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Ziff Davis Working to Sell 1up, EGM, GFW

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the find-a-good-home-guys dept.

Businesses 38

Ziff Davis, parent company for the 1up website and the magazines Electronic Gaming Monthly and Games for Windows, is working to sell off its gaming group. Simon Carless, at GameSetWatch, pointed out the company's interest in active offers for the package. Ziff's games group apparently reached just about the break-even point last year, and along with the sale of Ziff's Consumer Small Business group (PC Magazine, etc) essentially represents the end of Ziff Davis as a publishing force. From the article: "As I alluded to in a recent post on game magazine circulations, I do personally feel like Ziff might have closed Official PlayStation Magazine a little earlier than they might otherwise have done, in order to make the Game Group more attractive to potential purchasers, who obviously care most about 1UP. Which makes sense, because in most cases (prestige low-circulation magazines such as Edge notwithstanding), circs and revenues in consumer print are only going to trickle down over the next few years."

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What's happening to Ziff Davis? (1)

crow5599 (994334) | about 8 years ago | (#17513536)

Er? This is the first I've heard of it losing its status as a "publishing force." What's going on?

Re:What's happening to Ziff Davis? (1)

Emetophobe (878584) | about 8 years ago | (#17524610)

It's probably because gamers now use the internet for all their gaming news, there are several dozen free review sites, etc.. Gaming mags are a dying business model IMO.

Re:What's happening to Ziff Davis? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 8 years ago | (#17525028)

Even so, they're also selling their website.

I predict (4, Funny)

0racle (667029) | about 8 years ago | (#17513600)

Microsoft to buy 1up, Xbox games will never be rated worse then perfect, with Playstation and Wii games never able to get good ratings if they are rated at all. Switch those console names around for whoever you feel like supporting.

I don't really predict that, I just wanted to get it out of the way.

Re:I predict (1)

powerlord (28156) | about 8 years ago | (#17513952)

Don't bet against it.

The same month that "Computer Gaming World" is renamed "Games For Windows", they also decide to cancel the "Official Playstation Magazine".

Yeah ... just a coincidence perhaps, but a rather odd looking one.

Re:I predict (1)

orcus (21207) | about 8 years ago | (#17522422)

Ziff Davis should have renamed CGW a LONG time ago - it went downhill fast after the original buyout.

It was never the same w/out Scorpia and that reporter with the paper bag on his head...

Whaa? (1)

DavidR1991 (1047748) | about 8 years ago | (#17513604)

"Ziff's games group apparently reached just about the break-even point last year" It did? How long has this financial/profit problem being going on?

Re:Whaa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#17513838)

The Ziff Gaming Group (1up.com, etc) is relatively new. Three years, I think. Not surprising that they pumped money into it to get it started and took a while to make a profit.

stolen (1)

heartless_ (923947) | about 8 years ago | (#17513646)

Zonk stole my submission :( /sniffle This is interesting news and I'm sure it will be spun into "the death of the print industry for gaming!!!". This may be a sign, but I doubt it. There seems to be more than enough advertisers looking to stuff the pockets of writers to get a good review :)

oh here it comes (2, Funny)

macadamia_harold (947445) | about 8 years ago | (#17513670)

It is official; Slashdot now confirms: Ziff Davis is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Ziff Davis community when /. confirmed that Ziff Davis will be cutting market share to less than a fraction of 1 percent.

You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict Ziff Davis' future. The hand writing is on the wall: Ziff Davis faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Ziff Davis because Ziff Davis is dying. Things are looking very bad for Ziff Davis. As many of us are already aware, Ziff Davis continues to sell market share. Contractual ink flows like a river of blood.

There can no longer be any doubt: Ziff Davis is dying.

Re:oh here it comes (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | about 8 years ago | (#17514092)

Err, deja vu. [slashdot.org] Is there some long running Slashdot joke I'm missing or is this just a dupe post. Of course I can't blame you if it's a dupe (hey, it's slashdot) but is there something I'm missing behind this that made the last one (and therefore, this one) funny?

Re:oh here it comes (2, Informative)

macadamia_harold (947445) | about 8 years ago | (#17514182)

Is there some long running Slashdot joke I'm missing

Yes. [everything2.com]

And that whooshing sound you hear, is the joke going over your head.


Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#17521738)

God, you fucking fail it, fuckbag.

You're supposed to say "YOU MUST BE NEW HERE."

Re:oh here it comes (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | about 8 years ago | (#17514248)

Has Netcraft confirmed it?

Re:oh here it comes (1)

Kalriath (849904) | about 8 years ago | (#17515566)

Until I see a Secunia advisory, it didn't happen.

Nothing to see here, move along (1)

kryogen1x (838672) | about 8 years ago | (#17513710)

As posted by an admin:
Game Group Revenue for the Game Group for the third quarter of 2006 was $9.0 million, essentially flat compared to the same period last year. Lower print advertising and circulation revenues for the Group's three print magazines were mostly offset by a nearly a four-fold increase in the Group's online revenues.

