158 CommentsRefresh
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Posted By patrickklepek

I hate assertions like Patrick's "Once you've create that one and done experience how do you get someone to not sell that one and done experience and to go on and buy a used version of that". People say it all the time but its the exact same model that movies have had for years ever since they put them on VHS. People bought watched and sold VHS, DVD, Blurays (or rented) and yet the one and done experience of movies has not killed the industry. The movie companies are still around. Yes, some go under betting on X movie doing well or Y movie saving the company, but that's business, not a dying industry, same for games.

This ignores a huge part of the film industry: multiple ways of making money. For the most part, games have one way to make money, and that's when the game first launches. Steam has introduced the idea of variable pricing and the ability to make more money over the long-tail, but it's not a complete transformation of the idea that is hurting the bigger budget games. Movies can sell distribution rights to TV, streaming services, etc. Video games can't do that. That's a really big structural problem.

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Edited By Sooty

As usual this sucks for those that lost their jobs, I didn't care for BioShock Infinite as the gameplay was run of the mill and dull so I'm not that bothered myself, would rather see something different from a smaller team within the universe than a standard FPS only being held up by good art direction and world building.

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Posted By AngriGhandi

"What is a core gamer?"

Anyone who understands that question.

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Posted By OleMarthin

great format, would love to see more of this when it comes to big news stories.

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Posted By TheVGamer

Of course I want this to be a regular thing but it needs a Name. Since "Hot Scoops" is too popular, I propose "Hot Scoops and the Wolf". And yes, I mean that.

"The Giant Epicenter with Scoops and the Wolf" - Too science-y?

How 'bout "Front Lines of Bombin' with Scoops and the Wolf"? I've got ideas!

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Posted By Elyhaym

What in the actual fuck? :(

I can't believe this... So bummed now.

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Edited By synthesis_landale

@patrickklepek: I'd argue that a 40-60 dollar product makes up for the addition of 10-15 dollar tickets and 20 dollar DVD/Blurays. Is the games industry as big as movies? Hell no, contrary to those articles that claim such when Call of Duty or GTA 'beats the top box office movie of the year'. Could it be? Perhaps someday, but until then they can't be putting all their chips into AAA games, just as a smaller movie company is making a huge mistake talking a gamble making a blockbuster.

(Edit) Oh, and DLC no doubt goes a long way to adding another revenue stream.

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Edited By DesktopMan

Ken Levine starting fresh with a smaller team is surprising, but not necessarily bad. Could lead to exciting things.

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Posted By SquareTheRoot

Love this format!

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Posted By squirrelnacho

They made Swat 4, anyone else really like that game? Looking back, it's kind of neat that a studio like this made such a game, but you can definitely see Irrational's ability to craft immersive environments in that game.

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Posted By OleMarthin
@ett said:

You can't blame Ken Levine. 2k is the one who closed the studio and fired people. I think it is very unfair of Alex to begrudges Ken Levine for his wanting to change after 17 years. 2k could have easily hire or promoted a new head/leader for that team.

You are spot on. To say he is selfish and blaming him is just strange to me. he is not the owner of the studio and does not decide if it gets closed down or not. When he told 2K he wanted to do something new, 2K decided to close it down. He has to do what is right for him, staying at a job he no longer wants would not be good for anyone.

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Posted By skunkdragon

Cant say i'm surprised Bioshock aint a good game.

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Posted By Nomin

Ken Levine is legendary, but also notorious for scrapping entire levels in Bioshock that required thousands of man hours to create. What he needs isn't a fifteen man crew that he can whip around dreaming up his own ideas of what the core gamers want, what he needs is a sound manager or director who can drive some real world (where artists and programmers live paycheck to paycheck and often on contracts) sense into his plans.

Avatar image for patrickklepek
Posted By patrickklepek

@patrickklepek: I'd argue that a 40-60 dollar product makes up for the addition of 10-15 dollar tickets and 20 dollar DVD/Blurays. Is the games industry as big as movies? Hell no, contrary to those articles that claim such when Call of Duty or GTA 'beats the top box office movie of the year'. Could it be? Perhaps someday, but until then they can't be putting all their chips into AAA games, just as a smaller movie company is making a huge mistake talking a gamble making a blockbuster.

