AP2
AP2

AMIGA POWER was thoroughly hated by the newsgroup comp.sys. amiga.games. This was, as one of the few genuine AP readers there pointed out, largely because the kind of people who refuse to accept that the Amiga is dead, instead spending thousands of pounds upgrading their machines to PC-beating specifications, aren't the kind of people who'd be interested in reading a mag solely about Amiga games.

Of course, the fact they didn't read the mag, and in all likelihood never had, didn't stop the good folk of comp.sys. amiga.games joining in the AP-bashing so they could pretend they were in Team 17's gang.

Typical of the cogent, all-sides-considered approach was the "Good news - AMIGA POWER is dead" discussion,* from which this extract is taken.We join Stuart as he returns to the argument.*

(Read the original discussion on Google Groups.)

Stuart
Stuart Campbell

Hello, everyone.

And yes, I had a lovely three weeks at the Edinburgh Festival. How kind of you to ask.

Well, looks like I've rattled my stick around a bit of a wasps' nest here and no mistake. I've just spent a lovely hour flicking through your thoughts on the demise of AP and the Amiga generally, and there're just a couple of points I feel compelled, for politeness' sake, to respond to. It might take a while, though, so if you don't care, then for heaven's sake go and read another one of those interesting postings about accelerator cards right now.

First up in the firing squad, Marcus Dyson of (but not representing) Team 17.

Crikey, didn't Marcus have a lot to say on the subject?

And I always quite liked Stuart, and certainly admired his eloquence.

Aw. How nice.

Oh, I never claimed to be above a bit of ranting. That's what Usenet's for. I just thought it was noteworthy that the AMIGA POWER team were never in here sharing their knowledge, opinions and 'inside info' with us while the mag was in existence.

Actually, we were here all the time. It's just mostly far too tedious to react to in any way.

All anyone has to do is look at the house adverts I used to run in AP when I was editor of Amiga Format, openly mocking the AP. Or even ask my wife. She was Art Editor of AMIGA POWER (who for some reason recently have been referring to her as her maiden name), yet while she was work on it, I still wasn't a fan of its attitude-over- accuracy editorial standpoint.

Sigh. This gets depressing after a while. However much anyone might despise AP's 'attitude', criticising our accuracy is insulting and wrong. It was precisely because we did care so much about games that we were so painstaking in ensuring that we could back up anything we said with reasons and facts. However, as usual, I'll lay down the traditional challenge (which I notice no one picked up on last time) - what did we say that was inaccurate, or factually wrong? (ie, not just a matter of opinion that someone doesn't agree with). Ever?

Examples, please. I'm interested.

(Incidentally, the reason we refer to Marcus' genuinely lovely wife as 'Amanda Cook' is because that's the only name by which the readers of AP know her, as she was only married some time after she left the magazine. Suddenly talking about "Amanda Dyson" would confuse them utterly.)

It's difficult to accuse any review of being absolutely fact free, although AMIGA POWER came close several times, notably with the review of 'Kingpin' last year. But the review of Kick Off 96 in the last (and I don't mean most recent, folks) issue is notable in it's lack of "valid, relevant criticism", this being limited in the main to the 'Bottom Line' box.

Ah. If only I had 10p for everyone who'd had a go at something we'd written without actually troubling to read the article in question, I could probably afford to buy the Amiga from Viscorp myself.

As one of our more attentive readers actually pointed out, what I said in the KO96 review was that since one of the flaws in the game rendered it ENTIRELY UNPLAYABLE, I didn't see a great deal of point in detailing the now-irrelevant lesser ones (although I mentioned a few of them anyway, for a laugh).

Erm, no! In fact, Stuart, you launched, and I'll borrow from the last issue of AMIGA POWER if I may, a "ridiculous lawsuit" against Ocean software. A company who, I might add, were merely the distributors of the game.

I won't bore everyone else with this. T17 and Ocean published a clearly libellous advertisement in a trade newspaper, completely distorting a quote which I'd used in a PC games magazine during a review, which I complained about but was unable to pursue due to Britain's medieval libel laws. Anyone who cares in the slightest can email me direct for the full story. This shouldn't be confused with the lawsuit T17 served on AP a year or so back attempting to stop them from publishing or even verbally communicating their opinions on T17 games to anyone anywhere in the world ever. As if it was their job or something.

