What the heck is going on on this website?

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Sunjammer

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Hi all, been a subscriber since one could subscribe, been a fan since Gamespot days and Arrow pointing down etc, business funk days. Yo what up.

Seriously, what is up these days? I dig the whole shows idea, I dig the new faces even though I miss the old crew (they're still around though, so that's cool). I really should be liking this a whole lot more than I actually do, because I don't think this website is even close to up to handle the new format. It's just an absolute mess of just... stuff? Reams of old and new things coexisting in a way that makes it look like Giant Bomb is just some weird gamer youtube of random shenanigans.

I know it's not long ago that a major redesign was done, but it's necessary again. This thing needs a radical dose of simplify dat shit, because it's got about a dozen things too many going on right now for it to work as intended.

Much love <3

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Humanity

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Getting used to the new office.

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Ben_H

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I do believe they've publicly said that they're working on a redesign because of this exact issue. I remember Jeff or someone talking about how they couldn't really post text content on the front page and only recently have they added articles back. That whole "Just The Facts" section was added quite recently as well. Previously, it sounded like it was very difficult to post anything other than video onto the front page.

I think it's fair to say that they're probably well aware of the current issues with the front page and are working on it.

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BisonHero

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If I can bring up one issue I’m sure they’re aware of but I’ll repeat just in case: since its debut the whole “shows” grouping has been really hit or miss. I’m assuming it must just be a real hassle to update in the CMS or something, because the “Shows” landing page is kinda always chaos, sorted into (presumably active) “Shows” and “Archives,” but the active Shows still includes Ben ‘n Breakfast, Sea Beasts, and Let’s Minecraft Together. The list is an 8 mile long vertical scroll on mobile that could probably be presented better. Then within shows, certain episodes are missing from the carousel, so there are occasional incomplete playlists where you have to go hunting for a missing episode with a manual search (credit where it’s due, tagging Rorie or Jan or Jason will usually lead to them fixing this).

So I get it, web dev is hard sometimes, but there are still a lot of situations where pulling up a master list of GB video series and consistently finding a complete episode list are both easier and faster on qlcrew.com. I’m really curious how new users find their way around the website if they started watching in the past 2-4 years, or if they just keep up with whatever’s on “Latest Videos” and avoid the archives entirely.

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styx971

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honestly this whole redesign wasn't great imo. the front page never felt good to me and your issue on moblie with the shows page i don't even want to imagine. as it is as PC user with a non-maximized window on a 55inch tv if i go to that page n scroll the boxes are so massive it only shows 6 and you have to keep scrolling too. i always felt like the majority of things felt better to do on the previous version of the site. i can understand wanting to change things up but these things and the carousel front page weren't good changes i think. for a shows page a list formate maybe with a pic would possibly be better but yeah as it is you can't find everything and alot of great one off stuff doesn't have a home too. also the carousel stuff is just bad imo , i always go to grid view if i look at things like say quicklooks but every now n then thats an improperly updated mess where it just doesn't show the newest first when you switch and thats been an issue from the start so its not as if the out of office covid aspect is even a factor into that.

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cikame

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The redesign was bad and i don't really use the front page for anything other than seeing what's new, which even that isn't as simple as it should be, carousels are the worst.
I'm also not here for the random side shows which take up the bulk of site content now, at the moment i've gone from watching everything to just UPF and the Bombcast, which conveniently does free me up to watching other stuff i'm interested in, but for the first time i am thinking about letting my subscription slide.

I'm not going anywhere though this is still my video game HQ, but 95% of my attention is directed at the forums.

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Onemanarmyy

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#7  Edited By Onemanarmyy

Yeah i get that it's still somewhat the idea to have a Netflix-like frontpage, so people can pick & choose the shows that they care about. But as someone that only really cares about the latest new content across multiple shows, instead of following a certain series, the only thing that i look at is the very first carroussel and the upcoming schedule (although this one doesn't stand out as much as the previous more colorful iteration). The rest of the frontpage is kind of wasted on me.

And i can sort of see why the watchlist show logo's sounds like a good idea, but i must admit i have never pressed on those buttons, because all it does is bring you to a similar carroussel to browse through 4 vids a time, instead of a clear list to find that one episode from 2 months ago that you missed.

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sombre

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@humanity said:

Getting used to the new office.

