What happened to all the Giant Bomb events such as The Big Live Live Show Live, GOTY and the remotes?

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Do_The_Manta_Ray

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#1  Edited By Do_The_Manta_Ray

I wanna' go ahead and preface this series of questions with the simple statement that I ain't looking to shit on GB. Naturally, any post that begins with this type of defensive maneuvering clearly is going to be a little divisive, but I ask that you try to take this with a grain of salt. I love this here site, but things have changed, or rather, been scaled back considerably over the course of the years. I'd like to understand why, and would welcome an answer to it.

Let me explain what I mean to an extent.

It used to be the case, I felt, that there was a number of events per annum that were a huge undertaking for everyone involved, and a really great time to boot, due to the sheer effort and love that went into them. The most noteworthy of these would be the Big Live Live Show Live, with which I associate some of my fondest GB memories; be it the terrible call-in segments with Dave Lang, or Will and Norm cooking steaks with blow-torches, and not to mention, Dan with his god-fucking-awful insistence that nacho-cheese goes well with and in anything. Even as a part of a cocktail.

There was also that time he played Punchout with a DDR Pad and sensors connected inside a pair of boxing mitts that he triggered by continuously punching one John Drake in the face. (When the stomach would have worked just fine. This according to one John Drake, not to Dan Ryckert.)

These descriptions alone, I have to think, are enough to sell anyone even mildly interested in GB on the absurdity that was the Live Big Live Live Show Big.

So, what happened to that?

And what happened to Game of the Year, which used to be a month-long production that contained extended skits, incredibly unique lists, all within a theme, both visually and conceptually, and then ontop of that; a host of segments where the folks sat down and just had fun together with a mix of video-games, talk and some real dumb punishment games. I ain't even gonna' go into the details of all the nonsense they did, but mainly just due to fear of what the Rapman might do to me were I to snitch.

Again, where'd all that go? As is, it's been growing smaller every year, with this year culminating in a single piece of art that was the only through-line in the GOTY content.

I'm going to make a conscious effort not to go into what I perceive to also be a lack of effort in regards to Extra Life, 'cause it's damn good that they do it at all. I do, however, want to say that Alex Navarro is a beacon of hope and sick-ass drumming that makes it impossible for me not to spend a little too much money on donations every year.

But I digress.. By now, it REALLY sounds like I'm shitting on the site, and I'm not going to pretend that I'm not disappointed by the lack of all this creative insanity, especially as it hasn't been replaced by anything even remotely similar in scope or ambition. The content we get is still a ton of fun, but it's very formulaic, and I dare say, fairly low effort, in comparison to that of the past. Playdates and UPF remain a good time, but.. That's kind of the only thing we have other than quick-looks and the weekly podcasts. You know, people playing videogames infront of a camera.

And while that is, indeed, entertaining, it's not unique anymore. It's everywhere, it's every kid on youtube with a "dream." And these other events, that actually were unique to Giant Bomb, have been put out to pasture long since. Where it feels like GB should have tried to expand, they've rather consolidated. And as much fun as it is to follow these personalities, all of the personalities who shook things up; Austin, Dan and Patrick. They've all left. That can't be a complete coincidence.

I've been a member since this site launched, and a premium member since the option was available. A lot of time of my life has gone into Giant Bomb, and I hope that it goes without saying that I love this place and the people who are part of it. I just can't help but feel a little disillusioned at this point, especially between Dan recently having moved on and what I think we can all agree on was the worst GOTY in the history of the site. (The guest lists were terrific as always, however.)

At the end of this here rant, I still feel like I was selective in my criticisms. There's a number of other stuff that stand out to me, such as the wiki, which we were promised again and again would receive overhauls and more attention, or the de-emphasis on the community; which was what made this site what it was back in the day. Or articles or news, or or or or. And I could go on, and on, but I REALLY don't want to, because I really, really, REALLY have complained enough at this juncture. And while I've little to back this statement up after all the negative things I've said, I ain't looking to cast blame, but rather just understand what happened.

So, yeah; what happened? And in a better world, is there any way to bring any of this content back, or to spurn the staff to take more risks?

-

Edited a couple of times because I always submit a terrible first (and second) draft, and only fix it after posting it for public viewing.

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MightyDuck

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I do wish the Wiki was a bigger thing like it used to be. I loved adding to it and completing the tasks and quests that the site had.

