They've been spending ridiculous amounts of money to try to increase the production quality, which is not why anyone is on this site. It's the personalities that are the attraction. They spend thousands and thousands of dollars on the big live live show live, but Jeff sitting in his bedroom talking to a webcam has the same following if not more. Or playing a game and commenting on it. I just feel like in their desire to make it look like TV they're making themselves unprofitable and ignoring the part people actually enjoy.
I definitely sympathize with your perspective, Brodehouse, but I think the take away from mfpantst's analysis is that it is hard to see how Whiskey could be profitable even without doing "television quality" video productions. Even if they lowered the rent, a $40k/year salary - in San Francisco no less- is pretty low, and I would argue that's more the low end of the scale and not the average. In almost any operation, salary is the single largest budget item (which is why so much TV has switched to "reality", where you don't have to pay the "actors").
Sure it's fun and inspiring to think of Whiskey media as a couple of guys in a basement sticking it to the internet powers that be and making independent websites, but it is unclear that they could even pay their own salaries doing that.
But it in the end, I have to agree with Brodehouse's sentiment. It's a shame that Whiskey is no longer an independent company. The constant need to grow, attract a larger audience, and do bigger and "better" things has a negative impact on creative industries. Look at Bioware and Mass Effect 3. The obsession with attracting new players to the series - because a publicly traded company has to grow to increase value for shareholders - meant walking away from the idea of a player making his or her own story that arches through the trilogy and concentrating on cheap emotional thrills and multiplayer.
In a recent thread on the official 2k Civilization 5 forum, people were writing about how many of the 176 Civ 5 achievements they have. The official 2k community manager, 2k Greg, chimed in to say that Giantbomb is his favorite way to keep track of achievements. Pretty cool.
Would I be able to break out the old flight stick and throttle I used to fly helicopters in Janes AH-64 Longbow back in the late '90's and use that in Battlefield 3? Or are the controls not realistic enough for experience with a helicopter sim to transfer over?