I’ve stayed out of most of the new direction/new content discussions, so bear with me if this gets a bit long and meandering. Adding my two cents to this whole discussion, being totally honest about it, I mostly subscribe for access to the archive at this point. It if wasn’t for that, I don’t know that I would keep my subscription just for the current content. As many have already said, most of it is readily accessible via this site, YouTube, Twitch, etc, with or without a subscription.
I won’t get into the perceived quality of newer shows versus shows of the past, as that’s entirely subjective, or the very obvious reasons why the Giant Bomb of today simply can’t be the Giant Bomb of the past. I will say, however, that a lot of what was discussed early on after the major staff departures as far as the new direction is concerned hasn’t panned out for me in a way that makes me tune in regularly for a lot of the current/newer shows. I liked Guilty Treasures and Ranking of Evil while they lasted but those always seemed, and I think may have even been stated as, temporary in nature.
Beyond that I’ve liked stuff like Bak 2 Skool (remains to be seen if that returns), GrubbSnax & Arcade Pit, but the thing you’ll notice in common between those is that they are all either done by or focused on people not directly staffed by Giant Bomb. As far as the core shows, primarily done by the Giant Bomb crew, the only one I tune into regularly is Voicemail Dump Truck (I’m hit and miss on the Bombcast and even moreso on UPF lately), and that, like just about all other shows, are free for anyone. So again, I can’t say that anything they’re doing currently would entice me to subscribe on its own merits.
I suppose the bigger issue they have now is whether they want to, or even should gate the smaller number of shows (compared to the pre-pandemic years) they have now behind a paywall, limiting their visibility to newer viewers, or go a different route with it. A lot of other sites with paid subscription options tend to take the route of added user interactivity for paid subscribers, rather than access to the content itself. It works for some sites/streamers but I don’t know if that alone would grow or maintain the number of subscribers Giant Bomb & RV are looking for. It’s not an easy thing to answer and I’m sure is nerve-wracking trying to figure out.
All that said, I still go back to the first thing I said: I subscribe primarily for the archive and will likely renew when the time comes for the same reason. For me, it’s a reasonable price for something I can go back to and put on while I’m doing other things around the house or rewatch an older series when the mood strikes me. Sort of like comfort food. If the archive were to go away, then I can’t honestly say I would keep my subscription but that could change too depending on what direction the site takes going forward. I do understand the frustration some people are having, though, in particular for the people where the archive isn’t the major selling point that it is for me. The lack of new premium content and communication on the plan for it going forward is concerning and a bit off-putting for some.
The only thing I can really tell people is if you don’t think the content they’re providing is worth your money, don’t subscribe to it. That’s not a judgment on you or the site, but there are a lot of subscription services out there competing for your time and money and you have to decide what’s worth it to you and what isn’t. We don’t live in a time where indefinite/long term subscriptions always make a ton of sense anymore. I used to subscribe to anything and everything that caught my interest but eventually noticed that I probably only ever got use out of about half of it. So I trimmed down to just the stuff that I actively use and have been much more satisfied with where my money goes. Subscribe to what is scratching that itch for you at the time and drop what isn’t. You can always come back if you feel like it further down the line.
Log in to comment