(Edit) Oh, and DLC no doubt goes a long way to adding another revenue stream.

Do you have any data to back up what you "argue" that the added price point makes up for it?

Avatar image for raven10
Posted By Raven10

@sharkman said:

@patrickklepek honestly this seems extremely selfish of him, and really fucked up. Sure he is stuck in a rock and a hard place, if he wants to do something really risky, but I'm not wrong in thinking that many of his ex-employees are going to be really pissed off at him.

People don't complain when Christopher Nolan lets people go after completing a major film and decides his next project is going to be something smaller.

I'm not saying that the Hollywood model is right for video games, but the current model is based on a retail model that is more conducive to bloat and risk aversion than it is to artistic vision. Is it any wonder that most innovation is coming out of smaller indie teams? There's a sea change coming in this industry.

And, admittedly based on the info put out by Mr. Levine himself, it sounds like a lot of people from Irrational are going to have to time to get things in order instead of being dropped like a bad habit. It's never great when people are let go, but compared to something like the 38 Studios closer, this seems like a much better situation for all involved.

I think looking at it like the movie industry is an interesting and apt comparison. Now I do feel awful for all involved but I think there is a greater sort of business paradigm shift at work here. I guess putting myself in Ken's shoes, how would it feel to know that the jobs of hundreds of people depend entirely on me continuing to do something I no longer enjoy? How horrifying of a realization would that be? To say that I am stuck in a job for the rest of my career unless I am willing to lay off a ton of people who both trust in me and who I am likely very fond of? That's a terrible situation.

I think the other option would have been to stay and make another game that he wasn't passionate about. That game would likely suck, wouldn't make back its production costs and the studio would be shut down regardless, except now the employees would have the mark of a financial failure as their last project, not the massive critical and commercial success Bioshock was. I think if Ken wanted to cut the cord this was the right time. All of the employees are riding on a high and as long as they are willing to leave Boston should have a pretty easy time finding a new job.

I often think the movie model is where games should be going. Hollywood had the studio system up until the 40's/50's where filmmakers were tied to a single organization. But at some point the creative talents realized that to be creative they had to not have the weight of an entire studio on their shoulders and with the French New Wave we saw the rise of creator driven films where a team was hired on a per film basis. It means that no one is ever stuck thinking they have to keep working in a job they don't like to keep people employed. Basically I feel for everyone involved, but while Ken Levine probably looks like a major asshole right now, and I'm sure many of those laid off feel that way, I think he was very smart laying people off after a major hit instead of a major failure.

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Edited By FreedomTown

Hate this format.

Yea the bouncing back and forth between web cams is jarring and annoying. Either just have one person do this stuff from now on, or get people in the same room (or do way...way less bouncing back and forth) This shit is bad....real bad....

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Posted By gbrading

I have no idea if Ken Levine is shuttering Irrational just for creative reasons, but if it is just for that purpose, it's very poor form for all of the great staff at Irrational who did all the heavy work of actually building the games, whilst Levine came up with the ideas. I doubt he was out there coding the trash cans in Fort Frolic. Laying off those people seems cruel.

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Edited By DrStrangepork

Good stuff Patrick\Alex. I would like to see more content of this nature for these big stories.

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Posted By chilipeppersman
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Edited By beritbunny

RE: Patrick's question at the end, I would like to see more of this content, though not in a forced or on schedule way. In other words, I enjoyed it, but would be fine if it did not reoccur for even as long as another year. It seems like a fun way for GB Midwest/East to stay "in" on the site.

So, Yes, but on the other hand I can see myself wanting to complain 1 month from now if this is trotted out 3 more times during that interval.

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Posted By cthomer5000

I think this is great, and worth doing for genuine "breaking news." One of my favorite pieces of content on this site was the in-office video of everyone's initial reaction to the full XBOX DRM reversal.

