Does anyone else feel like the GB staff's tastes are too homogeneous to use the site to reliably find new games anymore?

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gamelord12

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This has felt like a problem to me at least since Drew left, maybe earlier when Austin left. The new format for Game of the Year was one thing, but the overall lack of argument over the top 10 list seems symptomatic of what I've been feeling for a while. It's not that they need to argue about games to be entertaining, but they all seem to have so nearly the exact same tastes as one another. A staff of 10 people who all at least sampled Death Stranding entirely came away with negative opinions of the game that earned the #8 slot in GB's community rankings. It's not a problem that any one or two or three of them disliked the game, or that they disliked it so strongly, but it's crazy to me that they're in this bubble that doesn't understand what other people liked about the game, or that there was no situation like Austin going to bat for Invisible, Inc. held by even one person. Strangely enough, the closest thing fitting that description this past year was Ben with Disco Elysium, a pretty unique game that's nearly unanimously praised outside of Giant Bomb.

Abby and Jan have been excellent hires, and even though I don't have any interest in these games myself, Pokemonday Night Combat and most of Abby's Sims shows have been really fun to watch. More so than the rest of the staff, their interests do seem to diverge from the pack, but not exactly up my alley; in the case of Jan, it seems like he doesn't get to bring the weird games that only he's into on a Quick Look as often either. It feels like we're missing an entire swath of those strategic/tactical/wholly unique games that Austin and Drew would play, and Vinny would play more of those types of games before he had kids too. Some highlights of games that scratched this itch for me that GB either ignored entirely or were so negative on that it baffled me:

  • Descenders
  • Fantasy Strike
  • Robocraft
  • Streets of Rogue
  • Them's Fightin' Herds
  • Total War: Three Kingdoms
  • Vagante

Some of them appear in a Steam Request Live or a UPF for a few minutes, and then they're never to be discussed again; or Streets of Rogue will get a Quick Look, Alex hates its humor, and then it doesn't even get a mention from Dan during GOTY; or Fantasy Strike will do something really clever in simplifying the genre while preserving depth, but all three of our fighting game scientists bounce off of it; or Robocraft, a game I enjoyed immensely at the time and was once one of Steam's top 10 most-played games, is completely unknown by the Giant Bomb staff when it's announced for Xbox One. Again, a handful of these things are acceptable and understandable; way too many games come out for them to keep track of and cover everything. But, as one specific example, there are 30 long videos of Apex Legends on the site, a game that every other site is covering extensively too, and only a few minutes of Vagante (maybe one of the greatest co-op games I've ever played). And though GB staff have claimed they have the freedom to play whatever they like for as long as they like without having to be dependent on covering the hot, new thing, we still end up with Jeff playing Metal Gear Survive or Fallout 76 long after he knew he didn't like those games. Maybe he could have discovered some other games in that time that aren't the ones getting all the big headlines? (Not intending to single you out, Jeff.)

Anyway, sorry for the wall of text, but it's getting harder to stick with GB when most of the coverage is for games that are just not appealing to me these days. Hopefully whenever a new hire comes in to fill in for Dan, GB can cover some of those gaps...or perhaps Rorie can find time in his duties to play and cover more than four games per year, because he'll definitely pick up a gem like Mr. Shifty, Shadow Tactics, or Door Kickers.

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finaldasa

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#2 finaldasa  Moderator

There are a LOT of games coming out and only so much time.

It's impossible to keep a site running, keep up to date with the bigger games, and still search for every smaller game that falls through the cracks.

And the site has never tried to be your one-stop-shop for games.

I'd love for GB to branch out a bit, try out some newer stuff every now and then, but we aren't talking about a group of people who have nothing to do.

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Gundato

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At the end of the day: No source should be a be all end all source.

To paraphrase and drastically shorten Kieron Gillen's manifesto (before he ran screaming from the video games industry and went to go write for Marvel): Video games should be like travel writing. You pick a persona and target that persona with your reviews. Nobody cares how many polygons a model has. They do care about how "smooth" it looks when it animates and how "real" it looks from the player's perspective.

