Daily Illuminator

November 7, 2008: Pyramid: The Third Incarnation

This year, Pyramid turned 15 years old. When it started in 1993, Pyramid was a bimonthly print magazine. We were proud of it. It offered a wide variety of articles covering the entire gaming industry, it had a lot of loyal readers, and it won awards. Over time, buying habits changed, and printing costs rose. A print magazine was no longer economical, so after 30 print issues, Pyramid shifted to a weekly subscription access website, complete with archives, newsgroups, and a chat room.

And that was good . . . for a while. Times have changed again.

With more and more content of all kinds available free on the web, subscription sales slumped. We hoped that subscribers would be willing to pay for extra quality. In trying to reach that goal, we made Pyramid SUCH a good deal, in terms of price per word, that all our effort on it earned very little money. The obvious conclusion was to either kill the magazine completely, or bring it in line with other products with similar budgets. We didn't want to kill it, so we reinvented it again.

The new Pyramid will be released monthly in PDF format. Each issue will contain four times the word count of the weekly Pyramid, and will be priced at $7.95 -- in line with our other PDFs of similar size. Each issue will have a specific theme. The first issue -- Tools of the Trade: Wizards -- will upload on Friday, November 21.

We know that some people will drop away because of the increased price, and we're sorry, but this is economic reality. We hope the new format will attract new readers to offset the loss . . . both regulars, and one-shot buyers interested in an issue's specific theme. If not, well, we tried -- this may not work, but the old way wasn't working, so a change was necessary.

  • Today's issue -- Friday, November 7 -- is the final issue.
  • The newsgroups will be closed down. Their functions have been taken over by our forums -- including one especially for Pyramid! We recognize that some readers feel attached to the old NNTP format; however, the web forums are the current standard for message boards, and we need to serve the broader audience.
  • The archives will no longer freely accessible. We will collect the best of the online Pyramid's weekly run for a series of monthly "Pyramid Vault" releases, each on a specific theme.
  • Of course, current Pyramid subscribers will be tempted to go through the archives, downloading their favorite articles, or pulling those they didn't have time to get to. We're a step ahead of you; we've compiled the entire archive and zipped the HTML files by year. Grab the year you want -- or all of them! -- and the articles are yours.

What happens to your current subscription?

  • If you have a current Pyramid subscription, and you'd like to try the new format, it's easy! We'll automatically convert your current subscription, at full value, into a PDF subscription, at a significant discount off the cover price. Your subscription to the HTML version will convert over to six months of Pyramid PDF releases -- a $47 value. Yes, even if you only have one week left, and you let the subscription roll over, you'll get the full six months of the PDF.
  • If you have a current Pyramid subscription, and you don't want to try the new format, please email pyramidrefunds@sjgames.com before November 21. We'll pro-rate your subscription for the amount of time it's been active since your last payment, and refund that amount. For example, if three months have elapsed since your last renewal, we will refund the remaining 9 months. Remember to include a mailing address. Please allow a few weeks for processing.

We'd like to thank everyone who subscribed to both earlier versions of Pyramid, and all the creators who submitted articles over the years. Looking back, we've already had a run to be proud of. Looking forward, we've got a good shot at many more years of quality articles.

Pyramid is dead (again)! Long live Pyramid!
-- Steven Marsh
Editor of Pyramid Magazine

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