Sad news for those of us with overactive nostalgia glands: Nintendo Power is most likely going to cease publication in the very near future.
First published in 1988, Nintendo Power became a pretty massive hit thanks both to Nintendo’s domination of the gaming industry during the late 80s and early 90s and the fact that the magazine had a deal with Nintendo to cover its hardware and games exclusively. As a result Nintendo Power often had the best previews, reviews and strategy guides, while other magazines tried desperately to compete.
Unfortunately for Nintendo Power the inevitable passage of time and the invention of the Internet seem to have conspired to end its nearly quarter-century print run. Print magazines now lag far behind online media in providing rapid informational updates to consumers, and with Nintendo no longer synonymous with video games as a whole, the Japanese gaming giant seemingly has no interest in extending its long-running agreement with the magazine. Ars Technica reports:
… our source says that Nintendo, which was always “difficult to work with,” was uninterested in renewing that contract or in taking part in a number of digital initiatives that Future saw as necessary for the long-term health of the brand. He added that Nintendo doesn’t seem interested in taking over direct control of the magazine again (Nintendo and Future representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story).
Oh? Nintendo is not keen to explore online options for what has effectively been its print wing for the past two-plus decades? Why, that’s … pretty much exactly what we’ve come to expect from the bizarrely Internetphobic video game company.
Now normally we’d put “rumor” tags around all this information, since it originally stemmed entirely from one anonymous Ars Technica source, but that was before key Nintendo Power employees confirmed the information on Twitter. Though the comments of both senior editor Chris Hoffman and writer Phil Theobald have been since deleted, they claimed they were sad to see the magazine fall apart, and that the editorial team would have “something pretty sweet planned for the final issue.” What that might be, or when this final issue will hit newsstands is still unknown.
If you guys can hold back the tears for a moment, we’d like to say that though we revere Nintendo Power as one of the key early building blocks of our interest in writing about games for far less money than we might make had we actually stayed in school and became a doctor like our mothers wanted, it’s not exactly realistic to lionize the mag as an icon of all things good and right in gaming. Yes, it came to prominence in an era in which video games were still the next big thing and every new advancement was shiny and happy, but if you go back and re-read a lot of those old Nintendo Power issues, it’s quite apparent that for long periods of time the magazine existed purely to sell Nintendo products. Like a J. Crew catalogue, only with fewer sweaters and more pictures of fat Italian plumbers.
We support your right to be bummed by this news, and we are too, but let’s remember Nintendo Power as what it actually was: Another Nintendo entertainment product. On the other hand, it did give us those enjoyably cheesy Howard & Nester comics, so feel free to spend the rest of the afternoon poring over this massive archive of every single strip.