Thank you Giant Bomb / Breakup Guilt

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Sargon

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After all the changes over the past several years, I think I have finally come to terms with the fact that Giant Bomb isn't for me anymore. I discovered Giant Bomb in early 2012 and have been a subscriber and listened to every single Bombcast (and Beastcast) over that period of time. I rarely interact with the video content and am almost exclusively a podcast listener, but the podcasts alone have been enough for me to maintain my subscription over all these years. Giant Bomb has weathered many blows over the years, from the loss of Ryan, to the departure of the Big 3 (Vinny, Brad, Alex), to Jeff's dismissal, and for the most part they have been able to soldier on. Jeff was the last link that really connected me to the site, but I still wanted to give the new talent a chance and I continued listening on a weekly basis. The podcasts weren't anything near the level that they had attained in the past, but there was still enough there to keep me coming back. Unfortunately, following the latest layoffs of Jess and Jason (among others), I feel the podcast has taken a huge step backwards and has not recovered.

I don't really know why I'm posting this or what I'm looking to get out of it. The obvious answer is, if you don't enjoy the podcast, just stop listening to it. It has taken me awhile to get to that point, but now I am finally there. I have fallen a little bit behind on the podcast and I'm listening to episode 775 as I type this, but I think that is going to my last episode. I will also not be renewing my subscription when it expires in December. The thing that feels really weird is the reluctance to sever the connection with the site that I have been a member of for over 10 years. I do feel a sense of loyalty to the site, even though so much of it has changed. I almost feel guilty for moving on, similar to a relationship that has flamed out but people stay in it because they are afraid of hurting the other person (I was always terrible about breaking up with people). I have come to the realization that it's time to get out, but that doesn't make it any easier.

Anyway, I still wish the best for Giant Bomb, and I hope other people are still enjoying the content. Hopefully the current team can find a way to stick around and evolve the site, and I'll leave the door open to giving them another shot in the future should things change significantly. I'm not expecting any big hoorah out of this post, but I guess I would just like to thank everyone who has been a part of Giant Bomb and has provided over 10+ years of enjoyable content for me. Good luck to everyone in the future!

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bigsocrates

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Look, I'm not going to bash you or anything, but the thing is...it doesn't have to be this big dramatic thing. You can stop listening for awhile, see how that feels, drop back in to check out from time to time, whatever. Or not. You can also just move on.

The reason we shouldn't treat media sites like relationships is that the relationship only goes one way. In the end Giant Bomb doesn't care about any single one of us, at least not that much. It can't. There are thousands. I'm not saying that they don't care about the audience as a whole or their customers (we all know how hard @rorie works at customer support) but as individuals there are just too many to think that much about us. We are the audience and they are the producers.

That means that you don't owe them anything. They owe you a product that is worth your time and money. If they aren't providing it you can walk away. And if you walk away it's not some big betrayal. You can always come back. And they will welcome you because what they want from you in the end is your money (either directly or through advertising.)

So you don't need to feel guilty about stepping away. They're not providing you with the service you want (for whatever reason that is; it may be that you've changed more than they have.) IT's their job to win you back, or just accept you're gone and look to other market segments.

It's just not that personal in the end. It's business.

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AV_Gamer

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First of all, thank you for keeping your post respectful and positive, unlike many threads like this.

Second, you're not alone in how you feel. Many people, including myself, have come to accept that GB isn't as great as it used to be, and those fun times with the original staff will likely never happen again. When you think about it, its amazing that they lasted as long as they did. In this cruel world of the gaming industry and corporatism, GB was never supposed to happen. A website that's independent of the mainstream gaming industry, with a group of people being themselves about their opinions on video games with no oversight. It's chilling how Jeff G in a past twitch show described how they were almost a failure out the gate, but then Ryan's passing (RIP) caused a huge interest in the site by some serious figures that kept it going for a while. What I'm saying is, we were fortunate to experience some good times that normally wouldn't have happened in most cases. But like the saying goes: All good things come to an end. I myself have fell off the Bombcast and have been mostly listening to the Jeff Gertsmann show instead. I do still listen to Game Mess Mornings every now and again.