I also miss the community being bigger. The boards used to be such a fun place to discuss games with people back in the day...maybe like 08-12? Now, it's maybe a couple dozen posts if that a day. I realize Discord has taken a bigger spot in this area, but I have a hard time with it. I always feel like I'm jumping into an already flowing conversation that I'm not supposed to be in, especially when I have a different topic, etc.

That being said, the site still keeps on trucking a long and hopefully for quite a while longer!

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Relkin

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#3  Edited By Relkin

I think part, or maybe even most of it might just be a lack of interest on the part of the staff members. Whether it be that they just don't want to do those things anymore, or that the people who championed those ideas and pushed them through aren't with the company now.

Also, we just don't know how successful any of those ideas were; we don't have that data. I too would like to hear why they have quit doing certain things; Jeff's talked about why they don't really do written reviews anymore on multiple occasions, so it isn't like there's not precedent for them opening up about that sort of thing.

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DrDarkStryfe

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East was only in San Francisco a week due to the late Thanksgiving this year. It would be crazy to expect to keep them there till almost Christmas week.

As for the BLLSL, theyve touched on in the past how much of a logistics nightmare it was. That, plus a lot of the "friends of the site" are no longer centralized in a couple places around the country anymore, nor have matching schedules because or it. Flying in people from a dozen different cities and putting them us is not a cheap nor easy venture, and that is before you have to figure out when time is available. The spirit of the show has basically been transferred to E3.

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TheRealTurk

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It definitely feels like they're stuck in a rut for sure. So much so that I actually committed to letting my premium lapse at the end of the month. As I have said in other threads, it just doesn't feel like anyone is having fun anymore. Like that somewhere in the last few years games suddenly went and became a job for everyone.

Personally, some of that comes down to feeling like the site doesn't really have a ton of people who share my taste in games anymore. Back when Patrick was around, you got a fair amount of RPG coverage and Austin was good for at least one weird mech and/or anime game a month. And strangely enough, even though we are completely different people, Dan probably came the closest to matching my taste in games.

But now? The West is almost exclusively limited to discussing fighting games, Pokemon, DOTA, or COD - all of which are genres or franchises I find exceptionally tedious and couldn't care less about. Meanwhile, the East feels like it focuses a ton of indie or Switch games. But I don't own a Switch, and indie games have become so ubiquitous that I can barely tell them apart anymore.

There's still good content on the site - I've been enjoying Vinny and Alex's Blade Runner play through - but for the most part if I want discussions of the stuff I find interesting, I generally need to look elsewhere.

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nutter

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I’m certainly watching less. I’m more likely to watch archival stuff, at this point. I rewatched all of TANG for the 10th or so time recently. I don’t know if that was a Ryan/Vinny thing, all the goofy video editing throwing Ryan or Luchadeer into movie scenes, but it felt like those two were having a ton of fucking fun.

There are still great moments, like all the Temporary Secretary stuff, but they’re fewer and further between.

The return of Team GFB has become my go-to podcast. I’m behind on all GB podcasts and, for the first time, don’t really mind. I’m watching Netflix stuff instead of GB videos on my Roku. I still check in, hoping for something to grab me, and figure I’ll continue to do so for at least a few months.

I really want to get all-in on GB again. There’s good stuff. Ranking of Fighters is interesting, if not always fun/funny/entertaining. Business Dave’s Top 10s are probably the best active content on the site, but I usually just fast-forward through UPF to get to it, then stop UPF once Dave leaves. I’ll always listen to Vinny talk about overeating. That Domino’s segment was fantastic!

A lot of it does, I think, boil down to what feels like a general lack of energy and investment. I don’t listen to ANY hip-hop, but I’d be happy to hear folks talk about that, if that’s what brought out the energy. Hell, with Arrow Pointing Down, I listened to reviews of fucking Gatorade (and loved it)!

I would be curious if regular Jeff/Vinny content would help me reinvest in the site. Their ad reads from the Bombcast were better than most of the content over the past year. And that’s not an attack on current content, the Small Business Man routine was amazing. I get that the odds of either of them having that chemistry remotely, or especially either of them moving, or incredibly low, though...

There’s certainly negativity swelling on the forums. It’s been here and there for a year or two, folks putting up posts about how they’re done here. It seems to have come to a head around GOTY (again), but this time, it’s lingering. I just hope folks understand that a lot of it comes from a positive place. I’d love to see a return to form. I’m pulling for the crew. I’ve been here since day one, and whatever happens, this place had an AMAZING run for several years, weathered all sorts of changes, kept changing and evolving...it’s pretty miraculous. I guess it just changed and evolved, in recent years, into something less for me. I’m getting to be okay with that.

