I think the amount of coverage we've seen towards Metal Gear Survive is a good early test.
Jeff was very curious about this game, and felt that he had see it through to the ending to be able to talk about this. I bet that if this game was released a year earlier, he would have thought about writing a review for this. Now, they did a lengthy quicklook, and some bombcasts. I certainly feel informed enough about the game now; I don't really need a review.
But if i'm sitting here in the year 2019, and Metal Gear Survive is 10$ , i might wonder how Jeff felt about Metal Gear Survive. There's no 5 minute solution to get the answer to that question. The quicklook would be easy to find, but the bombcast segments would need to be tagged with the metal gear tag and i would have to browse around until i find all the correct segments. Then i would have to listen to those fragments. A review would be a way better solution in this case. I bet if you're not engaged with Giantbomb at this point, you would just read a few reviews from other sources instead.
So what it comes down to for me, is that this way of coverage could be good enough, BUT.. They would have to edit all the sound files and get that on the metal gear survive page so that people could listen to the fragments about that game with a click of a button. And that's a lot of work. At that point, unless you start to create a specific 'REVIEW OF THE WEEK' segment on the bombcast for a particular game, every mention of a game is somewhat part of giantbombs coverage. Which blurs the lines between which soundfiles should get attached to a game page , and which soundfiles are slight enough to not warrant the editing time. At some point, when you already played through an entire game because you want to be able to talk about it from a knowledgeable perspective, maybe writing a review about it is just the most practical solution for everyone involved.
I also wonder if reviews are a significant vector for new users. I first learned about Giantbomb from the reddit reviewthreads. Being able to see the games they wrote about , and how those lined up with my own feelings about those games certainly helped me gauge what kind of people i'm dealing with.
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