But there is nothing wrong with leaving and you shouldn't feel guilty. GB is corporate owned and run now. These people, with all due respect, are working to punch a clock. It's not like the old days, so you no longer need to think of it as such. If they start producing a product you can get behind, comeback and support, or move on, its really that simple.

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mellotronrules

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no reason to feel guilty bud. and sweet of you to say 'thanks!' before heading out the door.

but perhaps paradoxically- having cruised these forums for a good spell- this kind of post is almost like proof-of-life.

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Casse1berry

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Almost daily I watch a few “Best of Giantbomb” videos on YouTube. There are over 200 of them and they are almost non stop laughs. I’ll just live in the past. It’s my happy place.

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LonelySpacePanda

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I've been rewatching GB videos every day from 10 years ago and it's been fun. Surprised how much I still enjoy/listening. I knew it was pure gold back then but reliving it really shows how timeless it all is which I wouldn't say about any other games media. All the more why I'd be destroyed if the content ever got completely abandoned -- it's more than just historical content, it's actually still entertaining and sometimes eerily relevant.

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b3arshark

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to Jeff's dismissal

Is there evidence of this? Or is this just your speculation?

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AtheistPreacher

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#8  Edited By AtheistPreacher
@b3arshark said:

to Jeff's dismissal

Is there evidence of this? Or is this just your speculation?

Loading Video...

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jstaunton

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Jesus Christ

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eccentrix

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I think about this a lot for myself, but I spend too much time watching old content and enjoying the wiki to give it up for good. I'll be here until those are gone, I think.

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b3arshark

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csl316

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The site's been around for about 15 years. The people change, and the audience changes. I was in my early 20's when I first watched that Red Faction: Guerilla Quick Look. It's a miracle I'm still here.

What I'm saying is, people coming and going is to be expected. Leaving the site's fine, there have been plenty of places I stopped following over the years, or have cut down on considerably. No need to feel guilty about it.

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Undeadpool

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Getting Blight Club, a feature I've been wanting for this site pretty much since its inception, and then IMMEDIATELY having Jess be laid off was a huge blow for my site interest as well. I'll probably visit and come back around, but I too wish the best for the folks still hustling on the site.

There are just a lot more alternatives now than there were 10+ years ago, and like comedy and music: it's easier than ever to find a group specifically to your taste, not just "close enough to count."

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skuski

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I echo the sentiments of the original post… it really is a shame, as it appears (based on a number of similar posts) that there is an opportunity not being met (and that’s not unique to Giant Bomb). It’s not just a small group stuck in the past, it’s more pervasive than that. The creative content of many outlets (not just gaming), has suffered in the pandemic/post-pandemic world. Largely attributable to the many delays and weirdness of everything being remote. The various industries will figure it out eventually, but the interim period is just not great… I think, for a period, the importance of in-person interactions was underestimated (and again, that’s spanning a wide array of professional industries/education). The pendulum is starting to swing back towards the middle and the middle is ultimately where we need to be in my opinion. It will fix itself. Always does.

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clintlandon

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❤️

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Sargon

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@skuski said:

I think, for a period, the importance of in-person interactions was underestimated (and again, that’s spanning a wide array of professional industries/education). The pendulum is starting to swing back towards the middle and the middle is ultimately where we need to be in my opinion. It will fix itself. Always does.

You make a good point about in-person interactions. My company heavily embraced the at-home and hybrid work models well before the pandemic, and much moreso after the pandemic started. Just recently, we received a communication that they are working on a plan to start bringing a significant portion of that staff back into offices in some capacity. I definitely agree that something is lost by not having at least occasional person-to-person contact. I'm not sure how responsible remote work is for the downward trajectory of Giant Bomb, but it certainly hasn't helped.

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TurtleFish

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@skuski: The creative content of many outlets (not just gaming), has suffered in the pandemic/post-pandemic world. Largely attributable to the many delays and weirdness of everything being remote.

Ever since the pandemic, I keep thinking about something Jeff said way back when GB was rediscovering the CBSi studio -- Ryan fooling around with the control panel and joking about not having to see anybody except through his monitors, and Jeff replying something like "Great, all the immediacy of a Skype podcast."

Remote meeting software has come a long way since the days of real media streams being shared -- but there's an energy about having everybody in the same room that you can't replicate with remote screens, full stop.

