Nextlander sit down with MinnMax to discuss the future and why they left GB

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FinalDasa

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#1 FinalDasa  Moderator

Gonna preface this by saying do not speculate wildly.

There are a lot of good discussions about how working in a large corporation can slow creativity, complicate career advancement, and all the little things that crop up that can affect day to day operations of running a video game site.

Just sounds like operating a video game site with a small team while surrounded by such a complex and obtuse can really be draining. Nextlander gives Vinny, Brad, and Alex a chance more direct control over their content and direct contact with their audience.

As someone who worked even in a smaller company, it routinely felt like my boss's boss didn't know or care about how long or hard I worked on something. If they thought it was a simple task, it was a simple task no matter what issues I ran into.

Also, Alex specifically mentions there are no hard feelings having left GB. So please don't jump to conclusions or assumptions about "what they're really saying". If you can't have a conversation based on what they're saying, then don't judge/assume/presume what you don't know.

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csl316

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Kind of a weird niche that Hanson found with these exit interviews. But I can't help but watch them.

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AV_Gamer

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#3  Edited By AV_Gamer

Bottom line, they did what they felt was best for their mental health in their chosen profession. I wish many more people had the guts to do this, but they get afraid of the unknown instead of taking a chance. Of course for many people money and resources play a big part of making that type of decision. I don't believe there is any animosity between Jeff and the rest of the OGs, and I believe they will be doing stuff together again soon, it will just be as guest and not as a group from the same place.

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Bukktown

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Yes!

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LittleDansonMan

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@csl316: He's done interviews with industry folks who haven't just left their jobs too! They're pretty good even.

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Undeadpool

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@av_gamer: Our country isn't really structured to let people take that leap, unfortunately. They're very lucky to probably have a nest-egg saved up, an SO/spouse who also works, and a stable living arrangement in states that do the bare minimum to look after their citizens. I'm glad they've been smart and fortunate enough in their jobs to make this happen, for sure.

As someone who missed longplay videos of entire games on this site, I cannot WAIT to see what they do next.

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ll_Exile_ll

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#7  Edited By ll_Exile_ll

@av_gamer said:

Bottom line, they did what they felt was best for their mental health in their chosen profession. I wish many more people had the guts to do this, but they get afraid of the unknown instead of taking a chance. Of course for many people money and resources play a big part of making that type of decision. I don't believe there is any animosity between Jeff and the rest of the OGs, and I believe they will be doing stuff together again soon, it will just be as guest and not as a group from the same place.

Most people are not able to leave their job and essentially the next day have 12,000 people pledge them money on a monthly basis. It didn't take a that much guts to do this when they knew they'd have massive support right out of the gate.

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KingstonClouds

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@csl316 said:

Kind of a weird niche that Hanson found with these exit interviews. But I can't help but watch them.

Can't wait for Hanson to interview himself when he decides to stop doing MinnMax.

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FinalDasa

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#9  Edited By FinalDasa  Moderator
@ll_exile_ll said:
@av_gamer said:

Bottom line, they did what they felt was best for their mental health in their chosen profession. I wish many more people had the guts to do this, but they get afraid of the unknown instead of taking a chance. Of course for many people money and resources play a big part of making that type of decision. I don't believe there is any animosity between Jeff and the rest of the OGs, and I believe they will be doing stuff together again soon, it will just be as guest and not as a group from the same place.

Most people are not able to leave their job and essentially the next day have 12,000 people pledge them money on a monthly basis. It didn't take a that much guts to do this when they knew they'd have massive support right out of the gate.

Watch the interview.

Vinny specifically says they did not expect this amount of support. Even mentions they all thought they would need day jobs while they did Nextlander on the side.

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ll_Exile_ll

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#10  Edited By ll_Exile_ll

@finaldasa said:
@ll_exile_ll said:
@av_gamer said:

Bottom line, they did what they felt was best for their mental health in their chosen profession. I wish many more people had the guts to do this, but they get afraid of the unknown instead of taking a chance. Of course for many people money and resources play a big part of making that type of decision. I don't believe there is any animosity between Jeff and the rest of the OGs, and I believe they will be doing stuff together again soon, it will just be as guest and not as a group from the same place.

Most people are not able to leave their job and essentially the next day have 12,000 people pledge them money on a monthly basis. It didn't take a that much guts to do this when they knew they'd have massive support right out of the gate.

Watch the interview.

Vinny specifically says they did not expect this amount of support. Even mentions they all thought they would need day jobs while they did Nextlander on the side.

