Slag

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Slag

8305

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@zombiepie You're a good one ZP. Really nice piece and I really appreciate the sentiments you expressed. You're one of my favorite reads and people I've met here

It's funny, the "community" is actually why I more or less left and will likely go back to lurking on the forums etc. To be clear by community, I mean the community functionality on the site, not the people in it. The people in it, like yourself and some other names I know in this thread, have always been my favorite part of GB. It is afterall, why I came here in the first place. Liking the personalities was a bonus for me.

I see Jeff leaving and the manner in which he seems to have left and I figure the community I came here for is doomed. He was the biggest visible staff champion of the wiki, quests, achievement tracking, blogs etc. Without him here and the seemingly new focus on Discord, the website itself doesn't even seem to rate as an afterthought. I can't help but figure at some point, it's going to be retired by RV. They don't really need all this stuff to run a video site, and personality content drives the bus financially. No hard feelings from me, it probably makes sense from a profitability/time mgt standpoint.

So I actually feel pretty good about the future of the video and audio content for GB, I really like the new hires and I think Bakalar has laid out a good vision for the site. Losing Jeff really sucks and he's irreplaceable, but they did really well hiring a good new core.

But unless I see some real sustained engineering focus on the website, I doubt I return to consistent activity here. Too many folks have moved on and the features/functionality etc haven't kept up with the times. I'm just not going to invest anymore time and effort into the wiki, lists etc if I don't feel confident it's going to last. They are fun to do, but they require a fair amount of time to do right.

And I dunno when Jeff was here, I also felt like I was contributing to a larger effort for the benefit of all gamers. I'm not convinced of that with the current ownership. Maybe they will, they never talk about it though if they intend to.

I'll definitely keep reading your spotlight for as long as you do it though! And you'll run into me on your streams and other places I'm sure. Thanks for all you've done for the community over the years! You and some of the other mods have kept this place going for so long and made it a fun place to be. And hey maybe with all the new staff, it's not a bad time for the userbase to refresh itself too. And let old gaming fogies like myself move out of the way for a new generation :)

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Slag

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Well now we know why it happened and what's going to change.

I do think in the future @rorie (and really any GB staff or whomever made the decision), that you never ever should materially change a service that people are actively paying for without an explanation and opt out prior to the change. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

Doing it this way caused unnecessary speculation, hurt feelings and reputation damage to GB. It's just not a good way to treat your subs, likely caused you all many headaches and not consistent with what I think your personal and company values are. Frankly I think you are fortunate that blowback wasn't far worse.

That being said, I'm glad we now know why you made the changes and I think your reasoning makes sense.

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Slag

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#3  Edited By Slag

I liked it a lot.

Made me a feel a lot better after that weird ass news article tbh. Made it clear to me that whatever happened behind the scenes, the crew misses Jeff as much we do.

and it was amusing on its own merits

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Slag

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Some dang good gets. Lucy and Tam are super under-rated. Bout time GB actually secured talent from Gamespot. They need to do whatever it takes to get them fully over here from there.

Old GB is definitely gone and this place will never feel the same to me, but if you had to reboot the irreplaceable cast, they did it about as well as you possibly could.

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Slag

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Man, never thought I'd see the day.

you're the man Jeff, utterly one of a kind and utterly irreplaceable. I hope we see you somewhere else in games media. You're still a threat and still needed

I'm really at a loss for words tbh

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Slag

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Sure, why not

  • L.A Noire
  • Dragon's Dogma
  • DOTA 2
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  • Dragon Quest Builders
  • Gravity Rush 2
  • Dragon Quest Xi: Echoes of an Elusive Age
  • Judgment
  • Hades
  • Deathloop

Didn't honestly expect to have 2 DQ games but no Final Fantasy games (tho Remake is neck and neck with Hades for me) given my respective feelings towards the franchises, but here we are

And PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is a weird one, basically my game of the generation but being a live service game I didn't think it was the best game of the year in 2017/8 at the time. But at some point it got to the top for me. It's probably my game of the last ten years but it's not the best game of any given year if that makes sense.

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Slag

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#8  Edited By Slag

Well some of what I'd like Giant Bomb to be are sort of happening. I'm hopeful but also skeptical.

I'd like to see this site have more diverse voices and backgrounds in its personalities and that does seem like it's happening to some degree with the latest crop of contractors. I hope to see even more hires from different genders and ethnicities to get the site more representative of society (at least American society) as a whole. Hopefully some of these contractors can be brought on fulltime as inhouse editors if they pan out (#teamVoidburger). Seems like it's a system that could be a great way to expand GB's rolodex to more diverse folks and opinions.

The things I'd like Giant Bomb to provide in terms of content really haven't been on the table since 2012 frankly haha. Oh well

I'm one of those old timers who mainly came here for the wiki, the community, achievement tracking etc. I think that stuff is too far gone now to revive. That all more less was doomed since CBSi bought them and they never got the engineering focus needed to keep it relevant.

I get it, no hard feelings. I really appreciate Jeff going to bat for all that stuff as hard as he has for so many years. I know how much he loves the wiki etc. I had a great time for a lot of years here when I badly needed an online place to go. Part of me honestly believed there was always a sliver of a chance it could come back, but given what's happened this year I think it's time for me to face the facts.

