Sad state of GB in 2022

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OsheaDiesStupid

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There have probably been many posts like this on the forum, but as a member of GB on and off since the beginning, I have to leave a few comments of the very sad state this website is at right now.

First of all, one of my favorite things during the good days was the GOTY podcast discussion during the holidays (when people have time to be festive, play games, and listen to a 4hr podcast). Sorry to say, but whoever decided to move it to January is completely out of touch. Regardless of the quality of the discussions (which in my opinion, is severely lacking at the moment), moving it to January so the staff can take the month of December off for the holidays is silly.

Second of all, quick looks used to be great when the personalities were great, and the content focused. A 90 minute quick look with a bored staff member who has no interest in the game they play is just a waste if everyone’s time, and probably does more harm than good.

The whole point of this website was to allow free discussions around games, without fear of sponsor or corporate influence. The forums here are run like a dictatorship, with everything getting locked and banned. Probably even this post. What’s the point of a community, when you can’t even say anything?

I’ll continue supporting the site, even though it’s just a sad shell of what it once was. There’s still some value in seeing middle aged men discuss the newest Pokémon, but the chemistry and charm has gone for me, and 99% of the video content that is released is of little to no interest for me.

Not sure why I wrote this, but just my thoughts.

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noobsauce

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I'm so damn tired of these fucking posts. Workplaces change. People change. If they didn't, I'd still be watching George Carlin on Thomas the Tank Engine. Nothing stays the way you remember it forever. Accept it and roll with the change or move on to something else. The beauty of something isn't that it lasts forever.

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csl316

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Sounds like someone didn't listen to the James Earl Jones bit on Albummer.

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emery92

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This is embarrassing.

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noobsauce

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OsheaDiesStupid

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@osheadiesstupid: @noobsauce: things change, but just think that some of the changes haven’t been that great. This is just my opinion, of course. I’m sure that for some people, the current video content on GB is vintage material to be cherished forever.

And there has to be someone out there eagerly awaiting for their GOTY binge listening in mid January, after they realize that Santa is a lie.

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Efesell

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The sudden swerve into The Tyranny of the Forums really makes this whole spiel suspect.

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htr10

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#9  Edited By htr10

There have been way worse versions of this thread a 100 times before. Maybe the title is a little overdramatic.

I love Run For The Hills. UPF is still great. Bombcast is still great. Jeff Gerstmann is still Jeff Gerstmann. Nextlander exists for a more old school feel. We all feel how we feel about the last year.

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FacelessVixen

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Nextlander?

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imhungry

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In the broad view I would probably agree that the site is less interesting to me now but there's some content that really hits for me and some that doesn't, same as it's been since 2008. With how different my life is from 13 years ago I wouldn't be able to keep up with the content in the same way I used to anyway so this works out fine for me.

At least we can agree that I'm not sure why you wrote this either.

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sodapop7

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Ok

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FinalDasa

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#13 FinalDasa  Moderator

Reminder to be respectful of others even if you disagree with their opinion.

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The_Nubster

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Why are you still supporting them? You clearly aren't enjoying yourself. Save yourself sixty bucks and be done with it.

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ZombiePie

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I had to look it up, but the last time a thread was locked due to violating the Community Rules, and not based on the request of the OP, was Jan 06, 2022.

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rawdanger

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When Taco Bell got rid of the double decker taco, quite possibly the perfect fast food item, I thought to myself, "why even be open any more?" As it turns out, they still do pretty well even though things changed up a little.

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FinalDasa

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#17 FinalDasa  Moderator

@rawdanger: For me, it's the shredded chicken burrito. It was cheap, typically pretty good, and only needed a few to fill me up.

Now I gotta mix and match random tacos and burritos like some sort of taco bell novice.

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MisterSims

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@osheadiesstupid: I feel the exact same as you fam. Everything is just... less good. Most of the founding staff that made it great is gone. But hey, we've been around on this site for a long time. It kinda feels like getting older. That feeling of "music just ain't as good as it used to be". You gonna have some people who agree with you, and some who don't. Everybody comes to this site at a different period of their life, and we all have different opinions, and lifestyles that form those opinions. I can appreciate everybody's. Don't let anyone on the forums make you feel like your feelings are invalid. Sometimes you just need to vent and some solidarity with your community is nice. But hey, it is what it is. People aren't going to stop making bad music just because I think it's worse nowadays. Some people will think it's better than it ever was. Time moves on...