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Posted By ShadowSkill11

God damn it. This is my fault isn't it? It's because I down loaded practically all of the bioshock infinite rule 34 on the Internet. God damn... That last flash game staring Liz was fantastic though...

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Edited By thefozz26

I agree with Alex, you cant just sack 100 people and shut your doors just coz you want to do some smaller vanity project. Make your own studio, and let someone else run the old one, peoples livelihood are on the line and that's disgusting by Ken Levine and 2k. Cliffy B left Epic, but his team werent all fired. Jon Carmack left ID, but they arent all out of a job either. Not cool Ken. Ok we are going to get more great games from him, but surely 100 peoples jobs are more important than us playing some dumb video game.

Also Patrick and Alex, this is a great new format, definitely do it again when there's another huge news explosion.

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Edited By joetom

This is probably going to start happening more and more. Massive AAA projects are getting so insanely bloated. With the exception of the odd "blockbusters" the average studio is going to need to start narrowing in scope.

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Posted By jaronfranklin

I would love to see Shawn Elliot at a place like giantbomb. I'm not sure if he wants a return to the game journalism game but his time at GFW especially on the podcast makes it seem like he would be a great fit in the sort of set up giantbomb has going right now

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Posted By ScaryShark

Please do more of these features when news calls for it (don't expect that to be often, but yeah). Good stuff.

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Posted By DaMaJaDiZ


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Edited By pocketroid

Cool. AAA developer finally stops an entity at it's peak in order to start anew with something fresh, surprising, and fun. Instead of drilling these poor people into the ground, milking them dry until they're pumping out garbage for the sake of a paycheck.

This is a good thing.

Also maybe you could edit it out of these live videos when when you're waiting for Alex and texting. Otherwise it's just some video you recorded and threw up.

Avatar image for taig
Posted By taig

I don't understand the "job" idea in creative. You work on a project, you ship a project, and you are done. This seems unsympathetic, but it a reality for most people in the entertainment industry outside of video games.

I know its a struggle going from gig to gig, but isn't this what we signed up for? Stability and art don't go together. Fuck look at the Tonight Show. The dream is unrealistic.

This doesn't have to be a bad thing. I know that is hard to say with people with mouths to feed, but don't guilt trip me and I won't preach to you.

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Posted By JoshyLee

Uggh. Just write it down or make it audio. There's no need for this to be video.

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Posted By Fram

I like this format! I think it'd be really valuable to get a relevant guest on these impromptu shows too. It's not really applicable in this case (it's not like you should just call up someone from Irrational today and ask how it feels to lose their job live on the air) but you and Alex have built up some great chemistry - especially when it comes to making your guests feel welcome and at ease. It won't always be practical (or possible) but I think it'd work well in certain contexts.

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Posted By Zlimness

Alex, why are you putting the blame on Ken for the layoffs? 2K own Irrational and the people working there work for 2K. If they wanted to, 2K could have given them new jobs at another in-house development studio or just form a new one if they wanted to maintain current staff numbers. But instead of relocating their employees to new projects, they're being laid off. 2K are effectively using Ken as the scapegoat and it seems to be working. Time will tell how he feels about it I guess.

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Posted By AssInAss
Avatar image for patrickklepek
Posted By patrickklepek

@joshylee said:

Uggh. Just write it down or make it audio. There's no need for this to be video.

It wouldn't get written down. That would take too much time. We could release an audio version, but we couldn't stream that on the site.

@kyoden said:

I love the site, but I'm honestly not into the idea of Giantbomb adopting a 24-hour news format for games.

That is not going to happen. This isn't a regular, scheduled feature. It's only if the news is big enough.

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Edited By deathfromace

@joshylee said:

Uggh. Just write it down or make it audio. There's no need for this to be video.

So just turn it on and look at another window...

Avatar image for terium
Posted By Terium

As a fan of Irrational, why would I be excited about Levine's new project when he just laid off over a hundred people because he wanted to go do something else? These are people's lives. It sounds hella selfish at the moment. No thanks.

