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PC Format’s shutting its South African doors

5 min read


This is easily the saddest news we’ve had to post in some time – and despite today’s timing is not a joke in any way. The local edition of the long-running PC Format is shutting its doors soon.  The news comes via a heartfelt post on the magazine’s online counterpart G3er, by editor Garth Holden – who you may know as Valshen, or that loveable fuzzy bastard who used to write reviews for us.

It all comes down to dwindling magazine sales – though they certainly stabilised under Garth’s reign as editor. We’ve always poked fun at print’s lack of relevance in this online world, but this is the very last thing any of us would have wanted.

It leaves us with just one dedicated gaming magazine in the country, by way of NAG. This is a blow to the local gaming industry, which is decidedly poorer with the loss of the excellent PC Format.

I used to buy both magazines religiously as a youth, relying on their cover discs for my demos and their pages for my news – influencing me to do what I do for a living.

If you can, please head on over to G3ar’s site and leave a kind word for the PC format team, who’d no doubt appreciate the love. All the best to all of you in your future endeavours.

[Update] You can’t go there anymore, because Garth’s farewell post has been removed. We’ve got his farewell here for posterity (Thanks Google cache!), so feel free to tell us what you think of PC format’s closure. 

PCFormat is closing down

This is not an April Fool’s joke (Which is why it has been scheduled for just after 12pm). I really wish it was. PCFormat is closing its doors, with May being the final issue that will grace shelves and impart technical wisdom. After 206 issues, countless editorials, features and reviews, we have had a lot of fun. We have interacted with and met readers, avid fans and stalwart collectors.

Some of you might know that I was brought into PCF to turn things around, due to a downward spiral in readership and a bevy of complaint emails. It wasn’t easy work and it wasn’t always the most pleasant exercise talking to people who felt they had been snubbed or ignored in the past, making apologies for the behaviour of people I had never met. While I did make progress, thanks to a redesign and fresh approach to the content in the magazine, the plummet in copy sales was stopped. It did sometimes feel like my hands were occupied with the task of keeping my fingers in leaky holes rather than achieving bigger plans, but sometimes there is only so much you can do with limited support. Let me not dwell on this, as everything is still too raw to process correctly and I have seen too many defamation lawsuits flying around of late and I am so tired of red tape right now.

Despite all this, I enjoyed my time as Editor. I went to E3, which is the wet dream of pretty much everyone reading this. I met international journalists, amazing YouTubers and eSports personalities. I have spoken to the people who make the things I love and tell them what I think about their products, as well as what I would change (see, gamer entitlement is ubiquitous). I travelled to play games and play with awesome pieces of technology. I was able to use and test machines that I would never otherwise be able to, thanks to their price tags and scarce availability. There is a certain excitement that comes with knowing you are using the only one of a device in the country, or that you are playing a game before anyone else has the chance to lay their paws on it. There is a warm feeling that comes with people talking about PCF with awe and wonderment, a thrill when someone writes to tell you about how amazing your writing or article was, or how it educated / entertained / changed their opinion on a topic.

To the guys who have been buying since issue one, and still have their collection, I salute you. To the guys who bought every now and then when they cover caught your eye, I thank you. To everyone who started buying the magazine when they learnt I was at the helm, you humble me. To the various distributors, marketing people and other members of the industry, thank you for all the support you have given me and all the opportunities I have I couldn’t have done any of this without you guys: my technical advisors, my eyes and ears in the community and the news industry, my friends and my extended family, I will miss you all. Currently I am unsure of where I am going and what I will be doing in the next few months. To continue the naval imagery, the captain is going down with his ship. I am being retrenched, with April being the last month of my employ. While I will do my utmost best to stay in the industry, I know that there are many, many other people who are also trying to carve a section out for themselves. You will still find me floating around the internet, and hopefully at gaming events too. Sadly this is not something I can control, but I hope to see you all and hear from you again. I mean, I might explode if I don’t have a place to pour the contents of my mind down into ink and words. So long guys, thank you for this leg of the journey. I am calling it a leg because I refuse to believe it is over. This is not the Endor! I must say, though, I fail to see how any job is going to top going to E3 the first weekend after starting work. Hopefully life hears my challenge and throws me a bone. Now I am going to stop writing before I get teary eyed and wet my fur. Feel free to say cheers in the comments, I would sincerely appreciate it.