Who buys these things? (3, Insightful)

realmolo (574068) | about 8 years ago | (#17514042)

Computer and videogame magazines are almost *completely* pointless. If there are two subjects that the internet has covered, it's computers and videogames. There is literally NO information a magazine could possibly offer you that you can't get for free on the internet. Plus, you'll get it WAY before it reaches print.

They had their run. I enjoyed reading some of those mags back in the day. But I haven't bought any since about 1997.

Re:Who buys these things? (1)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | about 8 years ago | (#17514178)

I don't buy them but I have free subscriptions to both CGW (now Games for Windows) and EGM. I keep them in the stack of magazines in the bathroom and enjoy thumbing through them. Although, yeah, I wouldn't pay for a subscription to either of them.

Re:Who buys these things? (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 8 years ago | (#17514732)

That often strikes me too when in a newsagent. I see magazines touting to have pictures of the PS3 etc., or the latest 360 demo, or the latest reviews yet they're all out of date already. You could literally find the same info months ago online. However, I don't see why magazines couldn't continue to exist as online brands. I read 1up.com everyday as well as Gamespot and some others and value their reviews, opinion and features.

I buy those things (1)

dtolman (688781) | about 8 years ago | (#17514886)

Why do I persist in buying them?

-Entertaining articles (Tom vs Bruce is a good example)

-reviews that are usually done a few weeks after a release, so represent a more thoughtful outlook than something pumped out trying to be first.

-Don't need to maintain a subscription to save subscriber only article access, I just need to rip them out or toss the magazine on a shelf

-Can be easily read offline - even in places with no internet access (planes, tunnels, etc).

-Can read at work without being blocked by filtering (though does require hiding in notebook at meetings).

Re:Who buys these things? (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | about 8 years ago | (#17514990)

I used to get PC Mag and a few others for the demos. Then they starting releasing them online. No need for magazines anymore. Now, they release demos several months after the game ships if they even bother to create one. On a side note, you can get most magazines for free if you do a little searching.

Re:Who buys these things? (2, Funny)

kalirion (728907) | about 8 years ago | (#17515672)

I subscribe to PCGamer. It makes for good reading during TV commercials (that's right, I don't have tivo or any other dvr system), and in the bathroom. Currently I'm 7 issues behind on my reading though. Probably need more fiber in my diet.

Re:Who buys these things? (1)

JLennox (942693) | about 8 years ago | (#17521426)

Fiber would cause you to spend less time in the bathroom.

Re:Who buys these things? (2, Insightful)

RyoShin (610051) | about 8 years ago | (#17517008)

Yes, but you don't always have a PC handy when you have time to read about such things.

Assuming you even have a laptop, do you know how risky, akward, and annoying it is to bring into the bathroom?

Would you bring your laptop on the bus or in a cab with you just so you can read about it on the way to work?

While the internet gives you a greater number of sources, real-time information, and counter-opinions, magazines give you an easily portable, disposable, and concise form for whatever topic you're interested in. I have a few magazines that I subscribe to, and read a bit each day before bed. That's not as easy to do on the PC.

I agree that print media is dying, though. I blame it in part to advertising- as annoying as banner ads on the web are, print ads are much the same. Just about every other page in GameInformer is some ad, more often than not for something that interests me little. And this is after I'm already paying for the magazine. It turns off customers. I wonder how much the magazine industry relies on advertising now- if a magazine when ad-free (or even cut the number of ads in half), would it still be able to survive on subscriptions?

And, to quash some arguments I'm sure will arise:
-not everyone has a crackberry
-printing off an online magazine will cost me about as much as getting a real magazine myself, between the cost of time, paper, and ink
-no, I can't use my work's printer

Re:Who buys these things? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#17521686)

I use my laptop as you describe. It's a Latitude X1 "ultra-portable" with Ubuntu, and I keep it and its charger in my backpack all the time. I read books and watch videos on it daily, when I'm on a walk around the block on my lunch break, when I'm sitting around in a food court and at home.

Re:Who buys these things? (1)

bigbigbison (104532) | about 8 years ago | (#17517416)

I subscribe to the three US computer centric gaming magazines. While it is mainly because I write about videogames, it is also because you can get incredibly cheap subscriptions for them on ebay. I think I got 3 years of PCGamer for $9.99. That's less than 30 cents an issue. At that price, why not get them?

b/c of their successful website transition (1)

el_benito (586634) | about 8 years ago | (#17517742)

I'll pass up moderating to answer this.

The Ziff Davis group, via 1UP.com, is one of the few print media for the games industry that has made the successful transition to an online format. They started by generating a strong website with a excellent brandname, and then they've gone on to develop well followed podcasts along with the 1UP Show* I don't read the Ziff Davis magazines. Heck, I don't visit their website even, but I know that I'll get a good, insightful listen each Friday on the "1UP Yours" podcast.

Oh, and in hopes of showing some impartiality, Gamespot's Hotspot is worth a listen too, although it's more of a Sportscenter funny to 1UP Yours's... um, McLaughlin Group [wikipedia.org] ?

