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Avatar image for flameboy84
#1 Edited by flameboy84 (889 posts) -

https://www.wsj.com/articles/vice-media-to-shrink-workforce-by-as-much-as-15-as-growth-stalls-1541632597

Article does mention:

"Vice Media plans to shrink its workforce by as much as 15% through attrition and cut its selection of digital sites by at least half, according to people familiar with the matter, as growth stalls at the onetime new-media darling."

Attrition points more to as people leave their roles won't be filled, but you never know. Lots of speculation on Reddit as to whether they may merge with Motherboard.

Personally could see what they deliver have enough of a niche to be on Patreon even though personally between all those I back I'm taped out and can't do anymore.

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#2 Posted by inkerman (1520 posts) -

I think a merger with Motherboard is maybe what will happen. In my opinion the 'dedicated-video games site' is a crowded space right now, and Waypoint doesn't do enough (and isn't established enough) to set itself apart. A site entirely and exclusively dedicated to 'gaming culture' just isn't going to make it as a distinct part of a commercial entity. As pointed out, it could function well as a smaller, fully independent blog supported by Patreon and ad money.

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#3 Posted by gkhan (1048 posts) -

@inkerman: Yeah, merging Motherboard seems likely. I wonder though: I could imagine that Waypoint has it's own audience that's a little more independent of "Vice". I know personally i don't care at all about the rest of Vice, but visit Waypoint with some regularity, and consider a somewhat prominent voice in the games space.

Like: how much of a loyal audience does "Vice Politics" (or whatever) actually have? Good chance it's not as big as the dedicated audience Waypoint has, with it's frequent Twitch streaming and role in the games press. Anyway, I could imagine that being the case at least.

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#4 Edited by nutter (1889 posts) -

@inkerman: The actual “dedicated video game space” seems pretty small these days, if you’re just going by web sites. IGN and Gamespot are the two remaining old guard, and I constantly see TV, movies, comics, and wrestling in their headlines.

Giant Bomb has played with a variety of alternate material around anime, wrestling, and racing. Listening to the Bombcast and looking at their content, it seems they know that they need to cater to many crowds to keep going.

Waypoint’s niche of liberal politics and video games strikes me as too small to maintain as part of a network that’s looking to turn a profit (and in turn pay their staff).

EDIT: Though that mix is totally at home as part of Vice...

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#5 Edited by soulcake (2637 posts) -

Come to papa Ziff. <insert a dumb gif of patrick>

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#6 Posted by The_Nubster (3989 posts) -

I hope so. I always feel really bad because I absolutely adore Austin but simply don't have the time to take in Waypoint's content as well as Giant Bomb's. He's doing great work from what I can see so I hope that he keeps carrying that torch in whatever form it might take.

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#7 Posted by superslidetail (431 posts) -

I only watch their content when it goes up on YouTube(their website drives me nuts). Is it me or is there less and less content going up regularly?

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#8 Posted by cmblasko (2902 posts) -

Vice sucks. Hope everything works out OK for the Waypoint crew, they are great guys and gals.

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#9 Posted by Wrighteous86 (4016 posts) -

Austin and Patrick will make do, whatever happens. I don't know the rest of the staff, but games media seems to look out for established people in their industry too. Hoping for the best.

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#10 Edited by Rejizzle (1082 posts) -

Hopefully they'll all be hired as Netflix show twitter managers like Danika was.

"What's good internet? Bojack Horseman, that's what."

"Damn, this Disenchantment show gots Elves, AND feets?"

And so on...

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#11 Posted by BlackLagoon (2086 posts) -

@superslidetail: I think they've refocused on podcasts lately, they're not producing a lot of video content.

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#12 Posted by Christoffer (2373 posts) -

I hope the Waypoint staff will be okay. I used to love Vice content, and I still like some of it, but the guerilla style pieces doesn't always work... and enough with the weed, I get it (Yeah, that's my understanding of Vice)

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#13 Posted by Humanity (18580 posts) -

I rarely visit Waypoint and on the off chance that I do it seems to be full of articles that quite frankly I usually tend to avoid for various reasons, which is a shame because I would like to hear Austin more often. That said I hope everyone there makes out alright if anything does come to pass because of this news, these are peoples livelihoods after all.

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#14 Posted by cikame (2702 posts) -

I love Austin and Patrick but there's nothing for me at Waypoint, and i'm not sure what the rest of Vice actually does but i'm pretty sure it's also not for me.

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#15 Posted by lokihellfire2008 (159 posts) -
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#16 Posted by TurtleFish (230 posts) -

For me, I love Waypoint and I love the concept of Waypoint, but I barely have time to watch even a portion of what GB does, much less follow any other website right now. Like, if I listen to the entire Bombcast on a given week, I consider that a good week. Bonus points if I get a chance to listen to the first few minutes of the Beastcast.