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goosemunch

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The last time I went to Taco Bell, I had to go out of my way because they're so dang rare around here, it was only because I wanted some churros. It turns out they don't even sell churros anymore! What the hell is even the point.

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AV_Gamer

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#20  Edited By AV_Gamer

I've read and gave my opinion in plenty of these type of threads over the months. It simply comes down to this, if you no longer like how they are handling things, move on. If you still like it enough to support, continue doing so. It's pretty clear that Jeff G and the staff have a direction they want to take this site in and are committed to doing so. The choice is now yours to make.

Edit: When it comes to Taco Bell, I rarely go there anymore. Too much sodium and other unhealthy crap in their food, which is why its so cheap and affordable, like most crappy, unhealthy food these days.

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depecheload

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@av_gamer said:

I've read and gave my opinion in plenty of these type of threads over the months. It simply comes down to this, if you no longer like how they are handling things, move on. If you still like it enough to support, continue doing so. It's pretty clear that Jeff G and the staff have a direction they want to take this site in and are committed to doing so. The choice is now yours to make.

I feel that it's totally fair for people to express what they don't like about the site these days, especially when it's polite and level-headed. I'm sure that Jeff and the others would prefer that to the person quietly canceling their sub.

Between me getting older and just not liking the content on the site at the moment, I'm canceling my sub when its time to re-up if things don't get better. I hope they do, but I'm not exactly hopeful. It's a bummer but that's life.

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NickM

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@finaldasa: You constantly remind people to stay on topic, especially in threads where GB is critiqued, but are happy enough to derail a conversation you do not agree with yourself.

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OsheaDiesStupid

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@the_nubster: I’m happy to continue supporting GB. They’ve literally been there for a third of my life. But I just find the current content a bit lacking, personally. It is true that I also don’t have the time to watch their videos like I used to. Hoping they will have a great show at E3 again, those always used to be special pre pandemic.

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splodge

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Having a blast with GB lately, I like the new direction. Change happens.

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sombre

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You probably just grew up. It happens to all of us

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cookiemonster

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Are you seriously complaining about them wanting to take Christmas off work? Get a grip man.

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Broshmosh

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Ok.

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Pilgrimm1981

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#28  Edited By Pilgrimm1981

as people suggest here, you should just try moving on, I have and it's for the best. You can write the forum posts all you want, but in the end it's obvious nothing is really gonna change. The magic is gone, and it has been for a very long time. If other people still find enjoyment here because of different expectations, more power to them, but the giant bomb you once knew and loved is dead and buried. Better just to accept that in my opinion and move on to other outlets maybe.

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eccentrix

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I like having GOTY discussions in January because it ends arguments about games released in December counting for the next year. The year is over, all the games have come out, discuss them.

People aren't going to stop making bad music just because I think it's worse nowadays. Some people will think it's better than it ever was.

I only just recently started finding music I like; I was never interested in any of it before. Young people say they were born in the wrong decade because they like 80s music. I say I was born in the wrong decade because I like hyperpop.

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zeldaking2001

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If they aren't producing content you like anymore then just move on. Plenty of sites and twitch folk out there that might be what you're looking for.

That said, it is weird that we're in the middle of February and the site still has everyones games of 2021 on the front page.

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deactivated-6272bca5637f9

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I agree that the site has not been what I’m looking for out of Giantbomb. I skipped GOTY for the first time ever, unsubbed from the podcast, and cancelled premium renewal. All that said, this has been an epic year of rebuilding for them and I get how this happened. It’s likely that the site just isn’t for me any more, but it’s also likely that a lot of other folks feel the same way I do. So it’s a real risk to the community.

For those telling people to “cancel their subs if their upset”, I think a lot of people are doing this. Hopefully threads like this one can shine some light on areas of improvement and help give insight into why some people aren’t happy.

