Where did everybody go?

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orcsoul

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#1  Edited By orcsoul

I've been away the last few years... sometime just before Jess got hired, but after the Red Ventures acquisition. It seems like Giant Bomb has gone through several shakeups in that time. Who's still around? Who's left? I know Vinny, Brad, and Alex are doing Nextlander. It seems that Dan, Jan, Jerf, and Grubb are still here at GB? What happened to the supreme OG Gerstmann? Or Jason "Ace Striker" Oestreicher?

On that note, I've yet to really view any recent content. Is the quality still there? Are things still feeling "fast and loose" with a more personality driven direction and honest opinions? Or are they towing the company line with more formulaic and scripted content?

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mellotronrules

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Mechanized

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Grubb and freelancer Mike Minotti are awesome additions to the crew. Unfortunately Jeff G was fired about a week or two before he was gonna quit. But he has his own thing going right now and it's great. Jason and Voidburger were unfortunately laid off.

The content is still great. It's still Giant Bomb. The shake ups, while unfortunate, have injected new life into the site, imo.

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eccentrix

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If anything, it feels too fast and loose. As someone who doesn't watch all the content all the time, it's hard to follow and could probably use more structure.

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sombre

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I hope you're prepared to see Mike in every single video on the site, despite not being a full time employee

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hjort

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I hope you like hearing about wrestling.

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Undeadpool

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@hjort said:

I hope you like hearing about wrestling.

I do!

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csl316

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Content's been fun and good. I don't watch it all anymore but they've been doing whatever the hell they want, it seems.

The old guard has left and they're all doing well with Nextlander and Jeff G's stuff. Matt Rorie finally played some Alpha Protocol and then moved on.

Jason and Jess layoffs sucked and still feel like a big mistake.

Overall, I've been enjoying the site, even if it's completely different than it was a few years ago. But constant change is basically what Giant Bomb has been over its history.

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cornfed40

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#9  Edited By cornfed40

Losing Jeff and Jess was a travesty. Was never a Jason guy, but with his health issues losing the job was I'm sure pretty rough on his family, and hopefully he's landed somewhere with some good medical insurance or gotten on whatever policy his wife has. The new hires and core crew are still great and have good chemistry and put together some pretty great content until recently.

Oh, and then they invited Grubb's constantly available friend, whose voice and general demeanor has basically stopped me from watching anything on the site for about the last month, to be involved in every video that they make. If you can stand Minoti, everything is fine. If you're like me, you'll hang around the message boards until someone posts an interesting topic or Mike gets an actual job.

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superslidetail

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It's generally been good content wise. I don't watch all of it but I never had in the past either so whatever. The site itself has some issues that are not working right and have not for a while. Do they have no engineers?

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AV_Gamer

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Really, the only thing I watch now a days is Game Mess Mornings with Jeff Grubb and his special guest, and even then, I don't watch every episode. I've stopped listening to the Bombcast for months now in favor of the Jeff Gertsmann show on Twitch. I cant speak on Dump Trunk, because I stopped watching it after Ben, the creator of the content, left.

As far as the status of the overall site? Sometimes they do something out of left field that is really good and reminds people how good GB used to be. But those things are happening fewer and further apart as time goes by it seems. And the website in general is pretty much a ghost town. Hardly anyone comments on the videos. And the forums seems to only have about twenty people active, myself included. And I should add, that most of the people on the staff now are actually Gamespot people who are helping keep GB going. But I don't see that lasting too long, however, if things continue the way they are. That is the harsh truth of the matter.

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tartyron

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I've become a one or two videos every few weeks guy. The content is good for the people still here, but with all the OGs gone, it's not felt as homey as it once did. Jess, Jeff and Jason being dismissed was all fucking stupid on Fandoms part and I'll never say otherwise, even if Jeff was gearing up to leave anyway. But the people we actually see on video are all great folks, and it's not their fault their bosses are morons. Like, at all. There was a stupid hate wave of blaming the remaining staff like it was somehow their fault for a while, which seems to have mostly passed, though when threads like this one pop up I'm sometimes dubious of the intention because it can bring out the trolls.