Just like I don't expect to see an in depth review of how frigging awesome the HMS Belfast is on a climbing blog, I also don't expect a travel site to go into too much detail on how many van dwellers tend to be at a particular climbing spot on a given tuesday. I go to different outlets for different information

And same with GB. I view this as more of a general website. But to really get my sci-fi itch scratched I tend to check in with various youtubers from time to time. I may have zero tolerance to watch them pretend Star Citizen is a game but I want to know what they think about Disputed Space.

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Fnert_Bjerglen

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I'm with you but I understand that people like what they like. This site is built on personalities, and unfortunately some of the ones that rounded out a few genres of interest are no longer with the site. I don't think they should hire people to be the (blank) editor, as ultimately I'm here for the chemistry and the yucks. As a grumpy 35 year old, the concept of finding other content providers that I'll actually enjoy is a daunting task at this point. The percentage of content, both in podcast and video form, that interests me is dwindling, but maybe I'm the problem. Shooters and fighting games do nothing for me.

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BisonHero

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I think I’d generally agree that certain editors on the site have a homogeneity with certain other editors. It made Patrick and Austin really stand out in how they would often champion games that otherwise no one on the site would’ve given a second look.

Dan exacerbated this problem considerably, in that he had pretty vanilla taste in video games, and expects a video game to be a video game-ass video game, with very little deviation from that framework for games that are primarily story-driven, or games that sacrifice any “fundamental” conveniences of video games to advance the theme/tone of the game.

Also just way too many west coast editors are into the incredibly niche genre of fighting games. It props up Ranking of Fighters, but I think ends up a detriment to the breadth of games covered on Quick Looks/UPF.

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Humanity

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#6 Humanity  Online

@finaldasa: To play devils advocate there are months, most notably the current stretch, where they themselves admit there is nothing to play and they’re biding their time until big releases down the road. Of course this simply devolves into the age old conversation about how they manage their time at the office which I’m sure no one wants to get into because no one knows and far be for me to tell someone how to do their job. That said anyone that has come to GB for a long time should know what to expect by now. Jeff will happily spend a lot of his extra time playing stuff on the Mister instead of exploring new modern games - if you’re into retro stuff that’s great. Brad seems to be enjoying time away from games in between major releases. Jan and Jason are video producers so they’re actually occupied throughout the day either editing or setting up equipment and they weren’t hired to fill in the roles of editors or on screen talent. So on and so forth. I’m not always happy with current GB content but I am very much aware of what I’m probably going to get and it remains more enticing, even when I get angry at some of it, than most gaming sites out there.

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fugoy

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The only thing that irks me is the lack of rpg/jrpg coverage but that's not even a gb problem as that's an insanely difficult genre to cover unless it's the only thing you do. As opposed to what every games media site has to do and cover a wide swath of games and have no time for them, unless it's huge AAA releases like FF7R and Cyberpunk and even then there's no guarantee they'll even finish the game.

Aside from that though I don't really mind it that much even if it is pretty one note depending on who you look at. Abby and Jan have been great in showing off their own niches but I don't expect that from the rest of the site.

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finaldasa

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#8 finaldasa  Moderator

@humanity: I think it's a fair criticism to say the site should branch out or try and find new games, but like you mentioned GB as it now certainly has its own field of interests and they typically bubble up on the site.

The internet is so vast that despite wanting to see GB cover a game or genre, I can usually find it elsewhere with groups who are much more involved.

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mellotronrules

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hmm- i'm not sure if it's quite that their taste is homogeneous- they all seem to like different things. rather it might be that they're not being driven to try new things. that was one of austin's great contributions- he is very good at drawing people in with his passion for the medium. abby has certainly brought that too when it comes to the games she's passionate about (sims, the nance, etc). and jan's everyone's favorite pokeboi. those are some big blindspots that are deservedly getting coverage now.

i do think gb's in a weird spot where they've relinquished some of their more formal editorial/critique content in favor of 'just turn on the camera and go' stuff- and when the gaming 'discourse' is slow, it gives the impression they're running on autopilot. also like @finaldasa mentioned, the sheer volume of games makes it kinda a losing proposition if you start from the position of 'we have to cover everything.'

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htr10

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#10  Edited By htr10

I just want to be entertained. 2 hours of Bubble Bobble or a Tony Hawk game from 15 years ago does it for me if it is fun to watch. I have other means to learn about new games.

