Your comment on making the magazine a success is obviously true but wasn't it already a success? If it wasn't is that why Martyn Carroll is no longer the Editor?
I'm sorry to sound so negative and I certainly won't be deciding on future purchases purely based on issue 19, (let's face it these are more than cosmetic changes here. In the space of an issue the mag has completely changed so, (again for me personally) it's come as a bit of a shock.) Martyn had captured something different, something special, in his approach to the mag and I would hate to see that lost in the race to be corporately successful.
You may say: "Sorry matey but that's how thing are in the big world of publishing," and I would answer: "But wasn't it that different approach which made Retro Gamer a success in the first place?"
You raise some very interesting points, but... unfortunately in the world of publishing, sometimes what may seem great and working from a readers point of view, going into the store and buying the mag each month doesn't neccessarily mean the magazine is a success.
The 'Classic' Retro Gamer was a success to it's readers and in it's field area initially. But one mag in the main doesn't make for a successful publishing company, and unfortunately for various reasons, Live Publishing didn't survive in the harsh, agressive marketplace of newsstand publishing in that form.
Therefore, for Retro Gamer to have a sustainable successful future on it's own, the magazine needed to evolve and take on an identity which works in a way which we hope appeals to the 'old school die hards (like me)', but at the same time can bring new, more 'modern sensitive' magazine readers, gamesplayers and collectors to the title. The core of the magazine hasn't changed at all. The hard work put in by people like Martyn has built a set of great standards which we are building on, but we knew that the mag couldn't continue with the same look and feel of the old Retro Gamer if it was to succeed long-term. The magazine needed bigger scope. Notice how even the paper quality has changed, such are the sensitivities of the mag reader out there! The hope is that new package, which has more content per issue than ever before, on a better quality paper and cover stock, with a new look which reflects a forward thinking 'retro multi format magazine' that this brings more readers to the magazine, generating a higher readership, which in turn attracts more advertisers, which generates revenue, which can be used to build a secure future for the magazine!
I hope if nothing else you can understand the reasonings behind why we have done things the way we have with New RG, and will give it a go. Let it bed in... to some change is a harsh thing.. but ultimately it's usually for the better. And hey.... we've even got 'Sizzlers' in there!