It’s been announced that publisher Future is considering closing a number of its video game sites, among them CVG. Games websites open and close all the time, and people losing their jobs is always a sad thing, but this one would hit particularly hard because of CVG’s long history. A history longer than any other games publication on the planet.
CORRECTION AND UPDATE: While there may be plans to close CVG, we understand that that’s just one option for a company that is technically now in “consultancy” status. Word from CVG publisher Future: “We are currently exploring various options around how to evolve the CVG brand in particular and the market leading Future Games portfolio in general, in order to keep successfully meeting the needs of our consumers.” In other words, closure isn’t definite. Apologies for assuming the worst. Hoping for the best.
While it’s been online-only for years now (the magazine ceased publication in 2004), and its tone and coverage is almost unrecognisable from its earliest days, the fact remains that CVG — known in paper form as Computer & Video Games before its website opened in 1999 — was first published in 1981.
Let’s put that in perspective. The game appearing on the cover was Space Invaders.
It was the world’s first video game magazine.
The demise of CVG also spells trouble for the Golden Joystick Awards, which CVG created and hosted.
The games media landscape is changing all the time, with publications coming and going to reflect this. It’s a part of the business, one that employees at CVG’s parent company Future – which has long been scaling back its roster of magazines, sites and writers- have sadly become all-too accustomed to.
But like I said above, the fact this was the world’s first video game magazine gives this closure more sting in the tail than usual.
If you want to browse through some older issues, the Internet Archive has a few issues from the mid-80s that are free to view.
In addition to closing CVG, publisher Future is also planning to shut down Edge Online (just the website, not the magazine) and the websites for Official PlayStation, Official Xbox and Official Nintendo Magazine.
Note that these publications are are still running and available at time of posting; Future announced plans for their closure, not their immediate shuttering.