Eventually I got into the game coverage and game personality stuff that GB did and that I do think should be revived as soon as possible. Nobody does Quick looks and infotainment game coverage like GB does. It'd be a real shame if that goes away. At least for me this place won't be a daily or probably even monthly visit until that returns.

I came for the social features, stayed for the game coverage and haven't been coming around because I gotta go elsewhere to get those. Only so many hours in the day. Still love the place tho. I'll be back on a regular basis if the new game coverage comes back.

I think the current contractor content strategy for premium is really smart given their current staffing issues, tho I'm skeptical the 1st episode free strategy will work in converting a lot of new subs. Hope it does tho. The content I care about has a better chance at coming back if the premium strategy works I suspect.

@whitegreyblack said:

  • Transparency and visibility. Jeff has a ton going on and I know there is a lot of serious and tough shit he is dealing with right now. However, a lot of people's disappointment and anger could have been tempered if there was the impression of a familiar guiding hand at the helm who would be visible and talk to us about what's happening. Jeff getting on camera once a week or every second week a'la Jar Time (meaning: in a simple, casual, conversational way) just to give people a calming update would have gone such a long way. GB seemed to think only coming on screen to make announcements of shows would be enough. It wasn't, and isn't. The reactions from the community reflect that

This is a really really great post. Whole thing really. Thoughtful constructive and fair advice . I agree with almost all of it, but I especially appreciate that you never get personal or angry. Hopefully the staff listen to you and are able to act on what you suggested.

especially point #1 about communication. Giant Bomb is frankly just terrible at this and as far as I can tell the worst in game personality business. Back in 2008-12ish they more or less got away with it because they were basically the only game in town. But it's not 2012 anymore.

The patreon age has really made this crystal clear to me just how poorly this is done here as I've gotten to experience how other game outfits talk to their subscribers. And frankly every single one I've interacted with does it better (I've tried maybe half a dozen or more? MinnMax, What's Good Games, Kinda Funny, Nextlander etc etc etc) . It's not hard to fix either

it utterly baffles me, GB makes so many other decisions that frankly are really forward looking but they constantly shoot themselves in the foot by just not doing PR 101 norms in relaying basic information. A place that once was cutting edge increasingly acts like a relic, at least in this respect.

Case in point- The whole "we'll be back in a month" thing looks increasingly bad in retrospect. The unstated implication was clear that content would resume in June-ish. That clearly has not happened at all for free users and it's taken more like 2-3 months for premium users to get a roster of shows. They should have been far more explicit with what they'd actually be back with when they paused subscriptions and framed it that way to fans. And updated that framing when they figured out it'd take longer.

to fix this going forward all they got do is two things

  1. Be transparent like you said. They don't gotta get super specific but when you end shows or content you need to tell your audience. And if you don't know when they might come back, you need to say that. People will understand as long as you communicate regularly.
  2. When you have programming scheduling changes you need to share the same basic information in every communication channel you have, especially especially on the website where you actually service your customers. Not random tweet here, tumblr post there, discord ama there, timestamp in the bombcast here, gamespot interview there. You need to hit all of them, everytime. Start with an article on your website, cross post it in your own forums, link to those with your socials, discuss and further elaborate on the bombcast,newsletter and elsewhere as needed.
  3. BONUS- As a best practice, especially with all these contractors and new faces, they should do what Bakalar has done with a few of these like Albummer, where they new folks are introduced to the base by a core personality. Better yet, have them guest for an epoisode on the Bombcast and promote their new premium shows. The Giant Bomb fandom is great but it can be hostile to newcomer personalities. Dating back to Patrick this has continually been a problem

Unfortunately their communication practices are really hurting them a lot now when they need the trust and understanding of their subscriber base the most. I feel terrible that the reaction to the new shows has been so divisive, but to me it's 100% understandable because unless you pay close attention to every social channel, chances are a lot of this is coming as a shock to some of you at some point.

People are pissed, feel ripped off and I totally get it. And then people who are happy with the new stuff are pissed because they are annoyed that people are complaining. I also get that. I also 100% can see GB is doing the best they can to fill the content void but they aren't doing a good job of explaining this. And because they don't explain it well, people speculate because they care and they are trying to figure out for themselves what's happening to a place they love. And since the forum doesn't allow speculations because it leads toxic behavior (which I also understand) that causes even further negative community reactions.

Then mods are left to deal with the mess over battles that never have to be fought in the first place.

It's just sad and needless, because so much of this negative reaction is 100% preventable with maybe a few hours worth of work a month.

Giant Bomb absolutely has to fix this if they want this reformat to be successful without turning over a large % of their subscriber base. It's the solution to a large amount of their current problems.

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Slag

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@bybeach: oh I know they don't plan to and probably won't, but I just wonder if they basically need a second Arrow Pointing Down phase to successfully do what they are trying to do

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Anybody feel like a month is not nearly enough time for them to figure this out?
Especially while still doing E3 coverage?

I get that they don't want the site to be offline for a long time, but I feel like GB maybe needs to shut it down for 6 months to a fullscale relaunch properly. The stuff Jeff has been hinting at sounds pretty dang major