With the way the economy is going and magazine and newspaper readership on the decline, it is understandable that the print media are scrambling to find new ways to increase revenues. But selling out to the proportion that the Official XBox Magazine has done is pretty damn ridiculous.
According to this Kotaku post, Insert Credit, a gaming website, reported on the death of print game journalism as they discovered April's issue of the magazine. An ad replaced the the magazine's cover, but the ad was tailored to look like the magazine's actual front page. This is not the same as selling ad space on the cover of your publication, this boils down to fooling people outright.
Sure, the ad had "advertisement" written across the top, but that's because they had to do it by law. If that were not the case then I'm sure that they wouldn't have even ran the ad warning.
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I know what you are thinking, "This is no worse than how they sold out before, by featuring a game prominently on the cover." But it is worse. At least then, you had a story (not always a good one but a story nonetheless) to justify the big game being featured on the cover. All we got with this fake cover stunt was a lot of ads.
Doesn't gaming journalism receive enough low blows without these publishing companies becoming shills for the big game developers?
I fear the day when gaming mags become nothing more than catalogs for games. Some of you may say that it has already happened, and with this recent ad gimmick, I may just agree. -- Elvis Ramirez