Amiga Format, one of the most prestigious and highly regarded magazines titles is to close down, with financial reasons the most likely factor in its closure.
Its impact has been felt throughout the Amiga Community, marring the excitement of the last few days following the latest news from Amiga Incorporated. Amiga Format's mailing list was flooded with many disappointed readers. Jonathan M. Dudley said, it “delivered an earth-shattering blow to my stomach!” with Mickey C, “sorry to read the end of such a fine magazine. Amiga Format was the last great bastion of The Amiga, certainly here in the UK”. Everyone thanked the efforts of the Amiga Format staff, Ben Vost and Richard Drummond with Arran Smalley saying, “Ben, Rich and everyone else that has worked on AF, good luck in your new enterprises and never forget us or the Amiga”. Perhaps, this closure highlights, the need for progress towards to the creation of the new Amiga system, with the current market going through a mixture of ups and downs.
Andrew Korn of Amiga Active, said “farewell” to Amiga Format, emphasizing that it had been the “established pillar of the market, the magazine against which others will be judged”. He also reiterated his determination to keep Amiga Active going. I would also add that Amiga Format readers, should pick up, if they already haven't a copy of Amiga Active, it may not be Amiga Format, but its a great Amiga magazine in its own right.
I have included below, the last message from the Editor of Amiga Format, Ben Vost, who we wish all the best of luck in his new job:-
Ben Vost, Editor of the prestigious Amiga magazine, Amiga Format
It's been a very sad month for me. Since I found out that AF was to close, I've had nothing but sleepless nights and now you've all found out in the worst way possible, when I thought I should be the one breaking the terrible news. Future's policy was to keep silent until the issue had finally gone to press, but now there seems little point, and in a way, I'm glad - there was nothing worse than me having to prevaricate about subscriptions or future plans for Amiga Format.
The closure of Amiga Format means the end of an era for me. For thirteen years (pretty much my whole working life) I've been involved with the Amiga market in some capacity, whether that be in sales, distribution, freelance consultant and writer, or journalist and editor on Amiga Computing or
Amiga Format. All this time I've been at the heart of the Amiga market and I've met and got to know some fantastic people, not least of whom are my readers. I've used some fantastic software and seen hardware dreams come and go. I've probably spent in excess of ten grand feeding my obsession and will carry on using the equipment I have at home for a long time to come.
As for what I will be doing, you have no cause to fear on my or Richard's behalf: Rich has a job on Linux Format as a staff writer, working with erstwhile Amiga Format editor Nick Veitch. As for me, I hope you'll look favourably on Future's new launch - 3D World - where I'll be deputy editor and the editor of its website. 3D World will be aimed at professional 3D artists and those looking to get into that market, whatever the platform. I will be honest and say that although the only important criterion for inclusion in 3D World is image quality, the speed at which those images need to be rendered, and the quality of the support software, means that I don't think there'll be much, if any, Amiga coverage and that saddens me too.
For those of you who are subscribers, there's no cause for alarm. We aren't a fly-by-night company that will let you down when it comes to dealing with your subscription. All subscribers will get a letter shortly – included with your final subscription issue, that will explain all the options.
As far as any future reincarnation of Amiga Format goes, I am not yet personally convinced that Bill and Fleecy will be able to achieve all they want to, but if they do succeed I'm sure that Future Publishing will be one of the first publishers back into a new thriving Amiga market, and you can bet I'd want to be back. As such, although my new job will probably take me into the world of PCs and workstations, you can be sure I'll keep an eye on what's going on here and I've promised Bill McEwen I would remain part of the AAC in order to be better able to tell him where I think he's going wrong. :)
In the meantime, I don't think that the Amiga market has died, I just know it's got to the stage where Future Publishing can't sustain Amiga Format. At the end of the day, the only reasons for this are an increasing un-professionalism in the marketplace and a lack of people willing to part with their money. There are plenty of good dealers out there that have their customers interests at heart and it's up to you to make sure that their level of service and support don't go the way of Amiga Format.
Just remember, there's still an issue on the shelves right now that contains all sorts of fantastic info (and Personal Paint 7.1b on the CD) and our next issue on sale, our last, will be well worth buying since it will contain a dissection of the Amiga market as the freelancers and staff on AF see it and a history of AF.
On a personal note, it's not so easy to convey emotion while writing an email. Suffice to say that this page would be wet if it were a letter I was sending to you all.
E-mail your support to Ben Vost at:-