Game Translated from ComputerOut of this World
Best Graphics in a Video GameSonic the Hedgehog 2
Best Role-Playing GameDragon Warrior IV
Best Simulation GameSuper Battletank
Best Sound in a Video GameCobra Command
Best Shooter GameAxelay
Best Peripheral of the YearSega CD
1996
1997
1998
Games of the Year
AwardWinnerHonorable Mentions
Nintendo 64 Game of the YearThe Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of TimeBanjo-Kazooie
Turok 2: Seeds of Evil
PlayStation Game of the YearResident Evil 2Metal Gear Solid
Crash Bandicoot: Warped
Gran Turismo
Saturn Game of the YearPanzer Dragoon SagaShining Force III
Arcade Game of the YearMarvel vs. CapcomGauntlet Legends
PC Game of the YearHalf-LifeStarCraft
Thief: The Dark Project
Game Boy Game of the YearPokémonJames Bond 007
Technical Excellence Awards
AwardWinnerHonorable Mentions
Best Graphics in a Video GameTurok 2: Seeds of Evil (Nintendo 64)The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Resident Evil 2
Crash Bandicoot: Warped
Best Playability in a Video GameCrash Bandicoot: Warped (PlayStation)The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Best Sound in a Video GameSpyro the Dragon (PlayStation)Tenchu
Best Developer of the YearH2O / Neversoft
Best Video Game Accessory of the YearExpansion Pak (Nintendo 64)Game Boy Camera (Game Boy)
Style Awards
AwardWinnerHonorable Mentions
Best Action Game of the YearTenchu (PlayStation)Turok 2: Seeds of Evil
Rogue Trip
Best Sports Game of the YearHot Shots Golf (PlayStation)Football - NFL Blitz
Baseball - MLB 99
Hockey - NHL 99
Soccer - International Superstar Soccer 98
Best Action/Platform Game of the YearCrash Bandicoot: Warped (PlayStation)Spyro the Dragoon
Banjo-Kazooie
Best Action/Adventure Game of the YearThe Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo 64)Resident Evil 2
Metal Gear Solid
Best Racing Game of the YearGran Turismo (PlayStation)1080° Snowboarding
Best Strategy Game of the YearFinal Fantasy Tactics (PlayStation)Shining Force III
Best Shooter Game of the YearStar Wars: Rogue Squadron (Nintendo 64)Colony Wars: Vengeance
Einhänder
Best Fighting Game of the YearTekken 3 (PlayStation)X-Men vs. Street Fighter
WCW/nWo Revenge
Best Role-Playing Game of the YearXenogears (PlayStation)Pokémon
Panzer Dragoon Saga
Final Fantasy VIII Demo
Best Puzzle Game of the YearDevil Dice (PlayStation)Tetris DX
Who's Hot
AwardCharacterGame
Best Hero of the YearSolid SnakeMetal Gear Solid
Best Villain of the YearThe Evil Pigs!Tomba!
Best New Character of the YearRikimaruTenchu
Best Inspiring Performance by a Video Game CharacterSquirtlePokémon
Best Memorable Moment of the YearPsycho MantisMetal Gear Solid
1999
2001
2005
2006
2007

Staff

Current

  • Andy McNamara – Editor-in-Chief: 1991[3]
  • Andrew Reiner – Executive Editor: 1994[3]
  • Matthew Kato – Senior Editor: 2001[3]
  • Joe Juba – Reviews Editor: 2003[3]
  • Matt Miller – Previews Editor: 2004[3]
  • Matt Bertz – Managing Editor: 2006[3]
  • Ben Reeves – Senior Editor: 2006[3]
  • Jeff Cork – Senior Editor: 2007[3]
  • Jeff Marchiafava – Senior Associate Editor: 2009[30]
  • Ben Hanson – Video Producer: 2010[30]
  • Kyle Hilliard – Associate Editor: 2011[30]
  • Kimberley Wallace – Features Editor: 2012
  • Mike Futter – News Editor: 2013
  • Daniel Tack – PC Editor: 2014
  • Wade Wojcik – Video Editor: 2014
  • Brian Shea – Digital Editor: 2015
  • Javy Gwaltney — Associate Editor: 2015
  • Elise Favis – Associate Editor: 2016

Former

  • Paul Anderson – (The Pro Player, Game Professor): 1992–2001 (died 2007;[3] a message that reads "In Memory of Paul Anderson" appears in the Staff section of all current issues)
  • Elizabeth Olson: – 1991–94
  • Rick Petzoldt – (The Video Ranger): 1991–95
  • Marianne Morgan – (The Game Master): 1991
  • Ed Martínez – (The Video Wizard): 1991
  • Erik Reppen – (The PC Jedi): 1996–97, 1999–2001
  • Ross van der Schaegen – (The Rebel Gamer): 1991–95
  • David "Vinnie" Vinyon – (The Video Vigilante): 1994–96
  • Ryan McDonald – (The Arcade Alchemist): 1995–97
  • Jon Storm – (The Greedy Gamer): 1996–99
  • Robert Stoute – (The Game Cassanova): 1997–99
  • Paul Bergren – (The Game Burrito): 1997–99
  • Lisa Mason – (La Game Nikita): 2002–06[33]
  • Beaux Hawkins – (The Arcade Assassin): 1998–99
  • The Vidiot – (Minister of Destruction): 2000–01
  • Jay Fitzloff – (The Gonzo Gamer): 1999–02
  • Justin Leeper – (The Digital Deviant): 2001–04
  • Chet Barber – (The Joystick Jockey, The Chronic Gamer): 2002–03
  • Jeremy Zoss – (Gamezilla): 2003–06[34]
  • Kristian Brogger – (The Game Dawg, The Video Viking): 2000–03
  • Nick Ahrens – Media Editor: 2005–10
  • Meagan Marie (formerly VanBurkleo) – Associate Editor: 2008–11[36]
  • Annette González – Associate Editor: 2009–11
  • Matt Helgeson – Senior Features Editor: 1999-2015 [38]
  • Phil Kollar – Associate Editor: 2009–12
  • Jim Reilly – News Editor: 2011–12
  • Adam Biessener – PC Editor: 2003–13[40]
  • Dan Ryckert – Senior Associate Editor: 2009-2014[30]
  • Jason Oestreicher – Video Editor: 2011-2014
  • Bryan Vore – Digital Editor: 2007-2015[42]
  • Tim Turi – Features Editor: 2009-2016[30]