Your Wookiee,

Last Updated: April 1, 2014


  1. UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

    April 1, 2014 at 12:36

    Me in PnP 2 weeks ago: *looks at PC Format and asks friend* “I wonder why they even print those… Who buys them?!?”

    o.O Obviously I can see into the future!


    • riyaadt

      August 1, 2014 at 11:45

      LOL are you joking?
      PC Format has been around for Quite some time
      There must be a good reson other then book sales dwindling.
      PC format will surely be missed.


  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    April 1, 2014 at 12:37

    I used to buy it years ago specifically for the cover disks. They were awesome.


    • UltimateNinjaPandaDudeGuy

      April 1, 2014 at 12:38

      I think with the online demos and internet being a thing these guys literally don’t have a chance 🙁

      Remember those CDs packet with demos! Good times!


  3. Admiral Chief Railjack

    April 1, 2014 at 12:37



  4. ToshZA

    April 1, 2014 at 12:38

    Wow this is very sad news indeed. While i’ll head over and leave a comment there – I also purchased both magazines rather religiously. It was a great magazine, and I’m very sorry to see it go. 🙁


  5. Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

    April 1, 2014 at 12:38

    Oh man! That’s terrible! PC Format was a great mag 🙁

    Very sad to hear about this and wish it didn’t have to be 🙁


  6. Rikus

    April 1, 2014 at 12:41

    Very sad news indeed…


  7. HighlanderZA

    April 1, 2014 at 12:45

    Only magazine I bought every month. Nou wat nou. Sad sad day day for me.


  8. Hammersteyn

    April 1, 2014 at 12:51

    Used to buy this a lot, but then internet and consoles.


  9. Rince

    April 1, 2014 at 12:54

    Oh man, this is sad news. Really. I hate to say it but this is going to happen more and more. I remember OVG and I being hyped to get Nintendo Power when my mother visited the states. No matter WHAT the internet offers nothing will replace that feel of tearing the plastic off and diving into each magazine. Shit we had loads of them. Sad, nostalgia 🙁


    • oVg deprived

      April 1, 2014 at 12:58

      And little did we know that one of those smart ass kids that got their name published in the best scores of all time list turned out to be Cliffy B.


      • Rince

        April 1, 2014 at 12:59

        Indeed! Passion bro 😉


  10. Anon A Mouse

    April 1, 2014 at 12:56

    PCF was the only magazine I read growing up. And those mega DVD / CD collections was pure joy. Sad to hear this, but it’s the way the world goes.

    As a side note: I wonder where all that advertising money is going to go to now with only NAG left.


  11. oVg deprived

    April 1, 2014 at 12:56

    Garth Holden, AKA Wookie the Drogon Dogma slayer 😛


    • Rince

      April 1, 2014 at 12:59

      Too soon? 🙂


      • oVg deprived

        April 1, 2014 at 13:00



  12. Unavengedavo

    April 1, 2014 at 12:57

    Does this mean the Wookie will be returning to LG?


  13. Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

    April 1, 2014 at 13:02

    [inserts extra coins] Continue… Continue…. CONTINUE DARNIT!!!!!!!!!!


  14. N@te

    April 1, 2014 at 13:04

    Sad news…I used to buy the mag every month for years.I’m talking from grade 5/6 up till Matric. I still have copies that from ’98/’99 at home. Sad day indeed, used to love the mag and couldn’t wait to read it every month.


  15. Devourer of Small Bunnies

    April 1, 2014 at 13:11

    We should have a break up party! have to have something to remember them by! (well that an the odd 50 issues I have lying about)


  16. Rags

    April 1, 2014 at 13:15

    It was inevitable, NAG will probably follow in due time. Sad. GG


  17. Matewis Jubilai

    April 1, 2014 at 13:18

    The sweet memories of playing all those demos. I remember how great it was to finally be able to progress past a level where a demo ended. Case and point : the dam wall mission in commandos. So many demos and I think that I still have most of the cds. Some of the demos I remember: Carmageddon, qni, plane crazy, Anno 1602, Rainbow 6, Warzone, Hexplore, Project Eden, System Shock 2, Hexen (or heretic – always confused the two), Deus Ex, Motorhead, Need for Speed 3, Project IGI (uhm i think), Operation Eagle (or somethink like that), Duke Nukem Project Manhattan, some sort of monster truck racing game that i played to death, Sudden Strike, Nuclear Strike, Commanche 4 and of course Commandos.