Getting ready for E3/GOTY

Remove one at random

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Humanity

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@sombre: I mean I say it in jest as a lame old joke because it’s the same conversation with the same end results as we’ve had countless times before. I actually have some hope that the Red Ventures acquisition might somehow bring the site to modern sensibilities but I’m not holding my breath that it will happen anytime soon. The redesign was bad and borderline unusable when they rushed it into service. Now years later a ton of the same issues persist but I has gotten to a usable state. It’s not good or logical, but it makes sense. Or who knows maybe I’ve just been here so long that it makes sense to me. Do I dare ask if Embiggen works now?

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sombre

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@humanity said:

@sombre: I mean I say it in jest as a lame old joke because it’s the same conversation with the same end results as we’ve had countless times before. I actually have some hope that the Red Ventures acquisition might somehow bring the site to modern sensibilities but I’m not holding my breath that it will happen anytime soon. The redesign was bad and borderline unusable when they rushed it into service. Now years later a ton of the same issues persist but I has gotten to a usable state. It’s not good or logical, but it makes sense. Or who knows maybe I’ve just been here so long that it makes sense to me. Do I dare ask if Embiggen works now?

The live stream video is bigger than the full screen window, and I think I submitted a bug report about that three years ago.

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ryudo

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It's become a lifeless shell. The magic is gone. I'm only here for legacy content these days. I hate the nongaming stuff so much. It's the very thing Jeff said GB would never be a few years ago. I think Red Ventures fucked the site over. It was hard enough to watch with no office but now it has no chemistry either. Even watching something as recent as 2017 you find a better flow and chemistry with everyone.

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monkeyking1969

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Good or bad I feel like just remaining quitely circumspect about changes that I like or don't like is the best thing to do. Actions not words, matter most on a website. If we are paying the money and if we watch the content while engaging with comments we are shouting our support.

The Analytics sees when you're sleeping or awake
The Analytics knows who you hate & like
The Analytics knows if the site has been bad or good
So you don't have to tell them for goodness sake!

So! It is your choice if you watch it now
But, You better not cry
And, You better not pout, I'm telling you why
The Analytics already knows
The Analytics already knows
The Analytics already knows

In some cases what we like or don't like about content is the literal PERSONALITIES and/or PERSONNEL assigned to certain content. So, it best & polite to let our wallets and engagement with the site's content, rendered as analytics, do the talking for us. If we like a person or content - then we watch them or their content. And, if the reverse is true...well you see what you need to do. It is all very dry, un-personal, and stiff-upper-lip to do it that way.

It is not like Jeff will fire anyone we scream we don't like; he would likely do the opposite for being rude. (Jeff can be delightfully contrary when you get his hackles up about staffing issues.) However, he is more likely to let go of anyone - for their own good- who isn't producing the numbers or has a bad effect on subscriptions. Yes, watching what you like while not watching what you don't like - will be VERY clear as a complete message.

If 80% of content about a game is watched, and the times when "Staff Person- A" talks about 'the game' shows people seemingly stop watching that video - it clear what the issue is not the game. Capisce?

Trust the analytics to express your views; it is more polite and a clearer message when you do so. It is better when you like stuff, and it is better when you don't to let numbers talk.

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sombre

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It's also unuseable as a non subscriber. Absolutely EVERYTHING is behind the paywall, so for those of us who have used GB since 08, now to have their entire stream of content unwatchable is a bit shitty

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RobertForster

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Give it time.

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BladeOfCreation

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@monkeyking1969: This seems like a cold, calculated take...but it's fairly accurate. I can think of exactly one feature that was discontinued because of vocal opposition from the community: Star Spangled Beasters. The timing for a celebration of American history was unfortunate, to say the least.

On the other hand, a whole lot of people (myself included) voiced displeasure with Dan's "heel" persona during The Exquisite Corps. That drove engagement, and engagement is what matters. I eventually got to the point where I simply stopped watching or commenting on (engaging with) videos in which Dan was supposed to be a team player.

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csl316

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@ryudo: Jeff has always said that they wanted to branch out. Have a wrestling site, etc.

They pivoted earlier this year and I wasn't sure what to expect. But oddly enough, I'm liking a lot of the new stuff. I'm catching a bunch of the shows because I want to, whereas in month one I kinda forced myself to try them begrudgingly.

