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After 24 years, Nintendo Power is calling it quits

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It's game over for the oldest existing video game magazine.

Nintendo Power, once considered required reading for gamers, is calling it quits, a victim of the Internet age and a lack of support from the company whose name it bore.

Founded in 1988, Nintendo Power started as a bi-monthly publication, but went monthly in 1990 at the height of the NES's popularity. The stories were never hard-hitting -- in fact, they were mainly advertorial -- but legions of fans devoured each issue to get game tips and boast of their high scores.

In 2007, as the popularity of print magazines started to wane, Nintendo contracted Future Publishing to take things over. Last week, the game company opted to let the contract expire.

Ars Technica notes senior editor Chris Hoffman tweeted he was "sad to see it go" and that the editorial team would "try to make the last issues memorable." Nintendo Power writer Phil Theobald said the staff had "something pretty sweet planned for the final issue."

Cliff Bleszinski, creator of Gears of War and one of the industry's top designers, was among the fans mourning the passing of the magazine, which he called a "cherished part" of his childhood.

"The magazine had a great run, and it will be missed, as will its enthusiasm, especially in a digital age that can sometimes be quick to damn before praising," he said.

While Nintendo has seemingly lost interest in the magazine game, it's walking away from a pretty healthy subscription base. The magazine currently boasts a monthly readership of 475,000.

The announcement of Nintendo Power's demise was just one of several ugly pieces of news from the video game industry Tuesday. PopCap Games confirmed rumors of a substantial restructuring that saw 50 jobs eliminated from its Seattle headquarters and may yet include the shutdown of its Ireland studio.

Included among those affected by the layoffs was George Fan, creator of the Plants vs. Zombies franchise. That was a particularly stinging move, since the company had announced the long-awaited sequel to that game on Monday.

Sony, meanwhile, shut down its Liverpool Studio, creators of the Wipeout franchise and one of the oldest game studios around. Founded 30 years ago as Psygnosis, the company also created the Formula One racing franchise and was the publisher of Lemmings.

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