Independent sources, both via an un-named publisher dealing with the magazines and from industry messageboard QT3, have indicated to Gamasutra that U.S. print publication Computer Games Magazine and its sister MMO-centric Massive magazine have apparently been shut down by publisher TheGlobe.com.
Computer Games Magazine, regarded as the second oldest PC focused monthly magazine in circulation after Computer Gaming World, was first launched in 1988 as British gaming magazine Games International. The magazine later evolved over several iterations, firstly as Strategy Plus, and then later Computer Games: Strategy Plus, before adopting its most current title.
In March 2006, the staff of Computer Games Magazine announced the creation of a spinoff publication called Massive, which focused on massively multiplayer online titles such as World of WarCraft and PlanetSide.
The magazine was distinguished in that each issue would feature MMO demos, as well as full games in some instances. The first issue of the magazine was released on September 19, 2006, and its proper quarterly run began in January this year.
Calls to TheGlobe.com's Florida-based publisher Jayson Dubin, also the publisher of CGM and Massive Magazine, were not returned as of press time, with more recent calls to his direct line getting an automated recording indicating that the number had been disconnected.
Besides Computer Games Magazine, TheGlobe.com also operates two other wholly-owned subsidiaries, including voice over IP solution prover Voiceglo, and online game retail outlet Chips & Bits.
It's believed that a recent lawsuit against TheGlobe.com over spam-related messages sent out on social networking site MySpace may have been partly to blame for the shutdown - a California court found TheGlobe liable in late February for sending "at least 100,000 unsolicited and unauthorized commercial email messages to MySpace members using MySpace user accounts improperly established by the Company".
According to an SEC filing from TheGlobe: "Total damages under CAN-SPAM could therefore range between about $40 million to about $120 million." The filing also indicated that "...any judgment against it would materially and adversely affect its financial condition and future operations, including the potential bankruptcy or cessation of business of the Company", though a final judgement had not been reached as of March 5th.
[UPDATE - 10.00am, 03/14/07: An earlier version of this story erroneously indicated that marketing firm SendTec was still owned by TheGlobe.com as a subsidiary. In fact, SendTec has now been spun off and exists as an independent company.]