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gamelord12

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Also just way too many west coast editors are into the incredibly niche genre of fighting games. It props up Ranking of Fighters, but I think ends up a detriment to the breadth of games covered on Quick Looks/UPF.

Honestly, I could stand to see way more fighting game coverage outside of Ranking of Fighters, but I've got other YouTube channels for that. You rarely see the west coast folks return to a fighting game after doing a video or two on it, probably because SFV was such a disappointment to them.

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berfunkle

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I would rather want to watch GB editors play games they want to play and the games they enjoy playing, no matter what the genre. You can tell if they're having a bad time with a game.

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FacelessVixen

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I don't really have much to say about Jeff and company's taste in games even outside of the contest of looking for recommendations. I'm just at the point where I'm able to render and trust my own impressions on a game based on looking at it. The Quick Looks and reviews are more for entertainment value, not to look for new games to play.

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Tophar01

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I really do not understand these posts, first with the too much Sims, now not enough variety. Like this isn't a website about "coverage" anymore, they got rid of the idea of a news editor years ago, they've been pretty clear that they are not interested in trying to "cover" everything, there are plenty of places to get coverage of stuff.

They play the stuff they want to play and the idea of saying well how come they aren't playing the stuff I want to see them play??? Seems so ridiculous to me, like saying they already have 3 videos of that game, why are they playing it again?! Because they want to, if you want to see "quick looks" of other games that Giant Bomb doesn't have videos for, I'm sure there is somewhere to do that.

Also, like you said, they literally have a show that is nothing but, hey vote and have us play stuff ya'll want to see us play, and UPF where they are usually playing 3 or 4 new games. Not to mention, like with the SIMS stuff, for all the people saying omg MORE Sims? Why don't they play something else, there were also plenty of people who were like YAAY! more Sims!

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dudeglove

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#15  Edited By dudeglove

I recommend you subscribe to the ICO steam newsletter and see just how many games come out on a weekly basis.

In fact it just came out earlier today. Guess what? There were *172* new games on Steam in the last seven days.

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frytup

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I know the genres I like, and I make an effort to follow twitter accounts, reddit, youtube channels, and other web sites that more closely specialize in those genres. Unless all you care about is AAA releases, one general gaming site with a relatively small staff is always going to disappoint you.

If you aren't here for the personalities, you're probably here for the wrong reason.

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BladeOfCreation

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While there are certainly genres I would love to see get more time (RPGs like Pillars or a big strategy game like Stellaris, for example), I get that those might not translate into fun streams for most people. I mean, if you told me that Rorie was going to do a regular feature once a month where he played/talked about which RPGs he's playing, I'd be super into it. I'm just not sure enough people would be into it enough to make it worthwhile for the site.

I think people are also overlooking the fact that the people at this site DO branch out and try things they wouldn't otherwise try. We're a couple days away from Alex continuing his Mass Effect adventure, a series that he didn't start playing until more than 6 years after the trilogy ended. Abby played through two Resident Evil games on stream.

Yeah, I can brainstorm some games or genres I'd love to see extended coverage of, but this is a website with fewer than 10 people on the editorial/front-facing side of things. They can't possibly cover everything.

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Humanity

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#18 Humanity  Online

@tophar01: Generally the complaint stems from a desire of variety. I don’t think it’s a ridiculous claim or that outlandish to want to see different things rather than having the crew revisit the same content. For instance the Sim complaint you mentioned. It’s easy to see how if you’re not a fan of that game then excitedly waiting a full week just to see the new play date is a Sims video would be disappointing for those thinking maybe they would play something more up their alley. Then they kicked off the new Monday streams with another long Sims video and that disappointment can turn to frustration. GB goes through these phases and while it’s a great time if you align with their current passion it can be miserable if you don’t as week after week you don’t feel included.

The biggest problem is the messaging. Plenty of people make rational requests Or suggestions for the site but there is a way higher volume of people who are extremely rude and shitty about it and then that casts this huge shadow over any critique of the website.