If they really thought that, it's pretty naïve. We've seen plenty of these type of ventures where established personities leave a big company to start own thing funded through Patreon. Kinda Funny, Jim Sterling, Easy Allies all had huge and instantaneous Patreon support. Anyone paying attention could have seen this type of Patreon support for 3 former GB personalities coming from miles away.

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FinalDasa

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#11 FinalDasa  Moderator

@ll_exile_ll: Again, watch the interview. He explains exactly why they all thought that.

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lylebot

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"Naive" is a word I would use to describe a negative outcome that easily could have been foreseen but was not planned for. Like, say, starting up a Patreon assuming you'll get 12,000 followers in a week, then just getting a handful and having no backup plan.

It is not a word I would use to describe a positive outcome that was not foreseen and therefore not planned for. Like, say, starting up a Patreon assuming you'll get a few hundred or thousand followers over several months and thinking you'll need to have a day job to support your family, then getting 12,000 in a week. This is in fact the opposite of naive.

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cikame

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I find some of their reasons contradictory but i'm glad it's working out for them, whatever "it" is.

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jaycrockett

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Wow, that was way more revealing than I expected. At least on Vinny's part. And Alex I can see as a fellow beaster. I'm not sure about Brad though. There must have been some general bi-coastal corporate crap we'll never hear about.

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Abetorias

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@lylebot:

That's not exactly how words work.

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sparky_buzzsaw

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You say not to speculate, but damn it, I'm positive the reason is alien mind control nanobots introduced into their system by Dave Lang and I won't be convinced otherwise even if there are videos and podcasts that talk about their reasons and completely debunk my opinions. This is 2021, goddamn it, and I won't let things like "logic" and "learning" sway me.

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tartyron

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Huh, funny how this seems to have been exactly what they hinted at, more corporate cultural differences than weird personal beef like so many speculated. Funny how things are usually much more simple than we come up with in our heads.

Now, hopefully some of this "Mike vs. Joel" shit dies down. Two things can be good.

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MezZa

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Very cool interview to listen to. Hearing some of their insight is really relatable given I also work at a corp. I enjoy my role and what I provide, but man, I'm just imagining hearing something like what Vinny quoted his kids saying and I think I'd be heartbroken if I heard such a wakeup call from family.

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Humanity

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#21  Edited By Humanity

@finaldasa: What it comes down to is really how many people will stick around. After seeing threads on these forums and elsewhere on the internet of people being literally depressed because of their departure from GB it was pretty easy to guess they would have a massive following on day one - this isn’t like Abby who gained a fan following within the community, these are the pillars and founding members of Giant Bomb. I pledged for the first month as a show of support but it’s not sustainable for me to pay for GB, for Nextlander, Waypoint+ and numerous other subscriptions I have under my belt. It will be curious to see how it all shakes out for them in the long run.

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FinalDasa

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#22 FinalDasa  Moderator

@humanity: Vinny explains that none of them expected it to be this big. There's a difference between understanding there's a level of support for Nextlander and having enough support to focus solely on Nextlander. And there's no way to measure that support until you jump off the metaphorical cliff.

But I agree where it goes next depends if fans get what they expect from Nextlander and if Nextlander can maintain their content production.

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sodapop7

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@ll_exile_ll: armchair quarterbacking that it would do well and putting yourself out there are two wildly different things. Especially if you've got others to support. There's nothing naive about Vinny's outlook in the slightest.

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fugoy

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@f1rev2: I don't understand what exactly is the problem here? This is literally the explanations and reasons from their own mouths. Literally the opposite of speculation. What are you upset about exactly?

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mikachops

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Alex’s camera being SO centred is always amusing to me. He has a very symmetrical face, it always looks super weird to me lol.

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Onemanarmyy

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#27  Edited By Onemanarmyy  Online

It was an emotional rollercoaster, but honestly this seems like the best case scenario for the people that want to see these people on their screens. Vinny dissapearing in a production role would be a huge loss especially.

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mclubberlang

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I thought I’d be onboard with this, watched the first stream and it just wasn’t for me. I love Vinny and Brad, but I’ve never been a big fan of Alex. Found myself back at GB for the E3 stuff and really enjoyed it. I hope they get more content going soon. And it’s nice Nextlander is there as another option for a smaller stream and I hope they’re successful and come back occasionally. Fingers crossed GB gets back to some enjoyable game shows soon.

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sicamore

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@cikame said:

I find some of their reasons contradictory but i'm glad it's working out for them, whatever "it" is.

