Is Giant Bomb going under financially?

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MatthewRoberts

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Vinny has been pushing the sale HARD, and the end of The Hotspot this week is the biggest example of this.

I feel GB has dropped massively in terms of quality personalities and content in the last five years, to the point where I will let my sub run out in October (been a member since day 1), but I've never felt the site was in financial trouble... until now?

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johndubp

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I don't see why they would. I doubt their audience has dropped. Like any ad based revenue model right now, things probably look tight. All businesses are cutting back ads and GB is likely not any different. Local newspapers most depressingly are shutting down left and right. Pushing the sale is probably just trying to make up for that lost ground so they don't have to make cuts in the future to any budgets. They already lost Dan through "attrition" as many businesses would say, so their labor costs should already be down. I wouldn't worry until they say something.

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Efesell

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Do you think it's weird to push a sale in very uncertain times? Everything about the way they've done things has been wildly uprooted.

Feels like an excuse to sneak in a Giantbomb sucks now thread.

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splodge

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If anything there are more eyes on their content than ever. Premium subs probably have not moved all that much, and as premium member I dont see the ads, but I imagine they are doing quite well during the lockdown. People crave entertainment when they can't leave their house. And they always push the sales. Every time.

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Shindig

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It reads to me more that a lot of people have time on their hands. It's a perfect time to get people on board. One of the reasons Formula 1 are showing free, classic races is to hopefully drive (PUN!) subs for F1TV.

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someoneproud

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Who knows? They push the sales all the time anyway so I really don't see that as any indication and I've no reason to suspect they're struggling. Personal tastes and how current GB stacks up to them are also no indication of how they're doing, I think you're jumping to conclusions duder.

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MonkeyKing1969

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I think Giant Bomb is like PBS. When its "pledge time" they push hard so they don't have to talk about it as much later. That's my read - they only want to push hard a few times a year.

If you want to contrast how GB does business against how big YouTubes do, then look no further than how they push revenue streams. Every YouTube says at least twice in every video"Give a Thumbs Up", "Subscribe", "Ring the Bell" and "go to our store". It is rare and only on some content where GB pushes selling it "merch" and selling its "subscriptions".

How they do it is not better or worse, but for sure Giant Bomb is no pushing on every bit of content they could. No judgement at all, because how GB does it sure seems to enjoy that tone of a soft sell. Bottom line: I think they are fine.

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finaldasa

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#8 finaldasa  Moderator

If they were financially strapped wouldn't they push the premium subscriptions without the sale to make the most amount of money?

They always push and promote sales.

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rorie

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#9 rorie  Staff

No.

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Onemanarmyy

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Is Rorie going under in a dogpile? I'm just a guy asking questions.

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Spiritof

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Reading MatthewRoberts' post history shows that 99.9% of his comments are different shades of this kind of negative.

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zombiepenguin9

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I don't think it's that unexpected that a business would make its customers as aware of its goods and services as possible in an economic crisis. Calm down.

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The_Nubster

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In what world is a business advertising their product a sign of them going under.

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noboners

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#14  Edited By noboners

Yeah I feel like, and I may be wrong on this, but that it just feels as if they are pushing it more and more because the sale is going on for an entire month, as opposed to one week or even just a weekend. That compiled with the fact that they are producing so much content, you're just absorbing it at a faster rate.

I more saw this month's sale as a "we know times are tough, but we hope we can make them a little easier for you."

(edited for punctuation)

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MezZa

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#15  Edited By MezZa

Everytime there is a sale they advertise it everywhere they can. It would be bad business not to make sure it's visible/audible everywhere considering a lot of the audience picks and chooses what to pay attention to. Just cause they say it on the bombcast one week doesn't mean every giantbomb user hears about it for example.

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Danleethal

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I did think it weird when, in the most recent beastcast, Vinny used the line about subscribing even if you hate the premium content. I don't take that as a sign of them going under or anything, it just stood out to me as desperate or something.

That said, it's a perfectly valid point about the free content being supported by subscriptions. I guess I don't know why it stood out to me.

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csl316

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Whenever there's a sale, they always talk about it. Really no different from any sale time.

They could be looking to hit a sales goal, maybe the budget needs a boost, or who knows what. If a business is pushing sales, assuming it's on the verge of going under is a real stretch.

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kcin

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I did think it weird when, in the most recent beastcast, Vinny used the line about subscribing even if you hate the premium content.

This fully didn't happen.

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berfunkle

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#20 berfunkle  Online

I support Giant Bomb because I don't want the future of gaming news and information to come solely from YouTube or Twitch streaming channels. I realize there's still IGN, Gamespot, and a few other sites but the number of dedicated sites have dwindled over the years.

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Nodima

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#21  Edited By Nodima

I've definitely felt like the tone is more...intentional than past years. I've seen a small number of people make this comment elsewhere but I generally subscribe as a monthly member because, hey, math dictates $60 is more than $50. I'm sure there's an accounting class somewhere that makes clear why the lump $50 is more valuable than the sequential $60 and I think I could even educate myself there, but I am only a frugal Giant Bomb subscriber out of intentional desire to be less frugal. Sometimes it's also more useful for my budgeting, but mostly it's for that reason.

