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Did EGM hate Atari?


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#26 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 9, 2018 1:39 PM

Now you've got me wondering where you worked. Happy Puppy? All Game Guide? Game Unit? VGF? :?

 

Hotgames.com. It's become embarrassing to even say it these days, and I'll explain why in a minute. It started out as an Australian site mainly for PC game demos, then got bought by FortuneCity, which was a big web hosting company at the time, and moved over to the US to compete with the other big game sites of the time (none of whom were too big to catch yet). We were also in NYC, which gave us a different perspective (and access to different stuff) than the other big sites. There was a period of 3-4 years when it was as good a site as any of them, and we were getting about 400,000 unique visits per day, which also put us in the top 3 or 4 gaming sites at the time. Remember this was like 1998, so that was considered a lot.

 

But the whole company was a victim of the dot com crash. First they laid off our entire technical team except for one guy who was also our sole designer, and he could barely keep the site running on his own, let alone add any new features. So while the other big sites were updating their designs and adding new features, we were stuck in 1998. Then they started laying off the ad sales guys, which became a downward spiral where we had less and less money. Then they started laying off the editorial staff, and that was basically it. I was the second to last to go.

 

For a long time our parent company kept the url alive as a porn-based online gambling site. I was afraid to even put the name on my resume. It was really annoying, because we took it really seriously and we had a good site, but anyone I told I worked there in the future would think I was some porn scammer if they visited it.

 

Now it seems to be defunct, which is an improvement.



#27 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 9, 2018 2:03 PM

Black and red! Edgy.

https://web.archive....otgames.com:80/



#28 atarian1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:36 AM

I am surprised there is so much speculation when this was already explained a long time ago...somewhere. I think it was in one of the Atari magazines, bulletin boards, Usenet...I can't remember where though. I seem to remember it was Bob Brodie (Atari's spokesperson) who spilled the beans on why EGM was giving Atari such bad press.

 

The gist is the EGM and Atari Entertainment (where most of the Lynx programmers were) offices were close to each other in Lombard, IL.  Since they were close to each other, EGM got the scoop on the latest Lynx news and games that were coming out. At one point, Atari even loaned EGM a Lynx development system so that Atari can show EGM the latest games they were working on. Anyone who knows development systems know they can be a pain to lug back and forth, so since they were on good terms with each other, Atari decided to leave a development system at the EGM office. EGM used this advantage over other video game magazines to get the early screenshots and reviews of beta/test versions of games. They even created a Lynx supplement with tons of previews of pre-release games that was alluded to above. Well, Atari wanted their development system back. EGM balked and said Atari "gave" them the development system. Atari said it was a loan and eventually wrestled it back. Note that these development systems were NOT cheap. If I recall, they were about $8,000 each which would be almost $16,000 today. That's a lot of $$$! Development systems were made in small quantities, so one couldn't just buy one off the shelf. Atari had to make use of limited resources, so it they wanted their development system back to make more games, they had every right to do so. Of course, that made EGM mad, so they used the power of their press to bash the Lynx any way they can. And so the childish Lynx bashing began...



#29 pacman000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:41 AM

 

Hotgames.com. It's become embarrassing to even say it these days, and I'll explain why in a minute. It started out as an Australian site mainly for PC game demos, then got bought by FortuneCity, which was a big web hosting company at the time, and moved over to the US to compete with the other big game sites of the time (none of whom were too big to catch yet). We were also in NYC, which gave us a different perspective (and access to different stuff) than the other big sites. There was a period of 3-4 years when it was as good a site as any of them, and we were getting about 400,000 unique visits per day, which also put us in the top 3 or 4 gaming sites at the time. Remember this was like 1998, so that was considered a lot.

 

But the whole company was a victim of the dot com crash. First they laid off our entire technical team except for one guy who was also our sole designer, and he could barely keep the site running on his own, let alone add any new features. So while the other big sites were updating their designs and adding new features, we were stuck in 1998. Then they started laying off the ad sales guys, which became a downward spiral where we had less and less money. Then they started laying off the editorial staff, and that was basically it. I was the second to last to go.

