Top strategy guide company Prima Games is closing after 28 years


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As reported by Publisher’s Lunch, Ian Hudson, CEO of Prima publisher Dorling Kindersley (DK), said in an internal memo that it had reached the “extremely difficult decision” to no longer publish the strategy guides. The move comes after a “significant decline” in the video game guide sector. Having been around since 1990 and despite still lining the shelves of many game stores, it appears the long-predicted demised of these books has begun.

“During a year-long extensive review, many new ways were explored to diversify Prima Games publishing; however, the dynamics for us of this fast-paced landscape have continued to prove difficult. This enormously dedicated team has made every effort to turn the business around, but challenging market conditions have unfortunately worked against them,” said Hudson.

DK will shut down the Prima imprint in Spring next year, with offices in Roseville, CA, Indianapolis, IN, and New York, NY, all being shuttered.

It’s quite surprising that physical game guides have lasted for as long as they have; thanks to the internet, anyone can find extensive walkthroughs for pretty much every title, be it via Google or YouTube. It’s likely that their lifespan has been extended because people appreciate the work that goes into them. Some gamers find having a physical book full of beautiful artwork is more satisfying than referring to an online video or a web page, and they become collection pieces after a game is completed.

But, much like phoning a number to get help with a game (something I did with Monkey Island 2 in the early 90s), the advent of the world wide web has made these guides pretty much obsolete. While Prima did start publishing walk-throughs on its website, it hasn’t been enough to compete with the slew of other online destinations that offer the same.

Other companies such as Piggyback are still making physical game guides, but Prima was the biggest and most prolific. We'll have to wait and see if these firms end up going down the same route.

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TS Booster
They can still sell guides to space movies games and so on. how to guides that have to be on book paper or PDF xml. real time walktrough of life games and so on.
Still we can PrintScreen of web pages but not all info gets with the print DOH.

A cleaner book version would be NICE. printed game cheat codes and how to do Guides.


TS Evangelist
Lots of nostalgia going bye bye here. I remember these were my favorite part of the book fair lol and the cheat code books.


TS Addict
I always bought the Final Fantasy Guides along with the games. (Not sure if it was Prima though). They were always worth it. Especially on a second playthrough of a game. Sometimes there are tiny tiny pieces of game that can be quite significant that you can easily miss without a decent guide.

It's sad to see this type of thing go.


TS Redneck
Games today don't require guide as often as they once did. Games today have a tendency to guide you though them during game play. And online games change with every modification. Which would render any guide irrelevant quite frequently.


TS Evangelist
It's extremely rare that I need a full guide. Usually I may need some help with how to set up a new character or how to get past a particularly troubling puzzle but that's it.

I suppose Prima could move to a subscription-based model or once-off purchases for online guides to a game. But again, they would really have to stand out for excellence, user friendliness, active forums and timely updates to justify any price.

It's hard to compete with free.