Strategy Guide Company Prima Games Is Shutting Down

Strategy Guide Company Prima Games Is Shutting Down

Prima Games, the publishing company that has printed video game strategy guides since it was founded in 1990, is shutting down, parent company DK said yesterday. The label will no longer publish new guides starting now, and it will officially shutter in the first half of 2019.

Thanks to the rise of sites like GameFAQs — and major gaming publications like IGN commissioning their own online guides, which bring in monstrous amounts of traffic — print strategy guides have struggled for years now.

In 2015, Prima purchased and swallowed its biggest competitor, BradyGames, and has been consistently churning out guides for both print and the web, but it wasn’t enough to survive what the company called “a significant decline” in the world of print video game guides.

Anyone who grew up devouring old strategy guides will no doubt feel bummed out about this. But in a world where video games are changing constantly, through patches and updates, print guides can be out-of-date before they even hit the shelves.

At least we’ll always have Final Fantasy IX.


  • Damn end of an era, I still pick up the odd guide from time to time. Prima’s inclusion of a digital guide in recent years was nifty as well.

    • I love getting the hardcover guides. Sure …. if I want hints, you can go to the internet, but I love flipping through the pages, pouring at maps and so on. And, being an older gamer, I guess I also miss getting actual manuals with games; I remember with Falcon 4 you got a massive flight manual with a binder.

      I’m a bit sad by this closure.

  • Pity but not a big surprise, have attempted to locate several books over the years and online through GameFAQs (and just google-ing, youtube), has been more reliable.

  • I’m using one for Red Dead 2 don’t think it’s from Prima but it’s still very useful, had printed guides for all three mass effect games as well still have them on the bookshelf.

    • Yup the RDR2 guide has been invaluable so far. Lots of areas I won’t need go back to thanks to the atlas.

  • I’ve never understood these things. Why ruin the experience by knowing everything in advance? When I play a game I want to know nothing before I start. Then I get to explore, see everything unfold organically. But each to their own.

    • I use them personally for collectables or finding side missions/secret characters that otherwise I wouldn’t know about, but I still let the story unfold organicly.

      With Red Dead 2 though for me, knowing the requirements for gold medals to limit playthroughs is great, especially since replaying changed load out’s and puts you stats at 1/4 where it should be.

    • The one I used the most was the Fallout 3 one. Trying to navigate that subway system was a nightmare

    • I tend to agree.

      I only turn to a guide as a last resort if I’m stuck for quite a while or feeling particularly impatient. A quick google on my phone and I’m usually back on track.

      Hardly worth spending $30 for.

    • Save game, play through new area. Complete area. Open book to see what secrets you may have missed, reload save and do it again with the knowledge of where all the secret goodies are. For someone who’s a time poor completionist it was perfect. And as stated elsewhere much prettier and more of a colectible than just googling a walkthrough.

    • Yup. Just check out the upload dates on Baldurs Gate guides.

      Whatsmore, the guides on GameFAQs often went into more useful discussion about classes/strategy etc, with authors for example sometimes giving classes tier rankings.

      You never got that honesty with Prima as it was too “official”. No candid “don’t play Druid… Shapeshifter kit is broken” comments.

      • As long as the community are reasonable adults and not trolly man-children, gamefaqs boards are very useful for deep discussion of game mechanics and systems.
        Varies game by game. The dark souls 3 board was toxic, the dark souls 1 board was welcoming.

  • I noticed that the RDR2 guide I bought (I’m a sucker for hardcover guides to open world games) wasn’t a Prima guide.
    Some company called “Piggyback”
    Looks like we should still get some hard copy guides in the future, hopefully.
    I am old and still like physical copies of things like games and guides wherever possible.
    At least this way when the apocalypse comes, I can just supply my own power and keep playing.
    A digital collection is too ethereal for my liking.
    I still have games I bought 25 years ago…

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