Jeff also said they have to hire more people on the editorial side, and they hired Jess who is fucking FANTASTIC. Bombcast and UPF chemistry has been great lately, the edited QL's are keeping me around on that front, and I'm curious to see what they do next. Thought of letting my sub lapse in those first few months, but I'm in too deep to leave now and enjoying plenty of their current stuff.

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WUNDABAR

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Adding some positivity to this thread - I'm a longtime content subscriber.

This site's lineup will be really humming a few months into next new year.

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SonofSeth

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@ryudo: Agree, most exciting content on GB theese days is "This Day in Giant Bomb History".

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ALLTheDinos

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Since I want to see more replies relevant to op’s post before this thread gets locked: friendly reminder the intent is to talk about the website layout and user-friendliness. If this devolves into another thread about people being unsatisfied about the type of content being put out lately, it’s going to start idle speculation (maybe too late on this front), and it’ll eventually be locked. It’s fine to dicuss those topics, just start your own thread so this one can keep going.

Anyway, as someone whose user experience was free until the CBSi purchase, and then dormant until 2019, I have to agree it’s an absolute nightmare for anyone who isn’t premium. I think I went years without even visiting the homepage after seeing only videos I couldn’t watch prominently featured. Even now as a premium sub, the carousels are kind of a nightmare, and you really have to have a firm idea of what you’re looking for in order to find the content you’re interested in. I don’t know how this issue can be fixed, but it has occasionally derailed my enjoyment now, and it caused me to go from casual user to total non-user years back. It could end up turning away potential premium subs who decide to check out the site based on the free shows on youtube and the podcasts, but I don’t have the numbers and couldn’t say for sure.

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eccentrix

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If the intent of this thread is to talk about the design of the site, I'll say again the feature I miss most is the personalized top slot. I loved being able to change what the most prominent content was by just clicking on the ones I didn't want to see.

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Raven10

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So I think the core issue here is that Netflix’s format for content display works solely because of the site’s algorithm that only shows you personalized content suggestions. If I want to find a specific type of show on Netflix that is entirely different than what I normally watch, the interface is awful. Or if I have super broad or eclectic tastes, the whole thing doesn’t work as well. But as a classic nerd who wants to watch classic nerd shit, I usually end up with a page filled with interesting stuff.

Remember that Netflix’s interface is designed to get you to make a selection as quickly as possible because data shows the longer you take to select a show the more likely you are to just do something else. The current front page format just doesn’t work without the analytics side of the equation knowing what content to feed you.

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Kerned

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@raven10: I really don't think this site has enough content to need a Netflix-style recommendation algorithm. There is one new thing a day, at best. Old content is basically all about video games. New content basically isn't.

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csl316

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#23  Edited By csl316

@kerned: I did a scientific review of November, and 80% of their videos were about games.

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Topcyclist

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@sunjammer: you gotta give some slack. Jeff is married, has a second kid, and staff just left. He is working hard to juggle everything and still puts out quality. I say just keep supporting. They never let us down before. Also its a tuff time so experimenting should bring new viewers.

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BisonHero

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@csl316 said:

@kerned: I did a scientific review of November, and 80% of their videos were about games.

That paper is still going through peer review! In my day, you could lose tenure over this.

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ToughShed

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@sunjammer: you gotta give some slack. Jeff is married, has a second kid, and staff just left. He is working hard to juggle everything and still puts out quality. I say just keep supporting. They never let us down before. Also its a tuff time so experimenting should bring new viewers.

Yeah they're just getting settled into the new office after all

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AV_Gamer

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Given that there has been a lot of these type of threads for a while now, I think everyone has already made up their mind. Some will stay because they actually like the new direction the site is going. Some will stay out of loyalty. And some will move on. Time will tell where this site ends up. And if you miss the old guys, they seem to be doing fine in their chosen locations.

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SethMode

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@sombre said:

It's also unuseable as a non subscriber. Absolutely EVERYTHING is behind the paywall, so for those of us who have used GB since 08, now to have their entire stream of content unwatchable is a bit shitty

I don't understand this rationale. You can pay the 4ish (USD) a month and engage with the premium stuff or you can skip it....why should they provide it for free?

