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PC Format’s shutting its South African doors

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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

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