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SNWK47

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I haven't watched any content in a good while and I'm also not active on the forums (and never have been).
They don't bother linking to giantbomb.com in their descriptions on YouTube anymore as far as I can tell. I'd say that's a pretty clear indication of what's to be expected for the actual website going forward.

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TurtleFish

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I'm now pretty much a 'check-in every few months' type of guy at this point. FWIW, it's still decent content when I see something interesting, but the flavour is completely different now, and it's not my type of flavour, I'm sad to say.

It's really only GB in name.

I wish they had rebooted everything when Gerstmann left -- I think one of the things holding the staff back IS the fact that there's so much previous history. Almost better for them to start with a clean page and let them establish their own brand, as opposed to trying to take over the brand of something that means so much, and that had a certain brand of entertaining zaniness beyond simple podcasting.

Like, how many websites do you know of where people will still listen to podcasts recorded over 10 years ago for entertainment? That's a hell of a long shadow to get out of. I don't envy the current group as they wrestle with that legacy and the endless comparisons.

Still, the only constant is change. GB is dead, long live GB. Good luck to everybody still holding the torch.

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jacksmedulla

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Giantbomb is exclusively the forums for me at this point, and even that is a shadow of itself. There are basically 15 people keeping these forums alive haha.

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mellotronrules

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@av_gamer said:

And the forums seems to only have about twenty people active, myself included.

true, but also- how dare you.

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narficacid

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I've been a fan of this website (and a lurker on these boards) since the beginning. Every time a big change has happened, I've said to myself, "Maybe it's time that I just move on from Giant Bomb." That's happened like 2 or 3 times in the history of this site. The firing of Jeff by RV and the Fandom firings of Jess and Jason broke my heart and brought me closer to that edge than I've ever been...and yet I'm still here.

There's great people still making great content here (though I agree with the first poster in that you should judge the quality of the current content by just watching it - everyone likes something different and other people's opinion of what's being made are never going to fit with yours 100%). I may let my premium subscription lapse in November this year, but I'm still a fan of Giant Bomb as it is now.

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remotesilver

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"Giant Bomb Staff June 6th 2022 - Giant Bomb and Jeff Gerstmann have agreed to go our separate ways."

Well that turned out to be a fucking lie. You want to know where everyone went? They all left before the ship sank or were fired to appease some line on a balance sheet.

What is left isn't Giant Bomb. The house remains but the previous occupants no longer live here. I would ask for a forwarding address if you seriously aren't aware of what has happened and are interested in the previous members and their creative output.

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sombre

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Oh, and then they invited Grubb's constantly available friend, whose voice and general demeanor has basically stopped me from watching anything on the site for about the last month, to be involved in every video that they make. If you can stand Minoti, everything is fine. If you're like me, you'll hang around the message boards until someone posts an interesting topic or Mike gets an actual job.

Honestly this

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mellotronrules

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well, this went predictably.

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jstaunton

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@sombre: you make it sound like a bad thing!

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WasteLand_Alpha

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They say the "C" word a lot, and Jan is constantly overworked. They are also teaching Dan what a thermos is, and apparently we are all Dan's "marks" because that is how Dan enjoys life.

As long the people around him are uncomfortable and on edge Dan is gleefully happy.

Did I mention they overwork Jan?

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Retris

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@orcsoul: The site is currently pretty much entirely produced by Jan, since they fired Jess and Jason. This means less videos. Also, they stopped doing premium content and memberships really only give you the archive content... except the video player is kinda broken for a lot of people. Besides that, I'd say it's more fast and loose than it's been since the CBS acquisition. For example, Unprofessional Fridays have kinda become just a fuck around show where they'll just do whatever, instead of the more structured "everyone brings a game for the show and tell" format it used to have.

The main thing is that there are two Dans now. The bad, original Dan who has become even more obtuse and obnoxious, and then there's Mike Minotti, the bizarro-Dan who loves Disney. They also do not have an adult like Vinny or Jason around to get the show back on track whenever Dan's brain malfunctions.

Still, it's Giant Bomb. They're getting used to the new office. You still get some quick looks and they're still the same. There's also been an influx of travelogues and they've all been extremely good, so it's not all bad.

