The world of gaming got some sad news today, dear readers. One of gaming’s most prolific strategy guide publishers, Prima Games, announced that they would be shutting down after almost three decades of publishing game guides – with two of their three main locations closing up shop within the next five months.
Reports from both GamesIndustry.biz and EGM Now detailed the announcement from Penguin Random House (the publisher responsible for distributing Prima Games’ guides) of the “extremely difficult decision” to shutter the United States offices of Prima Games, which will be effective in 2019.
This hits pretty close to home for me, as I have been a fan of Prima Game Guides for almost 20 years. I discovered my love for them back in the days of the original PlayStation, and never looked back. Not only have these guides helped me out of some near rage-inducing situations in gaming, but they almost single-handedly rekindled my love of game-based art. Between teaching me combos and finishing moves for games like Mortal Kombat: Deception, and allowing me to take in the gorgeous artwork from games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Prima Games has been a large part of my gaming life for a long time.
With the rising popularity of online forums and websites devoted to video game walkthroughs over the last 20 plus years, it’s no surprise that a company whose main wheelhouse lay in producing books to help gamers find their way through these games is going out of business. Gamers have increasingly turned to looking online for cheats, secrets, and level guides, moving their attention away from anything even resembling a book. Not to mention all of the gaming-based YouTube channels out there. There are so many YouTubers who get advance copies of these games in order to play them for their channels, that finding one’s way through a game like God of War, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, or Assassins Creed Odyssey is really just a few clicks away.
Sure, some may consider resorting to a guide “cheating,” but to my mind there is nothing wrong with using the tools and resources available to you in order to accomplish something that you’ve worked really hard on. To this day, whenever I buy a guide with a game, I will always play all the way through the title (or as far as I can), and then go back and do it again with the guide(s), in order to pick up the items and/or accomplish the missions that I missed the first time through.
Aside from Prima Games’ storied history in strategy guides, the company only recently announced the publication of their hardcover look at accomplished women in gaming, WOMEN IN GAMING: 100 Pioneers of Play. The book details how more & more women have played – and keep playing – important roles in the video game industry. It contains interviews with (the aforementioned) 100 influential and prominent female figures in the industry; ranging from professional gamers, to programmers, and even high-level executives. Women in Gaming highlights the impact that these women have had on the gaming industry at large, and details the myriad of things that they have learned in the workplace.
So it’s with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to my beloved Prima Games, friends. With a company that has been so prolific and ever-present in gaming history shutting its doors, it kind of feels like the end of an era for a lot of us older gamers. I may just have to go home tonight and flip through some of the Prima Games guides that still sit on my shelf next to my PS4. Sure, a lot of them are for games that I no longer own, but I just can’t bring myself to throw them out – no matter how old they are.
Do you all have a favorite Prima Games guide, or stories about using them? Leave a message in the comments down below to share your experiences with us!