As confirmed by Nintendo last week, the iconic Nintendo Power magazine will be officially ending production with their last issue slated for December 2012. One of the oldest video game magazines currently in circulation, Nintendo Power was an essential periodical for any gamer growing up in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Beginning with its inaugural issue in July 1988, Nintendo Power was not just a hype machine for the Kyoto-based company, but one of the only mediums to find tips, tricks, game strategy, and read reviews or previews of upcoming games during what were largely the primitive days of the Internet. One could make the argument that Nintendo Power was analogous to religious scriptures for hardcore gamers during the glory days of NES and SNES.
In a cost-cutting measure on September 2007, Nintendo announced that US magazine publisher Future US would assume sole responsibility for publishing Nintendo Power. As of August 2012, Nintendo announced that they had opted not to renew their licensing agreement with Future US Publishing and that Nintendo Power would cease publication after a remarkable 24 years in print which effectively marked a historical run of coverage beginning with the original Nintendo Entertainment System to the end of the Wii era. In 2012, the United States experienced approximately a 10% deterioration in overall magazine subscriptions and total circulation which seemed to have contributed to Nintendo euthanizing its monthly periodical that helped pioneer video game journalism in the pre-digital age. In fact, last November, the popular monthly gaming magazine GamePro shut down due to a lack of advertising money after a respectable 23 years in publication. At the time of this writing, Nintendo Power still currently retains over roughly 400,000 subscribers, however Nintendo has not officially commented on whether or not they will continue Nintendo Power through a more modern, digital platform.
Throughout this modest eulogy, we can recall the pages of Nintendo Power and the golden-era of gaming journalism through rose-colored glasses almost as fondly as our own childhood… because for most of us, Nintendo, its products and Nintendo Power specifically, simply were our childhood.