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nutter

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@therealturk: I certainly skip a bunch of content due to total disinterest (anime, Pokémon, Nancy Drew, off the top of my head).

I feel like 4-5 years ago, I would have watched videos of those games, knowing that the videos would be super entertaining.

The double-edged sword here, is that I’m less likely to watch stuff on games I plan to play, so I can experience it myself. It’s a tough spot...

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dudeglove

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BLLSL was mostly pre CBSi acquisition. Also people get old, times change and formats come and go, as they do in other media, and folk don't want to be punched in the head all the time for your entertainment. The shift to videos and podcasts clearly works for them.

I don't see the wiki or the forums ever bouncing back in the coming years, mostly because IGDB, Twitter, Reddit and Discord exist and have way more money in them than GB will ever have, and because game developers themselves cater directly to their communities nowadays, making catch-all forums like GB somewhat redundant. Notable exceptions would be SA and ResetEra, or the abundance of game-specific Wikias out there.

The content we get is still a ton of fun, but it's very formulaic, and I dare say, fairly low effort, in comparison to that of the past.

The work that Vinny, Drew, Abby, Jason, Jan and anyone else in their position does is insane. In a "normal" environment, they'd be part of a properly equipped studio with a separate gallery, camera operators and all the other staff and stuff associated with what is basically broadcast TV at this point. Sadly, that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, so instead you have one person doing the job of multiple persons (preproduction, then live work, then post, to say nothing about archival). That Vinny set up the East studio largely on his own is somewhat horrifying and that they haven't actively collapsed on the job is a miracle. There's nothing low effort at all about what they do.

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Humanity

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The very short answer is: we don't know and won't know what happened.

The users of the site can speculate until the cows come home and project their own positive or negative spin on the situation, but it's not until Jeff says one way or the other what is the state of the site that we will ever get definite answers. The staff has always been kind of bad at communicating with the fanbase and now more than over most of them seem to have distanced themselves from social media or other outlets of communication. Heck, most important "announcements" regarding the site these days are communicated by Jeff getting agitated enough with swelling gossip to post something on his Tumblr about it.

A version of this thread has been created like clockwork for the past several months. You get people saying they do low effort stuff while others are still content with everything. No offense to @dudeglove but I think most folk that take the time and effort to write something up - usually prefacing the core message with a very long intro singing praises about GB in order to not be perceived as a mere "complainers" - are well aware of the physical effort Vinny goes through. That said they arguably have a lot more resources these days than back in the basement days. At least on the face of it thats what it seems. Maybe they don't? Who knows, I don't know, no one knows. The Studio over in NY is laughable and depressing at the same time, yet it's still a studio with professional equipment thats they can budget for the year and not a basement with mic's going through Astro headset amps.

Ultimately as Dudleglove mentions above, it is a combination of time, people moving into different stages of life and probably a decent amount of burnout. Did you know Brad does a tech podcast with Will Smith? I had no clue either but he does - and they've done like two dozen 40-50 minute episodes at that! Whats better is that Brad seems genuinely enthused to do it and is the most vibrant and excited that I've heard him in years - and they don't even talk about games. I'm sure they all still enjoy what they do, it certainly seems better than the typical office job a lot of us had to compromise for to pay the bills through various decisions in life. That said it's impossible to imagine they aren't getting tired of it, and maybe it's starting to show a little, or maybe a little more than a little.

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ThisIsACoolTag

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The most noteworthy of these would be the Big Live Live Show Live, with which I associate some of my fondest GB memories; be it the terrible call-in segments with Dave Lang, or Will and Norm cooking steaks with blow-torches, and not to mention, Dan with his god-fucking-awful insistence that nacho-cheese goes well with and in anything. Even as a part of a cocktail.

There was also that time he played Punchout with a DDR Pad and sensors connected inside a pair of boxing mitts that he triggered by continuously punching one John Drake in the face. (When the stomach would have worked just fine. This according to one John Drake, not to Dan Ryckert.)

As someone who re-watched the BLLSL 2015 last week, I can confirm that all 3 of these events (blow-torches, yellow russians, John Drake's Punch-Out) happened in the same 6 hours.

