A Brief History of All Things Mean Machines
To chart the history of Mean Machines, you have to go way back into the 1980's, when the C64 and Spectrum home computers were the hippest gaming platforms on the planet.
Back In 1985, Julian Rignall, at this point only famous for being a keen Defender player (he held the UK high score for a while), joined Ludlow-based Zzap!64, published by Newsfield. He eventually worked his way up the ladder to Chief Editor, gaining a considerable amount of kudos with the videogaming public along the way. He joined EMAP in 1988 and started working on their flagship videogames publication, Computer and Videogames (the world's longest running multi-format videogames magazine, no less).
Mean Machines itself started life as a console-only section within the pages of CVG . First featured in the October 1987 issue of the magazine, the section mainly covered the 8-bit systems like the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Sega's Master System, with the odd reference to the NEC PC Engine. It soon became apparent that consoles were taking off in a big way, and that they were muscling in on territory traditionally covered by the still-dominant Atari ST and Commedore Amiga. Although CVG gave more space to console reviews (and even started off an exclusive 'Mean Machines Megaclub'), the need for a proper, multi-format console magazine was too much to ignore, and Rignall along with designer Gary Harrod and EMAP bigwig Graham Taylor (not the football manager) put forward the idea in July 1990. It seemed sensible to expand on the current console section of CVG, and Mean Machines was born.
As with most new publications, a pilot issue was created called Issue Zero. This was to show the money-men at EMAP what kind of product their cash would be funding. Issue Zero was never sold in newsagents and only ten copies were originally produced, but a reprint was given away free with Issue 15. Naturally, they saw the potential and the magazine was given the green light, with the first issue arriving in October 1990.
We’ve been in this business since the 1980’s so we have first-hand knowledge and experience of the development in some of the classic gaming titles. The future of gaming is unclear however the development of games from early platforms such as the SEGA Megadrive to the more recent Nintendo 64 and Sony PlayStation, it is certain that the future of gaming remains bright.