The July 2011 issue cover.
|Frequency||Monthly (12 per year)|
|First issue||August 1991|
|Based in||Minneapolis, MN, U.S.|
Game Informer (GI) is an American monthly video game magazine featuring articles, news, strategy, and reviews of video games and associated consoles. As of June 2013[update], over 7.8 million copies are sold each month, making it the third-largest magazine in the United States by circulation.1
Game Informer debuted in August 1991 when Funcoland started publishing a six-page magazine.2 It is owned and published by GameStop Corp., the parent company of the video game retailer of the same name, who bought Funcoland in 2000. Due to this, a large amount of promotion is done in-store.3 Purchasing a subscription to the magazine also gets the subscriber access to special content on the Game Informer website.
In February (sometimes January), Game Informer's editors round up to count and judge the "Top 50 Games of last year". The games are sorted in order of release date. They do not have rankings, but they do commemorate special games with awards like Game of the Year and other examples. They also have mini top 10 charts of differing categories, both in the Top 50 games section and in the regular magazine.
In April, Game Informer includes Game Infarcer, an annual spin-off of the normal magazine, as an April Fool's joke.
In August, Game Informer includes a "E3 Hot 50", a special section that reviews the year's E3 and most to all of its games, which also temporarily replaces the "previews" section.
In rare circumstances, Game Informer creates a special video game themed flowchart, usually to parody a certain genre of video games.
Game Informer has included three "Sacred Cow Barbecues". Similar in style to a celebrity roast, the occasion is meant to "knock some of gaming's most revered icons off their high and mighty pedestals."4
Game Informer currently reviews games on the Wii, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita consoles. Older games, three per issue, were given brief reviews in the magazine's Classic GI section (compared with the game's original review score, if one exists). This was discontinued in 2009, months before the redesign of the magazine. The magazine's staff rate games on a scale of 1 to 10 with quarter point intervals. A score of 1 is considered worse than terrible; 10 is a rare, "outstanding", nearly perfect game; and 7 is "average", a decently playable (but flawed) game. A running gag in every issue is that in the review table (the magazine defines what each score means), the 1 score is always changed to a different joke. To this date, 23 games have received a perfect "10", in order, they include:
- Super Mario World in October 2000 (Classic GI review).
- Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 in November 2000.
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty in December 2001.
- Metroid Fusion in January 2003.
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker in April 2003.
- Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal in November 2004.
- Halo 2 in December 2004.
- Resident Evil 4 in March 2005 for the GameCube and November 2005 for the PlayStation 2.
- God of War in April 2005.
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess in January 2007.
- BioShock in September 2007.
- Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare in December 2007.
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots in July 2008.
- Uncharted 2: Among Thieves in November 2009.
- God of War III in April 2010.
- StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty in October 2010.
- Batman: Arkham City in November 2011.
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword in December 2011.
- Mass Effect 3 in April 2012.
- BioShock Infinite in May 2013.
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds in December 2013.
Some games have even received scores of 1 or below by Game Informer: Batman: Dark Tomorrow received a 0.75,5 Shrek: Fairy Tale Freakdown for Game Boy Color got a 0.5,6 and the Xbox fighting game Kabuki Warriors scored a 0.5.7 In the latter review, editor-in-chief Andy McNamara stated that "I literally won a match just by bashing the controller against my ass. I wish I was joking, but the score is seriously Kabuki Warriors zero, my ass one." This was confirmed by his fellow editors. Another game reviewed for Classic GI – Marky Mark: Make My Video for Sega CD – was given a 0, making it the lowest-rated game by Game Informer. A score of 1 was handed out to the Kinect game Hulk Hogan's Main Event in the December 2011 issue. A score of 1 was handed to Postal III, which was cited for its glitches and bad gameplay. In 2009, editor Bryan Vore handed a score of 1 to the Wii game Ready 2 Rumble: Revolution, calling it "Terrible in Every Conceivable Way".
Game Informer Online was originally launched in August 1996, and featured daily news updates as well as articles. Justin Leeper and Matthew Kato were hired on in November 1999 as full-time web editors. As part of the GameStop purchase of the magazine, the site was closed around January 2001.8 Both Leeper and Kato were eventually placed on the editorial staff of the magazine.