For me, it was just the notion that they were tired of being forced to make content for growth at GB by people above them. Obviously, that's what corporations always want, but it was never apparent in their work. If anything, some of their stuff was so niche and weird that I wondered how they got away with making it.

It was surprising to hear Nextlander speak about that especially after Dan tweeted this when they left: "The guys that left Giant Bomb today helped shape something special in the gaming industry - something genuine, honest, and raw. GB always felt like a true representation of its staff and their interests rather than content mill bullshit driven by SEO or industry trends."

Like with a lot of things, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

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Brendan

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Pretty much exactly what they said in episode zero of the podcast, just in a little more detail. Straightforward.

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epidehl

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It's weird having the only 2 communities I kind of follow (this, and the Hololive Vtubers) going through the same "people are leaving and everyone is throwing around insidious conspiracy theories about why" at the same time. When in reality it's probably really simple.

At least these guys can be pretty open about why, which quells most of that. The Vtubers are stuck with their secrecy stuff, and being a Japanese company probably doesn't help, so people have gotten pretty wild.

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Nocall

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@mclubberlang: unpopular and unproductive opinion for sure, but he doesn’t have a great “radio voice” and his humor isn’t really my jam, so I have found myself skipping through heavy Alex content more than once (the episode where he returned from Japan sticks out). I think he does well as a part of an ensemble, though, and have been liking NL so far.

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colourful_hippie

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:(

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AV_Gamer

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#34  Edited By AV_Gamer

@mclubberlang said:

I thought I’d be onboard with this, watched the first stream and it just wasn’t for me. I love Vinny and Brad, but I’ve never been a big fan of Alex. Found myself back at GB for the E3 stuff and really enjoyed it. I hope they get more content going soon. And it’s nice Nextlander is there as another option for a smaller stream and I hope they’re successful and come back occasionally. Fingers crossed GB gets back to some enjoyable game shows soon.

For me, its the realization that I now have to choose between GB and Nexlander, which became apparent during the E3 coverage. I watched the GB stuff, enjoyed it. Then I tried to watch the Nextlander stuff and it was too much, not because any of it was bad, but because I didn't want to watch the "We talk over such and such presentation" all over again. And they had Austin, Patrick and another person I don't know about as guest. I might stick with GB, because its what I'm used to, and no disrespect to Vinny, Brad, and Alex, but Jan, Jeff B, and Danny have done well filling in the gaps, and Jeff G is still a threat.

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yyninja

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Thanks for sharing this! Otherwise I wouldn't have known this existed.

I had the feels when Vinny mentions how his kids have never seen him this happy before and makes me excited for what's next for NL.

I think it's going to be an interesting dichotomy between GB and NL. From the interview it sounds like NL's plans are to stay small, agile and producing content that their audience wants to see. Nothing speaks to this more when they talked about not producing a video on the latest Ratchet game because they didn't want to get stuck in their old mentalility of doing a video on every major release.

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TurtleFish

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#36  Edited By TurtleFish

@av_gamer said:

I wish many more people had the guts to do this, but they get afraid of the unknown instead of taking a chance. Of course for many people money and resources play a big part of making that type of decision.

You’re not giving enough credit to the resources part. When you have a family to feed, you lose your health care coverage and most of your insurance, and there is very little social safety net if you fail… it‘s not an easy decision to make at all. Plus NL had the added advantage that they had a following and contacts - they weren’t starting from ground zero, even if they have gotten more early success then they hoped for.

I’ve been involved on and off in my local art/music community for about 20+ years now. I know maybe a half dozen people that did make it where their dream became their career, and I also know a lot more that took a chance, and they either bailed in their 30s or 40s, or now they’re pushing 50 or 60, unable to put together any sort of stable career, and now retirement is starting them in the face with little savings and an uncertain future.

In other words - people who have the dream, the drive, and the chutzpah to put it on the line are amazing to me. But the people who decide to take the less riskier path? That’s okay too.

Finding your thousand true fans is hard. Keeping them is even harder.

Don‘t look down on people who, by circumstance or temperament, decide that the road taken IS their best path forward.

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colourful_hippie

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@av_gamer said:
@mclubberlang said:

I thought I’d be onboard with this, watched the first stream and it just wasn’t for me. I love Vinny and Brad, but I’ve never been a big fan of Alex. Found myself back at GB for the E3 stuff and really enjoyed it. I hope they get more content going soon. And it’s nice Nextlander is there as another option for a smaller stream and I hope they’re successful and come back occasionally. Fingers crossed GB gets back to some enjoyable game shows soon.

