#1 Posted by Haz (422 posts) -

Austin Walker just wrote up a quick note here -

Starting today, Waypoint is joining forces with VICE’s incredible network of sites, and together we’re merging into a single destination: the new VICE.com. Going forward, you’ll find all of our work at VICE.com/games.

What does this mean for our coverage of games and games culture? That we’re going to continue the work we started years ago. A few days after we launched in 2016, I set out to explain what we wanted to build in a letter to our burgeoning community:

[Our] aim is to cover games with criticality and humanity. It is to give as much attention to the people, passion, and politics of gaming as we have been giving to the products. It is to explore how and why we play, not only because trying to answer those questions will lead us to tell great stories, but because we fundamentally believe that this will offer insight into the wider "state of play," into the culture that games emerge from and that people play in.

Waypoint Radio will continue to exist, however it looks like Waypoint will have more contributors than previously.

This is still our mission. And we will be more equipped than ever to bring the complexity of our analysis, the rigor of our reporting, and the curiosity about how and why we play to the world. We now have an even deeper bench of writers, critics, and reporters; people who love games and are as excited as we are to dig into the culture that surrounds them.

I hope it works out well for Austin & co. I've loved the work Waypoint has done and what Austin had done for Giant Bomb too.

#2 Posted by zombie2011 (5598 posts) -

Huh. I always thought waypoint was already a part of Vice....

Didn't they start at Vice.com/games?

#3 Posted by TheRealTurk (527 posts) -

I think Waypoint was always part of Vice, it was just originally vice.com/games before they became waypoint.vice.com. So now they are going back to being vice.com/games? For reasons? Seems like kind of a pointless change, since now they're just losing whatever unique identity they had. Typical corporate hierarchy fucker-y, I bet. Nothing pulls in the clicks like confusing branding decisions!

Plus, I took a look at their new site and it is rough. Like "Why is it so hard to find anything and ohgodmyeyespleasemakeitstop!" rough [insert snide comment about GBs recent redesign here - although at least GB doesn't switch to a vertical layout halfway down the page for no apparent reason].

Personally, I think it would be much better if they became "cbs.waypoint.com." Or maybe "tinybomb.com?"

#4 Edited by Humanity (18800 posts) -

Kind of shitty that the "Games" section is relegated to the "Other" rollout menu but Food or Drugs get a feature on the main page.

Other than that, still same ol' Vice except with a site format that maybe doesn't really do it many favors. It's surprising how in this day and age people still have no clue how to design websites for usability. Nothing quite as bad as Giant Bomb but still plenty of sites out there that are just a mess.

#5 Posted by FarleysLundgren (162 posts) -

I don’t want to listen to the podcast and hear them say ”VICE Games”. It’s Waypoint, this sucks.

#6 Posted by frytup (1316 posts) -

I suspect the main thing keeping Waypoint/Vice Gaming/whatever alive at this point is Austin's ability to argue his case in meetings with executives. Long may it continue.

#7 Posted by FinalDasa (3207 posts) -

Reads more like a restructuring of how Vice operates than an overall change to Waypoint as an entity. Maybe Waypoint is doing well enough they wanted to fold the goodness into the Vice dough. Or maybe Waypoint needs the Vice boost. No clue.

So long as Waypoint/Vice Gaming continues to operate as they did before I see no issue. I have faith in Austin to continue to do what he feels is right.

Moderator
#8 Posted by Rejizzle (1122 posts) -

Is this because they made that 6 part Pride and Prejudice podcast? Are they doing this to make sure they stick to games?

#10 Posted by mellotronrules (2610 posts) -

hmm. i get bad vibes. especially in this context:

https://variety.com/2019/digital/news/vice-media-eliminating-channels-consolidating-website-1203202464/

i feel like shuffling the brand 'waypoint' off to the 'other' subsection isn't a great sign.

that said they do great work, so i'll keep listening and reading.

