Fast Forward Games has announced that it has acquired the assets of Games Unplugged magazine from founder Ken Whitman's Dynasty Presentations, Inc. for an undisclosed price. Fast Forward will begin publishing Games Unplugged with the next issue, #14, which will be shipping to distributors in about ten days. According to Fast Forward VP-Sales John Danovich, the deal had originally been planned to begin with #15, but was moved up in recent days. Games Unplugged #14 will be a 64-page issue. Games Unplugged has a circulation ranging from 6,000 to 10,000, depending on the amount of convention distribution.
According to Danovich, there will be both elements of continuity and changes to the magazine as a Fast Forward product. Games Unplugged will continue to be edited by current editor Sean Everette as a 'stand-alone' publication produced away from Fast Forward's digs in and around Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The price will remain $2.99, the magazine will continue to be supported by both circulation and ad revenue, and the contents will continue to include reviews, previews, and Larry Elmore's 'Snarfquest' comic. Changes include a monthly frequency, the addition of historical games to the mix, more previews, and the addition of gaming content. An effort will be made to make reviews more timely relative to the release of new products.
This represents another expansion move by Fast Forward, which has been on a tear since long-time game designer Jim Ward became more active with the company and Danovich moved there from ACD Distribution (see 'Danovich Moves to Fast Forward, Joins Ward'). The company also acquired d20 magazine Campaign (see 'Fast Forward Takes over Campaign'), and has geared up production of d20 sourcebooks (see 'Wondrous Items of Power').
Expansion will continue throughout 2002, according to Danovich. Fast Forward is planning to launch Replay Games in August as a new division devoted to more experimental products. It also plans to launch a fiction line authored by best-selling writers 'from the New York Times best-seller list.' Fast Forward will also be expanding into science fiction RPGs with the launch this summer of a new edition of Metamorphosis Alpha, a game originally published by TSR from 1976 to 1988. Rights have been acquired from TSR to re-unite Ward with the game he worked on during his tenure at the then-Lake Geneva-based company.