Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Giant Bomb Community Spotlight. I, @zombiepie, am once again honored to be your host as we look back at the week that once was. Before I share how the recent events have made me feel I wish to emphasize how hard the introduction to this Spotlight was for me to write. I scrutinized over three drafts trying to avoid the usual soundbites and tropes. To call the exits of Alex, Vinny, and Brad an "end of an era" does not do things justice. All of them helped pioneer the identity of what this website stood for over a decade. Many of you are users of this site and members of this community because of them.
As Jeff put it, it fucking sucks that they are leaving, but you have to respect their decision to leave and wish them the best. The countless hours of entertainment they have provided and the in-depth discussions and coverage of this industry and hobby will not go away. That they remained committed to this site for as long as they did, is something we should all be grateful for, and something we should never forget.
Without a doubt, we should and must commend Alex, Vinny, and Brad for everything they have done for this website and this community. However, this site is not being shut down, and the staff members who are still here have many more stories to tell. This community has more to give to the hobby and industry that it seeks to champion. So, with this edition of the Spotlight we will pay tribute to those who are leaving and made an indelible mark on each and every one of us. But, we will still explore and showcase the community voices that deserve an extra "speakerphone." I will and have cried with many of you as the gravity of the recent events finalized. But, as I have said on the site before, I will follow Jeff to the Gates of Mordor. So with that in mind, let's review some "housekeeping" items.
- Here's a link to the official thread announcing Vinny, Brad, and Alex leaving the site. This is generally the thread where users are encouraged to share their feelings and process the news.
- In GameSpot's report of the news, they interviewed Jeff and asked him about what the future holds for Giant Bomb. It's a definite read if you have not checked it out already.
- Brad's technology podcast with Will Smith is worth subscribing to if you still want to keep up with their activities.
- Don't forget that Jeff announced his wife is expecting their second child. If you have yet to congratulate them, please do so.
Tributes Around The Web
Instead of the usual batch of silly Giant Bomb-themed Tweets, I decided to share some of the more touching and artistic tributes to Brad, Vinny, and Alex I was able to find on Twitter. If you think I may have missed a tribute that resonated with you, feel free to post a link in the comments and I will happily share it next week.
❤️ @giantbomb I'm so proud to have designed this poster for GB East, and will always remember meeting @VinnyCaravella, @alex_navarro, and hunting down the elusive @austin_walker at PAX to sign it. I'll miss the beastcast so much. https://t.co/ATs7MiuUpO— Sam Soto (@SainezArt) May 8, 2021
Drew a thing to shout out @giantbomb's Beastcast podcast crew on their last episode.— Jetpacks&Rollerskates (@blakestevenson) May 7, 2021
Huge thanks to @VinnyCaravella@alex_navarro@DanRyckert@austin_walker@jeffbakalar@ybbaaabby for making us laugh & warming our hearts!
Was fun to work with you and wishing you the best. pic.twitter.com/ayJ1veREys
Today is the last Giant Beastcast, which I'm still honored to say I did the podcast art for. Much like the Bombcast, it became a constant in my life and I will miss it a lot.— Aura @ APEX SZN 9 (@aurahack) May 6, 2021
Here's the art itself, @VinnyCaravella's original sketch of the idea, and some unused other ideas. 💕 pic.twitter.com/3DTxwv1Fmb
Here's a thread with my favorite @bradshoemaker@VinnyCaravella and @alex_navarro photoshops, promos, and logos that I've made over the years.— Robbie Patrias (@MrB0nd07) May 6, 2021
Thank you all so so much for what you've given us over the last 13 years. <> <3 pic.twitter.com/YAlZehPkhS
I used to work on a gaming website called @giantbomb. Some key folks are leaving it. If you were a fan of that site, or even somewhat related to it, the best thing you can do is create something cool inspired by it. The site at times felt like my heart shot out onto the Internet.— Dave Snider (@enemykite) May 5, 2021
Here's a thread of my favorite Giant Bomb moments— kate bush's husband (@airbagged) May 4, 2021
1) Blinking White Guy pic.twitter.com/ne6kAWtDYd
It was a blast watching you guys for the past years and I feel truly humbled to draw you in fanart form. Best of luck to you guys and stay safe wherever you are. @alex_navarro@VinnyCaravella@bradshoemaker@giantbomb#giantbomb#bombcast#beastcastpic.twitter.com/j96CRmt9Jh— "It is I, Jearum!" 🇵🇭 (@jea_rum) May 4, 2021
The guys that left @giantbomb 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.— Dan Ryckert (@DanRyckert) May 4, 2021
Sad to hear about the departures at @giantbomb, one of the highlights of E3 each year was spending time with the the team getting to talk about the news of the show. All the best to everyone.— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) May 4, 2021
Thank you to @bradshoemaker, @alex_navarro, and @VinnyCaravella for their warmth and humor and hard work alongside @jeffgerstmann and the rest of the Giant Bomb crew. I'm sad the band is breaking up but so grateful you could stick together for so long. All the best to you guys.— Greg Kasavin (@kasavin) May 4, 2021
Unbelievably proud of @VinnyCaravella, @bradshoemaker, @alex_navarro, and everyone at Giant Bomb for making it something truly special. I’m incredibly thankful to have worked there, for the fun but also for how much I learned from such great people. Best of luck to everyone! <>— Drew Scanlon (@drewscanlon) May 4, 2021
Much love to my friends at Giant Bomb. I learned so much from Jeff, Ryan, Brad, and Vinny when we were at Whiskey, and I can't wait to see what everyone does next.— Will Smith (@willsmith) May 4, 2021
Took this photo on my last day at the office as a Giant Bomb employee. pic.twitter.com/z36kAvcIx5— Patrick Klepek (@patrickklepek) May 8, 2021
I'm not even going to lie to all of you, this might be the most emotional a Fast & Furious meme has made me feel. Many thanks to the author.
krebstar_2000 saw an opportunity to make a "special" tribute to Vinny using their photoshop skills, and I think we can all agree they NAILED IT! Bonus points to everyone who gets the "reference."
morehandclaps sketched up a storm to pay tribute to the Giant Bomb staff leaving. In the Tweets section you can find their Beastcast reunion drawing and here you can find their tributes to Brad and Vinny specifically.
