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The American edition of PC Gamer launched in 1994.
In 1999, Future plc, then known as Imagine media, purchased rival magazine PC Games and merged its staff into the magazine.
Similarly to the British edition, the magazine shipped with a demo disk, though diskless versions were available. The CDs were replaced by DVDs in the American edition on a month-to-month basis.
When PC games with full motion video (FMV) sequences were popular in the mid-to-late 1990s, PC Gamer’s CD-ROM included elaborate FMV sequences featuring one of their editors. To access the features of the CD, including the demos, patches and reviews, the user had to navigate a ‘basement’, which played very much like classic PC games such as Myst. It was in this game sequence that the magazine’s mascot, Coconut Monkey, was introduced just as the editor was leaving the magazine, marking the transition from the FMV demo CDs to the more contemporary menu driven demo CDs that were subsequently used.
In the September 2011 edition of PC Gamer, it was announced that they would be dropping the demo disk altogether and concentrating on improving the quality of the magazine instead with a promise of a larger magazine printed on heavier paper stock. The usual demo disk content would be made available online.
Coconut Monkey is the mascot for the US edition. He was created by founding editor Matt Firme, and modelled on a Bermudan tourist trinket. Coconut Monkey appears in the pages of the magazine, and has occasionally provided commentary on demo discs included with the magazine. The Coconut Monkey appears in a number of game mods.
The Coconut Monkey is often used to parody vaporware by advertising the unreleased game Gravy Trader, which has been given a 101% score on some of the review disks. The character would often cite that he would do “something” (dependent on the train of thought), but use the excuse “but I have no hands” as a reason for not doing it (even though his two hands and fingers are clearly visible on his belly). As a side note, he claimed he was the product of a coconut (his mother) and a Sri Lankan rat basher (his father).
The PC Gamer US podcast started in August 2005, and is hosted and produced by various PC Gamer editors. Regular contributors include Logan Decker, Evan Lahti, Tyler Wilde, and T.J. Hafer. Former contributors include Dan Stapleton, Dan Morris, Jeremy Williams, Greg Vederman, Chuck Osborn, Kristen Salvatore, Gary Whitta, Josh Augustine, and Norman Chan. It is generally released weekly on Thursdays, but is subject to change when the group is too busy or forgets. The podcast celebrated its 100th episode on 20 September 2007, and was hosted by Dan Morris, who had not appeared since he left the position of EIC of PC Gamer in 2006 to become the magazine’s publisher. For its 200th episode released on 12 Nov 2009, the podcast featured two former editors in chief: Gary Whitta and Kristen Salvatore.
A video podcast is also produced and features game developers discussing their newly or soon to be released games, as well as other notable figures in the gaming world. It is produced on a semi-regular basis.
Several notable guests that have appeared on the podcasts include Richard Garriot, Sid Meier, Chris Taylor, the Frag Dolls, Jens Pulver, Chris Sigaty, and Jonathan “Fatal1ty” Wendel.
Several episodes have included a gaming-themed quiz show. Introduced in episode 81 by Logan Decker, the segment is named Catfantastic after the book series of the same name. Logan, however, announced on Catfantastic II that the quiz show would be discontinued because “after two good things, it gets boring.” However, Logan hinted in later episodes that Catfantasic could return some day. It did in episode 133, episode 200, episode 250, episode 300 and episode 350. Episodes 250 and 300 were called LazerDeathCatFantastic and ELECTROCATFANTASTIC respectively.
As of episode 119, Andy Bauman took over as producer from Jeremy Williams, who had accepted a different job at PC Gamer’s parent company, Future US, in South San Francisco. Jeremy has hinted he may return as a contributor. Bauman’s last podcast was episode 258 and he has since taken up a job at CBSi as a video Producer for GameSpot and Giant Bomb.
Anthony Valva, PC Gamer’s intern at the time, took over producing the podcast up to episode 274. After his internship ended, podcast production was handed over to former PCG Intern Erik Belsaas. The RSS for the podcast has not been updated since July 2014.
In January 2015, writer Tyler Wilde was found to have written numerous articles about Ubisoft while dating a Ubisoft employee with the title, “Communications Associate”.This, together with the fact that Editor-in-Chief Tim Clark was aware of the relationship, led to general questions about the publication’s ethics policies. Clark and Wilde responded, pointing out that Wilde had not reviewed any Ubisoft games during the relationship, and admitting that the relationship should have been disclosed in other coverage. Clark stated, “PC Gamer writers will continue to be obliged to disclose any significant personal relationships with people whose work they might cover