Lastly, it’s good to have some debate on the health of the site. Instead of telling people to unsub and go away, I’d suggest politely replying with why you like the site (as many have done in this thread). Alternatively you could just not read/reply to these threads. Don’t let people having a bad time ruin your good time.

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DaveSavedTheDay

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#32  Edited By DaveSavedTheDay

"moving it to January so the staff can take the month of December off for the holidays is silly."


This is a bad take bro. Nobody owes you jack shit and people are allowed to take a break whenever they god damn please.


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cikame

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I'm not against these discussions but you absolutely should have searched for one of the many threads about it that already exist.

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SethMode

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Oh good, another one of these.

Restart the clock!

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Taofeld

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@davesavedtheday One can certainly argue they do in fact "owe" premium subscribers their money's worth, and it is really sucky having these GOTY conversations so far past the previously accepted due date. I understand the problems with end-of-year games being awkward sometimes, but the last week of January is ridiculous for anyone tuned enough into games to be listening to GB, and it's not like anyone was traveling this year either.

So sorry for the bad take, I guess.

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HIMSteveO

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Hard disagree on all 3 of your points:

1) December is crazy busy with the holidays, let alone trying to get everything down for GOTY - January gives them a couple of weeks to decompress, chill, but also catch up (or try to) on what may have been missed. Allowing people to have that break is so important, as it helps to prevent burnout from excessive workloads, and allows for the games of December to be properly considered, rather than hoping they're remembered the following year. The move is actually, to me, the complete opposite of 'out of touch', as it seems to be very considered and seems to be made out of a recognition of very real, modern problems. Think of all of the studio 'crunch' talk - your statement equates to 'having paid overtime and giving devs a break/more time is silly. Give us the game, no matter what it takes'. Saying that allowing staff to have that break is silly is, at best, disrespectful (as it says that you don't care about the staff and their health etc./desire to perhaps be more thorough) and, at worst, entitled (as you're saying 'you owe us' - which they, and anybody else for that matter, don't)

2) I haven't noticed boredom in Quick Looks - the Sifu one from today was very good and effective in showing off the game while informing the audience (it convinced me to buy it finally). What exactly are you wanting out of them? And there have been plenty of negative/'bored' Quick Looks in the site's history - it depends on the game and the people. But having a '90 minute Quick Look with a bored staff member' seems counter-intuitive from a business standpoint, as it would basically salt the earth for the audience.

3) '...Free discussions...without fear of sponsor or corporate influence'? I dunno, if the restrictions weren't 'draconian' under CBS (who would have a great impetus to be draconian), I can't see them being draconian now. If that 'sponsor or corporate influence' was real, the Bombcast and every piece of content would be drastically different and sanitised like a bleach-and-ammonia-soaked hospital ward. Given the ratio of people that interact with these forums, when compared with the total number of people that engage with the content? Not seeing it - the 'benefit' to that 'influence' isn't there. This isn't 4chan or any other internet sewer where you can spout off with whatever garbage you want, free from consequences. Again, your desire for 'free' discussions seems to imply you want them to be free from consequences. The hypocrisy of one of the site's founders, who founded the site after refusing to bend to corporate and sponsor interest, bowing to those same interests 12+ years later would strip any and all integrity, value, and identity, destroying what he's nearly a decade and a half building. It would be like blowing up a bridge while you're still standing on it.

In addition, you don't seem to justify your 'allegations' with any evidence that could be used to support your points. Which Quick Looks are you referring to? How many of them? Which forum topics were 'incorrectly' locked or deleted? Evidence wins arguments - I kind of only really see vague, thinly-veiled 'criticisms' for parts of the site changing/evolving.

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HIMSteveO

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@taofeld: Is the subscriber argument not the same as saying a wrestler owes you a signature because you bought their shirt? We pay for the content, not to demand when and what content is produced.

GOTY has never been a Premium podcast, and the separation from the rush of the end of the year actually allows for greater contemplation of the value of that year's games. To say it's ridiculous to have it when it was seems pretty hyperbolic - but hey, maybe we just have different expectations of the site, particularly as it's actually gotten smaller from a core staff perspective...

