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#1 Posted by GiantLizardKing (569 posts) -

I was recently final episode of weekend confirmed and after yet another well known and corporately backed podcast goes down I can't help but feel like the US games press, as we've traditionally come to known it, as dead. At least dying and on life support. I don't just mean switching mediums from print to web like happened in the past either. It doesn't seem like there is any money in extensive games coverage. Everything that exists is either a PR feed in the form of blogs, and annoying kids on YouTube. And of course GiantBomb, who I feel like has built the sort of thing the rest of the industry would have built too if they were paying attention.

One bright side is that a lot of hobbyists are picking up where traditional games press left off. Site like Gamers with Jobs are a great example.

I'm probably just beating a dead horse here, but it was on my mind.

#2 Posted by kcin (143 posts) -

What do you mean? Why is it dead?

#3 Edited by MB (13149 posts) -

Betteridge's law strikes again?

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#4 Posted by GiantLizardKing (569 posts) -

No because I'm posing a question that can be responded to.

#5 Edited by Fredchuckdave (6168 posts) -

Youtube/Twitch streams are the gaming press, deal with it at your own peril. Pewdiepie is the antichrist. Northernlion is a good dude.

#6 Edited by Chaser324 (6746 posts) -

@giantlizardking said:

No because I'm posing a question that can be responded to.

A question that can be responded to with "no".

The game industry as a whole is undergoing a lot of changes top to bottom, and the media isn't immune to that. To say that it's completely dead though is a bit presumptive, especially when you're posing the question on the forum for a website that is itself pretty indicative that the answer is "no".

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#7 Posted by RazielCuts (2987 posts) -

I think you'll always have your Goliath's of the gaming press like you do in development. Gamespot/IGN/Polygon (ish) to your EA/Activision/Ubisoft. The middle ground in between is hard to have, you don't have the reach as you do the giants so you don't get the same exposure. Garnett was part of one of the smaller sites. I don't know how other gaming sites exist personally, like who goes to them? I guess theres a place for everyone, it just seems weird.

#8 Posted by FLStyle (4925 posts) -

Some Gaming Press like GameSpot and CVG seem to have gone head first into YouTube and it seems to be paying off quite handsomely for them.

#9 Posted by GiantLizardKing (569 posts) -

@chaser324:That's why I called giant bomb specifically as avoiding this downward trend. I probably should have qualified "As we know it" in the title, not just in the first sentence. Calling my question out as an example of Betteridge's law seemed needlessly snarky to me. But what is the internet without being needlessly snarky?

Polygon has high production values to be sure, but what happens to them when the investor capital dries up? Polygon is more evidence that if you want to run a games press site in the traditional fashion it is very hard to accomplish without a massive corporate investment to attempt to build something that can eventually be profitable. I find it hard to believe that running that site would be sustainable on ad revenue alone. At least based on the size of their staff and their Alexa rating.

#10 Posted by jsnyder82 (765 posts) -

no

#11 Edited by Trilogy (2692 posts) -

Wait...Weekend confirmed is done? I haven't been tuning in regularly since the end of last year, so I'm out of the loop. What the fuck. I don't want to derail your thread, but how many times does Garnett lee have to start a new podcast? Bummer.

#13 Posted by tourgen (4542 posts) -

I have an Edge subscription. And a sub here ... So not dead I guess but changing quickly.

#14 Posted by Sammo21 (3574 posts) -

Game's press isn't dead...worthwhile, noteworthy game's press is. There is Edge and others but most sites don't care about bringing you straight news; its either total bullshit or through an insufferable filter of snark.

#15 Posted by psylah (2187 posts) -

With more and more people going to their favorite youtube celebs for opinions, and the recent revelation that they could be getting paid by publishers for their good word, I'd say we're all in trouble.

#16 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3509 posts) -

Not by a longshot, but any websites that still exist and that cannot justify a subscription fee will have a hard time existing in the future.

#17 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Wouldn't that imply it was alive at some point?

#18 Posted by alwaysbebombing (1652 posts) -

Shouldn't we ask if journalism in general is dying?

#19 Posted by GiantLizardKing (569 posts) -

@alwaysbebombing: I don't really like the term journalism as applied to the games press. Very little of what the press ever did was really journalism. That's why I keep coming back to the games press as we know it.

