Anyone who grew up with Nintendo hardware most likely was exposed to the company's in-house publication that covered the hottest upcoming games, Nintendo Power. Many of us left the magazine behind ages ago, but it continued to publish and has been under control of Future Publishing since 2007, and now comes word that Future is ending its role with the publication, bringing Power's production to an end. Why now? Apparently it has nothing to do with dwindling subscriber numbers or the sorry state of the advertising business. Ars Technica reports that Nintendo itself is to blame:
[O]ur source says that Nintendo, which was always "difficult to work with," was uninterested in renewing that contract or in taking part in a number of digital initiatives that Future saw as necessary for the long-term health of the brand. He added that Nintendo doesn't seem interested in taking over direct control of the magazine again.
It's unclear exactly how many more issues of Nintendo Power are planned after the recently published August issue (its 281st), or how current subscribers will be compensated. Nintendo Power enjoys a total monthly readership of 475,000, according to Future press materials.
I stopped subscribing to Nintendo Power during the Nintendo 64 generation, although I wound up with a free courtesy subscription for a while around 2006. The book has changed a lot over the years, and sadly with the rise of the Internet and the push for gaming news to be reported and discussed online at a breakneck pace, it seems that without Nintendo's cooperation, there's nothing that the magazine can add to the overall picture. We've come a long way from that off-model clay Mario on the cover of the debut issue, but the spirit of the magazine will go on thanks to all of those who fondly remember it and do their part to spread the word of video game news. It's worth noting that this is not the first time that Nintendo Power has been in trouble, however, so perhaps we'll see it rise again someday.