The big problem is that the media, cultural and political landscape has so fragmented that, if you don't find your niche and stick to it (your Thousand True Fans, to use something from the music industry side), making a living generating content is really hard, and getting harder.

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#17 Posted by hnke (188 posts) -

An Internet free from Vice Media? I fail to see the downside.

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#18 Posted by mikewhy (321 posts) -

I read somewhere else that the reason there's not a lot of video content recently is because they lost their office space.

I guess I'm part of the problem. I never liked their website, and their decision to deny comments seemed hypocritical. Then the podcast became a chore to listen to. Reading an article does not a good podcast make.

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#19 Posted by KingBonesaw (1356 posts) -

I like the people who work(ed) at Waypoint but don't really enjoy reading their articles or listening to their podcasts. I feel like they are missing someone like a Dan Ryckert or a Jeff Gerstmann who can act as a sort of wrecking ball in their conversations.

I also wish Patrick would revert back to being Scoops, I liked when he would break news and he doesn't seem to do much of that anymore.

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#20 Edited by Seikenfreak (1492 posts) -

Hmm. Well best of luck to them. I like Austin and Patrick, and coincidentally within the last two weeks I started listening to some of the Waypoint podcast stuff.

It's sort of painful to listen to at times, because I guess their site is coming at games from an angle that I deliberately want to avoid, so I find myself hovering over the Play button on my phone like.. ehhhhhhh I'm going to be annoyed half the time but there's nothing else to listen to..

But again, I like listening to Austin and Patrick just talk about some games like they did on Giant Bomb.

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#21 Posted by MerxWorx01 (805 posts) -

I only watch their content when it goes up on YouTube(their website drives me nuts). Is it me or is there less and less content going up regularly?

I've noticed that too but it seems like they are doing more twitch streaming which is unfortunate for me since I tend not to go to twitch all the much. I tend to not like streaming that I can't find a way to pull it's source.

Also I will add to the rest of the convo that I usually like listening to Austin and hope things work out for the folks at Waypoint. Watching Natalie and Danielle tackle Bloodborn was fun. Listening to Austin and Rob take a super deep dive into the character maker of a game and flesh out a character's backstory before even playing the game got up it's butt but it's also great listening to people who like to take the time to put some emotional investment into a game and finding what makes their characters or interstellar civilization tick as a means to inform their gameplay style. Sort of reminds me of how Vinny plays games where his character's persona dictates gameplay which always brings me back to remembering how great Austin, Vinny and Alex personalities meshed so well when GBeast was taking off.

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#22 Posted by nutter (1889 posts) -

@kingbonesaw: I’m not under the impression they’d want someone to be a wrecking ball on their political diatribes, though the idea of Dan eating hotdogs, wearing US flag pants, and talking about “cool guy stuff” in the middle of that podcast sounds fantastic.

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#23 Edited by ArbitraryWater (15666 posts) -

I haven't visited the site all that much recently, but it seems like they've cut down significantly on the guest writers and started their own pop culture podcast, both of which remind me a little of Polygon's transition from "Savior of games journalism" to yet another video game website.

I like a lot of the people involved, and I hope they all land on their feet if something goes down, but... if I'm going to be entirely frank, Waypoint's style of content never really resonated with me. I think that makes me part of the problem, but I do wonder if that style of stridently, exhaustively political games coverage ever found a large enough audience to be sustainable.

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#24 Posted by mems1224 (2495 posts) -

I'm honestly surprised they're still around. Austin is a good dude and all but it's an incredibly off putting website. Never found the podcast enjoyable and their Halo article was like the one thing they've ever done that interested me.

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#25 Posted by geirr (3736 posts) -

Waypoint is great and I'd be sad doggo to see them go.

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#26 Posted by Efesell (4322 posts) -

@nutter said:

@kingbonesaw: I’m not under the impression they’d want someone to be a wrecking ball on their political diatribes, though the idea of Dan eating hotdogs, wearing US flag pants, and talking about “cool guy stuff” in the middle of that podcast sounds fantastic.

They don't need that but I think part of why I fell off on that podcast is the feeling that this was more or less all the same person talking about and agreeing on the same things and even if I don't even necessarily oppose those beliefs that still isn't a fun listen exactly.

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#27 Posted by gunflame88 (376 posts) -

Yeah, Waypoint wasn't really for me either. I remember trying to give it a chance some time ago purely because I loved Austin during his short stay at GB, but found their content either uninteresting or, at times, frankly off-putting . I think what they have been producing has way too narrow of an appeal to sustain a separate website.

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#28 Edited by sub_o (1159 posts) -

Come back Austin, we need you more than ever. GB or CBS, should just acquire Waypoint, and make a giant happy gaming media. If they were to ask crowdfunding for these, I'd willing to donate.

