Template:Articleissues Template:Infobox Magazine GamePro is an American video game magazine published monthly. The magazine was first established in Redwood City, California in 1989 by Pat Ferrell, his sister-in-law Leeanne McDermott, and the husband-wife design team of Michael and Lynne Kavish.
Lacking a sound distribution strategy after publishing the first issue, the founding management team sought a major publisher and found one with IDG Peterborough, a New Hampshire-based division of the global giant IDG. Led by a merger and acquisition team comprising IDG Peterborough President Roger Murphy and two other IDG executives, Jim McBrian and Roger Strukhoff, the magazine quickly became a fast-growing success. The later addition of John Rousseau as publisher and editor-in-chief Wes Nihei, as well as renowned artist Francis Mao, established GamePro as a large, profitable magazine worldwide.Template:Fact
The magazine was known for its editors using comic book-like avatars and monikers when reviewing games. As of January 2004, however, GamePro has ceased to use the avatars due to a change in the overall design and layout of the magazine. Meanwhile, editorial voices carry over to the newly redesigned and highly active community on its sister publication, GamePro.com.
GamePro was also known for is its ProTips, small pieces of gameplay advice used as screenshot captions. It also has a section known as Code Vault (formerly S.W.A.T.Pro), where secret codes are posted. These particular features have since gone the way of the personas, and slowly disappeared. Though, Codevault exists in print format, sold as a quarterly cheats and strategy magazine on newsstands only.
There was also a TV show called GamePro TV. The show was hosted by J. D. Roth and Brennan Howard. The show was short lived due to competition with a similar program entitled Video Power. Early in its lifespan the magazine also included comic-book pages about the adventures of a superhero named GamePro who was a video game player from the real world brought into a dimension where video games were real to save it from creatures called the Evil Darklings. In 2003, Joyride Studios produced limited-edition action figures of some of the GamePro editorial characters.
GamePro has appeared in several international editions, including Germany, Turkey, Australia, Brazil, and Greece. Some of these publications share the U.S. content, while others share only the name and logo and generate original material.
Early in 2006, IDG Entertainment began to change internally and shift operational focus from a "Print to Online" to "Online to Print" publishing mentality. The first steps; build a large online network of web sites and rebuild the editorial team. Enter: George Jones, industry veteran.
August 2006, the GamePro online team spins off a new cheats site, GamerHelp.com. Shortly followed by a video game information aggregation site, Games.net and a dedicated gaming downloads site GameDownloads.com.
In February 2006, GamePro's online video channel, Games.net, launched a series of video-game related shows. The extensive online programming is geared towards an older and more mature audience.
Under the new leadership of George Jones, GamePro magazine undergoes a massive overhaul in the March 2007 issue. While losing some of the more dated elements of the magazine, the new arrangement focuses on five main insertions: HD game images, more reviews and previews per issue, GamePro.com community showcase, user contributions and insider news.
“Leveraging the strengths of the print platform to maximize the experience for the reader” - George Jones, editorial Director
Every April as an April Fools day prank, GamePro prints a 2-5 page satirical spoof of their magazine named LamePro, whose title is a play on GamePro's title. The spoof contains humorous prank game titles and fake news, similar to The Onion. It seems that no one is safe from the LamePro satirical arm, even themselves. Many other game magazines have been the butt of the joke of LamePro.
LamePro, however, is not without its own controversy. While some game magazines have taken LamePro as a chance to laugh at themselves and each other, other have been very offended at the types of jokes that it prints. In 2000, a spoof ad in the satire made reference to a then newer (and short-lived) game magazine called "Incite: Videogames". At an industry charity auction, Incite bid and won on advertising space within GamePro; in the spirit of charity, GamePro agreed to advertise its own competition, even though it could be considered vaguely tasteless (a mailman delivering a copy of Incite to a female's door, with the legend "It must be that time of the month"). However, in the next LamePro, a fake ad for a magazine named "In spite" was used as bird-cage lining, with the white-background ad saying "You get what you pay for," making reference to the first Incite issue costing 99 cents on newsstands. The following month, Incite responded in their Letters To The Editor section, spouting off in their subwords "Get it, GamePROSE," and many supposed fans of their magazine defending them against the spoof ad. During the remainder of the magazine's 10-month lifespan, Incite ran the "GamePROSE" quote in every issue.