#20 Posted by JasonR86 (9729 posts) -

Video games are dead.

#21 Posted by boysef (80 posts) -

as long as advertising agencies exist so will journalism

#22 Posted by Random45 (1287 posts) -

Considering the 'news' that Gamespot posts now, I can see why someone would get the impression that it might be dead, but nah man. Youtube is a fantastic way to check out games - why read about it when you can just watch it and determine for yourself on whether it would be fun or not?

#23 Edited by Sammo21 (3574 posts) -

@alwaysbebombing: Turning on MSNBC and seeing how many "journalists" act prove that yes, it is in fact dying.

#24 Posted by Ekami (268 posts) -
@jasonr86 said:

Video games are dead.


This conversation killed them.

#25 Posted by shinjin977 (800 posts) -

@sammo21 said:

@alwaysbebombing: Turning on MSNBC and seeing how many "journalists" act prove that yes, it is in fact dying.

That is because the only real news outlet left is Al Jazeera.

#26 Edited by AMyggen (3693 posts) -

@shinjin977: BBC would like a word with you. But yeah, Al Jazeera has a huge amount of resources and will only get more prominent in the future. A shame that it has such a close conntection to Qatar as a state, which means that it's difficult to trust their take on certain events.

Anyways, we see these kinds of "are games journalism dead???" threads every now and again, and I'm not sure. Youtube is getting big but I'd like to think there's a role to play for the more traditional media too, or at least I hope so. I don't want PewDiePie to be my main news source. That said I quit visiting traditional news sites like IGN, Gamespot, Polygon etc. years ago, and now only really go to Giant Bomb.

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#27 Edited by Sammo21 (3574 posts) -
#28 Edited by subyman (669 posts) -

I miss long form features which Giantbomb and Polygon only provide now. I can't stand some of Polygon's stuff though like their "story stream" which is just a way for them to write a 200 word article and then link back to a year's worth of related articles. The only people I spend time following are the Idle Thumbs guys and the Giantbomb crew. I hit Polygon maybe once a week to see if there is anything interesting. I never go to Youtube.

#29 Posted by moregrammarplz (41 posts) -

I know this thread is about journalism in general, but with the news that Weekend Confirmed is now over, what other gaming podcasts are left (besides the Bombcast)?

All I know of now is the CAGCast, which doesn't float my boat, unfortunately.

#30 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3999 posts) -

I know this thread is about journalism in general, but with the news that Weekend Confirmed is now over, what other gaming podcasts are left (besides the Bombcast)?

All I know of now is the CAGCast, which doesn't float my boat, unfortunately.

seriously? Go to iTunes, there are tons.

Not saying I like that many of them...

#31 Edited by flippyandnod (423 posts) -

@moregrammarplz:

Wow, my text disappeared. I think Rebel FM is still going. The Besties was going, but not yet in 2014?

#32 Posted by Bicycle_Repairman (227 posts) -

...But where will the sneak fucks go to then? :'(

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#33 Posted by froggeh (25 posts) -

@trilogy: Shacknews isn't paying for the podcast anymore but it will still be going on.

#34 Posted by l4wd0g (2016 posts) -

Maybe I'm being cynical, but the gaming press seems like it's just a part of publishers PR plan. It's just cheaper than advertising.

The publishers feeds the press the info then they: write it up, make a video, talk about it on a podcast. Rinse and repeat until it launches.

It makes site traffic and generates buzz. It's a win-win for them.

#35 Posted by AMyggen (3693 posts) -

@moregrammarplz: There's a shit load of gaming podcasts out there (check itunes). Not many good ones in my opinion, but still, there's loads. I quite like the podcast run by the guys from the Two Best Friends Youtube channel (Super Best Friends Cast, is that the name?). It helps that those guys have basically copied the Giant Bomb model, down to recently calling a video a "quicklook" :P Your enjoyment of that podcast may vary on how much you like the personalities, of course.

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#36 Posted by EpicSteve (6499 posts) -

Gaming journalism is without question a lot smaller. There's only so much you can do with it.

#37 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12136 posts) -

If you want to argue that most of "Games Press" falls into the realm of self-important farce then I will be right on board. But it still exists, as far as I know. The rise of youtube coverage has certainly put a dent into the traditional idea of coverage, but I don't see massive, ancient hulks like Gamespot and IGN going away anytime soon, and hearsay suggests that Giant Bomb is also doing quite well for itself.