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Posted By ChrisTaran

Loved this! Would certainly like to see more like it in the future Patrick and Alex.

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Posted By Tidel

Is this going up as a podcast? I love the idea of impromptu video chat for breaking news, but only if evolves into podcast form shortly after.

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Edited By BisonHero

Hey @patrickklepek and @mrpibb, I'm pretty sure most if not all of Patrick's videos aren't showing up in the site mashup RSS feed. This video, Worth Playing, Quick Look Solo, etc., all never showed up in the RSS feed for me.

Maybe there's some greater pattern or something, but videos posted by other people (trailers, non-Patrick Quick Looks, Unprofessional Fridays, etc.) all seem to show up in the RSS fine.

Avatar image for kippers
Posted By kippers

Very sad. Loved Bioshock Infinite. The story and the world fascinated me to the very end. I haven't checked the DLC yet, but this has definitely added incentive. Inhope the series has a way of carrying on. It can't end here.

As for impromptu discussions @patrickklepek, @alex I'm all for it. Coming to check the front page and seeing unexpected content is the best kind of content to watch!

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Edited By patrickklepek

@tidel said:

Is this going up as a podcast? I love the idea of impromptu video chat for breaking news, but only if evolves into podcast form shortly after.

We could drop the audio into Bombin' the A.M. probably.

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Posted By Apparatus_Unearth

Never watched any content where it's just Patrick and Alex talking, they have pretty good chemistry.

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Posted By marblecmoney

I would like to see more BREAKING NEWS segments like this when it's appropriate.

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Edited By JJWeatherman

When I saw the thumbnail and headline for this on the front page I assumed it would be the San Francisco office talking about it, which I thought was weird. But this totally worked. Thumbs up for more impromptu news discussions.

Also, I just moderated my own comment, so that probably shouldn't be able to happen.

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Posted By GristleMcThornbody

@patrickklepek: I like a conversation like this happening live with video. While I still prefer to have a text format for more traditional interviews, watching your genuine reactions was worth the 30 minutes of my time. Thanks!

Regarding Ken Levine, if you start to realize you hate your job, especially one you've loved for so long, it makes perfect sense to make a big change, regardless of the consequences. Granted, when most people switch jobs or roles, 200 other people don't lost their jobs; nevertheless, no amount of success/money is worth hating going to work every day. Can we really ask someone to keep making games he doesn't want to make so other people can keep their jobs, especially when he has the opportunity to start over and follow his own vision in a new manner?

Avatar image for tidel
Posted By Tidel

@tidel said:

Is this going up as a podcast? I love the idea of impromptu video chat for breaking news, but only if evolves into podcast form shortly after.

We could drop the audio into Bombin' the A.M. probably.

I'd like that.

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Posted By SonicBoyster

Oh man, it's a dream, it's not going to happen, but Shawn Elliott somehow getting involved with Giantbomb would be a massive "get." That guy is incredibly well educated, an amazing games journalist, and now he's been on both sides of the fence. He can go wherever the hell he wants and I can't imagine he'd fit anywhere on the team here but hey, I can dream the dream, can't I?

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Posted By flameboy84

One sentiment I don't really agree with is the backlash against Ken Levine. He no longer owns the company it is owned by 2K if they had wanted to keep the company going they could have done...leaving him to go off and form his smaller team. It's up to him he is at the end of the day to do what he wants for his own career, he is just an employee of 2K all the same. Also it is not his problem that the Boston development scene is dying out. People in plenty of industries up root people I'm afraid this isn't unique to gaming. Sad fact but true. I don't think he deserves the venom that Alex threw in his direction. I think Alex was way off with this one. Thank god Patrick is more rational.

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Edited By FaPaThY

Sucks for the people laid off, but I, for one, look forward to seeing what Ken Levine does with his smaller crew. AAA gaming just stifles creativity since no one wants to take risks when half a billion bucks or more are on the line. Hopefully some good games with some fresh ideas come out of this.

Also, keep features like this coming. I'm sure people would rather see your reactions as stuff is happening, opposed to sometimes nearly a week later when it's 'old news'.