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cikame

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I am regularly introduced to new games through GB, specifically the random variety of games featured during UPF, however i don't use the site primarily to discover games it's to hear the crew talk about them and their day to day lives, any hidden gems found along the way are a bonus.
My love of games is very diverse and it would be silly to expect one website to satisfy, so i watch a huge variety of Youtubers also.

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Nodima

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I usually want to see them doing retro stuff and talking about the history/impact of things and whatever else that older game reminds them of. I'm also far more fond of ongoing features; quick looks are probably my least watched aspect of the site. I have a couple games-as-service I play all spring/summer long, buy a handful of tentpole releases and a handful of indies and that's usually it so there will always be more games than I could ever hope to play. I'm the sort of person that struggles to put ten games in a list at the end of the year because sometimes it's December and I haven't played ten new games yet.

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JoeDangerous

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Seems fine, actually. I love the current game diversity and I love being surprised even more (it still happens!). I'll forever be grateful (and perplexed) for being introduced to Nights of Azure by Jason & Dan through this site and it makes me interested what I may see in the future.

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Stephen_Von_Cloud

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I certainly agree with you OP. The fact that almost no strategy games get covered or RPGs are by the wayside mostly on Giant Bomb has sucked for a while and gotten much worse.

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ThePanzini

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Giant Bomb is a personality driven site the content is driven by what interests the staff which is fair but it does mean they have a very narrow window on content and it often repeats. Though I wouldn't shed a tear if wrestling, anime, fighting games, walking sims and most of the retro content was scrubbed from the site, but it probably wouldn't be GB to most anymore.

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MonkeyKing1969

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As Sammy Davis Jr once sang, "I gotta be me" so it is for the people who work for Giant Bomb. They have to pursue THEIR interests, they have to say what THEY are thinking. If that gains some followers and loses others - oh, well.

I want to live, not merely survive
And I won't give up this dream
Of life that keeps me alive
I gotta be me, I gotta be me
The dream that I see makes me what I am

I don't say that because I love all the content they make - I don't . However, I'm not sure it would be healthy if they made everything I like - I'm weird. If Giant Bomb produces content I don't like-I don't watch it . I never comment on that content, I do not like, anymore. My eyeballs and wallet are my vote, the GB analytics see what I watch and how much I watch and when I shut off a video.

Really, folks this is easy; you don't have to write or say anything in public or on this forums about what you don't like.

  • Just watch what you like.
  • If there is a personality or topic you don't like, never watch the content they appear in
  • If you like something engage with that content in the forums or comments section
  • If you get a survey for GB answer it accurately - they asked som that is teh tiem to speak
  • If you want progress: be nice on the comments and forums - especially when you disagree

The analytics and your engagement with the content you liked, will always send the message you want.

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whitegreyblack

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#25  Edited By whitegreyblack

As they get older, the core GB crew gives less and less of a shit about covering things they actively do not enjoy. This is natural, and in my opinion healthy. I think (and have seen) their coverage of games they are not into usually is not all that fun to watch, because they are having no fun doing it. I'd rather they do more of what they like, and not as much of what they actively dislike - that said, I also find myself watching less and less GB content and have my subscription set to lapse at its next renewal... so yeah. They're still doing what they do about as good as ever but it does seem a bit more middle of the road overall (but of course, not always).

I hope future hires will bring not only good on-camera skills and good rapport with the rest of the staff, but also a taste in games that is diverse and divergent from the rest of the group. I also hope they manage to retain the younger staff members while that happens... I do worry about turnover in the next year or two since I don't imagine settling into GB for the long-haul is the end-goal for the younger hires, and during what is usually a very long hiring process other things on the site (such as output) sometimes tend to suffer a bit.

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MrGreenMan

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@whitegreyblack: This is fundamentally what I was going to say. Majority of the staff and crew are over the age of 30 and have been doing this for a rather long time so they know likely what they will will enjoy. No one wants to watch a video of someone not having any enthusiasm in playing a game they do not enjoy.

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Gundato

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@stephen_von_cloud: Didn't they cover They Are Billions, the Conan version of TAB, and maybe one more last year alone? And try a Civ stream twice as a way to gauge interest? And have a C&C stream? And a Warcraft 3 re-release QL this year. And a few different xcom-likes.

