By hallwaygiant 4 Comments
While I have a fairly similar post on GameSpot, I wanted to give a more Giant Bomb focused post to codify my thoughts on today's news. Firstly, as someone who has literally been listening to these guys in my ear (sounds a bit weird when you put it that way) for nearly a decade its obviously a bit crazy to see this predicament unfold as it did. I maintain that the 2003-2007 era of GameSpot are its absolute prime, and the height of its community. Again, I'm slightly biased as I grew up messing around on GameSpots message boards during the Lithium days (and beyond), and saw the site become far more modern and content heavy, producing Lets GameSpot, On the Spot, and the HotSpot respectively, in addition to the various editorial content that has existed since the beginning. All the while I was getting more and more familiar with the folks who have been a part of the Giant Bomb for the last 3 years.
The formation of the site seemed natural after Jeff exited GameSpot so abruptly in 2007. It become more and more apparent that he had more to say outside of the confines of the website he had more or less helped create. Their was definitely the feeling at the time that Giant Bomb would become the bastion of stupid video game journalism. It was the exodus of GameSpot staff however that was truly the nail in the coffin for me. Some of the absences were not a result of his firing, but none the less, the loss of many of those key personalities made my 'choice' (as if it was a life changing affair) fairly easy. Giant Bomb felt very much like these guys were finally able to be the idiots they always wanted to be, building a website and tone that they wanted to, not beholden to any particular master. While the whole prospect did come off as self indulgent at times the truth of the matter is, much of the appeal of Giant Bomb was to see if it really possible to strike out like that and make it work, a small group of industry vets going out on their own and covering their industry their way.
In some ways today's announcement cements that the answer to that is, "sort of?" Obviously Whiskey Media as we know it today is no more. Many of the folks we associate with Whiskey Media have been split between GameSpot and BermanBraun respectively. What we have learned is that this particular venture was not able to capture a large enough audience to be sustainable. Its apparent by the year membership drives, Giant Bombs planned world tour, and their partnership deals that they have tried time and time again to make the sites work financially. Since I would imagine Giant Bomb represents the majority of its user base its sad to see this come to pass, but it also a realistic truth and is why I have supported them financially, because I believed in what they are doing.
Suffice it to say I will continue to do so, as many have said already, Giant Bomb will either be able be allowed to be who they are or not. Their is really no grey area here. My worry is that much of the flavor that made them who they are will be lost in translation. More so it is that the forces that are beyond their control (aka CBS) will decide that the overlap and style of content is no longer appropriate. Of course, I have no idea what the future holds, and as the adage goes, time will tell, but I'll be following the guys until I've got a reason not to.