Microsoft, the computer industry giant, and Ziff-Davis, the gaming-mag giant, just sent word that they've joined forces to rip the covers off all future issues of the seminal (and creatively titled) computer gaming mag, Computer Gaming World. In their place will be shiny, new Games for Windows: The Official Magazine covers. And here we were thinking CGW was a creative name! As part of their rebranding strategy, they'll also be renaming the cgw.1up.com site (we imagine to the much more memorable gfwtom.1up.com).
Don't worry about the mag's intrepid staff, they aren't being booted on their keisters (just yet), rather "the new magazine and web initiative will carry on the editorial, production and art staff of Computer Gaming World." So this is just branding; Microsoft's goal of marketing Windows Vista as a gaming console continues. Like any "official" magazine, we'll need to reconsider coverage of first-party (in this case, Microsoft Game Studios) properties but, otherwise, CGW already was a Windows-focused gaming mag. But when the oldest video game publication still in existence (founded in 1981) adds corporate sponsorship to their name, you know something's up in dead tree land.
[Update: Firing Squad spoke with CGW ... err, GfW:tOM's editor Jeff Green about the situation. They write, "Green also said that their contract with Microsoft states that Microsoft will not have any editorial influence on the new Games For Windows magazine and said that long time CGW readers should trust that will be the case." The last issue of CGW will be Oct. 06 and GfW:tOM will debut in Nov. or Dec. 06.]
Read the entire press release after the break.