They also did a QL on Greedfall and I think one or two other proper RPGs (let alone ARPGs) last year. And I think Rorie's "Here are the games I meant to get around to playing" stream was last year too but that could have been 2018.

Part of it is just that some genres take a LOT more investment than others. As much fun as it is to joke about how long a QL is, a lot of RPGs (J or C or increasingly even A) don't even get out of their tutorial for the first twenty hours.

Part of it is that some genres are increasingly targeting just the niche folk. I LOVE classic CRPGs and kickstarted the hell out of all the big name ones a few years back. I am also busy as hell and have been plodding away at one of them for the better part of two years...

And then you have stuff like strategy games that are on life support and increasingly going niche to get their sales. If you liked base defense missions TAB is amazing. If you don't... there isn't much else out there.

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monetarydread

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#28  Edited By monetarydread

Not necessarily. I come to this site because I grew up in the 90’s and I get the impression that this the last bastion of old school gaming coverage. For them to hire the people needed to provide the coverage OP is asking for would pollute this site with the same shit that makes sites like Kotaku or Polygon such trash (edit: I would give reasons why those sites are trash but I fear some overzealous mod would ban me).

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Sombre

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@gundato said:

@stephen_von_cloud: Didn't they cover They Are Billions, the Conan version of TAB, and maybe one more last year alone? And try a Civ stream twice as a way to gauge interest? And have a C&C stream? And a Warcraft 3 re-release QL this year. And a few different xcom-likes.

They also did a QL on Greedfall and I think one or two other proper RPGs (let alone ARPGs) last year. And I think Rorie's "Here are the games I meant to get around to playing" stream was last year too but that could have been 2018.

Part of it is just that some genres take a LOT more investment than others. As much fun as it is to joke about how long a QL is, a lot of RPGs (J or C or increasingly even A) don't even get out of their tutorial for the first twenty hours.

Part of it is that some genres are increasingly targeting just the niche folk. I LOVE classic CRPGs and kickstarted the hell out of all the big name ones a few years back. I am also busy as hell and have been plodding away at one of them for the better part of two years...

And then you have stuff like strategy games that are on life support and increasingly going niche to get their sales. If you liked base defense missions TAB is amazing. If you don't... there isn't much else out there.

There's a difference between actively making quality content, and playing the first 20 minutes of a game, which is the GB hallmark

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Gundato

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@sombre: So the issue is less that they need to cover games and more that they should have a 70 episode Pillars of Eternity endurance run?

Don't get me wrong, I would love the hell out of that. But I think stuff like the two Civ streams were very much testing the waters for if the vast majority of the audience wants that kind of content. And with Civ not having been touched since the last one, the signs are not good.

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Sombre

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@gundato said:

@sombre: So the issue is less that they need to cover games and more that they should have a 70 episode Pillars of Eternity endurance run?

Don't get me wrong, I would love the hell out of that. But I think stuff like the two Civ streams were very much testing the waters for if the vast majority of the audience wants that kind of content. And with Civ not having been touched since the last one, the signs are not good.

I feel they're very good at starting things they genuinely believe will be good content.

They just don't follow through on a steady schedule/commitment though

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gamelord12

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A lot of people missing the gist of what I was saying. I'm not saying they need to play games they don't enjoy, I'm saying that when they get around to replacing Dan, or if/when someone else leaves and they need to hire again, they should try to find people who are way into things that they are currently not into, because there's far too much overlap in the interests of most of the current GB staff. That leads to not delving into all sorts of interesting games. I also feel like we haven't seen or heard enough of Jason lately, and perhaps that's for health reasons or something, but maybe we need Jason to start pulling up some streams of something that's not Monster Hunter-like but that he's also very passionate about; I'm sure there are lots of those.

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BallsLeon

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@gamelord12: Jason does get a fair bit of playtime on the UPFs. Given the issues the team has discussed around streaming and hardware lately, I can understand why Jason may not be on may other features, as I'm sure he's putting out fires in the next room.

To answer the original question, I think between UPF, Quick Looks, and other features I see a pretty diverse group of games.

