Sega Powered Editor Q&A

After its grand reveal last week, Sega Powered has smashed through its Kickstarter and is well on its way to meet the first issue deadline of November 2021. I caught up with Dean Mortlock who is heading up the four man team as editor of the exciting new Sega publication. I wanted to find out how a new printed magazine is born in 2021 and why retro fans should take notice. The magazine is aimed at those who have a fondness for Sega magazines of the 90’s and has the backing of an experienced team of writers who worked on those magazines back in the day. 

There is still time to order a copy of the first issue or buy a subscription so make sure you checkout the Kickstarter. There is serious potential for Sega Powered due to the experience behind it and the professional look and feel. The wealth of talent from editorial duties right through to design is mouth watering. I honestly feel this will be the gold standard of independent retro magazines once it is all up and running.  It is great to see printed media hit new heights this year and long may it continue. It is an exciting time to be a retro enthusiast so lets find out what Dean has to say on the latest magazine to hit the shelves…well, letter box…

Why a print magazine in 2021? Are folks still interested in buying physical media?

I think they are. You only need to see how many carts and CDs are still changing hands to realise that physical media is still very much alive – especially in the retro market. The success of magazines such as Ninty Fresh, Amiga Addict and Sega Mania has proven that there’s still an appetite for printed gaming magazines, too.

Where did the idea come from and how did you go about getting everyone together?

I’ve continued to work in publishing since Saturn Power closed in 1998, and always wanted to put together my own gaming magazine. Paul Monaghan and myself have discussed it numerous times, but it was only really this year that everything came together.

I’ve been working with Neil Randall (deputy editor) for a while on another magazine, and knowing how much he loves all-things SEGA, I was convinced it was something he would be interested in. And Marc, like Paul, is very well known in the retro community for his incredible knowledge of SEGA gaming and magazines. So that’s how the four of us got together.

I felt we would work together well, as we had the collective passion and experience to make something really special. Putting a team together for any project is never easy, but I just knew these were three people I could work well with. They’re all lovely guys and they’re so passionate about gaming – which obviously helps!

How does it feel to have got to this point?

At the time of writing this, we’re about a week into the Kickstarter campaign, and we reached the funding target after just three days. It’s such an amazing feeling to know that there’s the support out there for SEGA Powered.

There’s still a long way to go in the campaign, and any additional funds will get put straight back into the magazine to make it even better. We’ve got big plans for the magazine in 2022, and any support we receive now will help us make the plans a reality even sooner.

There is a lot of experience in the team. How do you feel this will benefit the quality of SEGA Powered?

It definitely helps. Myself and Neil have loads of experience of working on magazines (both gaming and otherwise), and we’re proud to have someone like Terry Stokes heading up the design team – Terry worked on EDGE magazine from issue 18 right up to issue 200. He’s a magazine design legend!
We’ll also be having regular contributions from a number of well-known faces from games magazines in the past. I’m personally excited to work with these people again, so hopefully that’s something the readers will enjoy, too.

What will make SEGA Powered different from other offerings out there?

We’re the only independent gaming magazine that has an editor and deputy editor that worked on two of the best-selling SEGA mags during the 90s and 00s. We’ve got one of the best magazines designers in the business, and two staff writers that have an incredible depth of knowledge of the games, the industry and the magazines that focused on it. I literally couldn’t have put together a better team for SEGA Powered.

Have you approached SEGA for endorsement or have plans to? What would it mean to get an official seal of approval?

We don’t really have any interest to be official. We do want to have a good working relationship with SEGA, and we’ve already started working on that. After all, the whole magazine is basically a love letter to the company, so it makes sense for us to keep them on side!

What are the main challenges you face publishing a gaming magazine in 2021?

You have to be more creative with your content, as there aren’t as many new games being released. This is a challenge but one we’ve enjoyed. We’ll have re-reviews of games across all formats, as well as loads of regular and one-off features. We’ll be looking at new games too though, including some of SEGA’s new releases and Indie/homebrew games. For example, in the first issue we have a large range of re-reviews, but also new reviews of Intrepid Izzy, Super Monkey Ball and Gleylancer.

What are the aspirations to aim for once you get out of the crowdfunding stage?

To make the very best gaming magazine we can, and to continue doing it for as long as possible! Reader feedback is a big one obviously, so we’ll be encouraging people to contact us to let us know what they think. We hope they like the magazine, but equally we also want to hear about the things they would change. Magazines evolve over time, and most of that evolution is down to the readers.

Anything else you feel my readers might want to know about SEGA Powered?

Please do check out the Kickstarter for yourselves if you haven’t already. There’s loads of information on the magazine (which will be out in print and digital versions next month), a 16-page digital sampler issue and a whole range of tiers – with some very cool perks.

If you have any feedback you’d like to share, or any suggestions for improvements to the magazine, please do get in touch. You can either leave a comment or message on the Kickstarter page itself, or message me on Twitter – @sega_powered.

A huge thank you to Dean for taking time to chat to me, now go order your copy!