#38 Posted by development (2650 posts) -

I think the kind of catch-22 with "real" games journalism is that reading objective stories about games that might not be getting covered on other sites is counter to what game enthusiasts are into, which is instant gratification. Simply put, long articles are too boring. Give us video.

Those sites do exist, though. Polygon manages to inject some life into some otherwise boring topics, and Gamasutra has all a person could ever want, especially if they want to read about the development and tech side of things; it just has a fucking atrocious site design and appearance. Honestly, if they brought their site into this decade they'd probably get an explosion of traffic.

Also, games are a super time-intensive hobby. Journalists need to walk the line between playing enough games so they aren't out of touch and saving enough time to actually build meaningful stories. It's probably safe to assume most would rather slink back into the comfort of simply commenting on the games they're playing rather than do real digging and hunting for meaningful news.

#39 Edited by CornBREDX (6080 posts) -

This has basically been settled already ("Duh, of course its not") but I still feel compelled to respond.

Maybe the way of thinking about what game's press even is is changing. Things like Polygon, Giantbomb and Gamespot are still doing fine so it's clearly not dead and it's odd that one website you go to that is shutting down (that i've never heard of) makes you believe it's dieing.

I think you just live in a bubble and need to broaden your horizons. Game's coverage is still huge, and Giantbomb got ahead of it by making the focus on the sites creators as much as the games themselves. It was forward thinking then, and is probably going to be what keeps Giantbomb alive for a long time.

Games, realistically, never had press as this would assume writing about games that (until recently) mostly didn't actually exist. Game creators are still very much in control of what you hear about with games (unfortunately this will not ever 100% change because games are just a hobby) so any "journalism" you get is mostly fed through corporate spin or "leaked" coverage (which is often controlled by the creators, too). It has always been this way and will always be this way.

With the rise of indie games we get more of a peek into what developers do, what it's like for people who make games, and even some stories of game developments in the past (the write up on polygon today about Street Fighter 2 is amazing and I recommend everybody read that) so in a way it's becoming more journalistic than it ever was before.

Game's coverage is changing for sure, and the form it takes will align with whatever people flock to. It's not dieing, though. It's one of the biggest hobby industries in the world.

There will always be games, and there will always be people talking about games. It's that simple.

#40 Posted by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

It's not dead, it's just shit.

#41 Posted by tofupaige (2 posts) -

I think video games are an area where journalism will never fade out. Video games have the ability to adapt with the changes being made around them. There are tons of successful outlets for news about video games, vlogs, podcasts, Twitch, YouTube and articles are still vastly being published. And of course with a gradual uprise in "esports" there are jobs being created for coverage of these games. It may not be A LOT of jobs, but there is movement, games are definitely not dead...yet.

#42 Posted by Insectecutor (1205 posts) -

The role of the games press is changing and the people who've been doing it for 15 years or more are suffering. All they have of their youth now are guys who're too old to rock and patronising cover bands. We don't "get" this modern shit, give us things that have pixel graphics to remind us of Atari and kids of fuck all.

We gave up on youth because phone games are unfamiliar and children are all penniless pirates. We'll ween our kids on NES and they'll be grateful because the past our parents built for us was colourful and awesome and what we built in its place is grim and murderous. We'll make a tumblr account to be young again. Reboot Robotron so we can complain about it. Hurt us so we can feel again.

Good bye curmudgeonly cynical ex mag hacks. Your time of privilege is over. Now any hateful youtube shitbag with nice hair and a six pack of innocence can inspire and entertain their millennial peers for free. It ain't Consumer Reports, after all.

#43 Edited by James_Hayward (490 posts) -

@giantlizardking said:

Polygon has high production values to be sure, but what happens to them when the investor capital dries up? Polygon is more evidence that if you want to run a games press site in the traditional fashion it is very hard to accomplish without a massive corporate investment to attempt to build something that can eventually be profitable. I find it hard to believe that running that site would be sustainable on ad revenue alone. At least based on the size of their staff and their Alexa rating.

