There was a time when the only way to find tips and tricks for a game was to consult a strategy guide. However, the rise of the Internet has brought with it tons of free online guides and videos, making it easier than ever to navigate through games that would otherwise have players stumped. This mountain of free guides has now claimed a major casualty, Prima Games. The company produced physical guides for years but has now announced plans to shut down.
Effective immediately, the company will no longer be publishing guides, with doors set to officially close in Spring 2019. The company was founded in 1990 and has been producing guides for the last 28 years. However, its time has now come to an end, with parent company DK citing a “significant decline” in printed video game guides as the reason for the closure. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate appears to be the final guide to be produced, judging by Prima’s website.
Guides are incredibly popular among most gaming websites, and there’s very little reason for gamers to purchase something they can find for free online. The closure of Prima Games is unfortunate, but it is a sign of the times. The company does have an online publication as well, though it seems that it didn’t bring in enough traffic to keep the company afloat.
There’s always a chance that Prima Games will live on in some respect or find new ownership, like how Toys R Us may make a comeback. While that may be wishful thinking, many gamers have fond memories of picking guides for their favorite games, and it’s disappointing to see a company so central to those memories go out of business.
It’s unlikely that Prima will be the final casualty of an increasingly digital market. Physical game sales are on the decline, and it appears that major console manufacturers are turning their heads to an entirely digital future. The shift has been damaging to many companies that specialize in physical games sales, with rumors circulating that even GameStop was in talks for a buyout a few months ago. Time will tell, but at least players have the internet to keep them company.