GI Online was revived in September 2003, with a full redesign and many additional features, such as a review database, frequent news updates, and exclusive "Unlimited" content for subscribers. It was managed by Billy Berghammer, creator of PlanetGameCube.com (now known as NintendoWorldReport.com).9 Berghammer is currently the editor in chief of the EGM Media group 10
On March 2009, the online staff began creating the code for what would be the latest redesign to date. The redesign was to release hand-in-hand with the magazine's own redesign. On October 1, 2009, the newly redesigned website was live, with a welcome message from Editor-In-Chief Andy McNamara. Many new features were introduced, including a rebuilt media player, a feed highlighting the site activity of the website's users, and the ability to create user reviews.11
- Andy McNamara – Editor-in-Chief: 199112
- Andrew Reiner – Executive Editor: 199413
- Matt Helgeson – Senior Features Editor: 199914
- Matthew Kato – Senior Editor: 200115
- Joe Juba – Reviews Editor: 200316
- Matt Miller – Previews Editor: 200417
- Matt Bertz – Managing Editor: 200618
- Ben Reeves – Senior Editor: 200619
- Bryan Vore – Digital Editor: 200720
- Jeff Cork – Senior Editor: 200721
- Tim Turi – Senior Associate Editor: 200922
- Jeff Marchiafava – Senior Associate Editor: 200922
- Dan Ryckert – Senior Associate Editor: 200922
- Ben Hanson – Video Producer: 201022
- Kyle Hilliard – Associate Editor: 201122
- Jason Oestreicher – Video Editor: 201122
- Kimberley Wallace – Associate Editor: 2012
- Mike Futter – News Editor: 2013
- Paul Anderson – (The Pro Player, Game Professor): 1992–2001 (died 2007;23 a message that reads "In Memory of Paul Anderson" appears in the Staff section of all current issues)
- Elizabeth Olson: – 1991–94
- Rick Petzoldt – (The Video Ranger): 1991–95
- Marianne Morgan – (The Game Master): 1991
- Ed Martínez – (The Video Wizard): 1991
- Erik Reppen – (The PC Jedi): 1996–97, 1999–2001
- Ross van der Schaegen – (The Rebel Gamer): 1991–95
- David "Vinnie" Vinyon – (The Video Vigilante): 1994–96
- Ryan McDonald – (The Arcade Alchemist): 1995–97
- Jon Storm – (The Greedy Gamer): 1996–99
- Robert Stoute – (The Game Cassanova): 1997–99
- Paul Bergren – (The Game Burrito): 1997–99
- Lisa Mason – (La Game Nikita): 2002–0624
- Beaux Hawkins – (The Arcade Assassin): 1998–99
- The Vidiot – (Minister of Destruction): 2000–01
- Jay Fitzloff – (The Gonzo Gamer): 1999–02
- Justin Leeper – (The Digital Deviant): 2001–04
- Chet Barber – (The Joystick Jockey, The Chronic Gamer): 2002–03
- Jeremy Zoss – (Gamezilla): 2003–0625
- Kristian Brogger – (The Game Dawg, The Video Viking): 2000–03
- Nick Ahrens – Media Editor: 2005–10
- Meagan Marie (formerly VanBurkleo) – Associate Editor: 2008–1126
- Annette González – Associate Editor: 2009–11
- Phil Kollar – Associate Editor: 2009–12
- Jim Reilly – Associate Editor: 2011–12
- Adam Biessener – PC Editor: 2003–1327
In the 2006 horror film Stay Alive, there was a brief appearance of a Game Informer with the title game from the movie. This was not a real issue of the magazine and was made specifically for the movie.
The movie Grandma's Boy has multiple sightings of Game Informer posters on the walls.
- "eCirc for Consumer Magazines". Audit Bureau of Circulations. June 30, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2013.
- "10 Years of Game Informer" (August 2001). Game Informer, p. 42. "In August 1991, Funcoland began publishing a six-page circular to be handed out free in all of its retail locations."
- Vargas, Jose Antonio (April 2005). "A Magazine Whose Lineup Is Always in Play". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 22, 2007.
- Game Informer Issue 183 inFamous
- "Batman: Rize of Sin Tzu review on GameInformer.com".
- "Shrek Fairy Tale Freakdown review on GameInformer.com".
- "Kabuki Warriors review on GameInformer.com".
- "On the Web" (August 2001). Game Informer, p. 49. "Sadly, this ill-fated site was to last little more that sic a year, as gameinformer.com would fall prey to the massive meltdown of the Internet economy in February [of 2001]."
- About Billy Berghammer, Managing Editor, Game Informer Online Game Informer Online.com
- EGM Now hires industry vet Billy Berghammer as group EIC Multichannel.com By Larry Barrett – Multichannel News, 1/14/2009
- Welcome To The New GameInformer.com GameInformer.com By Andy McNamara – 10/1/2009
- Game Informer Online.com – Staff – Mike Pohl
- Game Informer Online.com – Staff – Andrew Reiner
- Game Informer Online.com – Staff – Matt Helgeson
- Game Informer Online.com – Staff – Matthew Kato
- Game Informer Online.com – Staff – Joe Juba
- Game Informer Online.com – Staff – Matt Miller
- Game Informer Online.com – Staff – Matt Bertz
- Game Informer Online.com – Staff – Ben Reeves
- Game Informer Online.com – Staff – Bryan Vore
- Game Informer.com – Staff – Jeff Cork
- Game Informer – Staff Bios
- Paul Anderson, Long Time Game Informer Member, Passes Game Informer Online.com POSTED: 8/30/2007
- Internet Archives – Game Informer Online.com – Staff – Lisa Mason
- Internet Archives – Game Informer Online.com – Staff – Jeremy Zoss
- Game Informer Online.com – Staff – Meagan VanBurkleo
- Game Informer Online.com – Staff – Adam Biessener