Cover Story

What makes an Edge cover? Let’s look at all 300 of them and find out


What goes on page one of

Edge? Let’s browse 300 is­sues’ worth and work it all out

How good are we at pick­ing games to take pride of place on the cover of Edge? Are we re­ally, as our Amer­i­can friends some­times claim, bi­ased to­wards ti­tles made in the UK? Which gen­res do we grav­i­tate to­wards? And what broader lessons can we learn from ex­am­in­ing all 300 cov­ers, doc­u­ment­ing 23 years of videogam­ing his­tory?

Well, the first dis­cov­ery is that num­bers are hard, and we had for­got­ten how to use Ex­cel. Be­yond that, there’s an ob­vi­ous op­por­tu­nity to see how Edge it­self has evolved, not only in its de­sign it­er­a­tions but in ed­i­to­rial out­look, from the tech fo­cus of the early days, through the hard­ware ob­ses­sion of the mid­dle years, and on to our more re­cent fo­cus on forth­com­ing games. But this process also serves as a way of chart­ing the evo­lu­tion of the most dy­namic form of en­ter­tain­ment on the planet.

Given 23 years’ worth of pub­lish­ing, it’s in­evitable that we’ve made mis­takes along the way. The wrong horses have been backed. Some cover games were never even de­vel­oped to com­ple­tion, while oth­ers have seen their stu­dios closed. But this is the cost of do­ing busi­ness when reporting on the fu­ture of in­ter­ac­tive en­ter­tain­ment. We’d do it all again in a heart­beat.

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