I can't get my head around how Polygon can exist. I do like some of their content, and the McElroys, Plante and Frustick usually have an interesting take on things. I just don't get how they work financially and I agree that without investor capital it doesn't seem sustainable. The behemoths like Gamespot and IGN make slightly more sense from an economic perspective but I've got to say that I really prefer the giant bomb funding model. I want to pay for things that I want to exist. I don't want to be forced to watch disruptive adverts that also end up casting shadows over objectivity. Actually, I would even pay more than the existing subscription to keep the current model in place.

#44 Posted by James_Hayward (490 posts) -

The role of the games press is changing and the people who've been doing it for 15 years or more are suffering. All they have of their youth now are guys who're too old to rock and patronising cover bands. We don't "get" this modern shit, give us things that have pixel graphics to remind us of Atari and kids of fuck all.

We gave up on youth because phone games are unfamiliar and children are all penniless pirates. We'll ween our kids on NES and they'll be grateful because the past our parents built for us was colourful and awesome and what we built in its place is grim and murderous. We'll make a tumblr account to be young again. Reboot Robotron so we can complain about it. Hurt us so we can feel again.

Good bye curmudgeonly cynical ex mag hacks. Your time of privilege is over. Now any hateful youtube shitbag with nice hair and a six pack of innocence can inspire and entertain their millennial peers for free. It ain't Consumer Reports, after all.

well ok...maybe... but.... Enthusiast and informed specialist games journalism, be it in the formal review format, or in the the more freeform giantbomb formats are still vital in opinion formation among the hardcore. There's a pretty big market for discerning gamers of 10 to 15 yr pedigree who want informed opinion on the games that they buy and have zero use for 'hateful youtube shitbags'.


#45 Posted by crithon (3456 posts) -

hmmmmmm well it's now blogging to be honest and even then the audience has low tolerance for anything shorter then their own little minds can consume. And then we have the whole political angel console wars crap that's just fodder to make either the fanboys super happy or super angry. Troll head lines, and then what's worse, we don't really have a good metric of collecting numbers on sales. So yes, it's just PR events of showing off their game in the best light possible.

Can you imagine if the super bowl was like "well the broncos did an amazing job getting there." and never addressing they lost.

#46 Posted by bwheeeler (496 posts) -

uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh

#47 Posted by pyrodactyl (2364 posts) -

I think you'll always have your Goliath's of the gaming press like you do in development. Gamespot/IGN/Polygon (ish) to your EA/Activision/Ubisoft. The middle ground in between is hard to have, you don't have the reach as you do the giants so you don't get the same exposure. Garnett was part of one of the smaller sites. I don't know how other gaming sites exist personally, like who goes to them? I guess theres a place for everyone, it just seems weird.

Seriously? Polygon has been around for a couple of years and it's now one of three the gaming press monoliths? If they really are at that status I would say it has much more to do with their lack of desire or need to make any kind of money instead of some sort of staying power.

#48 Edited by shinjin977 (800 posts) -

...But where will the sneak fucks go to then? :'(

You know, I realize that meme came from a real dumb event but I LOVE that phase to describe game critics. Its like calling police, Law Guardians.

It's not dead, it's just shit.

Boom, right on the money.

#49 Edited by Christoffer (1923 posts) -

A lot of the games press went the same route as news journalism and turned into some kind of churnalism after some publishers became closed up super powers. I don't think Youtube is the cause of this but the continuation. All you need is to re-tell press realeases, get an early peek at games and be able to talk about them, entrance to E3, have a twitter, have a mic, some interest in the industry, to stretch a small thing into something seemingly important. I mean, most big news I read here on GB is already a forum thread a day earlier.

Thankfully, Patrick still makes some sweet content on this site that takes some investigative skill and I'm glad he's here. That was the plan for hiring Patrick all along, I guess.

And I don't think games press is dying. There's still great stuff to be found. But, sadly, from a economic perspective I don't think that work is worth the time or the effort.

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#50 Posted by hollitz (1631 posts) -

Had to stop listening to Weekend Confirmed a little over a year ago when they continually brought on a guest host that I could not stand. Bummer for Garnett, I know he enjoyed doing it.

Is Games Journalism dead? I don't know. Maybe in its current review-heavy nature. Taste is so subjective. I frankly find all reviews to be worthless. What good is a review from someone who doesn't share your taste? If you're worried about things like bugs/frame rates/ etc wait a day or two and check some forums.

If there's a future for Games Journalism, it will be more feature-focused.