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Taofeld

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@himsteveo: Uh, all I was saying is I think it's okay and appropriate for paying customers to complain before taking their money elsewhere, and that it can be ultimately beneficial and not just tears on a screen as long as 1) the complainer has a point and 2) someone on board on the recipient of said complaints is paying attention.

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HIMSteveO

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@taofeld: I feel like you're changing the intent/implications of your previous post. The language of that post, with 'owe' (and the entitlement that implies; like I said, it's the same as saying a wrestler owes you a signature for buying a shirt) and 'ridiculous', as well as saying 'no-one is traveling, so the staff should be working during the holidays' implies something different than 'dude has legitimate complaints as a paying customer' to me - which I also disagree with as well, as to me, dude just seems to be wanting to throw shade because things aren't what they used to be, rather than offering legitimate complaints/constructive feedback.

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FinalDasa

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#40 FinalDasa  Moderator

@nickm: Yep, because the rest of the thread is still on topic and a few posts with a side conversation are just fine. But when the overall conversation starts to slip, then it's worth reminding people what the original OP is about. Also, that generally happens after a lot of discussions have already occurred, and leaving the thread open would only create moderation problems.

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mellotronrules

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#41  Edited By mellotronrules

my advice: branch out. you can't control what gb produces, but you can control what you consume.

try some new sites/producers on for size. i'm loving what gb is putting out right now (for me this the best it's been in probably 3ish years or longer)- but if i wasn't stoked i'd be leaning more into minnmax (really excellent right now), nextlander, waypoint, gamespot, or any number of twitch outfits. the more diverse stuff you're into, the more resilient to disappointment you'll become.

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BrainScratch

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@cookiemonster: Pretty much every gaming website out there manages to get their GOTY content in December and still be able to have their Christmas vacations, why can't that be possible for Giant Bomb too? They don't even have to travel across the country now like they used to, it's all remote so it's even easier than ever before.

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BrainScratch

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@htr10 said:

Nextlander exists for a more old school feel.

Sadly, that's not true at all... Nextlander does one long two-hour stream per day and has a podcast (or two podcasts for Patrons), that's it. It feels more like what Giant Bomb was doing when the pandemic started than the "old-school" feel or the type of content many enjoyed from Giant Bomb. They don't have a Quick Look equivalent or any shorter shows focused on a theme or a game in particular, it's just live Twitch streams with a weird and uncomfortable video layout.

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Ben_H

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#44  Edited By Ben_H

I guess I'll just chime in and say I've been enjoying the new content a lot the last few months. The Bombcast in particular has been getting to be very good again and it seems like everyone is finding their feet again with it after what were obviously a lot of changes and disruptions last year.

For GOTY, it's been quite clear that between what's been said on GB and what's been said on Nextlander's podcast that the old system for GOTY that GB did up until 2020 was no longer a good system and was increasingly detrimental to the staff. Having to cram that much podcasting and last minute prep into what is often already a very busy month doesn't make sense. Both GB and Nextlander's way of doing GOTY now involve allowing the staff more time to catch up and take a bit of a breather. GB waited until January, which makes sense since January is usually a slow month anyway, and Nextlander spread out GOTY over several weeks, which again allowed folks to finish off a few last minute games and consider games others are pushing for that they hadn't had a chance to play yet. Both of these systems make a lot more sense than "We gotta cram in a whole pile of podcasts into a week in December because it's a tradition".

edit: Also gonna echo what mellotronrules said. I've started watching Waypoint's content since they came back with Waypoint+ and it's excellent. Nextlander's really good too. You don't have to only watch one thing. I pick and choose from several places now.

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bigsocrates

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I feel like it's fine to offer constructive criticism and say what you wish the site would do but isn't doing, but too often the complaints are just "The site is bad now, make it good, like it was before" or "I don't like the current staff." What are the employees supposed to do with that? Is Jeff going to fire Jason (just to name someone random, I really like Jason) and kidnap Drew and force him to start producing video for Giant Bomb again? Is he going to wrestle Vince McMahon in a Dan Ryckert on a pole match with the winner taking possession? To be fair Dan would probably love that, but it's not going to happen.