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TheodoricFriede

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I'll put it this way.

I keep constantly and desperately hoping for a glorious announcement of a return to the office....from Nextlander.

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dodecalypse

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@theodoricfriede: That's even more unlikely than Giant Bomb getting a studio or going into the fandom office. The Nextlander guys seem pretty satisfied with doing what they're doing virtually (and rightfully so - NXL content is great)

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screwball69

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Brads also in another state sooooo....

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TheodoricFriede

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#21  Edited By TheodoricFriede

@dodecalypse:I am abundantly aware. But at this point I care about them getting an office much more than Giant Bomb. I have sort of long since written them off as content I no longer enjoy. I'll occasionally check in, look at whats new, and go 'thats it, huh?" and move on.

@screwball69:

Is... ANY Giant Bomb employee in the same state?

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Shindig

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Whenever a new show comes along I like, I have no confidence the people making it will be around to see it through. That didn't used to be a Giant Bomb problem but the industry really, really lives off freelancing and part-timers now.

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Sargon

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#23  Edited By Sargon
@shindig said:

but the industry really, really lives off freelancing and part-timers now.

And I think that is a big part of the problem. So often now we have the rotating chair(s) of freelancers who I don't care about. No offense to those people, but often they just show up for one or more podcasts with very little introduction and the show goes on as if they were always there. While the other hosts on the show may already have a relationship with those guests, the viewers/listeners may not. It shouldn't be assumed that we have insider knowledge and are already familiar with the freelancers who are brought in. One key aspect that made the original Giant Bomb great was the relationship between the team members, and the consistency/stability that enabled the consumer to develop a bond with each of those members over time. With the way people cycle in and out now, it is difficult to make a connection with anyone. I can watch or listen to random people talk about video games anywhere.

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AV_Gamer

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#24  Edited By AV_Gamer

That's the corporate structure, people coming in and out with no attachments. This is why many jobs today hire part-time, but work the person like a slave until they get fed up and quit, and another person takes their place, rinse and repeat. It happens everywhere these days.

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Ben_H

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@theodoricfriede: That's even more unlikely than Giant Bomb getting a studio or going into the fandom office. The Nextlander guys seem pretty satisfied with doing what they're doing virtually (and rightfully so - NXL content is great)

Interestingly, with Vinny about to renovate his basement that he works out of, one of the things he's talked about doing when planning it is setting up a more permanent work area and with that they are thinking of making it so there would be enough space so that the option for Alex to join Vinny in-person for some things would be possible. They already did an in-person stream where they finished off their GBeast play through of Def Jam: Fight For New York (and in the process killed Vinny's Xbox. It was a fantastic stream) and it worked well but it was clearly pretty cramped for two people in the area Vinny currently works in.

We'll have to see how it all goes and of course Brad wouldn't be joining them given he lives on the other side of the country, but there's still some interesting potential depending on what Vinny ultimately decides to do.

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TheodoricFriede

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@ben_h:

That is pretty much what I was thinking of. Vinny and Alex in the same room would actually be enough. It opens up the door to, at least, some of the old Giant Bomb Dynamics.

Vinny and Alex troubleshooting a broken Xbox during the Def Jam stream was hilarious.

I mean, hell, best thing Nextlander has done, in my opinion, was Brad Playing VR RE7 while Alex and Vinny commented. It felt like the good old days. Stuff like that only gets better when you have the in person dynamic with at least 2 people.

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rlatham

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@sargon: I think this was a thought out respectful response. I'm pretty much where you are. I let my premium lapse for the first time in over 8 years last December. The focus seems more geared towards Youtube and Twitch and less on the actual site, the chemistry and constant guests, etc. It's just not what I'm enjoying. I know folks have said you don't have to announce it. But I think if you're canceling your sub and moving away you should let those in charge know. Hopefully it gives the staff some ammo to their bosses about why their direction is wrong. But who knows. I said this elsewhere but given the mass layoffs in media in general and this company specifically, anyone sticking around is doing a disservice to their financial health, especially if they are the family's main source of income. It seems a matter of time before this thing is cut to the bone or dissolved.

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csl316

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@ben_h: That's nice to hear. The streams they've done together have been so much fun.