@giantlizardking: I'm not so sure.... Duder, podcasts are weird. ESPECIALLY the ones trying to be especially commercial. I'm not saying that the business isn't hurting, but a couple of podcasts going down doesn't really say much to me other than that it is really hard to sustain a podcast all on it's own unless all you want is for it to exist. I don't think the press is going anywhere. It still plays a role, and even if it does get shittier and shittier, it will probably do so in a major way for quite some time.
I'm still not clear on why people think games press is dead, or dying, or how the content of it is any worse than it was 20 years ago. It's still interviews, previews, reviews, editorials (more editorials than ever), and now a ton of personality-driven content as well, like most of the content on this site. If anything, there is just a TON more chitchatting thanks to the podcast/webcast emphasis a lot of outlets are turning towards.
What else is there to do in video games journalism? What else has there ever been to do? You do interviews, you do previews, you do reviews. That's basically it, and as far as I can tell.
What's more, those are, if anything, more abundant in even higher quality than ever before. Writers go into enormous depth these days, writing dissertations about themes and agency and ludonarrative dissonance. Go back to 1989 and try to imagine what a ludonarrative dissonance complaint in a Mario review would look like. Some people expose themselves to so much gamse press that there are threads by readers/viewers talking about not wanting to even play games themselves anymore because they absorb enough of it through all of the content they consume throughout the day.
I'm still not even sure why the OP's anecdote about a podcast ceasing to be has any bearing on this subject, actually, but I'll give the OP the benefit of the doubt and say that that's just because it wasn't ever explained, not because it has no bearing at all. However, classifying most of the podcasts about games out there as 'press', GB included, would be totally wrong, so I don't see how those are a part of the equation here.
Does this all have to do with financing? If so, where are the problems? I read games press daily from several different outlets, and I am frankly surprised that everyone appears to know what is being discussed here, like it's been on everyone's minds.
It isnt journalism if you are 24/7 apologetic of developers games and insert personal political views into the coverage or use it as a factor for evaluation in a review.
The pressure of having a review copy before the release date will always be used by publishers to squeeze positive coverage for their product.
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'.
I partially agree with you, there definitely is a place for rigorous, well produced formal reviews but these are few and far between now. The frequency and quantity of content has gone up, but the quality of it has hit the deck, and that means the youtube guys have a huge chance to shine. Free-form "lets shoot the shit about games" type coverage was a much-needed reset, and Giant Bomb was a pioneer of that, but it needs to evolve to meet the needs of an aging core audience with other demands on their time, and to compete in a world where the privileges enjoyed by the professional games press are gradually being eroded.
Podcast are falling off because they don't compete as well with video. Video is the future because as we can see from YouTube anyone can do it...it not hard...so any game critic site not doing video is just getting left behind.
There will always be room for professionals, but it will just be harder to become of of those few professional unless you are very media savvy, have a camera presence, and can write, talk, and think. Fifteen years ago the industry supported fifteen or twenty magazines just for consoles because that still worked and publishers/developers needed magazines to reach people. Today you need the internet, but you don't necessarily need hundreds of websites, thousands of bloggers, and thousands of vloggers.
In a few years, there will only be a few websites and those will be the ones that can produce video and audio segments quickly and efficiently.