Edit:

Loading Video...

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#29 Edited by nutter (1889 posts) -

@efesell: I was joking.

The idea of Dan turning their discussion of why baseball is complacent in all the ills of the world into one about him not knowing that diced onions are still onions entertains me to no end.

EDIT: In part because I find the discussions absurd and in part because, like you said, it’s an echo chamber...which isn’t entertaining, particularly informative, or a good use of time.

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#30 Edited by Newfangled (302 posts) -

Waypoint seemed like such a career side-step for Austin, in the same way Kotaku (and subsequently Waypoint) did for Klepek. Both brilliant presences on GB, who could have diversified the site's output and given it the journalistic credibility that Abby and Ben don't bring to the table. Hate to think of their positions being in jeopardy, but can't say I'm surprised about the lack of longevity given the approach WP adopted.

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#31 Posted by Ares42 (4262 posts) -

@newfangled: I dunno.. I can't really think of any better opportunity to sky-rocket your career than becoming editor-in-chief. However, it's just an opportunity, how well it goes depends on how well you do. Doing great as an editor is always gonna be considered just being a cog in the machinery to a certain extent, and it's somewhat of a dead-end job (with editor-in-chief being the only step up). If you look at where people who has been in this industry for long ends up after a while it's not like it's a career filled with potential. One of the most common destinations is side-stepping into low tier games production jobs.

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#32 Posted by colourful_hippie (5892 posts) -

Lot's of VICE haters in here. Their HBO weekly content has been top tier and honestly better than traditional nightly anchor news shows. I can't speak much for their website stuff because a lot of articles did come across as click baity but they're not all bad.

Hope that Austin and crew will be OK but at the same time I didn't much like the website's approach toward injecting SJW outrage shit everywhere and making mountains out of molehills. Their main podcast was great though.

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#33 Posted by Sahalarious (729 posts) -

I'm just not sure how this pans out. I love Austin, and honestly everyone that im familiar with on the Waypoint team is fantastic, but I just don't vibe with their content, their layout, or the way the squeeze as many takes as possible out of games. Its still important to have those conversations though, so I hope there is a good answer for potential problems, fold em back into GB, i know GB stays out of politics, but some things are obvious ya know.

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#34 Posted by alternate (2901 posts) -

Maybe Austin can finish his dissertation now.

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#35 Posted by Efesell (4322 posts) -

I think at least we can remember that Waypoint is in fact not dead and may actually being doing just fine so the fatalism is perhaps a bit strong...

Maybe a little less with the Can GB Save Him (Somehow..?) stuff...

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#36 Posted by Froghourt (179 posts) -

@alternate: Did he ever finish it? I honestly don't know whatever happened to that thing.

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#37 Posted by ghost_cat (2238 posts) -

First thing I want to get out of the way: there is a lot of wasteful content on Vice's website, but their daily HBO news shows are great, and their weekly HBO shows are like very focused, well-edited mini-documentaries. All worth my time, seeing as how every other television news station is focused on sensationalism. I hope those two things stay strong.

As for Waypoint: it's a smart team with a narrow direction of creating content that asks too much time from their audience. It makes sense that, in order to continue standing, being absorbed into Motherboard seems like the right call. I don't know the numbers, but I have a feeling that it's not enough to support them independently.

I think Waypoint is great when they focus on the social and political facets around video games, but I honestly lose interest when they start to get into why they like or dislike a video game (it's like a long drone). They need a strong media group that can give them the resources and support to create content in the social-political spectrum. They also need a sharp video producer to create bite-size content.

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#38 Posted by Vortextk (930 posts) -

I like the hard left stance on their stuff, cause honestly fuck the world right now. I don't watch their videos because I don't even get to watching all of GB stuff(like, not even close anymore with their output) but I do follow along with almost all of their podcast stuff. I skip some game deep dives or one offs if I'm not interested. At the very least I'm glad I got introduced to Rob Zachny; that dry witted mother fucker. He plays games in the complete opposite genres of what I play, but still keeps it fairly engaging and his sense of humor legitimately makes me laugh constantly. Went for the Walker/Klepek, fell in love with the Zachny.

Hope everything turns out all right, Austin leaving the eastcoast killed me. I did read that the new ceo was looking more of to just not hire people as some left to reduce staffing rather than actually doing lay offs(which could easily change at any moment).

Avatar image for vortextk
#40 Posted by Vortextk (930 posts) -

@ibmer: I stand by my statement.