"They whined and moaned and sulked and threatened and stamped their fat little feet, but they couldn't point out ONE SINGLE EXAMPLE of any kind of remote factual inaccuracy."

We had come to realise by this time Stuart, that facts were the furthest thing from your mind.

So why didn't you point me in the direction of some, Marcus? I'm still waiting.

"They just didn't like having actual, real flaws in their game pointed out by, heaven forbid, professional critics."

You're a professional critic? I though that was just a sideline to your job as director of a consultancy that tells companies if their games are any good.

Professional critic - professional software consultant offering critical opinions. Is there a subtle difference here I've missed, or are those in fact exactly the same thing?

Furthermore, I would have though that it was a gross confict of interests for someone who has financial interest in certain games scoring well to review other games.

I have no financial interest in any games scoring well. Thumbs Aloft is paid to offer pre-release opinions. We have no connection, financial or otherwise, with any game after it goes on sale.

Nor did we utter the words vendetta after you omitted to Include Worms, one of the most successful Amiga games in the last 2 years.

... which would, I grant you, be a serious omission if we'd called the chart "The All-Time 100 Most Successful Amiga Games Ever" or somesuch. I do hate to have to keep pointing this out, but Rise Of The Robots sold a million copies. Does that make it good? Does that mean it should have been in our chart? Take That were the most successful band in Britain in the last 2 years, Marcus, I don't hear you demanding that they be given more airplay.

For the last time (I wish) - popular doesn't equal good. Unless you're an accountant.


Whoa...am I hanging out with the elite of the world? I've seen some pretty livid people, but I've never seen anyone above 16 who could throw a tantrum like that and believe they were making a point. I looked at what he appeared to be trying to get across, and what came out of his mouth, and I'd say his post was counter productive...that is, to repeat myself, he'd "be easier to take seriously without" a load of childish garbage strewn about his argument...or rather his argument strewn about in his childish garbage. Look, by bottom standard for comparison consists of some of the most brainless people on the net, in my opinion, and he went beyond most of them.

(Kevin Brown)

Blimey. You should get out more, Kevin. But what gives you the idea I want to be taken seriously by you?


And now, the charming and sometimes almost coherent Mat Bettinson, from good old CU Amiga. (Remind me, "Mat" - Rise Of The Robots: 90%, wasn't it?)

Don't waste you're time flaming for my lack of sympathy, believe me the staff wanted the magazine to close. Future looks after it's writers and they'd be whisked away to a platform they felt some empathy for.

Remarkable insight into the deepest workings of our minds, viewers, from someone who's never met any of us. But if I might muddy the issue with facts for a moment.

When AP closed, it only actually had one proper employee, the very lovely Art Editor Sue Huntley. Everyone else, including the editor, was a freelancer with no direct ties to Future. (Except Cam, who was at the time employed by the company's Comedy Review magazine). Since the closure, Cam and Sue have been temporarily transferred to PC Format as a stopgap until other posts become available. The rest of us are still freelancers, working for anyone anywhere who wants to employ us. (A list, incidentally, currently including The Guardian, Esquire, Edge, Digitizer, Sega Power, Total Football, BBC Radios 5 and 4, and Canal Plus Multimedia. And that's just me.)

Or rather some degree of status where they could take their 'attitude' and someone might pay attention.

Seems like there's plenty of that going on. Nice of you to join us.

I can't believe no-one replied to Stuart Campbells post in here. A bigger arsehole I've the to see in the industry.

Maybe you should also get out more, Mat. I believe Kevin's looking for a friend.

Perhaps you didn't realise he actually worked for AP and was (shiver) representing them with that vile pointless diatribe he rather illiterately scrawled?

It would be childish to point out the amusingly inappropriate use of "illiterate" given the appalling grammar and typing displayed in your posting, Mat.

So fuck off and die up a chimp's arse, you tedious, invisible little twerp.

Ooh, this has gone on a bit, hasn't it? But hey, feel free to keep talking about us. Cheers to all the nice, clever people with a sense of humour who've written in defending AP over the last couple of weeks. The knowledge that there were people out there who understood what we were trying to do was what kept us going for those 65 glorious issues.

We love you all. Even the stupid scum who deserve to die (but aren't quite smart enough to spot an obvious quote when they see one and work out a bit of context from it. Never mind.)

Guess we'll see you down Electronics Boutique buying a few of the great new Amiga games Team 17 have got lined up for the future.

Love,

Stuart.

x