Yet another thing forgone in the new age of gaming is game guides, physical books that you could flip through that detailed every nook and cranny of your favorite titles. The first guide I ever got was the Pokemon Ruby guide, and boy what a Christmas that was. I flipped through the detailed pictures of each Pokemon, artfully depicted, and free from the graphical limitations of my powered Gameboy Advance. The shiny Charizard on the inside cover completed the book and solidified just how awesome the entire guide was. I have fond memories of digging through game guides as a young gamer, which is why it is deeply saddening to hear tell of Prima Games’ impending closure. The company behind scores of game guides and childhood memories will be closing down shop permanently this coming Spring.
News of this unfortunate event comes to us from Prima’s parent company DK, who announced that the game guide creators won’t be introducing any more books, effective immediately. Free web-based guides have been the primary cause of the decline in consumer demand for physical ones, and it’s only becoming harder to convince people that it’s worth it to shell out twenty to thirty dollars for a Prima book.
“During a year-long extensive review, many new ways were explored to diversify Prima Games publishing,” Hudson wrote. “However, the dynamics for us of this fast-paced landscape have continued to prove difficult.
“This enormously dedicated team has made every effort to turn the business around, but challenging market conditions have unfortunately worked against them.”
Further contributing to the ultimate downfall of physical guides came the rise of YouTube walkthroughs, easter egg and achievement guides, and essentially everything else that would ever be in a print copy, save for the satisfaction of turning a page. Yet vibrant imagery, detailed illustrations, and an impalpable sense of nostalgia couldn’t save the company as games skyrocket into yet another completely new realm.
While an unfortunate loss that many fans across all platforms are reeling from, this was a reality that everyone could see coming, but one nobody wanted to talk about. Maybe it’s time to dust off and flip through my copy of the Twilight Princess guide just for a trip down a lane full of fond memories.