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cikame

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#26  Edited By cikame

I stopped watching just before Jeff was fired, the crew handled covid pretty well but their ever growing dissatisfaction with the company and the whole situation made everything kind of a bummer, then all the OG's left and i didn't like the new crew, nothing against them it just wasn't for me anymore, i still lurk in the forums though.

I didn't follow over to Nextlander because Jeff was still here and i felt like despite splitting and having the freedom to do their own thing they'd still just be a group streaming games from home, and having those awkward political conversations i was growing tired of.

I did follow Jeff though, funnily enough Jeff has always been the member of the crew i disgree with the most, but his humour and no bullshit attitude towards most things is still intact, so he's still my source for video game news and reactions. I get my regular dose of Drew and Danny from the Shift+F1 podcast, i just like hearing them talk.

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AV_Gamer

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@cikame said:

I did follow Jeff though, funnily enough Jeff has always been the member of the crew i disgree with the most, but his humour and no bullshit attitude towards most things is still intact, so he's still my source for video game news and reactions.

This.

I also disagree with some of Jeff Gertsmann's opinions on video games. But I find it funny how he goes out of his way to bash popular video games franchises people like just to see their angry reactions in chat. But more importantly, I like how he talks about video games and the video game industry as a whole. Mainly, because he says how he really feels and doesn't hold back out of fear of industry backlash.

As far as the current staff. I don't have an issue with Mike as some people do. But to be just, I haven't watched UPF in months, and I already mention how I don't listen to the BGcast or watch Dump Truck. The only experience I've had with Mike is during the times he is on Game Mess Mornings which is a lot, and he seemed okay to me.

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Shindig

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I did enjoy the Blite Club that just aired but that might've been down to the Animorphs tangent. The one thing I wish Jeff would do would be to have guests on. He had Lang on relatively early and his podcast with Glenn Rubenstein sounds like something I might eventually pay for. Having Jeff bounce off people is the stuff I like to see.

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splodge

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@shindig: I am all in for Blooghk Club: Janimorphs

I feel like the site is closer now to what it used to be, more than ever. It is a bunch of people who very much enjoy eachothers company fucking around with video games. The faces have changed but the spirit is very much alive. I enjoy most of the content, and also the side pods (shout out Jeff Jeff's).

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Edens_Heel

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@splodge: I agree with this. I've been here since the beginning, and yeah, the vibe is different (and in some ways, a little less mature, which I find a bit tiresome at times as I enjoyed "growing up" with the original crew), but to me, it still -mostly- feels like Giant Bomb.

Re: Jeff's solo adventures, I tried to follow him there but I just couldn't. He was never the draw for me; the group dynamic was. On his own, I've always struggled with his tone and tenor. Nextlander gives me what I need of the old vibes, and I'm okay with that being it. (FTR, I wish Jeff well and have no ill will toward the man, but throughout the years I just never clicked with him—or Ben for that matter. Just the wrong vibes for my personality. That said, I do miss Jason and Jess something fierce.)

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Nocall

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mrangryface

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I miss Jess and Jason tons

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chamurai

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@mrangryface: If there's anything that can be agreed upon in this thread, it's this.

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jstaunton

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@nocall: cum

Though Bakalar has tried to put an end to that tbf

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jstaunton

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@retris: your point about there not being an "adult" is entirely subjective and just wrong imo.

Depends on the situation but I'd say both Jeffs perform that role when necessary.

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Zelnox

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GB at Nite for Summer Game Fest stuff is great.

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noboners

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#38  Edited By noboners

I'm honestly a big fan of the state of the site right now, and I think it is the strongest it has been since the pandemic started. Not having Jess/Jason sucks something fierce, but the content that is being put out is really fun and I think the constant rotating chair that seems to be going on is really reminiscent of early Whiskey days where you just kinda don't know who is going to show up where. But the Summer Games Fest couches were some of the best content they have done in years, and I think the whole group just has really gelled at this point and can riff off each other easily. You can really tell how much enjoyment the gang is getting right now, which is something that I think was missing just a few years ago. All the travelogues have been good fun, too.

