I spent the better part of the past 15 minutes on the Nintendo Power subscription page, my mouse cursor hovering over the place order arrow button, my mind unsure of how my body got to be where it was, or why.
The catalyst for this weird stage of events was a cool article at Aeropause, which actually examines the dying “hardcore” gaming mag industry as a whole, but has a few choice words of encouragement for Nintendo Power. Put simply, the “popular” gaming mags today are really only popular, on average, with a certain type of person, and as such they cater to games that the audience wants to hear about. It makes business sense for now, but unfortunately for them (and for many gaming blogs today, I might add), it’s indicative of the ostrich head-in-the-sand mentality that will ultimately doom them (or at least lead to massive “restructuring,” i.e. “layoffs.”).
As their audience loses the power they once had over the direction of the industry, so to will they lose their influence as publications. Nintendo Power, however, is now positioned to be THE gaming mag for the mass market video games industry, complete with exclusives (some even faster than the Net), commentary on all games of all types, and the Nintendo Power brand to back it up. Meanwhile, advertisers will abandon the dead weight, and flock to the mag with the most presence and authority, as advertisers are wont to do. Advertising is about eye balls, after all, and Nintendo has more of them.
In light of all this I kept asking myself a simple question. It was wild, and it was incredibly retro 1990’s of me to ask, but I asked anyway. Should I subscribe to Nintendo Power? Again?