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Acura_Max

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#34  Edited By Acura_Max

I also agree that I would like to see more experimentation, especially during the months where nothing is being released. That being said, I wouldn't want to play something they know they don't like. I've seen the comment sections of games where they are playing a game they don't like and nobody is having a good time.

Edit: After looking at the FFVII video, I wouldn't blame them for being hesitant to venture out to new genres. If I were them, I would want to play the kind of game I know I would be confident playing on stream. Otherwise, I would likely get a lot of negative comments about not knowing what I'm doing. I feel bad for Brad in that video since I know that when people criticize him for being "bad" at video games, it affects him.

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Paliv

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#35  Edited By Paliv

Wow, this thread. A lot of expectations here. Personally my tastes have always lined up with the GB crew, especially Jeff and Ryan, so maybe I’m old and don’t get it. I don’t see why they can’t just do their thing and hire who they hire. If it’s another person like Drew who explores a different corner of things then great! I loved hearing from Drew! If it’s someone into shooters and fighting games, but their personality fits, also great! I’d rather just see them be them and hire who fits and not try to bend over backwards trying to round things out. They check out a shit ton of games as it is. There’s more content I want to watch than I have time for. But maybe I’m old and out of touch.

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TheRealTurk

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I don't really thing my problem is homogeneity, per se. I come to the site for personality based opinions of games. Since the types of games the crew like and dislike are intrinsic parts of their personalities. Does that mean that I haven't been feeling more than a little overloaded on fighting games, wrestling, or Pokemon recently? No, but I don't know how you can really separate the types of games they are going to cover most frequently from who they are as people, so I'm more or less able to look past it.

Having said that, I do find it frustrating when it seems like the reasons for their not liking a game are based on fundamental errors about factual topics related to a game. It's fair if they don't like something, but it gets really hard to trust their opinions on when things they dislike are based on incorrect facts or assumptions.

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Stephen_Von_Cloud

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@gundato: Well

@sombre said:

There's a difference between actively making quality content, and playing the first 20 minutes of a game, which is the GB hallmark

Yeah. You named mostly quick looks for a few games in a huge genre that is booming.

And sorry man but I am a strategy and RPG fan and those genres are simply not well represented on this site at all. Civ gets through for example and XCOM was big, but tons of the genre is missed if you're into it. Same with RPGs.

Just for an example, Vinny is the only guy who will get enough into it to get to XCOM 2 just now and he's singing its praises. I was in the forums here doing the same thing on this site when it came out and was ignored basically or just talked about for technical issues all through GOTY that year, and WOTC was also slept on when it came out as wel.

Divnity 2 slips by in that way. Witcher 3 is mostly criticized on this site and doesn't get enough love end of the year (I remember it won story but even then the guys didn't even finish it and all said it fell off after Bloody Baron which is a silly view to many fans, especially since the endings are incredibly good). Those two games are pretty widely considered from what I have seen as some of the GOAT RPGs, certainly on the shortest list.

But point is, as the OP says, I don't expect people's tastes to change or want them to fake it. I think they should hire with this in mind instead. I would enjoy that more.

It's why I really wanted them to consider Rob Zacny for example. Not the most obvious fit but would bring a different dynamic to the site the same as Austin did.

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htr10

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#38  Edited By htr10

@stephen_von_cloud:

You touched on this by mentioning Rob Zacny. I also listen to Waypoint, so I get a ton of strategy game coverage from there, at least in podcast format. I guess that’s why I don’t miss it from here.

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Bonbonetti

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I agree. Apart from fighting games, I don't often see the crew play games that haven't already been covered on other major sites a number of times. I don't need to see more footage of Spelunky or Dead Cells, for example.

The whole game [review] industry is homogeneous, not just Giant Bomb specifically. It doesn't really matter where you go anymore, you get the same views and perspectives.

For me, Drew's leaving left a big hole at Giant Bomb. There's nobody around to test and play racing games and sim games anymore, two of my favourite genres.

Having said all this, I would rather watch people play a game they enjoy than to hear them pointlessly bitch about one for 40-50 minutes ... which the GB crew sometimes do (as with that Terminator game).

At times, you do get to see more uniquely personal choices, like Abby playing Nancy Drew or Vinny playing Blade Runner, for example.