Useful criticism is something like: "Ranking of Fighters was my favorite feature, I wish they'd bring that back in some form even if it was just Jason and Jeff playing stuff online and discussing it." Or "I wish they'd do more Quick Looks of weird and quirky games, those were always fun."

Not useful criticism is something like: "The site is bad now and I don't like the current cast" or "I wish they'd go back into a studio like they used to (they know we want this but it's not possible right now for a bunch of reasons.)"

Feedback is only useful if it's something that the recipient can actually do something about. You have to be specific about what you'd like changed. If it's just "used to be good, now it sucks" that's not really meaningful. They can see the engagement numbers so they know how people are responding, and they are doing what they can with the resources they have available. I loved Austin on the site. Austin left. There's nothing that can be done about that so it's useless for me to complain about it.

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monkeyking1969

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I liked it’s her in 2008 and I like it here now. Giant Bomb (corporate entity) do the GOTY anytime you want, do it in March if it makes sense to you ‘all to do it in March. I don't care if you are enthused by the games I like or love the games I find dull; just keep being honest.

But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well.
You see, ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself

Now to this thread, we could never say, 'whatever we want here'. There were always rules and having lived a long time and frequented amny forums, they run a good baord here because they DO MODERATE use all. So, don't get it twisted, this site was never made to allow for free discussions without moderation. I never recall Jeff Gerstmann saying, "I said whatever I wanted about Kane & Lynch, and now I gave you this website to say whatever you want too!!!" That never happened; and if GB didn't want moderation they would have moderators empower the way they do.

What you learn in life is that you always need to be nice. This is not Road House, none of us are Patrick Swayze. Consequently, there is no time where we get to be "not so nice". If the moderator think what is going on in a thread is going the wrong way they will either tell you to remove it or remove it themselves - that life. It’s perfectly natural to react strongly when you receive a moderation, but, again, the moderator are the arbiters of what is allowed - period. I recommend being Zen about being challenged by moderators - the reed bends and doesn't break. Again, I speak from experience, find peace by bending and being humble with the moderation given to your words.

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MagnetPhonics

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The people creating these threads around the internet should at least put a modicum of effort into looking like they aren't just all reading from the same script.

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geirr

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I'll stick around for another year and see what happens.

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BisonHero

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#49  Edited By BisonHero
@brainscratch said:
@htr10 said:

Nextlander exists for a more old school feel.

Sadly, that's not true at all... Nextlander does one long two-hour stream per day and has a podcast (or two podcasts for Patrons), that's it. It feels more like what Giant Bomb was doing when the pandemic started than the "old-school" feel or the type of content many enjoyed from Giant Bomb. They don't have a Quick Look equivalent or any shorter shows focused on a theme or a game in particular, it's just live Twitch streams with a weird and uncomfortable video layout.

Yeah, if I can make a bit of constructive criticism around content programming, what happened to Quick Looks? It's a valuable "first impression" format that we're seeing less and less of.

Nextlander doesn't do them, so every game has to be a 2-hour stream or it's no video coverage at all. If the game is a shorter indie game, basically get fucked indie dev. A 2-hour stream would be like 50% of the game and they don't want to hurt the game's sales by showing half the game during launch week. I recall they talked about Jett: The Far Shore, or The Artful Escape, for like 10-20 minutes (it felt like) on the Nextlander podcast, but no video coverage of that sort of game. It's definitely not the only shorter/indie/singleplayer game that they've clearly all played a bit of where they skip video coverage. This is a glaring issue for me with Nextlander at the moment.

Giant Bomb, same issue, slightly different shape. Unless it's a release-heavy week in October or November, it seems like we've slipped down to about 0-1 Quick Looks a week on average. Lots of games get passed over entirely for video coverage, even when a staff member has seemingly spent like 3-12 hours messing around with the game and talks about it on the Bombcast. I know Giant Bomb has never been a 90s/2000s-era video game publication where the goal is to like written/video review every damn game, but I think "coverage of video games" at GB is pretty dire right now, and I'd like to see it improve. To break down possible coverage of current releases:

  • Video review: format abandoned at end of 2011. They briefly experimented in 2018 with the idea of doing a roundtable discussion minipodcast about a game, as a companion to a written review. I understand getting rid of old video reviews, it sounds like it was an insane amount of work for video producers, and maybe the videos got no traffic after launch week.
  • Written review: format abandoned at end of 2019. 3 games received written reviews in 2020/2021. I still disagree with this, unless you want to tell me that from a business perspective these get absolutely no traffic and are just a waste of 5-20 hours of an editor's time. Reviews still have value to gamers in the know. Only like 1% of games are live games/games-as-service that receive hundreds of updates that render the 1.0 review obsolete. Yes, a handful of games are WoW, or Destiny, or Rainbow Six Siege. Meanwhile, 99% of games get their 1.0 release and can be reviewed as-is, and afterwards receive a few bug fixes/balance patches and maybe 1-3 DLC add-ons. Reviews matter to the industry, given how much Metacritic still factors into employee bonuses and Metacritic is used for GotY edition trailers and the like (and featured on stuff like the Steam store). I get that GB presumably only has one reviews editor right now (Jeff G), but I don't really get Jeff's sentiment of moving away from reviews (if I'm correct in interpreting the Halo Infinite review as some kind of swan song for written reviews).
  • Quick Look: format not abandoned, just diminished. I think it still serves a valid purpose of showing a first impression of a game, given that GB staff rarely finishes a game except for (nonexistent) review coverage, or months later for GotY coverage. "Extended first impression" is generally what I think of most Giant Bomb opinions on games nowadays. QLs basically didn't exist for a large chunk of 2020 during the initial pandemic "stream 8 hours a day" block of GB. Even in 2021 and onward, they exist at drastically reduced numbers. 2021 had 42 Quick Looks, 2020 had 95, 2019 had 232 (!!). I understand that they've lost a lot of staff starting with end-of-2019 Dan's departure and continuing through 2021, and only added Bakalar and Jess since then. And also year-over-year GB has become choosier with QL coverage compared to the wild west of 2009-2013 where they would QL hundreds of games (some pretty low quality), or Jeff would do a weird performance art 4-hour Quick Look of Funky Barn. Still, I think way more than 42 interesting games came out in 2021, and 42 Quick Looks is appallingly low.
  • 15-30 minute segment on UPF: format not abandoned. Still hard to track how much this happens, since sometimes UPF is Jeff playing some old-ass games on a Mister, or Jason playing some terrible Unity game that they aren't seriously trying to cover, but other times they do slip in games that are legitimately worth covering that don't get a dedicated Quick Look. It's there, I guess. Also I'll throw into this vague category, games that get a Party of One or weird categorization, like the videos for Windjammers 2 or Back 4 Blood. Or games that get an Unfinished, but no Quick Look upon 1.0 release.
  • Talk about on Bombcast for 5-10 minutes: format not abandoned, honestly the only coverage most games receive on GB lately. This is presumably the lowest production effort required since as long as a staff member spends a few hours on a game, they can talk about it for a few minutes on the podcast. They don't need to finish the whole game, they don't need to consider what part of the game to highlight on video, they don't need to prep a save at a certain part of the game, they don't need to reserve a QL copilot's time. The podcast happens every week regardless, it doesn't really take up any extra scheduled time like Quick Looks would. It's just a little sad when "talk about on Bombcast" is the only level of coverage that a lot of games get.

So overall I'm still curious what the vision of the website is going forward. I'm not here to give some childish take like "The magic/chemistry is gone" or "Things aren't the same without X being on staff." I can make my peace with things changing. I still like the Bombcast, UPF is fine, etc. From a business perspective, if the move is to become a platform that does way more video/audio podcasts with a variety of topics and freelancers, so be it. I've liked some of that content so far, I've skipped some of it as well. Wishing things with Danny are well, and I hope he can resume Guilty Treasures and Borne to Run when he can.

But if Giant Bomb is still a website about video games, I'd ask that they do a better job covering video games. An ephemeral 5 minute Bombcast chat about a video game isn't enough.

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htr10

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#50  Edited By htr10

@brainscratch:

I get what you’re saying. I meant old school in that it is Vinny, Alex, and Brad (in response to OP’s complaint of “bored” staff members here).

If you guys literally want that exact content with the exact same people, then go back and rewatch GB content from the beginning.