Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM), one of the most reputable and most popular magazines in the games industry, published its first issue since the magazine went under about a year ago. The verdict is –  EGM is back and better than ever.

Ziff Davis shopped around their games division and eventually sold off both EGM and 1up.com to the UGO network. Gametab, Mycheats and Gamevideos were also part of this deal. This was sadly the beginning of the end for EGM, long time staff members were fired and the print version of EGM was canned. I then proceeded to cry myself to sleep.

I remember the day I read the news on Kotaku that the magazine might be coming back, first it was December, then March and then finally I didn’t hear anything until I found it sitting on a news stand today. It seems the magazine’s original creator Steve B. Harris purchased the rights to EGM and has been plotting its relaunch for months. There was also that fiasco over transferring your subscription over to other UGO owned publications like Maxis magazine. I’m sure that pissed off a lot of moms, I know it annoyed at least one mother.

I went to my local downtown Toronto Chapters today, thankfully it hadn’t been destroyed by anarchist violent G20 protestors. I was trying to hunt down a text book I need for a course I’m taking but decided to take a look at the magazine rack. I do this every few months, video game publications seem to be dropping like flies, they just can’t keep up with how quickly online news organizations pump out fresh content. They’re monthly magazines, beyond exclusives, by the time these stories get published they’re old news. That’s why, at least towards the end of EGM’s life span, we started to see a more editorial and opinion driven focus.

For me the appeal of EGM has always been its editorials and exclusive opinion columns, especially after the Internet became my main go to source for video game news. Writer personalities and opinions truly came through in their stories and gave the magazine a certain something other gaming publications seemed to be missing.

The new EGM is just how it should be. It retains the look and feel of the original but adds a fresh coat of paint and some interesting new ideas. I don’t remember all the writers from the original EGM but I don’t see a lot of return staff writers, here’s hoping more will join the team as this new EGM picks up steam. There are few Bitmob contributers still around though, Greg Ford, Jason Wilson, Demian Linn, Brett Bates and Aaron Thomas. Sean Baby also makes a triumphant and hilarious return. One notable returning writer is the notorious Dan “Shoe” Hsu, I’ll definitely be looking forward to his pieces even though he’s not Editor-In-Chief this time around, he’s on the review crew.

The first issue, Summer 2010, features an exclusive story on Moral Kombat and a cover that resembles a style we might have seen 10 years ago. Something I found interesting was the paper the magazine is printed on, it feels a little thicker than your average magazine, not particularly important but definitely different. There are also some really interesting opinion pieces from the EGM’s staff as well a number of original featured stories on different issues not usually covered in the gaming industry like, unionizing game developers, a new spin on 3D gaming and the concept of Greifing in online gaming. Classic sections like Insert Coin and Press Start also make a return.

There is also a weekly online version of the magazine that accompanies the monthly print publication called EGMi. It’s a cool idea that links both print and online into one medium. It will be interesting to see if the concept takes off. It’s also pretty reasonably priced, $24.99 for 12 print issues and 52 online issues.

EGM is really special to me, it’s huge that the publication is back. I credit EGM as the magazine that got me serious about gaming, games journalism and writing in general. I can confidently say that if it wasn’t for Electronic Gaming Monthly I wouldn’t be writing this story today. We try to pay homage to classic editorial and personality driven EGM here at Game Judgment. We take pride in letting our writers splice their individual writing styles and personality into their pieces, be on the look out for our weekly opinion based columns.

The ultimate gaming magazine is back in a big way, go check out the “Komback” issue today.

Edit: The issue I read isn’t EGM’s debut issue, it’s just the first issue I’ve read and seen on news stands. The first issue featured Super Street Fighter on the cover.

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