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OurSin_360

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#11  Edited By OurSin_360

My guess is the time commitment didn't equal the return involved. They probably got data together that showed that those events weren't garnering new users and the content they produce right now is probably doing better at audience building and retention. Also, that was all free content so their was little monetary reward if it didn't bring in new subscribers/viewers.

I'm sure they want to do all that stuff, but it's probably just not feasible while running a business (especially one that probably needs to hit a certain number to keep funding from CBS etc).

I think the biggest thing they do now is the E3 show every year.

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_Brojangles_

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I'll just say I'm very tired of the current trend of playdate streams taking place of proper series or shows. I'm gonna be blunt, If I wanted one-off lets play variety streams, I would just watch one of the thousands of people doing it for free on Twitch or Youtube at any given time.

Anyway, I want to see the staff take the shotgun approach to content creation right now and just do a bunch of crazy dumb shit until something sticks. The majority of the content on the site right now is stale or just low energy.

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mikachops

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@_brojangles_: I think East does this shotgun approach really well. West should do it more, the last thing that felt like that were the Garfield streams and those are classics. That was like... 3 years ago now.

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Christoffer

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I do miss BLLSL but if it was that big of a nightmare for Vinny, and the rest of the production crew, I can live without it. For me, the Extra Life streams have effectively replaced BLLSL. It's not exactly the same thing, and it could use a few more pre-planned segments so it doesn't end up like a long form UPF, but I think it works well as the big yearly event I look forward to (aside from E3). And the fact that it's for a good cause is a plus.

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mellotronrules

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#15  Edited By mellotronrules

yeah- the scrappy 'cable-access-but-good' vibe has definitely faded. gb infinite drives that point home when you look at pre-2013 work in contrast to now.

that stuff made me fall in love with the site, and i certainly miss it. but i recognize that unless the gang gets hungry again (meaning: there's a fire in their belly to do something creative that differentiates them from the twitch/youtube herd), that stuff isn't probably coming back. place and time, etc.

people have families now, and they're probably living healthier- which speaks for itself and i can only support.

i will say though, i think the site's 'voice' is in a strange place. they've dialed back almost all the stuff that makes them unique (reviews with rigor that draw on their exhaustive editorial history, livestreams with off-the-cuff conversations, trying new things like a giant bomb unplugged) so it does make me wonder if they have any plans to try something new.

the way i think about it is- if i was trying to get a friend into the site now- what do i show them from the past couple of years that distinguishes GB from other video game sites? it's getting harder than it used to be.

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beforet

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I don't know if it's appropriate for this thread, but I guess there's no PAX East panel this year? After what they did for PAX West last year I guess it makes sense, but it really took me by surprise. Did they talk about skipping PAX West at all?

Also looks like Waypoint/Vice Games doesn't have a panel either, which is also depressingly unsurprising given that Waypoint doesn't strictly speaking exist anymore. Real bummer considering this is the first PAX I can afford to attend in several years.

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glots

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@beforet said:

I don't know if it's appropriate for this thread, but I guess there's no PAX East panel this year? After what they did for PAX West last year I guess it makes sense, but it really took me by surprise. Did they talk about skipping PAX West at all?

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Stephen_Von_Cloud

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Sadly agree with your sentiment. I don't say any of the following happily but just to be honest:

Voiced my disappointment with the lifeless GOTY multiple times and then the Dan departure and slow trickle to start.

I really am wondering how long my GB love will fare with how things have been. without Dan's energy. West is so by the numbers and lifeless in most of what they put out. There's a member there I don't like who is on UPF so that's kind of not something I enjoy.

Unfortunately of things I would really compliment recently, Dan was very key. I have personally really enjoyed Abby's Clue Crew streams since they are playing something pretty weird and different and committing to a whole thing.

Content is slower to come out. I sometimes hardly get to the Bombcast weekly when I used to listen to it ASAP when it came out. I actually like the Aftermath show a lot more most times. I do enjoy the Beastcast but even that has been not quite as good without Dan.

Giant Bomb has been my one videogame media thing for all these years so its disappointing to feel that way about it and I don't say this in any way other than maybe they will listen to feedback. That listening not been something they have been good at before though.

@_brojangles_ said:

I'll just say I'm very tired of the current trend of playdate streams taking place of proper series or shows. I'm gonna be blunt, If I wanted one-off lets play variety streams, I would just watch one of the thousands of people doing it for free on Twitch or Youtube at any given time.

