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Digital Retro: The Evolution and Design of the Personal Computer


Just weeks after pulling out of the Classic Gaming Expo UK at the eleventh hour, the popular British magazine Retro Gamer has folded.

Macclesfield-based publisher Live Publishing was placed into administration just days after Retro Gamer's entire staff was made redundant on Monday August 22.

The news that the magazine had bitten the dust came barely two weeks after Live announced the magazine would only appear every two months. In the same week the company had revealed that PC Extreme was being axed and staff members had been laid off.

Although sales figures for Retro Gamer had dropped since it initially burst onto the scene, circulation figures are thought to have been around 18,000 for issue 18, which proved to be the last.

However, it has emerged that freelancers for the magazine often had to fight to get paid, and the collapse of the company has left contributors out of pocket by hundreds and even thousands of pounds.

The reaction in the Spectrum retro community to the news about Retro Gamer has been a mixture of surprise, sadness and anger.

Some punters had only recently renewed their subscriptions after a rallying call by editor Martyn Carroll in issue 18 to support the title. He claims that the death of the magazine was a complete shock to him and he really expected Live to pull through its problems.

The fact that the Live Publishing website continues to accept credit card subscriptions for the magazine, even though the company is firmly in the hands of the administrator has caused a great deal of consternation.

Retro Gamer readers are also annoyed that while the Live Publishing discussion forums were removed almost as soon as the company went under, the rest of the site's content has remained in place.

Fans of the magazine are pinning their hopes on the title being bought and revived, perhaps by a major publisher like Future. Meanwhile Shaun Bebbington, who runs the Retro-Bytes PR agency, has also hinted that a brand new magazine may be launched in November.

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