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Adios, InQuest

InQuest, the tabletop gaming magazine published by Wizard Press, is shutting down. I wrote many articles for InQuest in its early years, enough so that I’m still on the magazine’s comp list to this day. Now, 150 issues later, it’ll be gone.

Ironically, the last issue of InQuest will ship in September, the same month that Dragon and Dungeon magazines end their run. Games Quarterly Magazine ended earlier this year. What does that leave for adventure gaming magazines in print? Between the internet eating their lunches and a rough few years for gaming, there doesn’t seem to be much room for a professionally run consumer magazine that’s not based around some sort of catalog like White Dwarf or Game Trade Magazine.

Someone tell me I’m missing something. Please.

Comments 30

  1. I think of it this way…if the average person gets most of their hard news via the internet…I think it’s safe to say that the geekarati get ALL of their news via the internet. What purpose does a static monthly price guide for a game like Magic provide…when you can see the real world prices for cards change minute to minute on ebay? How unique can their coverage of a game like Magic be, if every week day there are 5 – 10 high quality professional articles published on the web about the same? I always felt that InQuest’s coverage of the gaming world was shallow and narrow…the Tiger Beat of gaming mags.

  2. I think of it this way…if the average person gets most of their hard news via the internet…I think it’s safe to say that the geekarati get ALL of their news via the internet. What purpose does a static monthly price guide for a game like Magic provide…when you can see the real world prices for cards change minute to minute on ebay? How unique can their coverage of a game like Magic be, if every week day there are 5 – 10 high quality professional articles published on the web about the same? I always felt that InQuest’s coverage of the gaming world was shallow and narrow…the Tiger Beat of gaming mags.

  3. I won’t argue with that, Brent. Still, it’s troubling to see all the magazines dry up at once. I suppose it’s a sign of the times. Disney Adventures (which lists a circulation of over 1 million) just shut down recently too, and other top magazines are going web-only, so it’s not just the gaming industry this is hitting. However, because the tabletop gaming industry is a small pond to begin with it doesn’t take much to kill a whole class of fish in it.

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    I won’t argue with that, Brent. Still, it’s troubling to see all the magazines dry up at once. I suppose it’s a sign of the times. Disney Adventures (which lists a circulation of over 1 million) just shut down recently too, and other top magazines are going web-only, so it’s not just the gaming industry this is hitting. However, because the tabletop gaming industry is a small pond to begin with it doesn’t take much to kill a whole class of fish in it.

  5. True.

    I think any new gaming mag needs to be a new type of animal. Price guides, like those in Inquest and Scrye, I’ve never felt were any real use to the casual gamer since ebay became the reality. News scoops are difficult, since internet leaks still happen, and the big companies that might drive traffic to mags tend to have their own web outlets already.

    So, to me the question is, what should a post-net gaming mag be? Is the answer: there is no such thing? I think there is always room for high quality publications in paper form…for an extreme example outside of the genre…Playboy seems to still be selling strong. I think a gaming mag now would have to be “destination reading”…content you couldn’t find on the net. It can’t simply be news focused, as it would perpetually be behind the times.

    Or…maybe there needs to be an online version of a game mage period…something closer to Slate. I don’t know.

  6. True.

    I think any new gaming mag needs to be a new type of animal. Price guides, like those in Inquest and Scrye, I’ve never felt were any real use to the casual gamer since ebay became the reality. News scoops are difficult, since internet leaks still happen, and the big companies that might drive traffic to mags tend to have their own web outlets already.

    So, to me the question is, what should a post-net gaming mag be? Is the answer: there is no such thing? I think there is always room for high quality publications in paper form…for an extreme example outside of the genre…Playboy seems to still be selling strong. I think a gaming mag now would have to be “destination reading”…content you couldn’t find on the net. It can’t simply be news focused, as it would perpetually be behind the times.

    Or…maybe there needs to be an online version of a game mage period…something closer to Slate. I don’t know.

  7. Okay, I came up with one name: Scrye Magazine. I haven’t read it for years, and it’s gone through a few owners, but it’s still there and kicking for now. There’s also Knucklebones, which is fairly new and which I’ve never read. It seems to be more about mainstream games and puzzles than hobby games though, and Scrye is only for collectible games. Still, they’re something in print.

    Pyramid went net-only many years back, and Dragon and Dungeon will join it soon. It seems to be the way to go.

    For news sites, I like ICv2.com and GamingReport.com. Those give you about everything you could want.

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    Okay, I came up with one name: Scrye Magazine. I haven’t read it for years, and it’s gone through a few owners, but it’s still there and kicking for now. There’s also Knucklebones, which is fairly new and which I’ve never read. It seems to be more about mainstream games and puzzles than hobby games though, and Scrye is only for collectible games. Still, they’re something in print.

    Pyramid went net-only many years back, and Dragon and Dungeon will join it soon. It seems to be the way to go.

    For news sites, I like ICv2.com and GamingReport.com. Those give you about everything you could want.

  9. Yeah, I’ve had a White Dwarf subscription for years, but the signal to noise levels have falled badly…becoming as much of a toy catalog as a guide for the hobbyist, and fans of the games and that’s being quite generous).

  10. Yeah, I’ve had a White Dwarf subscription for years, but the signal to noise levels have falled badly…becoming as much of a toy catalog as a guide for the hobbyist, and fans of the games and that’s being quite generous).

