Zzap! Editorials 1985
WELCOME to the first issue of Zzap!64, the magazine dedicated to entertainment on the world’s greatest home computer.
|We’ve been knocked for six this month by an astonishing number of excellent sports games. First
came the amazing Pitstop 2, then World Series Baseball, a trio of Activision titles, Commodore’s Basketball (the
FINISHED version), Brian Jack’s exhaustion test and Talladega.
What this means is that the REAL sports action this summer will be taking place not on the playing fields but on the joysticks of thousands of frenzied 64 owners up and down the land.
The great thing about many of these new titles is that they offer direct duels between TWO players, part of a clear trend toward turning the 64 into an ever more sociable institution.
Here’s hoping this issue of Zzap will help you decide which sports YOU want to spend time on this summer.
Enjoy the mag.
|Here we are again with Zzap number 3, which hopefully you'll agree is the best yet. Just to be perverse
we've gone and chosen TWO gold medal games this time, both of which are quite unsurpassed in their respective genres.
Between them they've accounted for a considerable number of very, VERY late nights, so if you notice the odd slurred
comment or wonky piece of writing, you'll know why....
Some things which you may think are slurred comments, but are in fact quite deliberate are a few strange new words scattered round the mag, like 'shmup', 'aardvark' and 'wimp out'. You'll find a full explanation for all these on the last page
of the mag, so don't panic.
We're trying not to panic at the amount of mail now being jammed through our letter box. You people really do say the nicest things, mucho gracias. Pretty soon we'll be running a questionnaire to get some detailed feedback on the mag - but in the meantime, why not write to us with a page-by-page criticism, telling us the things you like and the things you don't, You'd be doing us a favour....
See you next time,
|Since the last issue there have been a few changes in ZZAP!, primarily a change in
editorship and a change in the location of the editorial offices. These have been moved from Yeovil, close to the home of Chris Anderson, up to Ludlow in Shropshire, the head offices of Newsfield Limited, the publishers Of ZZAP! 64 and CRASH Magazine. Unfortunately due to personal reasons, Chris Anderson felt unable to accompany the magazine to its new base. One of the prime reasons for the move is economy, as the Ludlow offices have plenty of space to house the ZZAP! editorial without the extra cost of a second office elsewhere.
For reasons similar to those of Chris, Bob Wade also preferred not to make the move.
This means that ZZAP! is now being written and edited at the same place it is designed and published which gives us a great deal more flexibility than in the past.
You will also notice some slight changes within the magazine itself, and these are
detailed below in the various panels. I hope that you wiil generally approve of those
alterations we have made, or at the worst at least accept that they have been made for very good reasons.
|Here’s a good wheeze for making lots and lots of money. Set yourself up as a ‘Media Agency’ in the
computer software area, get a few Clients fed up of answering phone calls from magazine advertisement managers,
book lots of ads for your clients in different magazines, make the clients pay you an up-front retainer and the
balance of their bills very quickly (on the threat that if they don‘t you can‘t pay the mags and they’ll suspend
the ads), and then - this is the really clever bit - simply disappear (with the money of course ).
This little money-making wheeze isn‘t so fanciful as it may sound. Sadly the software business has attracted sharks from all over the place, including the advertising agency end. If you added up all the money both CRASH and ZZAP! magazines have lost in precisely this manner over 18 months you would be staggered.
What makes the situation worse is that the client software house loses out and so does the magazine because it inevitably causes friction, although in a sense it is neither side’s fault.
There are, of course, some excellent agencies around, but this market seems to attract more than its fair share of bad ones. The latter type are parasites operating an often unnecessary service, inadequately and with nothing more on their minds than personal greed at the expense of everyone. They are giving media agencies generally a bad name and making magazines wish that the whole lot would get lost.
|Some ZZAPpers will probably be reading this issue having got hold of their copy from the Newsfield
stand at the Personal Computer World Show. This trade and consumer exhibition run by the magazine Personal Computer
World has established itself as certainly ranking as high as the influential American Consumer Electronics Show
(CES). Since its inception it has been an important venue for business computing, very much in line with PCW's
image, but three years ago, the world of games software began to make a real impression, and two years ago (at
the Barbican), the games contingent was every bit as big as the business, in numbers at least, if not in the grandness
of their stands. Last year (at Olympia) the same seemed to be true, and at the time of writing, I think this years's
show will have a similar make up. But this is probably the last year like it, for as from next year it is being
said, the PCW Show is returning to its roots in business only hardware and software. The ostensible reason for
this is that PCW magazine's owners, VNU Business Press, have entirely pulled out of the games market with the loss
of Personal Computer Games and their three other user-specific titles, as well as Personal Computer News, which
did cover game releases.
It might seem to be a logical decision on the face of it, but it also seems to be a great shame for the world's computer showcase to be denying British software an exhibiting place at the obvious moment before Christmas. Let's hope that the 'decision' is not a firm one, and that PCW will continue to support the British entertainment software industry as ably as it has done in the past.
PCW SHOW BLUES
It’s okay for you lot - all you have to do is wear your feet out by walking round for
one day. Just try being there for five full long, long days, all the while on your feet, a welcoming smile plastered
over your face. Go on try it! Yes folks - it’s the Personal Computer World Show!
A couple of new faces are appearing for the first time in this issue of ZZAP! Sean joins the
team to look after matters strategical in future, and brings with him he expenence from working for Games Workshop
and writing for White Dwarf magazine and the sadly defunct Imagine magazine. Sean can write those insructable role
playing games that list thousands of technical attributes for freaks of the genre. He’ll also be adding his little
cartoon face to the main reviews where his strategical bent is useful.
Piracy, especially of the disk type, has been somewhat on all our minds the past month and a
half. It seems a number ot largely unidentified people from all over the country have been crediting their illegal
copies of unreleased genes to members of the ZZAP! reviewing team. Several new games have been mentioned to me
by the concerned software houses, all of which have been in our possession as pre-production versions either on
cassette or on disk, but at the time of writing, none of the houses have managed to obtain said illegal copies.
Naturally, we are as concerned as the software houses - the credibility and reputation not only of ZZAP! but also
of all Newsfield Publications is at risk in this.
IS THE GOOSE GETTING FAT?