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Topcyclist

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@sethmode said:
@sombre said:

It's also unuseable as a non subscriber. Absolutely EVERYTHING is behind the paywall, so for those of us who have used GB since 08, now to have their entire stream of content unwatchable is a bit shitty

I don't understand this rationale. You can pay the 4ish (USD) a month and engage with the premium stuff or you can skip it....why should they provide it for free?

Im guessing OP meant that they feel slighted in that they must pay or GTFO in certain respects. Its like the old watering hole all a sudden asking for cover, and a 2 drink minimum. Makes you feel slighted even if you know why their doing it. Seeing a bunch of new videos that seem interesting then clicking to see a pay wall, can be annoying if your someone strapped for cash. The whole idea oh its just blank amount doest work cause some people are paying for alot of other things and that little extra money goes a long way. Im sure OP will support and their views count.

Personally, I think it just seems like alot of stuff is premium but its not really IMO seems like the normal levels. We get less must watch quick looks given the gaming drought people were expecting post demic after all the already in development games that were good came out,

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Mamba219

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@sethmode said:
@sombre said:

It's also unuseable as a non subscriber. Absolutely EVERYTHING is behind the paywall, so for those of us who have used GB since 08, now to have their entire stream of content unwatchable is a bit shitty

I don't understand this rationale. You can pay the 4ish (USD) a month and engage with the premium stuff or you can skip it....why should they provide it for free?

Think about the context of the internet these days. There is an avalanche of free stuff out there which didn't exist in 2008 or even as late as 2013. I'm not saying they should "give anything away" but the stuff they're asking for in Premium has been free in a lot of other places for a long time.

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Nodima

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@mamba219: You mean the internet that is constantly putting more and more of their more valuable entertainment products behind a paywall? Just look at sports reporting. The most prominent people are all starting a Substack newsletter. ESPN has walled all their basketball coverage behind a paywall because it's the best writing and investigative wing they have. They also paywall their projection/mock draft and betting articles because those are the items that already drive money anyway. The Athletic is an entire journalistic empire built around the idea that people will pay for good sports reporting. Deadspin was revived as Defector late last year and charges $79 for a year's subscription. You can't read more than the opening paragraph of almost anything on that site without that subscription and no one bats an eye.

Almost every journalistic enterprise is also constantly reminding you that you're monthly allotment of free articles is almost up, from Vanity Fair to the Washington Post. Streaming video is now just as expensive as your standard cable subscription if you're interested enough in film and television to want some combination of Netflix, Hulu, Disney, Paramount, Peacock, Apple, HBO, Criterion and so on.

Yes, there's plenty of free internet out there, but there's also plenty of premium internet. Giant Bomb considers itself to be a premium product and so they charge a premium to access it.

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whitegreyblack

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I think people who create the content I really love deserve to be able to pay themselves and support themselves. My GB subscription both costs less than every other subscription I have and is number 1 or 2 of the most hours viewed per week. It's win-win, for my situation. I want to see GB continue to hire people like Jess and pay contributors like Danny, Tamoor, Lucy, et. al. My subscription is a small part of that equation.

I think the Giant Bomb website is functional but certainly not world-class, but that's OK.

The GB Roku app seems to have gotten a great update last week from the looks of things, and is way better now for the times I wish to catch up on things while on the recumbent bike.

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jagerxbomb

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@mamba219 said:
@sethmode said:
@sombre said:

It's also unuseable as a non subscriber. Absolutely EVERYTHING is behind the paywall, so for those of us who have used GB since 08, now to have their entire stream of content unwatchable is a bit shitty

I don't understand this rationale. You can pay the 4ish (USD) a month and engage with the premium stuff or you can skip it....why should they provide it for free?

Think about the context of the internet these days. There is an avalanche of free stuff out there which didn't exist in 2008 or even as late as 2013. I'm not saying they should "give anything away" but the stuff they're asking for in Premium has been free in a lot of other places for a long time.

So... go watch that? If you can't afford $35 a year you have bigger problems than a website about video games.

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Humanity

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This is a very rough mockup that I quickly threw together but in my mind they should utilize more space like Netflix or Amazon Video do it and have front page carousels be already grouped into shows.

No Caption Provided

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ajamafalous

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@mamba219 said:
@sethmode said:
@sombre said:

It's also unuseable as a non subscriber. Absolutely EVERYTHING is behind the paywall, so for those of us who have used GB since 08, now to have their entire stream of content unwatchable is a bit shitty

I don't understand this rationale. You can pay the 4ish (USD) a month and engage with the premium stuff or you can skip it....why should they provide it for free?

