Published on August 21st, 2012 | by Sam Desatoff, Editor3
After 24 Years, Nintendo Power Closes Down
It was announced today that after 24 years of faithful service, gaming magazine Nintendo Power is closing its doors.
Nintendo Power launched in 1988 as a continuation of the discontinued Nintendo Fan Club. Back in a time when gaming news was hard to come by and publishers did not announce the release dates of their games with the gusto and fanfare they do today, Nintendo Power was a pillar of the industry. Featuring monthly news, reviews, contests, giveaways, and many other features, the magazine earned a legion of loyal followers.
Publisher Future PLC has not made any announcements regarding the closure.
The news of the magazine’s end comes on the heels of the closure of fellow gaming outlet GamePro.
In the early ’90s I spent a good portion of my time playing on Nintendo consoles. At one point I could draw a rough sketch of the overworld map from A Link to the Past from memory. A friend and I would often stay up all night on extended Super Metroid sessions. I’ve probably beaten Super Mario World about 20 times, and I could make arguments for Final Fantasy IV, Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger each as my favorite game of all time.
That said, there were times I needed help in a particular title. This is where my friend’s Nintendo Power subscription came into play. Oftentimes the magazine included tips and hints for all the most popular games. I’m not sure why, but there were times I liked pouring through the strategy sections more than playing the actual games. Sometimes my friend would play and I would rattle off hints from the magazine. It was teamwork at its finest.
In one issue of the magazine, a short strategy guide for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past was included. The guide contained detailed maps and boss strategies, as well as plot-specific locations. After about a month of looking for my missing heart containers, Nintendo Power showed me the way. To this day, I have completed the game several times and can say that without my friend’s Nintendo Power I may not have ever done it in the first place.
From that point on every month I always borrowed copies of the magazine from him and gawked over the colorful layout and anticipated new games with bated breath. Nintendo Power also often included contests in the form of game giveaways. I always entered them, hoping against hope that I would win. I never did, but the fact that it was at all a possibility was enticing.
Nintendo Power is just another casualty of the rise of the Internet as the primary source of news. For several years now, print media has been struggling against the might of instant information. What this means for print journalism remains to be seen, but the outlook is bleak. The comic book industry is in a similar state, but with Marvel being purchased by Disney, the publisher is much better off than mags like Nintendo Power and GamePro.
Online video game outlets like Kotaku and IGN enjoy high traffic and are often listed as the prominent sources for game announcements, but they are treading on the groundwork laid by print news like Nintendo Power. The Internet may be the future of news, but I certainly hope the legacy left behind by Nintendo Power is not forgotten, and that the former editors find new homes where their love for the industry is appreciated.
I and the rest of GAMINGtruth wish them the best of luck in the future.