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    This is the personal blog of Simon Kendrick and covers my interests in media, technology and popular culture. All opinions expressed are my own and may not be representative of past or present employers
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Computer & Video Games is the latest zombie brand to reawaken

It has been announced that the Computer & Video Games brand is going to be relaunched, four years after it was closed down. Yet another case of a Zombie brand. But where Atari failed and where I expect Commodore to fail, I can see this revival working.

  • The brand has the USP of being the original video games magazine
  • While the magazine was put to rest, the website continued successfully
  • Limiting itself to specials can keep the nostalgia running for a longer period
  • Future Publishing seem to know what they are doing
  • And let’s face it, serious video gamers can be a geeky bunch and this is the sort of thing they will appreciate

However, I do retain one note of caution. I’m surprised that the publishers have chosen to go with the more modern/mainstream Grand Theft Auto with the launch issue. This obviously has the benefit of tying in with the forthcoming GTA IV, but the core audience will not necessarily be aware of the history of the publication. Personally, I would have gone with a Sim City or Doom – a title which reaches back to CVG’s heyday. The market may be smaller, but it would be more fanatical and there would be more appreciation for a high-quality retrospective. By going down this route, it appears that the nostalgic appeal of the print brand is secondary to the ongoing website cross-promotion. I’m sure Future have done their research, and they must have concluded that this was the more profitable direction.

Obviously, success or failure will not result purely from the masthead – there needs to be a decent magazine behind it. But Vanity Fair has shown that magazines with a strong heritage can be successful revived, and I don’t see why Computer & Video Games can’t follow a similar path.

sk

The power of crowds


Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebflyte/

I didn’t buy a Glastonbury ticket earlier. I pre-registered, I have available funds and I would have been happy to go.

The reason I didn’t was not the history of poor weather (although it did make last year miserable in places). It was not the quality of acts thus far announced (I only saw two acts on the main stage across the 4 days last year). In fact, Glastonbury itself had nothing to do with my decision.

I’m not going because few of my friends are. Community is a large part of the festival experience. And like online communities; for all the features and draws of the infrastructure there may be, attendance/usage ultimately comes down to the strength of the community. Conversations. Connections. Shared experiences.

And so like the great Myspace to Facebook migration of 2006, 2008 suggests a similar move away from Glastonbury to Latitude.

The complication (for me, at least) is that Latitude is the same weekend as Truck Festival, an event I usually attend. In that respect, festivals differ from online communities. Open Social is making inroads into data portability, but festival attendance is still very much a zero-sum game.

sk