Think about the context of the internet these days. There is an avalanche of free stuff out there which didn't exist in 2008 or even as late as 2013. I'm not saying they should "give anything away" but the stuff they're asking for in Premium has been free in a lot of other places for a long time.

So... go watch that? If you can't afford $35 a year you have bigger problems than a website about video games.

This is not the clever response that you think it is.

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BomberJan

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In general I liked the redesign, but the shows concept didn’t really work out. Most features end after a single “season”, and there are a lot of streams that are hard to categorize. Especially with the boat load of new features, many with guests that are hard to keep on schedule, they should probably ditch the shows concept and just tag streams.

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SethMode

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@mamba219: I'm not making a judgment call on quality of stuff or what can be found other places either way. I'm just saying, they are under no obligation to keep anything free just because someone has visited the site for a long time. We are all able to just move on and view other free things.

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NickM

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@asshat: I think that “wiping your asshat” with $35 is a far better use of 35 dollars than buying a Premium Membership

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#40  Edited By TurtleFish

@nodima said:

Sure, but that’s a pretty major change of mission statement. The original purpose of Giant Bomb IMHO, was free games coverage, with the ability to support the website above and beyond by purchasing premium.

What you’re describing is a mission statement of we produce content about stuff that’s game adjacent, and for the most part you have to pay for it.

The thought “Man if you can’t afford $50, go somewhere else” is missing the point. It’s the fact that you now have to spend $50 to get value, as opposed to maybe buying merch or putting up with the ads to show your support and still getting to see stuff. It’s a big change in the way content is offered.

Personally, I understand the need for monetization, somehow. I’ve worked in the information website game, as a senior I.T. guy; I’ve got very personal knowledge of trying to balance cost versus eyeballs versus revenue and knowing what happens if people get it wrong. I deeply sympathize with the Faustian bargains you sometimes have to make. As such, I really want to give Jeff(s) and Co time to figure it out. Six months is an eyeblink for something like this.

But I also think it’s perfectly valid to state “this is not what I signed up for”, because, this isn’t. These are two different websites run with two different philosophies that happen to share the same name. The king is dead; long live the king.

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jagerxbomb

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@ajamafalous: You're right. Everyone should just make the 100th thread about how they don't like it anymore instead of just going somewhere else.

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BrainScratch

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(...) and staff just left. (...)

Dan left in January 2020 (almost two years)
Abby left in November 2020 (over one year)
Ben left in January 2021 (almost one year)
Vinny, Brad, and Alex left in May 2021 (seven months, over half a year)

None of it was recent. Who exactly has "just left"?

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#43  Edited By asshat
@jagerxbomb said:

@ajamafalous: You're right. Everyone should just make the 100th thread about how they don't like it anymore instead of just going somewhere else.

Hello @jagerxbomb,

If you don't like the 99 existing threads anymore, nor the idea of the 100th, maybe you should just go somewhere else? Should you decide that is best and need recommendations, I have many bookmarks for internet pages which I am happy to share.

@nickm Hi NickM. I'm glad you have weighed the value proposition of both options and have concluded the best use case in this situation. Please let us know how it goes should you pursue that avenue!

Yours,
asshat

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HellBrendy

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I don't care for the non-gaming (except for TVOS) stuff but I think GB has gotten really good. Some fun shows great hires and overall a fun place to hang around. Would I love some more quick looks? Yes. Could the site be way worse? Oh lord yes.

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jagerxbomb

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ryudo

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@topcyclist said:

@sunjammer: you gotta give some slack. Jeff is married, has a second kid, and staff just left. He is working hard to juggle everything and still puts out quality. I say just keep supporting. They never let us down before. Also its a tuff time so experimenting should bring new viewers.

Yeah they're just getting settled into the new office after all

What office?

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Onemanarmyy

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@asshat said:

If you don't like the 99 existing threads anymore, nor the idea of the 100th, maybe you should just go somewhere else? Should you decide that is best and need recommendations, I have many bookmarks for internet pages which I am happy to share.

I uhh.. i could use some extra bookmarks. What are the cool places to be on the internet nowadays mr Asshat?