The reports released today revealed that Prima Games, the company behind these strategic guides in all gaming stores, was closing down after almost three decades.
It's really the end of an era. Prima game guides have been around since 1990. Originally, it was known for its massive print guides (I could have used the Skyrim a guide to play at Whac-a-mole), Prima has since expanded to digital guides and strategy guides. But apparently, that was not enough to keep it afloat.
According to an internal memo from Ian Hudson, CEO of parent company Dorling Kindersley:
During a thorough one year review, many new methods were explored to diversify the Prima Games edition. However, the dynamics of this fast-paced landscape continue to be challenging. This extremely dedicated team did everything possible to correct the situation, but the difficult market conditions were unfortunately detrimental.
In this context, what could have given an opponent like Prima Games such a competition? I would say that his problems started when the players started looking for their problems on Google.
Nowadays, anyone with a YouTube channel and capture card can offer players the same information as your average Prima guide, or more. And if you're looking for a particular problem with a game, you risk falling on a Reddit or the GameFAQs thread that not only describes your exact problem, but also how to solve it.
And why could Prima still not conquer once it has been turned into digital guides? Probably because the market was saturated – YouTuber can not only randomly publish a competent video solution, but advice and guide articles are available on just about every gaming site.
Heck, Red Dead Redemption 2 did not come out one day when I started seeing a host of posts on my Twitter on "How to get the fastest horse" or "How to get Arthur Morgan the longest beard" and so on. Any information you would have liked to know about the game was broadcast online at lightning speed by just about everyone.
Sad as it may seem, the launch of Prima Games is probably not a surprise. The fact that he has managed to stay afloat for so long is frankly impressive.
Prima should end its operations completely next spring.
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