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Stephen_Von_Cloud

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@htr10 said:

@stephen_von_cloud:

You touched on this by mentioning Rob Zacny. I also listen to Waypoint, so I get a ton of strategy game coverage from there, at least in podcast format. I guess that’s why I don’t miss it from here.

There were/are two-three people on Waypoint that are unlisteninable to me so I rarely ever have checked out their stuff. It's too bad. 3MA is a great podcast though.

Personally I don't have time for any other games sites so if this one catered to my interests that would be good. TBH right now this site is losing my interest a lot of the times lately which is too bad.

But a gem I do highly recommend is the XCOM 2 series by Rob and Austin Walker. Just started that and I am really enjoying it.

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Sombre

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@htr10 said:

@stephen_von_cloud:

You touched on this by mentioning Rob Zacny. I also listen to Waypoint, so I get a ton of strategy game coverage from there, at least in podcast format. I guess that’s why I don’t miss it from here.

There were/are two-three people on Waypoint that are unlisteninable to me so I rarely ever have checked out their stuff. It's too bad. 3MA is a great podcast though.

Personally I don't have time for any other games sites so if this one catered to my interests that would be good. TBH right now this site is losing my interest a lot of the times lately which is too bad.

But a gem I do highly recommend is the XCOM 2 series by Rob and Austin Walker. Just started that and I am really enjoying it.

I feel that with this site tbf

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devise22

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I don't know this seems like a particularly strange problem, especially with how many games are coming out and how easy it is to find coverage of those games. I'm not going to say GB can't be, or hasn't been used as an outlet to discover a game you knew little about, or a genre, but I wouldn't say they have lost that aspect entirely either. It's just that most of that aspect doesn't take as much long form coverage. However a lot of that as has been said above is just due to time commitments, busy schedules and what have you. It makes sense that QL's and UPF's or Steam Requests wind up being the majority of differing content, and the longer form premium stuff is them sitting down to play things they have discussed playing.

But some of your concerns just seem, too specific to be a site concern and are way more about validation. The Death Stranding one in particular stands out to me. I guess for me I don't really get why a game, even a game as divisive as Death Stranding, needs to be repped or defended on a GOTY list on any site? If the people making the games argue for a game, great, but if not it isn't some black mark on the game like it's indefensible. If anything, I feel the site did a great job with it's extended DS coverage to explain why people liked and didn't like things about the game way before GOTY. The debates during GOTY coming down to the crew championing what they champion helps define their taste in games. This can further help you assess what you agree and don't agree with them on. Provided their takes continue to remain earnest, you generally should be pretty comfortable making assertions based on your tastes as compared to theirs.

I guess for me the wonder is, do you guys only watch content of games you like/agree with or of player/editor whose opinions/taste in games you agree with? I rarely play fighting games competitively but the fighting game block on this site is one of my favorite things. I'm the same with all content, movies and TV. I'm not the type of person who just watches something only because it's something I'd like. Otherwise how do you like...branch out? Or not even branch out, know stuff you don't like. I get it, there is a sea of content out there so you do you. But yeah I don't really see the need to put set expectations on not only the games coverage, because as shown they did cover the hell out of DS, but to go farther than that and make sure every game that has any contingent of online community support also has a representative on staff heralding it. This is games, not politics. You don't need your opinions on games repped by the staff to feel validated nor vice versa. If anything the fact that there is so many differing opinions on some games these days should be part of the fascinating discourse in how the medium continues to change and evolve.

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gamelord12

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@devise22: The problem is that their tastes right now are so predictable and vanilla that I could kind of find the same thing anywhere else. "Who in their right mind would play Death Stranding?" in the latest aftershow...umm...I would. And not having anyone on the staff who shares that opinion makes this site less valuable to me. Not because they need to share my opinion on a typical game but because if I'm going to find new games, I need to know that we value the same things. And apparently all of the brilliant things in Death Stranding don't mean jack to them.

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BajiBoxer

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I do feel they lost something not having someone to go to for the niche flight sim stuff.

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devise22

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@gamelord12: Like, my duder this just seems like your stiffed they didn't like things about Death Stranding as much as you did.