I think the biggest thing missing right now are Quick Looks, but I also think we have just kind of moved passed the point of them. At any point of the day, if you want to see gameplay of a game, you can open Twitch and do so. Sure it's not GB playing them, but I would rather watch GB play games they enjoy than watch them go through the motions of a tutorial in a game they hate.

edit: I should mention that I am not watching everything. But I never have.

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superslidetail

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@noboners: Pretty much exactly how I feel.

I also feel the Bombcast is best its been in years.

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splodge

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Retris

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@jstaunton:Yeah, it is subjective. But Bakalar DEFINITELY is not the one to rein Dan in. If anything, he keeps egging Dan on with his attitude. Either way, a lot of the times it ends up with Dan asking a question and nobody really knowing the answer so the discussion keeps on going entirely too long for my taste.

@noboners: The Summer Games Fest couches were so entertaining. The way a lot of that stuff went completely off the rails was exactly what I want from GB couches. The Phil Spencer interview worked really well too, with Tam kind of being the bad cop.

What I do disagree with is that we've moved past Quick Looks. If anything, I think Quick Looks are even more valuable now. With Twitch, I just get gameplay, but with Quick Looks I get a (mostly) concise summation of what the game is like and how it works. For example, the Viewfinder QL gave me a more concrete understanding of the game than listening to any number of podcasts, and a more thorough and faster look at what the game contains than a stream.

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noboners

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@retris:I think you are right in what Quick Looks provide, but I don't think they were providing the summation they used to. The Viewfinder, BG3 & Pikmin 4 and most of the other QLs from the last month have absolutely all been great and reminded me of the older quick looks. But so many of the quick looks from the pandemic era were just the opening hour or two of a game, which I don't think provides a good snapshot of what the game really is.

So, I suppose I didn't mean to come across dismissive of QLs as a whole, I was just trying to say I am much happier with this slow drip of new QLs where the crew is actually liking the game and putting out Quick Looks for games they think deserve them. Not just churning some out because it felt like something they needed to do for SEO reasons.

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mekon

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I think describing Jeff as a firing/layoff to satisfy a balance sheet is quite likely inaccurate - Jess and Jason though, yes. In the case of Jeff, it's a common practice for someone to be granted either a) gardening leave - they get paid their notice not to work and look around for employment, as long as it's not for a competitor (wouldn't work so well for Jeff with his background and the state of games journalism) or b) they're told to leave, rather than have them make any parting shots/cause trouble whilst under the company's name - mitigation of sorts. As a regular employee for so long wanting to leave, I don't think he couldn't be construed to have misbehaved, just be fed up.

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remotesilver

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A couple of months after Jeff was fired, Fandom bought a collection of websites that included Giant Bomb. Needless to say the sale process was underway during that period.

You honestly don't think removing Jeff who was most likely the highest paid employee makes a financial sheet look better?

It's what happens. You cut your expenses as much as possible so you appear a more attractive financial acquisition. Fandom then have realised it wasn't as attractive as first thought and cut even deeper hence why they fired Jess and Jason.

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tartyron

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#45  Edited By tartyron

I will say that a factor for me falling off the videos is Dan going Full Dan. I love Dan, I really do, my favorite era of Dan was GBeast, because Vinny, Alex, Jerf and Abby were the correct level of adult to keep Dan at the correct levels. I stopped listening to Fire Escape and skip a lot of content here because Dan just sorta is surrounded by enablers now, which is fine, he’s living his best life and is still funny and enjoyable a lot of the time, but sometimes, much more often now, is too much for me.

I say this as someone who really, honestly loves Dan a lot. I think Dan is best at about half Dan levels. Full Dan just kinda scares me off.

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mellotronrules

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@tartyron: yeah, i'm largely in agreement with you there (i love dan best when he has a foil to riff off and a schtick; pure dan can be a lot at times).

but i think i'd even go a step further and say beyond certain personality types becoming dominant (which, no shade. it takes all types i'm happy to dip in and out as needed); i think the general tenor of the site has become more homogenous.

it's just my own perception (so one's mileage may vary), but it feels like the site used to have a broader mix of personalities and tastes such that if someone went too hard pro or con on something, there's was someone there to raz or goof on them a bit (if jeff said 'all stories are bad,' vinny was there to say 'now hang on a sec.' if vinny went hard on a steering wheel, ryan would say 'don't buy that steering wheel.' if dan said literally anything, abby was there to say 'daaaaaan!')

the group as it stands now feels like it's largely in agreement about all things- which is neat!- but it also feels like we get less championing of individual tastes or exposure to idiosyncratic stuff.