  11. I read Scrye nearly monthly still…it’s aimed at collectible games, but they always review 1 or 2 more traditional games each month as well (Notre Dame springs to mind from the current issue)…not to mention they have the occasional insider type series, lots of interview with designers, etc. Scrye is also under the same ownership as gamingreport.com now. My only complaint about Scrye is that half the magazine or more is price guides, which as I state above, I feel are not worth much to the casual gamer. Maybe I’m wrong about that…but the two collectible games I know best (Magic and HeroClix), I’ve never heard another player refer to the Scrye guide for a price before.

  12. I read Scrye nearly monthly still…it’s aimed at collectible games, but they always review 1 or 2 more traditional games each month as well (Notre Dame springs to mind from the current issue)…not to mention they have the occasional insider type series, lots of interview with designers, etc. Scrye is also under the same ownership as gamingreport.com now. My only complaint about Scrye is that half the magazine or more is price guides, which as I state above, I feel are not worth much to the casual gamer. Maybe I’m wrong about that…but the two collectible games I know best (Magic and HeroClix), I’ve never heard another player refer to the Scrye guide for a price before.

  13. Knights of the Dinner Table, although primarily a comic, it is many pages, and a good number of them have gaming material (ie not comic strip) on them.

  14. Knights of the Dinner Table, although primarily a comic, it is many pages, and a good number of them have gaming material (ie not comic strip) on them.

  15. I am a pretty big fan of Knucklebones, since it covers a wide variety of games and is honoring all the Games Quarterly Subscribers subscriptions (or at least they were). They are extensive in their review of Hobby Games and Family Games, everything from Cluedo to Battlelore might be found in their pages. Each issue usually has an in depth history article and W. Eric Martin of Boardgamenews.com is a regular, as is the About.com board game editor.

    I am a subscriber, and I wish them the best but I don’t know if even they will survive long enough to become online only.

  16. I am a pretty big fan of Knucklebones, since it covers a wide variety of games and is honoring all the Games Quarterly Subscribers subscriptions (or at least they were). They are extensive in their review of Hobby Games and Family Games, everything from Cluedo to Battlelore might be found in their pages. Each issue usually has an in depth history article and W. Eric Martin of Boardgamenews.com is a regular, as is the About.com board game editor.

    I am a subscriber, and I wish them the best but I don’t know if even they will survive long enough to become online only.

  17. Thanks for the recommendation, Christian. I saw their booth at Gen Con but didn’t stop to really poke around it. Best of luck to them!

    Good point, Barak! KoDT is great, although it’s a ways from a pure gaming mag.

    Brett, the big reason for price guides for that are kids who either a) don’t quite have a good grasp on the internet yet or b) can’t navigate eBay as well as they must to be able to understand prevailing prices. They buy into a game and pick up a magazine to see what their cards are supposedly worth, and for many kids that’s at least half the fun. As you say, I don’t have much use for the price guides, but I can see their place.

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    Thanks for the recommendation, Christian. I saw their booth at Gen Con but didn’t stop to really poke around it. Best of luck to them!

    Good point, Barak! KoDT is great, although it’s a ways from a pure gaming mag.

    Brett, the big reason for price guides for that are kids who either a) don’t quite have a good grasp on the internet yet or b) can’t navigate eBay as well as they must to be able to understand prevailing prices. They buy into a game and pick up a magazine to see what their cards are supposedly worth, and for many kids that’s at least half the fun. As you say, I don’t have much use for the price guides, but I can see their place.

  19. Good point Matt…I guess I remember being more interested in comic book price guides when I was younger (though I don’t ever remember selling a comic for any reason).

    I might also add the general comment that the kid who doesn’t have a good grasp of the internet is probably an endangered species. 🙂

  20. Good point Matt…I guess I remember being more interested in comic book price guides when I was younger (though I don’t ever remember selling a comic for any reason).

    I might also add the general comment that the kid who doesn’t have a good grasp of the internet is probably an endangered species. 🙂

  21. Too true, Brett. That’s the great gag about price guides is they make you feel like your collection is worth a lot, even if you’d never actually part with any of it. Also, you’d never get those prices unless you worked the system hard and sold directly to other collectors.

    However, there’s still a place for a price guide, and having it in the same store as the things it prices makes sense—for now. Is there a good price guide source for games online?

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    Too true, Brett. That’s the great gag about price guides is they make you feel like your collection is worth a lot, even if you’d never actually part with any of it. Also, you’d never get those prices unless you worked the system hard and sold directly to other collectors.

    However, there’s still a place for a price guide, and having it in the same store as the things it prices makes sense—for now. Is there a good price guide source for games online?

  23. in some ways, KoDT, IMO, is more of a gaming mag than InQuest for tabletop stuff. IQ was primarily CCGs, though they had some coverage of other stuff as well.

  24. in some ways, KoDT, IMO, is more of a gaming mag than InQuest for tabletop stuff. IQ was primarily CCGs, though they had some coverage of other stuff as well.

  25. That, I think, was mostly due to the love the staff still had for such games. As a company, they clearly followed the money, which meant covering collectible games. They also added a lot of computer game content over the years, but not so much as to ever overshadow the collectible games material.

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    That, I think, was mostly due to the love the staff still had for such games. As a company, they clearly followed the money, which meant covering collectible games. They also added a lot of computer game content over the years, but not so much as to ever overshadow the collectible games material.

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