 

For a long time our parent company kept the url alive as a porn-based online gambling site. I was afraid to even put the name on my resume. It was really annoying, because we took it really seriously and we had a good site, but anyone I told I worked there in the future would think I was some porn scammer if they visited it.

 

Now it seems to be defunct, which is an improvement.

Thank you. Always sad to heard about sites taken down by the dotcom crash. :(

 

Actually, I'd prefer a gaming site that stayed in 1998. It would load more quickly, & I see little difference between sites from today & sites from then. (There's articles, & there's a menu to access those articles. Why does that take 3MB today?)



#30 Greg2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:23 AM

Of course the gaming press back then was reliant on the publishers.  We all know it was marketing, but the game magazines didn't hide the fact they were more fan zine than news.  As for Atari, come on, no amount of positive press would have been able to hide the ugly of the Jaguar. 



#31 Cynicaster OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:51 AM

. Of course, that made EGM mad, so they used the power of their press to bash the Lynx any way they can. And so the childish Lynx bashing began...

 

Never heard that story before.  It's kind of funny, because I traded up my Game Boy for a Lynx almost 100% on the strength and influence of EGM #21 from April '91.  Also funny is that I ended up not liking the Lynx very much, so any bashing of the Lynx that I saw, I probably agreed with.  



#32 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:02 AM

Didn't they make up a review of the Lynx title:Guardians:Storm Over Doria,based on a 4 screen demo they saw at CES?

That's journalism that would do a UK magazine proud if true :-))

#33 Duke75 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 3, 2018 12:11 PM

Of course the gaming press back then was reliant on the publishers.  We all know it was marketing, but the game magazines didn't hide the fact they were more fan zine than news.  As for Atari, come on, no amount of positive press would have been able to hide the ugly of the Jaguar. 

 

I think this goes with any kind of hobby/enthusiast press, whether it's video games, comic books, music, cars, guns, etc. The "press" that covers these topics needs to stay in good with the producers to keep getting access to the material, plus a lot of the guys who staff the magazines or websites are probably aspiring to actually get into the industry and their job is good for networking...



#34 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:04 PM

Found the Bob Brodie story comments mentioned above:


BOB-BRODIE> I've had a number of discussions with EGM about their
attitude about Atari. There is hope for things to improve. I think part
of the issue might be that there are a number of people there that are
former employees of Atari, including the publisher.

<BOB-BRODIE> On the other hand, when they go out of their way to blast
the president of the company in a sister publication of theirs, they
don't give me a lot of ammo to try to change the way things are between
us.

<BOB-BRODIE> Re the Black Box...they don't need a black box to rate the
games. We send them pre-release eprom cartridges of the games, and
provide them with slides of screen shots of the games. This is the same
level of support that we give to all of the other magazines as well, and
none of them are complaining about. The reality is that the "Black Box"
is a development tool, not just something to take screen shots with. It
is NOT an essential tool for them to have for their Lynx coverage.

#35 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 6, 2018 4:28 AM

Found this quote from the era,regarding the 32X Vs Jaguar Doom review fiasco :

Adisak L. Pochanayon

This is highly speculative and most likely a rumor considering the source but a friend of a disgruntled EGM employee recently stated that Sega threatened to pull *ALL* their advertising from EGM if Sega was not allowed to view the
magazine before it was published and "approve" it as something they wanted
to back. Guess it came after some Sega games got extremely negative
reviews.

#36 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:14 AM

An example of how UK developers dealt with UK Press


Rob Nicholson Hand Made Software dealing with critiscm from Edge magazine.


I'm awaiting next months issue with anticipation. What's worse is that
we've received a fax saying "look, Edge have said some nasty things about
Kasumi Ninja - what are we going to do about it". Well, until the game
has been finished *and* balanced, bugger all.

#37 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:29 AM

The more i discover about EGM and Jaguar coverage, the more it just appears awful jurnolism, rather than any actual agenda in play.


Claims Jaguar Pitfall M.A had no music?

Battlemorph was based on an arcade game? .




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