It made me incredibly sad to learn today that Games for Windows: The Official Magazine is being closed down (that's the last issue with Sims 3 on it.) Times are tough in the print games media space, so there's a degree of inevitability here...but it's always a bit of a shock when things like this happen. I'm really glad that the team will still be employed as part of the 1UP Network, as they are clearly some of the most talented writers in the business. I'm sure that Jeff and the crew will be producing some wonderful stories (particularly features, where they always excelled) for 1UP, and I can't wait to see them.
Putting the deal together for GFW with Jeff, and Simon, along with my old boss Scott McCarthy and current partner Ira Becker was something I was very proud of from my latter-days at Ziff. We put together the concept, pitched it to Microsoft, and pulled together the deal in a fairly short space of time (these kinds of things are often very drawn out things) as a huge effort to reinvigorate the PC games media space for us. CGW had enjoyed many, many years as an important part of our media strategy, but shifts in the market meant that things really needed shaking up. We needed something to go out and really shout about, something to re-engage readers, and marketers, and work with Microsoft on re-establishing PC games as something significant, and dynamic. I thought the magazine looked great, and boasted some really wonderful editorial. Jeff, along with Shawn, Sean, Ryan, the art team of Rose and MJ, along with Darren before he left a month or so ago put together a magazine with some of the most imaginative, and challenging editorial of anything in the games space. Far from just banging out previews and reviews, and producing a magazine that reads like something where the team is just working to a deadline to "get it done," GFW always read like something that had had a lot of thought put into it. It asked challenging questions, and explored genuinely interesting themes and ideas. It may have been shortlived, but the team should feel very proud of what they achieved. As the quote sort of goes; that which burns twice as brightly, burns half as long.
You can read more on Jeff's blog, and Simon's blog on 1UP.