For me, its the realization that I now have to choose between GB and Nexlander, which became apparent during the E3 coverage. I watched the GB stuff, enjoyed it. Then I tried to watch the Nextlander stuff and it was too much, not because any of it was bad, but because I didn't want to watch the "We talk over such and such presentation" all over again. And they had Austin, Patrick and another person I don't know about as guest. I might stick with GB, because its what I'm used to, and no disrespect to Vinny, Brad, and Alex, but Jan, Jeff B, and Danny have done well filling in the gaps, and Jeff G is still a threat.

Yup the E3 streams were the first obstacle where I had to stop and decide who I want to listen cover these events. Nextlander pairing up with Waypoint for the streams made my decision a whole lot easier to stick with GB but it definitely made me think about future events where I’ll have to pick who I want to listen to again. I value the OG GB crew’s opinions and insights a whole lot but even if I can afford to pay for multiple game coverage subscriptions I simply don’t have the time anymore to consume all of that content. At some point I can just see myself not bothering to pay for any of these subscriptions to avoid having to wring hands over who to choose.

I completely understand why Vinny, Brad, and Alex left to do their own thing without corporate influences while Jeff probably stayed because he founded GB and being able to buy it back from RV wouldn‘t be a viable option. That said the situation still sucks as a fan of the OG crew.

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Mizine

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Look. There are a number of things here. I am sure what they are saying is mostly the truth, however, if you watch even the first 15 minutes of the interview... none of them mention GB. It's "that company" or whatever, and they could be talking about Red Ventures, but talking around the name Giant Bomb gives bad feelings.

Also, what is the first thing they did after leaving? If this was all amicable and whatnot, they could have joined in for at least one of the E3 streams here? I mean, GB is known for it's E3 content, if things were amicable, wouldn't showing up on GB content for a stream of two give them some weight in their new venture? Showing they are still around and doing things?

What do then do instead? Jump to Waypoint? Seems odd. All this together.

Like I said, I think there is a lot of truth to what they stated in the interview but it's obviously not the whole story, to which, we will probably never know.

Do I think there is no friendship left between GB and the Nextlander crews? No, of course not. These guys have been friends and colleagues forever, but something just seems off to me.

*Shrug* I am happy for them finding something they still are interested in doing and I am glad it's working out for them.

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Onemanarmyy

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#39 Onemanarmyy  Online

I understand the predicament for folk to choose between which team to watch a certain event with, but that's like 4% of the output. In the future you'll have GB do all kinds of different shows than Nextlander will do.

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Trilogy

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#40  Edited By Trilogy

@ll_exile_ll said:
@av_gamer said:

Bottom line, they did what they felt was best for their mental health in their chosen profession. I wish many more people had the guts to do this, but they get afraid of the unknown instead of taking a chance. Of course for many people money and resources play a big part of making that type of decision. I don't believe there is any animosity between Jeff and the rest of the OGs, and I believe they will be doing stuff together again soon, it will just be as guest and not as a group from the same place.

Most people are not able to leave their job and essentially the next day have 12,000 people pledge them money on a monthly basis. It didn't take a that much guts to do this when they knew they'd have massive support right out of the gate.

they explicitly said they weren't sure it would work out. they figured it would be a side thing while they got day jobs. it's easy in hindsight to say, hey look they got 12k patrons and are now one of the most successful creators on the platform, but it's not as easy to know that before it happens. it's also much easier to assume they would be successful when you're not them, when you don't have to deal with imposter syndrome and questions of self worth when you've been working inside a corporate bubble for well over a decade. again, this is all explicitly explained by them in the interview.

yes, most people don't have this EXACT option, but the person you're replying to may not even be saying that. there are all kinds of ways to take a chance in a person's career. i'll let them elaborate their own point if they want to since its not really my point here. i just don't think it's fair to say they knew for sure it would work out when they have expressed they didn't. hell, they've expressed that they're not sure how sustainable it will be down the line after health insurance, taxes, a dip in patrons, etc. they're not sure if they will be able to hire anyone. it's not exactly devoid of risk.

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brian_

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I bet Brad, Vinny and Alex didn't even leave Giant Bomb! I think Nextlander's a work! Red Venture made it up to get people to pay for two subscriptions! "Nextlander" doesn't even sound like a real name! Follow the money!

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MindBullet

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#42  Edited By MindBullet
@epidehl said:

It's weird having the only 2 communities I kind of follow (this, and the Hololive Vtubers) going through the same "people are leaving and everyone is throwing around insidious conspiracy theories about why" at the same time. When in reality it's probably really simple.