I bought a year's subscription during this current sale and felt guilty about not buying two primarily because of the tone on recent podcasts.

It's great to see @rorie come right out and say "ya basic" early in this thread to assuage those feelings/interpretations, but I have felt a gloomy vibe from the premium sales in a way I haven't before. It's likely these uncertain times, but a very real perception I have of those ad reads.

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mrfluke

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#22  Edited By mrfluke

Well Rorie confirmed everything’s fine,

but even if he didn’t confirm it, really never got the sense that they were in trouble financially, if anything and to be an armchair wannabe business analyst, I imagine they are in a solid position to weather this crisis now because of the solid premium subscription base and being able to basically carry on doing content from home, and they always pimp the premium subs when the sales happen,

one round of self advertising on the hotspot doesn’t negative the numerous times all the staff has basically said “if you can’t afford it, don’t worry”

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ripelivejam

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omg it's almost like they're a business

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mellotronrules

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i mean the ror-dawg already shut it down, but if anything i think a shop like giant bomb is proof-of-concept on how to be flexible and get it done when the world is turned upside down. they've been doing a stellar job- and looking at the daily streaming numbers, it feels like they haven't skipped a beat.

now is podcast listening tanking- thereby taking some ad rev with it? maybe- i've heard a lot of podcasts are taking a hit due to commutes not really being a thing, so that's probably a bummer. but my gut tells me maybe the various gb-produced pods might have a more resilient listenership than the more mainstream stuff.

viacomCBS? that's a separate question- one hopes that gb is an efficient enough business (seems like it would be- low staff # coupled with subs suggests it's more sustainable that other arms of the corporation) that they would be insulated from any COVID-related financial turbulence.

but then again- these are strange days, and every sector is going to feel it at some point.

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cikame

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#25  Edited By cikame

Just want to point out they've mentioned their sales during or at the end of every single podcast and UPF, though maybe it's more obvious now because they have an extra podcast in The Hotspot, and The Beastcast is now video so you can see Vinny telling you about it instead of sliding it into some audio.
There's also these Unprecedented Times™, so they might talk a bit more about looking after yourself and being grateful for your subscription.

So basically yes, it does come up more often, but not for the reason you think.

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takayamasama

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@spiritof: Ya ain't wrong. Some people just out there to be big bummers, it seems

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clintlandon

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I have a real pet peeve for people who don’t like something anymore, and instead of just laying out why or moving on, they couch it in a bs “ARE THEY OKAY? I’M WORRIED ABOUT THEM” angle. That’s what I’d expect the mom from Everybody Loves Raymond would do.

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gkhan

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It's no secret that the entire internet publishing industry is having a hard time right now because ad sales have plummeted. But I'd bet Giant Bomb is doing far better than most, given how much revenue is coming from paying subscribers. Also: they're part of CBS. I wouldn't worry too much.

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LonelySpacePanda

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I've been thinking of this lately and how GB could pretty much exist almost exactly as-is with the Twitch/Patreon model that everyone else uses these days. Only real benefit of CBS is having an office, managing website and figuring out ads and other logistics. There might be many more benefits to going independent. I'm looking at Tim Rogers leaving Kotaku. Just one guy driving a lot of traffic to their YouTube apparently not getting paid much and having to constantly argue with producers, and now making a healthy salary working totally free thanks to Patreon/YT ad money.

That is all to say, if CBS ever pulled GB which they could do even if they are making money because corporations are dumb like that, GB could survive in another form should the gang want to continue. My concern/expectation is that Jeff with his kid/life may want to retire in the future and try something else more lucrative in the game business side of things, which of course would be fine -- as Dan is showing lately (and Patrick/Austin before him) members can have a life outside GB and still provide some of the same things we loved.

Every day GB is here is a blessing in disguise, much like Deadly Premonition 2, so enjoy it while you can. I do have to say its really odd they can't afford an office anymore and are streaming from home!??

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vaiz

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#30  Edited By vaiz

@rorie: You're the realest one, dawg.

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yyninja

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Short answer: no.

Longer answer: GiantBomb is going to do fine. I think it's quite the opposite where their overlords at CBS are intentionally pushing these premium subscription sales because they know people can't go outside so they are going to crave any form of entertainment whether it's videogames, movies or books. Yes, ad sales are plummeting everywhere right now but I think GiantBomb makes most of it's money through paid subscriptions anyway.

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Humanity

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#33 Humanity  Online

I don’t know if they’re in trouble or not - I have enough things to worry about with my own life without having to worry for them as well - but this time around they are definitely advertising it a lot more. Possibly it’s because they’re now producing a lot more content than they typically would be at this time of the year and nearly every piece of content has a mention of the sale. Either way it’s not like me worrying about Giant Bomb is going to change anything. Jeff has historically done things his way and I don’t really remember them asking for site suggestions in the past so I’ll continue letting him do his thing.