This so hard. It makes for boring structure and not even committing to a whole playthrough is really boring. Something I've felt after years of watching GB that I'm not sure the staff gets (or tell me if I'm wrong, maybe I'm more alone in this) it is really not fun to watch someone play the beginning of a game so much. They so often go into this stuff and do that and I always find it boring to watch them learn, do the hand holdy part of the game, etc. It's why that, say, Load Your Last Save is more interesting way to do things or just commit to playing through a game.

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beforet

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@glots: Yeeh I saw that a little while after my post. It does make me feel better, I thought that they might be done with Pax. They still might be, I guess, but I can hope. I do think that we still could have gotten heads up once they knew they weren't going to have a panel.

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Topcyclist

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@do_the_manta_ray: Giantbomb seems to be busy with acquisitioning talent and improving the user base. They have a host of content through twitter engagement and popular personalities. I don't see the problem. It seems you want more content but there is an abundance of it already. They give us constant new videos each week. The cast is always full of energy and positive about the ins and outs of the industry. I think you should try engaging in the community more and help with their expansion. Tweet and repost to your friends. More supporters will undoubtedly push the crew to invest in spending for more ideas and content you may enjoy. Premium has most of the real stuff your looking for thou. Hope you enjoy this year's stuff. Trust me. Giantbomb takes fans suggestions to heart and will fix any issues eventually.

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MatthewRoberts

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The content, for the most part, feels so stale. And why do most people (especially West) seem to have such a dislike for their audience - the people keeping them in the job?

I've followed the guys since Gamespot in 2005. Subbed day 1. Never let my subscription lapse, until today. I had to cancel because the content has got so formulaic, the new hires aren't the best (Ben, Jason and Jan kill West content for me), and the staff don't seem to be engaged with their audience at all.

GOTY was the last nail in the coffin. The community hated it last year, they did it again this year, but somehow even worse.

I felt GOTY was done with a "like it or lump it" attitude, so I'm lumping it.

If things improve I'll re-sub, but since GOTY hardly any of the content appeals to me, so not sure that will be the case.

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BelowStupid

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I have to agree with everyone saying there is a real lack of creativity on the site. Like many of you I've followed them since '04 on Gamespot, created a "Gravatar" account when they had the temp website up, and signed up for premium day one. But for me I started to get really bored with their content around 2015-16. Dan brought in some new energy and some fun ideas like steal my sunshine and Metal Gear Scanlon, but my enthusiasm was dying. Once Ben and Abby came on I knew I couldn't stick around anymore, they really aren't my thing. I don't feel bad saying that considering we watch and pay for personalities here.

I let my membership lapse two years ago, but sometimes I check back onto the site like creeping on the Facebook of an EX you didn't want to dump but needed to, to see if they've changed what drove you away lol. But yeah I really don't know what they're doing here anymore. Since the Covid lock down started I've just been scanning through timestamps on the youtube version of the podcasts to see if they talk about anything interesting. There is no way I can listen to any of their stuff all the way through anymore with how low energy they are.

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GrayFox666

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The site misses Dan. Like him or hate him his enthusiasm was a great boon for this site and made East content the best stuff on this site for a long time.

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Casse1berry

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Definitely miss Dan :(

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north6

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So I think there was like, a good 3 days in-between there being one of these threads and there not being one of these threads and now there is one of these threads again, except this is an old one of these threads so I'm not sure if that counts but it probably does but otherwise that's some kinda record!

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htr10

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#27  Edited By htr10

I think Giant Bomb is doing a great job and I love the content, past and present.

There is a contempt that seems to have grown among the staff towards the community thanks to threads like this. Although in this case, it’s a bumped old thread.

Vinny literally spoke recently about the effect of going through a lot to put together a stream from home and then reading a comment that said the stream was “boring”. I’m glad I don’t have to hear critique like that at the end of my workday. Seems like it would make you feel like shit and not at all make you excited to continue to do your job.

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martyns

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I've been watching/reading the content created by various members of Giant Bomb for probably 20 years now. Yet I only felt compelled to subscribe a few months ago. I've found their lockdown content has been the right level of honest and engaging for my world right now. I'm not interested in aggressively polished, breathless streams with people who feel like they've got one eye on a Disney deal.

