Electronic Gaming Monthly should be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, but instead the Ziff Davis-owned publication is shutting down just shy of the milestone. A source within Ziff Davis has confirmed for GameSpot that the January 2009 edition of the magazine (issue no. 236) will be the final installment of EGM.
The closure comes as a result of a corporate deck shuffling at Ziff Davis. The publishing company announced today the sale of its 1UP network of sites to the Hearst Corporation's UGO Entertainment. 1UP staff overlapped heavily with that of EGM, which was not part of the sale.
UGO touted the acquisition of "tenured editorial personalities" in a 1UP story announcing the deal. Despite that, it appears that many of the site's editorial personalities will not be making the trip to UGO. A second source within Ziff Davis said that roughly 40 people have been laid off, with a total of about two dozen remaining on staff.
Launched in March of 1989, EGM was originally published by Sendai and covered the Sega Master System, Nintendo Entertainment System, and even had reviewers dedicated to Amiga, Atari, and Commodore platforms. When it debuted, the Mega Drive and PC Engine were overseas products of the future, and not the Genesis and TurboGrafx-16 as they came to be known as stateside.
EGM is merely the latest in a succession of Ziff Davis gaming-enthusiast magazines to cease publication in recent years. Last year, the company terminated Games for Windows Magazine, a publication with a 27-year history, most of which was spent under the name Computer Gaming World. In late 2006, Ziff Davis also canned its Official US PlayStation Magazine after a nearly decade-long run marked by its PlayStation and PlayStation 2 demo discs. Two more Ziff publications, the Xbox-focused XBN and Electronics Boutique in-store mag GMR, ended their runs late in 2004.