CLEVELAND -- Gameroom Magazine, a leading periodical for coin-op machine collectors and hobbyists, is shutting down after a 23-year run. In an announcement posted at the magazine's website on Nov. 17. Gameroom publisher Kevin Steele said the monthly journal was no longer tenable due to the deteriorating economic climate for print media.
Gameroom was founded in 1988 by Dave and Donna Cooper in New Albany, IN, and the first issue mailed in late 1988. Editorial content focused chiefly on jukeboxes, which were experiencing boom among collectors at the time. The magazine's coverage also embraced slot machines, trade stimulators, pinball machines and gumball machines.
In 1993, Gameroom acquired The Pinball Trader, expanding flipper coverage. Following Dave Cooper's death in September 1996, the publication was sold to Tim Ferrante, who shifted operations to Keyport, NJ, and later Florida.
Ferrante expanded Gameroom with regular columnists, a website, and coin-op book and merchandise department. Arcade videogames were added to the editorial beat in 1997. Four years later, the publication launched "The Arcade Video Game Price Guide," billed as the world's first price guide for arcade videogames.
Steele Publishing LLC purchased the magazine in January 2006, moving it back to the Midwest as part of a media company that also ran the home arcade website Retroblast. Steele retained the magazine's proven formula while adding consumer "retrogaming" and home arcade coverage, and upgrading paper and ink quality.
Steele thanked readers for their support and directed inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. He said each subscriber would be able to download with a free copy of the Gameroom 20th anniversary collection, normally priced at $99. The collection contains 20 years of back issues in PDF format.