I spend most of my time watching Giant Bomb while I work, so a sense of familiarity is important, but there's also a grounding to their content. It doesn't feel like there's an autocue, or sometimes even much of a plan (even if there is), and that I find hugely appealing. If I want high art I'll watch the Criterion Channel, if I want simple* entertainment Giant Bomb is perfect. It's enough for me to engage but not so much that it overwhelms my already stretched senses.

This might not be the right place for this closing comment as it runs contrary to the thread, but I want to finish by saying thank you Giant Bomb, you've done a great job at lifting my spirits over the last few months.


*Simple is not a pejorative here, more an indicator of the lack of unnecessary complexity.

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petesix0

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I love Giant Bomb. I've really enjoyed it ever since I found it, and since Lockdown started, I've loved it. I'm kinda confused about the people who say they broke up with Giant Bomb, only to leave messages weeks, months or years later. Messages left to tell Giant Bomb about how things are much better for them since they broke up with the site, but still feel the need to say they were the better person for leaving.

Just look bitter.

The Dan Stans? I mean I get it, Dan could certainly entertain. But he ain't here. Using his name to back-handedly say 'I like the past more than the present' stinks.

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MrGreenMan

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Just about every business is going through a transition whether they like it or not, it's just the state of things and what is the new normal. If you don't enjoy something, that totally fine. There really isn't a whole lot they can do about it. Everyone need to have a bit patience. Things are just not going to go back to normal, not any time soon.

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Pnutz83

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The site misses Dan. Like him or hate him his enthusiasm was a great boon for this site and made East content the best stuff on this site for a long time.

This right here. Dan was the last person on GB who could show unbridled enthusiasm for a game and be only positive about it. The rest of the crew is sadly cynical and they seem bored during the podcasts and quick looks. Dan was always so happy and that created a yin and yang dynamic that I sadly miss from the site now a days.

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RaynorShine

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@pnutz83: Word. His “Nightmare” Twitch stream this past weekend was impressive to say the least. 12 hour solo stream from 9p to 9a, beating Revolver ocelot, Super Mario World, Tyson (twice) and more while playing 50 turns of Mario Party, while being blasted with horrendous sounds earning what has to be thousands in donations from viewers. The man was made to stream, still putting out hours of game content while working for WWE during the day. It’s a shame GB couldn’t keep him, he was big asset for the site.

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parapa

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I agree with the sentiment here, but I also don't hold it against any of the staff really. More than anything I think it goes to show how insanely hard it is to build a website like this and keep it consistently fresh and exciting. The fact that they managed to do that successfully for over a decade, across several staff changes, is a testament to the passion and hard work that Jeff and all of the old guard have put in every year. Very few personality driven sites survive this long. If you were to compare this to the film world, the list of actors who have stayed relevant across multiple decades is exceedingly small.

Ultimately, I think people have gotten older and have families to take care of instead of grinding at the office 12 hours a day, and maybe the younger hires haven't been shaking things up to compensate as much as someone like Dan/Austin were able to. It's why I didn't resubscribe this year for the first time personally.

But even if they literally wanted to stop tomorrow, the achievement can not be over-stated, and they "owe" us nothing. They built something awesome that brought joy to millions of people for over a decade.

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Shindig

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Locations play a factor. They used to have everyone under one roof. The two offices pose a problem for these big events and how to include everyone.

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mrfluke

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#35  Edited By mrfluke

Dan's Nightmare stream this weekend and just the absolute powerhouse of positivity and joy and enthusiasm he's been on his streams and watching some of the older random PC game content really brought it home that GB has lost a lot of that "fun energy" and it absolutely kills me to say that,

but also gotta look at it from the perspective of the times we are in now "feels" like they have noticeably taken a toll on the energy of the staff, especially with what feels like one of these threads resurfacing from the dead like once a week because folks need a place to vent.

This site has always weathered through all the storms they face, always will remember how people were proclaiming the end of the site when Ryan passed and they came back arguably with one of their strongest set of years with hiring Dan/Jason/Austin. so I still hold belief that when this is all over they will be back.

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AKTANE

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I like the site more now. I like the beastcast and bombcast and their differences, way more podcast content. I like how Ben and Abby bring fresh new perspectives to the site.

I like how when everyone comes together for GOTY under the same roof its super special and feels special. All the guest top 10's are still amazing. Hitsmas had some moments that had me dying. I agree the GOTY content itself feels different in flavor but I like it.

Jan Can Cook: Ben Appetit , 6 Crazy Frights, and Ranking of Fighters actually have me watching premium content more than I did before.