I don't even know how to respond to a comment like "their tastes right now are so predictable and vanilla." Their tastes are their states my dude. Why does the crews taste in games matter so much? Does it influence SOME of the content we see? Sure. But it does not influence all of it, they still cover the games your talking about. They covered DS extensively before GOTY. Multiple videos, podcasts and thoughts on it. The thing you bring up about them making an offhand hyperbolic joke about who would play Death Stranding is just that.

I'm not saying just because it's a joke that it doesn't mean there isn't validity to it. I think that part of the joke is playing on and examining the stark contrast to how tastes are evolving in games. I also think if you watch the DS coverage as an example, there is tons of evidence of them highlighting the good things in that game, or what people may find good. Alex in particular did a good job heralding some of that. Ultimately though, and I can speak for this as I know it's my experience with DS and a few other games this generation, games are getting weird and experimental. RDR2 is another example of one that rubbed a lot of the "my game must be good vidya game" people the wrong way.

I don't think it diminishes the lengths those games go to try and push the medium forward. It's very clear at some point down the road the vision board for what those two games were pitching will be better realized. But the ways in which they aren't not realized breaks the immersion and overall game flow for a lot of folks. The ways those games are equally strong and weak simply speak to people on different levels of extremes. Some may not or barely notice what others may call a big weakness for those games, while others might not feel as strongly about their strengths. Movies and books have been this way forever. Other mediums essentially. That is what happens when things get more diverse, you get LOTS of different takes.

I guess for me what seems odd about your stance is that your looking for that validity whether they agree with your opinion or not, as the avenue to understand or get into new games. What is preventing you from seeing their coverage on a new game and then deciding that regardless of their take you want to check it out or play it? Again, in general they cover a lot of differing stuff from all aspects of the gaming landscape. They don't always agree with the consensus opinions, or like/dislike certain things like Disco Elysium is an example of one this past year, but they still cover them.

Like it sounds like your basically telling them they have to understand the landscape of every single game before they play it, so that the coverage they present isn't just their thoughts and opinions as they are playing something but also the "idealized" coverage of that specific game. One that you think needs to showcase all the varied thoughts and opinions on the game, so that anyone watching can see if there is anything remotely they would connect with. And yikes man, that is asking A LOT of one video game site when that is kind of the point of there being multiple outlets of coverage for something.

At a certain point you just kind of have to accept that some aspect of games are more nuanced now. You can't just look at any one video of something and presume that it will or SHOULD cover it all. That isn't how it works. If your interested in something you have to dig more on it. Not hope other people do the digging and present in a way that means it's something YOU SPECIFICALLY should be interested in.

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breardon2011

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It does seem sometimes that the coverage choices are kind of strange. I think there is validity to people saying fighting games get over covered. I actually super enjoy Jeff's Misterthons. I would say I wish they covered more strategy, simulation, and puzzle games. I think there used to be more of it. We get plenty of weird game coverage now. I don't dislike fighting games so I don't really mind in general about that.

The only thing I actually wish for is more features rather than quicklooks of things. Like I'd rather they make another multipart feature like Super Mario Sunshine and the like rather than quicklooks of strategy games. Thats something I look forward to.

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csl316

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There are so many games out that it's impossible to cover them all. Honestly, I feel like they've been doing a great job of finding games I didn't really know much about. Just this week there was Corruption, One Punch Man, and Diabotical, to name a few.

In any case, there are so many sites and channels out there now that it's easy to add one or two more to your rotation that might cover less known stuff. For what GB does, they do it well.

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Luchalma

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It has seemed for a long time that there were two kinds of games: Games GiantBomb likes, and "Jason games", which they would give him one minute to talk about while they rolled their eyes. Now there's a third kind, "Jan games", which is games that everyone including Jason and even Jan roll thier eyes at (Kingdom Hearts anyone?).

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Yes, it's part of the reason im less involved in the site these days. I dont really want to listen to 9/10 staff to play and talk about the next big AAA game. I want different perspectives and interests. I'd rather hear somebody deep dive some JRPG or MMO or turn based strategies or sports or anything else that is somewhat obscure or less represented. I just find it more intriguing.

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@sombre: Same, which has made the content spotty always but especially recently. Don't usually enjoy UPF at all week to week.