At least these guys can be pretty open about why, which quells most of that. The Vtubers are stuck with their secrecy stuff, and being a Japanese company probably doesn't help, so people have gotten pretty wild.

I was going to just write it off as GB fans being weird, but as a Hololive fan as well I realize now that that's just kind of how these things go sometimes.

I'm glad the Nextlander gang are at least open to talking about it, even if people aren't going to take their words at face value. I do believe in them, and what they're trying to do. I enjoyed their E3 coverage, and I was glad to see the post-GB streams crossing with them collabing with Waypoint.

Ben's advice was really fun as well, and I wonder if hearing him say "it doesn't get better" affected any of the Nextlanders significantly. Looking forward to more from them!

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epidehl

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@mindbullet: Yeah, it seems like a lot of people just crave drama and can't accept simple, non-hate filled, reasons for things. It's especially frustrating when the logic of some of the more negative stuff doesn't really track at all. Sometimes you just want/have to make some changes in your life.

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Ben_H

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This was a great listen. Thanks for posting it. It basically confirmed a lot of what we expected: they were burned out, were done with the corporate world, and were going to make changes for themselves no matter what. It's good to hear that they are staying grounded in their expectations and are planning the entire thing with sustainability in mind rather than growth for the sake of growth. This discussion made me quite optimistic about their future.

The bit where Vinny talked about his kids saying they noticed a difference in his behaviour the last bit he was at GB (and how he's excited again now) hit close to home for me since I've been in a similar situation. I was coming up on the sixth year at my old job when I had a family member tell me that I never came home from work in a good mood anymore and even talking about work seemed to make me miserable. When something like that happens, it usually forces you to do a lot of introspection. Obviously it did in Vinny's case and he made a change. I did too. You get stuck in this tunnel vision in these situations where you don't notice the slow decline and it often takes an external influence to clue you in.

Their talk about dealing with big corporations and the frustration of dealing with them while working in them is relatable for a lot of us I'm sure.

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Humanity

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#45  Edited By Humanity

@mindbullet: While it doesn’t make the insane theorizing any better I do think it’s very obvious why people end up doing it over and over again. Having to stay quiet about major events for various reasons often leads to awkward moments where everyone in the room knows something is up and the lack of transparency just let’s people’s imaginations go wild. We all make fun of embargos and NDAs in gaming and how all the secrecy just leads to dumb rumors and speculation and in the case of GB it’s really no different.

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LonelySpacePanda

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I just started working for my first mega-corporation and ... I LOVE IT! The grass is always greener on the other side. Used to work for a startup where everything is always on you and the non-stop pressure can be a lot to handle -- and at the end of the day, if you have no ownership it really makes no difference for you if your work pays off or not. Pros and cons to both and I think it's very healthy to go from one to the other after a couple years.

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@lonelyspacepanda: Not all megacorps are created equal. Heck, sometimes people can have wildly different experiences in different divisions of the same megacorp.

Workplaces can be good fits or bad fits for individual people regardless of size, and of course a workplace that's a good fit for one person may be a terrible fit for another.

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dwerkmd

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Work is a weird thing. Sometimes you can have a corporate culture that makes it hard to feel like you're doing anything meaningful, that your work is appreciated, etc. Also, sometimes people look for external reasons for why they're unhappy and convince themselves that the work place is the issue, not something internal and hard to figure out.

No judgement call on anyone's reasons for anything, but it's important to keep these things in mind. At the end of he day it doesn't matter. The world still turns.

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Broshmosh

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#49  Edited By Broshmosh
@mizine said:

Look. There are a number of things here. I am sure what they are saying is mostly the truth, however, if you watch even the first 15 minutes of the interview... none of them mention GB. It's "that company" or whatever, and they could be talking about Red Ventures, but talking around the name Giant Bomb gives bad feelings.

This would sound a lot less like a personal narrative if it weren't for how much Vinny directly references Giant Bomb and Giant Bomb East a few minutes later around 18:30. It just wasn't a direct question until that point.

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StingingVelvet

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The corporate world isn't for everyone. Personally I'd choose the stability and professionalism, but others would disagree completely. I wish them well with their decisions.

For me personally Jeff is the big draw of GB. His industry knowledge and humor are more my style. So I don't see much appeal in Nextlander personally, but I am glad those with different tastes have their guys around for longer. For all we knew they quit to join the PR industry.