* What's the current buzzword for video podcasts?

Re:Who buys these things? (1)

Mongoose (8480) | about 8 years ago | (#17517768)

The developers that get their game on the cover still buy them. Haha -- not even joking. It's kind of like getting your school book or box art signed by your co-workers. Other than that I haven't bought one for years either. ;)

Re:Who buys these things? (1)

aztektum (170569) | about 8 years ago | (#17518392)

Strangely I was just thinking about this recently. Over the last year I've been getting PC Gamer, EGM, Maximum PC, PC World, Wired and other non-tech mags. All thanks to frequent flier miles my roommate had to cash in or lose.

Now they are all expiring and I'm gettin' those "LAST ISSUE! ACT NOW!!" but really I have no interest. They were mostly toilet material and I started feeling like all they are anymore is paid product advertisements, and those were the articles!

PC Gamer is the best of the, IMO and PC World the most useless. I was saddened to discover my once beloved (4-5+ years ago) Maximum PC is really not what I remember it being. Dunno if there was a real change or I'm just wearing rose colored glasses on the issue.

All the info combined in those magazines can be found online in 30 minutes. Nuff said.

Re:Who buys these things? (1)

SuperMonkeyCube (982998) | about 8 years ago | (#17521180)

The one that I purchased from time to time was OPM. Oddly enough, that's the one that got axed just recently. It was nice to get a demo disk once in a while, just to play some things I wouldn't normally buy. Once in a while, there would be a game that I didn't think that was going to be that great that the demo changed my mind on. I'm sure that now that the PS3 and the Wii are better integrated into the internet like the XBox already was, the demo disk will become useless. Of course, had they let us burn disks and use them without mods to begin with, they _could_ have used the internet to distribute demos - at least for PS2, anyway. Gamecube might not like a plain ol' CD-R that much. Subequently, they could quickly alienate console owners on dialup or *gasp* people without any internet at all. Oh. Wait. They're doing that now.

Re:Who buys these things? (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 8 years ago | (#17523452)

Heh, sometimes I get tempted to copy down the eval/demo/freebie keys included in those mags, without even buying the mag :).

I haven't done that, but I wonder how many people would do that. The poor person buying the mag might be a bit upset to find out the freebie keys don't work anymore.

That said, I bet not all of the demos are even worth trying :).

Magazines are nice because you can read them while lying down, reclined etc without overheating parts of your body, or overheating the laptop.

But like you said, PC magazines are out of date the day they are printed, unlike books where old stories can still be good stories.

If we want "old PC news", we can get it free from Slashdot ;).

I just keep a few old PC magazines as samples of an era - sometimes I like to just look at stuff 20 years ago - the ads, predictions, and other silly stuff.

Re:Who buys these things? (1)

xiong.chiamiov (871823) | about 8 years ago | (#17523588)

Hmm, well, I don't buy any gaming mags. But one of my friends does, and it's solely for the *ahem* "polygons". I think that's weird, but that's the reasoning behind buying gaming mags: portable virtual pron.

1up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#17517176)

I hope 1up survives if only for the 1up Yours podcast and the 1up Show. I look forward to those more weekly than anything on TV.

I for one have to say I'm disapointed (2, Interesting)

AbRASiON (589899) | about 8 years ago | (#17517862)

I actually REALLY enjoy the 1up netcast, it's been a "friend" to me to and from work for about 6 months now.
1up as a news site I've never found particularly exciting but that netcast is fresh, it's funny and it's informative.

Luke Smith whines and rants, much like myself, John is the voice of reason and Shane has Sony's balls firmly pressed upon his chin! - It's all good fun and been a great listen, definately.

I do hope it continues somehow because it really is pretty slick overall.

Re:I for one have to say I'm disapointed (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | about 8 years ago | (#17521962)

Luke whines and rants, but he's right. Down with microtransactions and long live Elite Beat Agents. Shane has Nintendos balls on his chin, not sony. He didn't even open his Sony Playstation till a month after he had it. I hope the new owner doesn't touch 1upyours because that's a great podcast.

Re:I for one have to say I'm disapointed (1)

Infe (52681) | about 8 years ago | (#17530356)

Whoops! Luke missed last weeks podcast. Let me fill him in for you: fuck fuck fuck fuckin' fuck fuck! Rest assured, his deletion from the show wouldn't be missed from this gamer.

Re:I for one have to say I'm disapointed (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | about 8 years ago | (#17535186)

Just because someone swears, rants and is passionate does not in any way change the fact that he's right about some of the stuff he says AND wrong sometimes too.
He makes the show interesting and informative, I often wish I listened to it while next to a PC so I could hammer out replies on their forums.

There's nothing wrong with being passionate and especially when it comes to microtransactions, I don't think you can use the f word enough when discussing microtransactions.

Re:I for one have to say I'm disapointed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#17534772)

Funny thing in relation to this article - they were joking around on a recent podcast that MS was going to buy 1up... well, maybe they were just breaking it gently.

I would miss that show too. Shame their site is badly designed and generally pretty crap.
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