#11 Posted by stalefishies (447 posts) -

It's especially weird for me as a Brit because I get Vice UK by default when I type 'vice.com' into my web browser - which has zero Waypoint content, and no way to get to 'Vice Games'. Waypoint has been folded into Vice US specifically, and while this isn't really that big of a distinction (it's not like I'd ever go to vice.com to get to gaming stuff; I'd go to vice.com/games directly which is no different to going to waypoint.vice.com) there's a small part of it that just feels icky. I shouldn't feel like I'm having to trick Vice to get to their US site instead of their UK site to get to the gaming stuff.

#12 Posted by FinalDasa (3207 posts) -

They've release a podcast discussing the changes. Long and short is the change is mostly structural and not cultural. Waypoint is pretty much still Waypoint, just more closely integrated into Vice.

Moderator
#13 Posted by htr10 (1058 posts) -

On behalf of concerned Waypoint podcast fans everywhere, “uh oh” is my reaction to this.

#14 Posted by flameboy84 (896 posts) -

Struggle to see this in any positive light to be honest…we’ve seen things like this happen before glixel getting merged into rolling Stones and other more far off examples I forget (even 1up being moved to ign studios as part of their slow decline) and it inevitably means people are cast away and the site slowly loses its voice and unique perspective…sigh.

#15 Posted by Spectreman (272 posts) -

Good.

#16 Posted by soulcake (2788 posts) -

Is it weird that i think Austins talent is being wasted at Vice, Waypoint was never gonna be my thing it's a niche, that just isn't for me. I felt like they started off grant definitely liked there first podcasts, they released under the waypoint name, but fell off halfway as the focus was put on to other thing then games and gaming culture IMO. And them even joking with them getting fired in years to come in the E3 late night show is even reinforcing my first statement.

#17 Posted by gkhan (1086 posts) -

@soulcake said:

Is it weird that i think Austins talent is being wasted at Vice, Waypoint was never gonna be my thing it's a niche, that just isn't for me.

Thus far, he's definitely not been "wasted" at Waypoint. Waypoint is pure Austin Walker, distilled to it's essence. He would be wasted anywhere else. Lets hope Vice keeps letting the team keep doing their thing, just with a new url/masthead. They would be crazy to mess with the formula.

#18 Edited by FarleysLundgren (162 posts) -

And now Natalie is quitting. Apparently unrelated to this thing, but.. damn that sucks

#19 Posted by FLStyle (6651 posts) -

Makes me feel very lucky that CBS doesn't seem to interfere much with CBSi.

#20 Edited by Jesus_Phish (3885 posts) -
@soulcake said:

Is it weird that i think Austins talent is being wasted at Vice, Waypoint was never gonna be my thing it's a niche, that just isn't for me. I felt like they started off grant definitely liked there first podcasts, they released under the waypoint name, but fell off halfway as the focus was put on to other thing then games and gaming culture IMO. And them even joking with them getting fired in years to come in the E3 late night show is even reinforcing my first statement.

They where joking about that because at the time behind the scenes they knew there was an impending purchase into the company from external sources and there had been rumours going around that Vice was looking to merge a bunch of verticals together.

Austin was great on GB but honestly he was wasted here because GB doesn't have a good outlet for the kind of political and culturally driven stuff he wants to get out there and say. And while they let him do a little bit by having guest writers come in for a while, it never really fit with the rest of the sites tone.

#21 Posted by YoThatLimp (2506 posts) -

hmm. i get bad vibes. especially in this context:

https://variety.com/2019/digital/news/vice-media-eliminating-channels-consolidating-website-1203202464/

i feel like shuffling the brand 'waypoint' off to the 'other' subsection isn't a great sign.

that said they do great work, so i'll keep listening and reading.

Here's hoping to everything working out for Austin and co.

#22 Posted by Fezrock (731 posts) -

On the silly side, does this mean that all the dumb redirect URLs people bought will no longer work?

