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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
All Rights reserved

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Amiga Pro

First issue release date: June 1994 Final issue release date: ?, 1994
Publisher: Aceville Publications Limited Coverage: Serious magazine, included games supplement for first 4 issues.
Country published: United Kingdom No. of issues: ?
Medium: Paper Status: Dead
Web Address: None

Amiga Pro was a latecomer to the Classic Amiga magazine scene being launched in June 1994. In a similar style to Amiga Shopper, it covered serious Amiga issues, relegating Amiga games to a 52 page supplement called 32. In the first issues Editorial the magazines focus was defined as covering serious issues, such as industry movements, social implications, and development questions. Its focus was on Amiga people rather than the Amiga itself, showing that Commodore hadn't just created a computer, but a political institution as well. In many respects it was ground-breaking, covering a number of perspectives in the Amiga industry, including a "Journalist comment" from the likes of Phil South, "retail comments" from managers who ran Amiga-based companies, and "PD/Shareware comment" such as 17 bit Software. The 32 supplement continued this with regular columns penned by people in the games industry, including the legendary Andrew Braybrook (Urdrium, Paradroid) and Archer Maclean (Jimmy White's Snooker). An interesting attempt at covering the Amiga industry from the inside? The magazine itself had very few permanent staff, being written for the most part by contributors. The majority of these were unknowns, being based in the industry itself these writers were purported to be experts in their field. It also included work by regular Amiga writers such as Paul Rigby (editor), Larry Hickmott, Paul Overra, and Phil South. Unlike other magazines it did not feel the need to fill its pages with tutorials suggesting that "magazines are just not cut out for them" It also promised never to include floppy disks on the cover, although the reason for this was never mentioned. The first issue covered how Index Information (famous for their BoXeR system) were using the CD32 for multimedia. Regular features included a complaints section where readers could complain about a companies service called 'Gotta Gripe?', the problems in finding an Amiga-friendly bureau. Despite their embargo on tutorials they included a column on coding, covering the basic of using the EXEC run-time library in issue 1. Despite the expert knowledge the column presumed of its reader it jumped across many points, demanding the reader to seemingly get into the mind of the writer to understand what he was talking about. In a similar fashion to Amiga Shopper, it dedicated quite a few pages to PD and shareware, reviewing the best of the scene. One of the magazines advantages was the quality of reviews. These were geared to fulfilling specific tasks. In this aspect it was extremely practical geared to providing information about what type of uses the user would require.

32 Logo
As a supplement to Amiga Pro, a 52 page magazine was included called 32, that reviewed 32-bit software. This was not restricted to CD32 but also covered the A1200, but surprisingly missed out the A4000, capable of running well written A1200 software. This is understandable, even during 1994 the A4000 was seen as out of the range of most gamers. As mentioned, the supplement included comments from the industry, penned by the likes of Andrew Braybrook, Archer Maclean, and John Hare (Cannon Fodder). These did not necessarily always cover the Amiga as such, with the writers given free range to talk about anything they liked. One writer spent a column talking about their voting habits in a local election. Game reviews were somewhat erratic, falling into the trap of describing most games as 'brilliant'. It used an unusual rating system, breaking away from the percentage system used by other magazines but not going as far as too omit the rating system altogether. It gave verdict in the form of text ratings, such as 'Brilliant' and 'PDG'. However there seemed to be little relation between different awards given (Gold and Platinum awards seemed to be interchangeable between these verdicts). The magazine also seemed to have included a large number of games that never made it to the market, despite showing screenshots. This could point to two things- the screenshots were taken from the PC version and indicated as the Amiga version, or the project themselves were cancelled whilst in development.

The 32 supplement existed for an even shorter period than its parent magazine, lasting for just 4 issues before being cancelled because of the bad reception it got from the readers. In its place were to be a series of specialist guides covering a specific subject. This failed to appear and it is likely that the publishers realized that they were losing money from the magazine and cut funding. Despite its original concept it did not have the established readership provided by other magazines of the time along with the liquidation of Commodore leading to great uncertainty in the market.

View Amiga Pro Issue 1 (182k)
View 32 Supplement, issue 1 (23.9k)

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