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tartyron

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@mellotronrules: yes, this. The diversity of personalities is not as wide as it once was. And none of that is to say anyone has a bad personality, it’s just not as mixed as before. We had grumpy but hilarious Jeff, we had happy dad Vinny, we had even keeled Brad, we had sarcastic Alex, and tons more. And now, it’s kinda mostly gamer bros. Again, that’s fine, but it also like a bunch of other outfits. Would it have killed Fandom to allow the one full time female employee on front facing staff to stay? And also, while I’ve come to have an appreciation of wrestling because of these guys, the amount is nuts. It’s literally every fucking conversation. Diversify guys, there are other interests out there, literally billions of other things to talk about.

But I digress. My first comment was that these threads tend to tern into shit talking, and now I feel like I’m doing it. I post on the forums more often than I watch videos anymore. I mostly stick with nextlander for my nostalgia, and even that I’m falling off of. Current GB is not bad, but I guess it’s not really for me anymore, and that’s actually fine. I don’t think that’s an actual problem. I do appreciate how resilient this site is, even as I mostly move on. I meant so much to me for so long, it’s just weird is all

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Symbyosys

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#48  Edited By Symbyosys

Lot of posters here saying they pine for the old days and don't watch the videos. Yeah, you're not watching the videos. The videos are still good. The crew chemistry is among the best its ever been. I kind of agree with all the positives in this thread, and the negatives I've heard variations of for over a decade - "I don't like Dan Dan. I don't like Matt Mike." Great. All the former GB crew making their own streams now, we're feasting. I watch all the videos and barely look at the forums. I do look at the Discord. There's probably a lot of us.

Honestly the attitude is the same around here and the site hasn't changed much except the old guard is mostly gone. But now, I count Dan, JeffB, and Jan as the old guard. I think nothing's been the same since the in-person content went away and Jeff B has acknowledged that and they're addressing that where they can. Then they turn out and make the Summer Games Fest content backed by their new owners which is some of the best stuff GB has made in years, and as for the Quick Looks, they have recently been back on track IF you've been watching. :)

Edit: Blight Club is incredible.

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hjort

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@tartyron said:

@mellotronrules: yes, this. The diversity of personalities is not as wide as it once was. And none of that is to say anyone has a bad personality, it’s just not as mixed as before. We had grumpy but hilarious Jeff, we had happy dad Vinny, we had even keeled Brad, we had sarcastic Alex, and tons more. And now, it’s kinda mostly gamer bros. Again, that’s fine, but it also like a bunch of other outfits. Would it have killed Fandom to allow the one full time female employee on front facing staff to stay? And also, while I’ve come to have an appreciation of wrestling because of these guys, the amount is nuts. It’s literally every fucking conversation. Diversify guys, there are other interests out there, literally billions of other things to talk about.

This is a perfect summary of the state of things, as far as I'm concerned. I don't want to seem like I'm spurring on negativity or dogpiling or anything, but this post expresses exactly what I would like to express, and I'm so relieved to hear someone who actually likes wrestling say these things.

I like everyone currently involved with Giant Bomb, I truly genuinely do. And yet, I can't make it through a video anymore, simply because they always seem to end up being about wrestling. Wrestling anecdotes and wrestling jokes wrapped in wrestling lingo. I don't mind wrestling as such, there's always been wrestling talk on Giant Bomb, it's fine, but not on this level.

Even if there were someone to balance things out, to act as a proxy for the part of the audience who may lack the interest or the insight into the subject, this would still be a ridiculous amount of the same subject matter. I'm almost starting to think it's a conscious attempt at cultivating a certain type of fanbase.

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kone

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The crew is fine, but what you really have to watch out for are the weirdos who create content/fan art about the site and the crew. I can't put my finger on it and I don't mean to generalize, but there's just something off about them.