On the serious side, VICE has mean so mismanaged for so long and has been losing so much money that I certainly understand the corporate decision to shake things up. Pulling all the different VICE brands together under a single banner again may even be a good idea, I've no idea. Maybe they have data that most of their users go use the main VICE.com site as their go-to destination and the sites visible there get more traffic than the more separate things like Waypoint. That being said, even if this works out longterm for VICE and I don't think it'll work out longterm for the Waypoint crew. This maybe saves their jobs, and maybe that's enough (it's certainly a big thing), but I don't see how this won't indelibly change what it is they do. At the very least, I think it means a lot more oversight from VICE (certainly on the technical end, with things like "No, we always publish stories in this kind of format at this time of day, you can't do this other thing") including having to stay more on-brand (no more 6-part Jane Austen podcasts).

#23 Posted by htr10 (1058 posts) -

I feel like I should say this while hiding behind a rock and then quickly run away before everyone turns around to see who said it, but I’m going to say it anyway. If the direction here is to go back to the 4-person podcasts with Austin, Patrick, Danielle, and Rob, this is a change that would take me back to a time where I obsessively listened to all the Waypoint podcasts immediately, rather than the last 6 months where I leave them until I’m done with listening to everything else.

#24 Posted by TheRealTurk (527 posts) -

@finaldasa said:

They've release a podcast discussing the changes. Long and short is the change is mostly structural and not cultural. Waypoint is pretty much still Waypoint, just more closely integrated into Vice.

As much as I would love to believe this, as someone who has worked at enough large corporations to know - that's never the way it works. The structural change always ends up affecting the cultural side of things at some point. Reporting structures change, people leave, new people join, a new manager sets different expectations, work gets prioritized or promoted differently in the new group, etc. It's pretty much unavoidable.

#25 Edited by Jesus_Phish (3885 posts) -

@fezrock: They'll still work. waypoint.vice.com itself now redirects to the games section of the new Vice website.

They'll stop working should Vice ever decide to stop having waypoint.vice direct to it's own new section, at which point people would need to update those redirect URLs. My guess is that with Waypoint just being rolled into Vice, some of those people might be less enthused about re-upping their domains.

#26 Posted by htr10 (1058 posts) -

Paying closer attention to that “announcement” podcast, not a promising sign that Danielle has been partially reassigned to “teens”.

#27 Posted by liquiddragon (3381 posts) -

Any chance this means we'll get Idle Weekend back? Is that rude?

#28 Posted by htr10 (1058 posts) -

@liquiddragon:

I think that’s a reasonable question, but sounds like Danielle is going to have decreased involvement with games beyond the flagship podcast.

#29 Posted by OurSin_360 (6177 posts) -

Must not be doing well enough to be on its own? Do they have a subscription model? If not If i was austin that would be the first thing i would have tried to do, i believe it's what keeps giantbomb free from becoming gamepspot.com/giantbomb. That way they kind of own their space and prove that they have a loyal fanbase that is willing to pay for their content that would not work with that kind of merger.

Hopefully this doesn't hurt their team or their fans much and they get to continue doing what they want. Seeing how they had like pride and prejudice podcasts, they kinda were doing whatever the F they wanted to over there lol.

#30 Posted by BladeOfCreation (1342 posts) -

This is, I assume, one more step on the path to Austin Walker just forming his own Patreon-funded outlet.

I hope this change works out for everyone involved. Waypoint is a much better name than Vice Games, but I have an aversion to the name "Vice" to begin with.

#31 Posted by Toxin066 (3541 posts) -

" ...Ostensibly" -Scoops

#33 Posted by deckard (359 posts) -

This is, I assume, one more step on the path to Austin Walker just forming his own Patreon-funded outlet.

I hope this change works out for everyone involved. Waypoint is a much better name than Vice Games, but I have an aversion to the name "Vice" to begin with.

I agree - I've seen so many of these corporate consolidations over the years (radio, TV, websites, etc.) where everyone says "nothing's going to change, our identity will stay the same!". That usually lasts, oh, about 6 months tops if they're lucky. Austin and Co.'s unique perspective seems well-suited for a Patreon effort these days.