I want to go to Barkerville more than ever. And if you know, you know.
Accolade couldn't help themselves and decided to make this tribute to Vinny and Jan's Kingdom Hearts video series! If you click the link, you can find the source and thank the user for making this.
The VinnCo Archive YouTube account did some sleuthing on the Bombcast archives and found the exact moment when Vinny and Brad were announced as Giant Bomb staff! Enjoy this trip down memory lane!
In case you missed it, over on YouTube, extremejay1 made a compilation video of their favorite Giant Bomb moments over the course of the many years they have been watching content on the site.
BurritoCreases join many other community members in writing about what the site has meant to them over the many years the site has been up and producing over a decade of entertainment.
ItsMagicNeal wrote a touching tribute to all of the staff leaving the site with a series of thanks to every person to grace the site as staff or as an on-screen personality.
meatsofevil wrote an incredibly touching blog paying tribute to the staff that are leaving and to Giant Bomb in general for all of the laughs and memories it has provided over the years.
regmcfly made a timeline of what they have done in their life while they have been following the works of Alex, Vinny, and Brad as well as Giant Bomb! As the site has changed and evolved so did they, but you can read all about it using the link above.
First, MooseyMcMan writes about what Giant Bomb has meant to them in the past and how the staff leaving the site impacted them. Give it a read and don't forget to drop a comment in support. Second, MooseyMcMan has covered Persona 5 extensive on the site and that continues with a massive write-up about Persona 5 Strikers! See where they stand with its story and differentiated gameplay from the mainline game and Royal!
Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura and Blue Dragon were the subjects of ArbitraryWater's latest "Wheel of Dubious RPGs" blog post! See why they think one of these games doesn't warrant being on their wheel!
First, bigsocrates uses their blog about Forgotton Anne to discuss how its impeccable visuals and compelling characters elevate its weaker puzzles and dodgy voice acting.
gla55jAw has been playing a lot of Outriders and takes to the forums to talk about why they think the game's slow start and grind does its mechanics and world a disservice. Use the link to read how the slow burn eventually got them.
Mento is starting a new retrospective on the site where they run through Tales of Graces F! If you have any fond memories of the game or want to learn more about it, this is a must read! Also, Mento has a new episode of their "Indie Game of the Week" blog series and this week they look at The Witness! Discover why they were not entirely impressed by the game.
qreedence threw all good judgement to the wayside last week and decided to play Nier: Replicant and Automata back-to-back. Use the link above to see how their opinion of both games has evolved over time.
Moderator Gamer_152 missed publishing their Luigi's Mansion 3 blog to coincide with Halloween by over 180 days, but that didn't stop them from looking at how the game uses level design to teach mechanics and gate player progress.
Finaldasa has been a fan of the sport of baseball for a long while, and with the release of MLB The Show 21 on Xbox platforms, they were hoping this would be a solid year for baseball video games. Unfortunately, that was not the case and you can read all about it on their blog.
As Giant Bomb user Kamui has gotten older, they have come to appreciate pixel-based artwork more. Give their blog on why they have only recently come to love pixels using the link above!
If you are in need of a mood booster, here's a link to the Community Thread where users are posting their favorite videos on the site. Whether it is an obscure pick or a community favorite, share it over there!
devron8 briefly comments on why Giant Bomb's Pandemic content convinced them to become a subscriber to the site, and why the recent news has not changed their mind. Other users have joined their conversation to express why they think it is important to subscribe to the site. Join the conversation if you can.
As suggested earlier, however you are expressing or processing the news, feel free to share it on the site. It's okay to cry and it is also okay if you did not cry. Everyone responds to saddening news differently.
How did the last stream with Vinny, Alex, and Brad make you feel? As the title says, did it help you process the news? Share your feelings with the rest of the community and network with users that feel the same way.
Baldur's Gate Dark Alliance is being re-released on modern consoles for $30! Are you excited to give the game a second shot? Is there a different Forgotten Realms video game that you wish someone would remaster?
Turn 10 Studios have "teased" the location of Forza Horizon 5 and all signs point towards Mexico. Does the idea or concept of doing off-roading fun in Mexico appeal to you? Share why or why not using the link above.
TheSeyekoCorpse has been trying to pick away at their video game backlog during the pandemic and a handful of games just did not catch their attention like they would have wanted.
- @yyninja's review of The Textorcist: The Story of Ray Bibbia shares why they would not recommend the game even if its visuals might seem appealing on first glance.
- Here's an interesting user review for Rayman 2 on Giant Bomb! Read why @retrog was not at all impressed even when approaching it from a historical perspective.
Thank You Vinny, Alex, And Brad!
Thanks again to everyone for the amazing memories over the last 10+ years. Feels like yesterday we were all just kids sitting on that couch, filming silly stuff. I can't think of a better place to grow up. pic.twitter.com/GLSNqTisAD— Vincent Caravella (@VinnyCaravella) May 7, 2021
in case you didn't happen to tune into this week's Bombcast, I should probably say publicly that I have given my notice, and this Friday will be my last day @giantbomb. It's been an incredible 10 years, but I made the difficult decision that it was time to move on.— Yeet Takeshi (@alex_navarro) May 4, 2021