Video Bombcasts and Beastcasts have me basically only watching video versions now because they're so much better than just audio.

Their E3 content has only gotten better, better interviews, better guests, Jeff in his absolute prime on those, he shows every skill he's honed over the years.

The quick looks are still just as long as they ever were.

More Live shows during Covid means you can actually interact with the staff and chat across more opportunities. I mean its basically like they're doing an extra life stream every day infinitely end over end.

Sure I miss Ryan, if you don't miss Ryan you're a fucking animal. I miss Patrick, Drew, Austin, and Dan. But I watch more of Giant Bomb than I ever did, and there's a wider breadth of content for me to choose from.

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Undeadpool

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#37  Edited By Undeadpool

I think the torch was in the process of being passed to Abby, Jan, and Ben and then the world fell apart (I'm aware this thread SORTA predates that) and at this point, I think they ARE all struggling to keep their heads above water. Remember that for all the anxiety and worry that we as members of the site have, they ALSO have AND they have to put on a brave face and be entertaining for hours out of the day. That has to be EXHAUSTING, so I don't really begrudge them being 'low-energy' at times.

Also the industry is undergoing a needed change and a bunch of REALLY unpleasant shit has bubbled up to the surface, so the idea of trying to paint the industry right now as "Feelin' Fine" would be disingenuous, and exactly what companies like Ubisoft are TRYING to cultivate, so I admire GB's ability to take the room's temperature and keep it REAL.

I don't think any of them are "too jaded or cynical," I just don't think they have any responsibility to feign excitement over Ubi's new TIME SAVER MECHANICS (we make the grind, we sell you the way to skip it) or its apolitical "SHOOT LOOTERS IN THE BACK, BUT THERE'S NO MESSAGE HERE!" bullshit, EA's newest cash-grab, or Activision's newest round of highly profitable lay-offs. To say NOTHING of what's going on with the indies at the moment.

It's a HARD TIME right now, so the fact that they can be delighted or enthusiastic about ANYTHING is a fucking miracle. Go and watch Jeff mark out in Ranking of Fighters over that weird Japanese Mortal Kombat clone, go watch Vinny and Brad play Astroneer, or Abby play The Sims. Watch Jan's delight over Bloodborne's weirdness, and Ben's excitement over Fighting Herds, and TRY to remember: just because they're not looking forward to thing YOU'RE looking forward to, doesn't mean they've "lost all their passion for gaming."

Anyway, those events (the BLLSL and the GOTY skits) seemed like a TON of work. They seemed like a TON of work for how little work they felt like they were putting into it (it takes a lot of effort to LOOK low-end while actually trying very hard), and if they don't have a great idea that they're passionate about? I'd rather they just give us the ultra-long podcasts. The last thing I want is for them to look like they're going through the motions.

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Atlas

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People, some perspective: 2008-13 GB and Whiskey Media was lightning in a bottle. If even one or two variables go in a different direction, it could all have fallen apart. The original GB core should be immensely proud of what they achieved during that time, under such tight restrictions and with no blueprint to follow. And then everything fell apart, and for a very, very good reason. They moved into a new corporate structure, killing the scrappy start-up vibe, and Ryan Davis passed away. And then the offices split. And then GamerGate turned online video game culture into something truly toxic, and then 2016 happened and everything on the internet became contaminated.

Y'all remember the tenth anniversary series they did, and Dave Snider did an audio clip on the ten times that Giant Bomb could, and maybe should, have died? Well that really resonated with me. The fact that the site was able to survive and continue to this day is nothing short of a miracle. And now they're older, they've got families, and they've brought in a new young core that is doing some pretty damn good work that often goes underappreciated because it's not as magical as those Whiskey halcyon days. That's life, I'm afraid.

I think people are asking the wrong questions. I wouldn't be wondering how does the site recapture the magic of those early years, because the answer is brutally stark and, to me, exceedingly obvious: they won't, because they can't.

And on the subject of passion, because it comes up multiple times in multiple threads: I don't believe that anyone in this thread, or on this site, has ever loved video games, or any medium, as much as Jeff loves video games. I truly believe that. He may not love modern games, or love the games that y'all care about, or he may not love the modern industry (which is frequently unlovable and seems to be becoming more so by the day). But it always winds me up when people talk about the passion of the crew because it comes across as really naive and hyper-critical.