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Curufinwe

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#34 Curufinwe  Online

No idea how they are doing, but there’s no way I’m going to become a subscriber again when Nancy Drew and Minecraft videos are half the premium content.

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damodar

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Occam's Razor suggests that if they've been mentioning the sale more than they usually would, probably just has something to do with them streaming like 30 hours a week instead of the usual handful.

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depecheload

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@curufinwe: I would never play neither of those games but I love watching the crew play them. Give them a chance.

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Master_Funk

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Like if anything, this current world situation is likely to have significantly increased views and business.

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meatdimensionfighter

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@matthewroberts: Is it possible that the premium sale, that happens pretty much the same time every year, is yet again happening as usual?

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Alias

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@rorie said:

No.

This is where the thread could have ended and been locked. On this mic drop.

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MatthewRoberts

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@beartaco: I didn't mention Abby bro.

In fact my ranking would be:

Vinny > Jeff > Alex > Brad > Abby > Jan > Jason > Ben

So... okay?

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colourful_hippie

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Like others have said it'd probably cropping up more because there's just way more content on the site now so you hear it more often in many different places.

I personally have always viewed my subscription as a tip to the dream these people have built from the GameSpot exodus so even though I think a lot of the new content is not to my liking, (except for that wonderful Hotspot revival, thank you!!) I just love supporting the crew.

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stise

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Does Jeff have a secret shellfish allergy?

Is Ben quietly forcing Jeff to ingest increasing quantities of shellfish during each Bombcast break????

Was Abby standing up during the Beastcast an attempt to warn viewers about Ben's shellfish coup??????

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htr10

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Yeah, Giant Bomb is going under. Down under! Giant Bomb World Tour is back and the whole team is going to Australia in their most questionable world health move yet!

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Humanity

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#45  Edited By Humanity  Online

@beartaco: As a very real reply, moderation used to be extremely strict for a time and that didn't really help the site either. In fact a lot of long time members decided to leave altogether - take a look at some of the top posters and see how many of them are still actively posting here. While this thread is just another "one of these" that tend to pop up once in a while, it is fairly moderate in tone (unless all the awful comments have been deleted) and in a way it's good to let a few of these open throughout the year so the people that need to get something off their chest can do so and move on with their lives. You want to see zero moderation and when people openly talk about not liking something on Giant Bomb in deplorable detail then I invite you to visit NeoGaf, read the last, I don't know..50 pages of their big thread, and then report back on "lack of moderation".

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berfunkle

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#46  Edited By berfunkle  Online

Someone mentioned Minecraft in this thread. It's interesting for me that I wouldn't actually play Minecraft, but I do find it enjoyable to watch other people play Minecraft. That's true about a lot of other games.

I should also mention, I'm happy to see that they take chances with the content they wish to produce. I'd hate for them to play it safe. If things aren't working out, they can always try something new. That's why they have these weekly meetings that gets mentioned in chat from time to time.

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rorie

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#47 rorie  Staff

@nodima said:

I've definitely felt like the tone is more...intentional than past years. I've seen a small number of people make this comment elsewhere but I generally subscribe as a monthly member because, hey, math dictates $60 is more than $50. I'm sure there's an accounting class somewhere that makes clear why the lump $50 is more valuable than the sequential $60 and I think I could even educate myself there, but I am only a frugal Giant Bomb subscriber out of intentional desire to be less frugal. Sometimes it's also more useful for my budgeting, but mostly it's for that reason.

I bought a year's subscription during this current sale and felt guilty about not buying two primarily because of the tone on recent podcasts.

It's great to see @rorie come right out and say "ya basic" early in this thread to assuage those feelings/interpretations, but I have felt a gloomy vibe from the premium sales in a way I haven't before. It's likely these uncertain times, but a very real perception I have of those ad reads.

We're just a little more methodical about promoting the sale the last couple of times, largely thanks to Dave taking the lead on a schedule for promotion via social media and also making sure that we mention it during streams, which we historically have not been super great about. It might seem like a lot if you watch everything we do, but the important thing about mentioning it verbally more often is that it's easier for people who see our YouTube stuff to know what we're doing on the site and maybe checking out a free trial of Premium. We have done things like Premium Unlocks over there in the past and they do well for us but since we're streaming so much this sale it felt like it'd be easier to just mention the sale as much as often during streams to hopefully get the YT audience to come over to the site.

I mean, I can't see the future, but I personally have been real happy with the sale results, and as CBS is focusing a lot more on both subscription models and podcasts across the business, I think we're in a pretty good position to be around for a long time.

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Topcyclist

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@matthewroberts: GB is doing great. They have an assortment of value-added production in the premium content. If you sub again you will gain access. There is no worry about the future of GB. GB is perfect as it is and will continue to expand with new ideas to target young demographics to freshly renew the aging ones. So there is no worry, it is just cycling and now that people are home GB will gain sales with the current sub-model promotion. LONG LIVE GB.