Why I oughta...
AMIGA POWER had its fair share of lawsuits, threatening letters and plain old loonies over the years. The Cannon Fodder issue, for example, harvested a fine crop.
And who could forget the Team 17 lawsuit brought after we gave ATR 38% and Kingpin 47%? Apart from Team 17, of course, who swiftly dropped the case after their lawyers pointed out its ludicrous hopelessness to them. Those lawyers must have been conspiring with us in the vendetta, eh, lads?
Similar no-chance lawsuits after unfavourable reviews were issued on behalf of Alternative and Domark. (Oddly enough, it's always the publishers who spring to the attack. The game programmers themselves are on the whole a gentlemanly breed who just want to know how to make their games better.) It's a curious thing for a company to respond to bad reviews by attempting to sue the magazine which gave them, but then the software business is the feeblest, most hopelessly infantile, crassest and embarrassingly whiniest industry there is.
Take, for instance, Millennium, who wished the magazine, the Amiga and all of us dead in an epically abusive telephone call, or US Gold, who blacklisted AP, refused to speak with us even after a complete staff change and sent games to our sister magazines with specific instructions to keep them out of our hands: eerily reminiscent of what Team 17 was to do three years later. (Though without the SuperInformationCanal connection, however.)
(The finest example we can think of of a company who didn't take poor marks personally were the impeccably polite Vulcan, who unhesitatingly let us give the amazingly funny It's a Skull to you, our readers. Truly they are the Sports of Champions. A pity they keep making those terrible Valhalla sequels, really.)
The single successful lawsuit brought against AP was from Ocean, settling for a printed apology over the way they'd been described by a reader in Do The Write Thing.
(Although there have been a few occasions when companies have crossly pointed out genuine errors in reviews - Core on Universe, say, or Krisalis with Soccer Kid CD32 - which we've of course corrected.)
No one seems quite sure exactly what happened with Arcade Pool, however. And the tangles of Cannon Fodder 2 defied rational pie-chart explanation.
One of the hardest policies to maintain was not mentioning our rival magazines. It was extraordinarily annoying to have competitors so irredeemably poor that even had we co-ordinated every writer and designer, carefully laid plans for them to deliver their loosest, sloppiest work and deliberately instructed the printers to use entirely the wrong colours, sometimes with three shades of ostensibly the same black on a single page, then put three copies of Slider A1200 on the coverdisks, we couldn't possibly have been one quarter as bad as they were. Although the printers were gallantly rubbish anyway. Occasionally we'd snap and embark upon some brief, pointless, massive overkill exposé of a (usually trivial) fault, but by and large we managed to keep our silence.
This didn't stop our rivals, however, from trying to pick fights with us. Amiga Format's campaign of hate against a mag they saw as a low-quality rival was kept up for three years, although, ironically, we were great and they were crap. Amiga Concept wrote a two-page cover-flagged feature about how we were killing the Amiga and took bribes, but thought enough of us to steal Points of View though forgot the jokes. And Amiga User International genuinely liked us, because they reprinted huge chunks of two of our reviews under their own writer's name. Ah! Ah! Ah!
For outstanding looniness we must turn to you, our readers. (Although your fury was not always misplaced.) Disregarding submissions to Do The Write Thing, we were swamped with some frankly exceedingly worrying letters. Some were from people who just didn't get it at all, like the spectacularly loony response from the parents of a particular entrant in the Shadow Fighter competition (who possibly never knew he appeared in the mag, for they hid it from him). Sue was besieged with letters from a Guild of Militaristic Schoolgirls, who entreated her to become their chief-of-staff and lead them to victory, and J Nash unwillingly became Amiga Technologies boss Jonathan Anderson's special friend.
Amazingly, AMIGA POWER was targeted by only one loony so convincingly threatening we were compelled to take him seriously. Even as the mag stumbled against tables and coughed more expressively than words could tell, an extremely frightening man sent us fat diaries detailing how the editor was a Creature Of The Devil and how we'd all die at the stalker's hand.
We told the police about that one, of course.