I was a Nintendo diehard growing up. The NES and SNES were the very definition of my childhood. I would defend Mario and Zelda to the death when somebody would claim that Sonic or Sword of Vermilion was better. The biggest contributor to my Nintendo fandom, however, was Nintendo Power.
It's unfortunate then that today came news out of Ars Technica that Nintendo Power was closing. It appears that its current publisher, Future Publishing, can't work out a deal with Nintendo to extend the license. It's a shame too since Nintendo Power was one of the most influential video game magazines in the late 80s/early 90s.
Nintendo Power was first published in 1988 as a glorified marketing device to advertise the latest and greatest games. It was more than that to Nintendo obsessed kids like me though. Each issue was chock full of tips, tricks and secrets for games that I never would have completed were it not for Nintendo Power. It didn't hurt that the magazine had one hell of a sales pitch:
After owning the magazine for 19 years, Nintendo licensed out the name to Future Publishing. Future is the major publisher behind other console-specific magazines like Official Xbox Magazine and Official PlayStation Magazine. It only made sense for them to get ahold of Nintendo Power as well.
Thankfully, it looks like Future won't be firing any of the writers after Nintendo Power ceases to exist. They are apparently being moved to other Future properties like GamesRadar and MacLife magazine. Here's hoping that Nintendo realizes their mistake and renews the license. It's almost too sad to see such a giant within the gaming community just go away like that.
It's not entirely certain when the last issue will be published, but you can bet that I'll be picking up a copy. Maybe I can show my kids 20 years down the road just how awesome game publications used to be.
As an aside, check out this collection of Nintendo Power covers. The magazine, especially the early ones, had amazing cover art. It's worth a trip down memory lane just for them.