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I have written Dave Halverson about this situation, but I can confirm that he is listing his employer as PaperPlanet/GameFan Magazine.
Thanks to this link provided by Demian, it looks like we have confirmation that Play has legitimately been shuttered. The link is just to a forum post, albeit a highly informative forum post.
Looks like it's official. Today (Feb. 1, 2010) I received a "Notice of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Case, Meeting of
Creditors and Deadlines" concerning Fusion Publishing, Inc. The meeting
of creditors is 11 a.m., March 1, 2010, at 21051 Warner Center Lane,
#105, Woodland Hills, CA 91367. The case number is 1:10-bk-10979-GM.
Posted by: zabuni
I will try to find out more details as soon as possible.
Is Play Magazine yet another victim of the bad economy and changing landscape of the gaming media, or are more… sinister events taking place?
After looking for a link for Dave Halverson's 10+ score of Brutal Legend a few days ago and all I found was a message claiming the site was "undergoing maintenance." I had no real reason to doubt this claim, but when I accidentally clicked back on my browser's toolbar, I noticed a link to this comment on the Gamespot.com Forum-
"So yeah for those that still care about game magazines here is the latest news. Dave Halverson is bringing back Gamefan. Basically the only magazine that trully mattered aside from EGM in the 90's. Great news right? Well no. Dave has turned out to be a complete prick by this point. PLAY magazine has simply been swept aside with nobody subscribing knowing what's going on.
Apparently this is standard practice for Mr. Halverson. I was listening to the Player One Podcast. At the end of the show (8 minutes left or so) they touch on the subject and I could not believe what I was hearing. The guys on the podcast go on to say how this has been going on forever. Employees simply stop seeing checks come in and then out of nowhere the magazine is swept under the rug and Halverson starts a new one. This happened with the original Gamefan, then with his Gamer's Republic, and now with PLAY.
Opinions? I find his unethical ways to be quite disgusting and it also is a bitter end when subscribers find out over time that there simply won't be another issue of their magazine.
P.S. I don't even subscribe so it is not a personal vendetta."
There was a broken link to a story (http://www.gamesabyss.com/news/1243-dave-halverson-re-launches-gamefan-magazine) that apparently confirmed these claims.
I have started doing some digging, but have yet to track down anyone from Play Magazine for any confirmation.
After the death of EGM I went a bit crazy and subscribed to a ton of gaming magazines. One of those publications was Play Magazine. I had never heard of it before. When my first issue arrived I was impressed by the glossy pictures. The content? Not so much.
I can't say I will miss the magazine or even have any special feelings about these events other than a passing confusion over why Amazon is still selling it at $17.95 for a year subscription.
So, I beseech the Bitmob community to help me discover if Play Magazine is dead, undergoing maintenance or if there are more sinister dealings afoot that Play's other 15 subscribers need to be concerned about.