Grab a quick-fire 60 seconds with Edge Editor-in-Chief Tony Mott and learn about all things gaming as a fully-interactive version of the magazine comes to the iPad for the first time.
Favourite mag growing up?
My dad used to buy comics for me, and very early on I fell in love with Marvel titles like Spider-Man and X-Men. But I became obsessed with print in all its forms. When videogames caught hold, I would buy as many videogame magazines as my pocket money would allow. Sometimes I’d use my school lunch money, which didn’t go down very well with my parents. My earliest favourite videogame magazine was Personal Computer Games, which was edited by Chris Anderson, who went on to set up Future Publishing and runs TED nowadays. Much later on, some of my favourite magazines were Select and Neon, which I’d buy every month. I also very much admired the spirit of Loaded when it launched because it was so unlike every other men’s lifestyle magazine of the time. Not everyone really understood it at first – I remember clearly a publisher holding up the first issue and saying: “I give it three issues, tops.” It went on to become a kind of phenomenon, obviously. It was fascinating to watch it grow and influence so many things during the mid-’90s. In its heyday there was a kind of energy about it that I hadn’t seen before, and haven’t since.
Your most interesting interview?
When Rockstar was getting ready to launch Grand Theft Auto IV I spent something like five hours interviewing the company’s president, Sam Houser. We could have talked for twice that amount of time – the Rockstar story is a long and eventful one – but I think the PR team were getting hungry. Sam is unique in the world of game publishing – there’s no one else in his position with the same kind of relationship with his company’s work. He’s so passionate about, and committed to, everything Rockstar does, right down to the finest details. You just don’t get that at other game companies of Rockstar’s scale. And when he tells you that everything they do is all about making the best possible games, you believe him. There’s a lot of cynicism in gaming nowadays, but I like Rockstar’s attitude.
We’ve learnt a lot about iPad publishing in a short space of time, and I’m looking forward to seeing where we can take it in the future
What’s your career highlight?
For Edge’s 200th edition in 2009 we produced a split run with 200 different covers. That had never been done before. It was fun to put it all together – albeit pretty tricky in terms of logistics – and we received lots of very positive feedback from readers. We worked hard to fill that particular issue some landmark content, too. Ideally every issue we make would be produced with the same sort of parameters, but clearly that isn’t possible. We have some interesting ideas for 2013, though, when the magazine reaches its 20-yearanniversary.
What advice would you give to aspiring Editors?
This isn’t so much for aspiring editors as it is for those starting out in the role. It’s about surrounding yourself with people who have a passion for the subject that measures up to yours. I admire plenty of jobbing journos, but you can’t fake enthusiasm for what you’re writing about. In a specialist market like the one in which we operate with Edge, it’s particularly important. Our readers are so informed, and so engaged, that they see through inauthentic editorial immediately.
How is your title adapting to new innovations in delivering content?
We’ve just published the first issue of our dedicated iPad edition, which makes extensive use of the technology, with things like animation and bespoke video content.It was made using a publishing platform built entirely in-house at Future, and I think it delivers the sort of experience iPad users have come to expect from their devices. The feedback we’ve received so far, from within the game industry and outside of it, has been incredibly positive. We’ve learnt a lot about iPad publishing in a short space of time, and I’m looking forward to seeing where we can take it in the future, not only with Edge but with other Future properties like Total Film and T3.
Your fantasy front cover?
I think we did that one for issue 100, when we asked Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario and so many other legendary characters and games at Nintendo, to provide the illustration. He did it with marker pens while our writer sat and watched. That obviously doesn’t happen every day.
What’s unique about your audience?
I think it’s the intensity of their engagement with videogames and technology. A lot of our readers have jobs in the videogame industry, but even those who don’t work in games have a level of interest inthem that extends far beyond just playing the things. It wasn’t so long ago that people with this sort of relationship with technology were being marginalised but nowadays it feels that geeks like us are doing OK.