In 2005, another spoof ad had a similar effect, and also had an even greater controversy. The spoof was on account of gaming supersite IGN. Once again, on a white background, the ad showed a phony game site screenshot, with a logo similar to IGN's, spelling out "GNO.com" and the phrase "You can't spell ignorance without GNO." This sparked a letter to one of IGN's staff members who does a weekly feedback column on the site, and, in answering to one's e-mail concerning the spoof, mentioned humorlessly that GamePro wasn't mature at all for taking such a shot at IGN.
However, that wasn't the biggest concern in the 2005 edition. Just a few weeks after the issue hit newsstands, word came out that there was an actual site on the internet that had the address GNO.com. The site was actually an internet publishing site, and GamePro a few months later ran an apology in their letters section, saying that they had no prior knowledge about the site existing before the issue had been released. It is apparent that the two sides had made peace, as no civil suits of any kind were filed (it is unclear if such was even being planned).
Lamepro has been seemingly dropped altogether as of the April 2007 issue during the magazine redesign. No reason is currently given as to why the feature was dropped.
GamePro's main sections (as of April 2007)
From the birth of the magazine until issue #230, the Gamepro staff went by monikers and never by their real names. When GamePro began, the magazine only had a limited amount of editors on staff, but the small start-up wanted to give the illusion that they were bigger. Therefore, they created character names, and each writer generated articles under mulitple nicknames. The monikers caught on and became a tradition, one that's continued to this day. Many of the names, according to GamePro, are a play on the personalities, interests, and/or past jobs that the real person behind the persona has, and the editors choose their own name (while some they have admitted to being just "bad puns," such as Miss Spell and Bad Hare). After the first few years, most editors picked one name they liked and stuck with it.
Once an editor left GamePro, the name was respectfully retired, although the magazine retained all copyrights to the character. The names were rarely if ever used again, unless that writer returned (as was the case with Boba Fatt and Manny LaMancha, both of whom contributed work as freelance writers after their original runs with the magazine).
Many editor names have come and gone. However, there have been many names in the magazine's bylines that many longtime readers remember. Some of these names:
In 2006, GamePro.com received a revamp, and in turn, another tradition was seemly dropped: That editors would not reveal their true names, as the editor bio sections of GamePro.com may show the editor's true name (seemly in the event that an editor chooses). Also, both in the magazine (in the "Ask The Pros" sidebar of "Head-2-Head") and on the site, a picture of the editor is shown, albeit in an interpolated rotoscoping style, and some editors, such as Major Mike and Bro Buzz, have still kept secret their true identity. The Watch Dog's identity is also kept secret, probably due to the column he maintains, Buyer's Beware, and the backlash one might receive for writing the column and the scathing criticisms of game company's customer support that the column is known for publishing.
Also, in 1994 and 1995, a total of four people who won The Blockbuster Video World Game Championships got to write reviews under their own personas for GamePro; the 1994 winners got to write reviews for Super Punch-Out!! (Dark Mark and Fred Dread) and the 1995 winners got to write reviews for the Sega Saturn version of Virtua Fighter. The tournament went defunct after 1995.
On issue #230, the GamePro editors had relinquished this practice and had begun to use the real names of the editors in the bylines. This has come with mixed reviews. While some commend GamePro for finally making a crucial move to be more "grown-up" (many of the criticisms of the magazine stemmed from the personas), others have cited that GamePro had eliminated one of the key elements of the magazine that made it unique among gamers.
The personas are still somewhat active on the magazine's website for the last persona characters that were made prior to the change (called "GamerTags" on the site), mostly for their blogs and the forums.
Reviewed games are usually rated with 1.0 – 5.0 stars with fractions of 0.50. No game has ever received less than 1 star. Five graphical stars are shown, some hollow, some full filled, and sometimes one partially filled based on a fractional rating. These graphical stars are often accompanied by a cartoon gamer's head with an exaggerated expression based on the number of stars. Several games that have received 5 star ratings have subsequently featured the graphical stars with cartoon head on their boxes.
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