    • R1ker

      April 1, 2014 at 13:25

      Damn dude – you just made me shed a tear. Remember almost all those demo’s you mentioned. Don’t forget to through in the Quake 2 demo in as well.


  18. Shame

    April 1, 2014 at 13:33

    Makes sense. I haven’t bought one of those bad boys in …… maybe 10 years, especially with all the online content I have access to – Like Lazygamer (Boom). Sad but reality.


  19. Mossel

    April 1, 2014 at 13:34

    Yeah, back in the 90s these were awesome. But the times they are a-changin’. Print media is dead.


  20. Sk3tz0

    April 1, 2014 at 13:40

    Master Race is weakening 😛 Bwahahahahahaha


  21. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    April 1, 2014 at 14:03

    Wow, this really sucks.There’s a part of me that hopes that it’s a really bad and tasteless April Fools joke. I’m sad to admit, but haven’t bought PCF in a very long time, but it was the magazine that I used to rely on growing up. This is very sad news, and more so for the PCF/GEAR team. All the best to you guys. Keep strong Garth!


  22. rimmoah

    April 1, 2014 at 14:35

    pc format became as relevant as the desktop pc


    • Johan du Preez

      April 1, 2014 at 15:35

      Is that the best trolling attempt you have ?


      • rimmoah

        April 1, 2014 at 16:26

        I enjoyed pc format….10 years back.times change life goes on,get over it


  23. CypherGate

    April 1, 2014 at 14:39

    And i just saw one now in Spar Cape Quarter and wondered hmmmm… Should i buy one? Then though maybe next time cause i can just download a demo or two. Now i feel bad…


  24. Tauriq Moosa

    April 1, 2014 at 16:41

    On April Fool’s day? Bloody awkward and terrible.


  25. CrasH

    April 2, 2014 at 09:31

    Unfortunatly both PCF and NAG are just too thin.
    I still bought one or the other when traveling to keep me occupied, but realised in the last one that all the news was old, i knew about all the hardware if not more and that within an hour i read it cover to cover.

    Maybe i read faster or its cause i know what the article will say it goes faster, but thats hardly worth the price of the magazine.


  26. Skoobaz

    April 2, 2014 at 11:43

    aww man, me too! loved the disks on the cover with the demos. That in itself got me upgrading the pc way back when to check out the demos. I’d run the demos and realize i needed more ram or a better agp card or whatever it was. kudos to the team. Fond memories


    • Kervyn Cloete

      April 2, 2014 at 12:38

      AGP? You’ve just given away your age :p


      • Skoobaz

        April 2, 2014 at 16:19

        I go all the way back to 8086 chipset brother!


  27. Jackie

    April 28, 2014 at 10:58

    Ag vokit. DIt was MY MAG gewees daai


  28. morphin3

    May 8, 2014 at 21:43

    Sad… I bought the final edition a few days back… I always bought these mags when I had change because not everyones got uncapped adsl.
    I prefer the reviews and hardware advice.


  29. nano

    May 9, 2014 at 12:09

    This really is a gloomy day. Recently bought the last one. Really going to be missing the mag.


  30. Carlo Ryan

    May 28, 2014 at 20:50

    What you guys fail to realise is that PC Format South Africa just takes the PC Format from the UK, grab a few articles (most of them) and change the currency to Rand or equivilent. You can still buy PC Format at CNA but it’s the UK version.


  31. Riaan Roux

    June 13, 2014 at 02:14

    I used to love PC FORMAT and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I still remember the issue with Moo2 inside. That was the high point for me. I never liked the cover CD’s and only looked at maybe one or two. I bought my lsst PC FORMAT about 10 years ago. It didn’t have any nice games inside any more…


  32. mr d

    August 14, 2014 at 22:03

    pcf was a briliant mag.i used to buy pcf riligously until they became ridiculously priced.maybe the price was just not worth it


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