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#41 Edited by kcin (1001 posts) -

It's fine if you don't like Waypoint's content or Vice or whatever but, for the record, Waypoint is still putting out three podcasts a week. There is no announcement that this will have any effect on Waypoint, and nothing has materially changed since this news broke. This news doesn't even have anything to do with whether or not Waypoint is itself successful. I get that people are eager to speculate and, for better or worse, eager to say whether or not Waypoint deserves to keep going, but there's zero basis for the foregone conclusion in this thread that Waypoint is a failed endeavor that will be downsized/eliminated because of this restructuring.

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#42 Posted by YoThatLimp (2480 posts) -

@superslidetail said:

I only watch their content when it goes up on YouTube(their website drives me nuts). Is it me or is there less and less content going up regularly?

I've noticed that too but it seems like they are doing more twitch streaming which is unfortunate for me since I tend not to go to twitch all the much. I tend to not like streaming that I can't find a way to pull it's source.

This. Generally Twitch is a no go for me because I generally consumer content at work on Youtube or on my Roku at home which has a very bad Twitch app. I'd like to watched their archived streams, but they don't seem interested in getting their stuff onto Youtube with any regularity.

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#43 Posted by Johnny_Scissors (2 posts) -

@nutter: Giant Bomb doesn't really seem to be trying other things to spread the audience exactly. I think it's just more that they have an interest in a thing like racing or anime and Jeff wants the staff to have an outlet for that. He seems to also be a fan of things like All Systems Goku or Metal Gear Scanlon where you get taken on a journey of discovery with them

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#44 Posted by Luchalma (537 posts) -

Waypoint is very much not what I'm looking for from games coverage but I'm glad something like that is out there for people, so I hope it's around for as long as the people there are passionate about doing it.

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#45 Posted by FarleysLundgren (143 posts) -

@ibmer: It’s always the best time to be alive for certain people.

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#46 Posted by Big_Denim (831 posts) -

@farleyslundgren: But remember...there's never been a better time to be playing video games!

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#47 Posted by wjb (2157 posts) -

I feel bad because I stopped listening to the podcasts literally last week. I like everyone involved, but no one stood out other than Danika, who's gone. And even though I share their politics, the podcasts always felt like they were preaching to the choir; like, I don't think there needed to be an 80 minute show dedicated solely to Rockstar's labor issues, for instance (maybe 30).

And I feel bad never going to the site much. Either it's the site's design or the line spacing, but I would always be distracted after a couple paragraphs. Besides, Kotaku has been killing it lately with the investigative reporting, and would much rather go there for my news.

Hopefully Waypoint can stick around longer than anyone expected them to, but with Vice, everything is always up in the air.

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#48 Posted by Shindig (4835 posts) -

Klepek's Law strikes again!

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#49 Edited by kcin (1001 posts) -

@wjb said:

And I feel bad never going to the site much. Either it's the site's design or the line spacing, but I would always be distracted after a couple paragraphs. Besides, Kotaku has been killing it lately with the investigative reporting, and would much rather go there for my news.

Hopefully Waypoint can stick around longer than anyone expected them to, but with Vice, everything is always up in the air.

The website definitely sucks. I'm a daily WP forum visitor but I almost never go to the site proper (the forum is run on Discourse, so it's great). The site itself actually seems ignored by the development team, which, from what I've gathered, is due to a lack of resources by Vice itself, rather than something Waypoint has any direct control over. Vice's video hosting platform doesn't seem to work well, so they don't seem to use it at all anymore, and their CMS doesn't seem to tie into YouTube or Twitch, so all their archives sit on other platforms, largely unreferenced on the site itself.

I made a post about changes I'd like to see on the site, and a Vice web dev responded saying that a lot of what I had said was stuff they were already working on....but that post was nearly a year ago, and the only thing that's changed since is what's in the nav.

Also keep in mind Danielle is on the bargaining committee for the Vice union, and it seems like a lot of time has been sucked up with all the turmoil over there. I don't expect much to happen until, at the very least, the labor issues that this very thread is about are resolved.

Anyway, again, this news doesn't explicitly have anything to do with Waypoint, nor does it speak to Waypoint's success or lack thereof. It's just about Vice in general, which contains a ton of different little branches and offshoots. The layoffs could affect anyone, anywhere, and aren't the result of anything Waypoint has done or failed to do.

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#50 Posted by DasaKamov (1054 posts) -

@ibmer: "Vice has been full of scandals" like what, exactly? (I'm aware of the sexual harrassment allegations at the parent company brought to light last year - and that's serious, but it does seem like the company has been quick to accept responsibility and implement changes).

Honestly, it seems like this news is the result of an upstart media company's eyes being too big for its stomach. Rather than trying to focus on what it did best, Vice decided to do a little bit of *everything* on an "okay but not great" level, and as a result they were outperformed in the podcasts, video-gaming and streaming entertainment sectors. Hopefully everyone is able to land on their feet when the dust settles.