Is Gaming Journalism Dead?

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
#1
At what point did gaming journalism die, and be replaced with fanboy blogs posing as articles? Seriously, getting real gaming news and inside scoops is becoming more and more rare with each passing year. I remember back in the Gamecube era, IGN would have a steady flow of developer interviews, rumors with real live people as sources, but now it seems that real communication with developers and publishers is nearly gone.

What heppened to the inside contacts that would leak snipets of info? Or even interviews with developers concern an upcoming or recent software release? Dark Siders War Mastered edition is releasing next month for Wii U, said to render at 1080p native, something no prior third party port has done. Do you think any gaming sites bothered to question the authenticy of such a bold claim and get clarication from THQ Noric or even the porting developer Kaiko? Nope, not a soul.

We are six months away from NX releasing, and we se so few inside sources willing to divulge anything? I can get more classified info from the Pentagon than we get on NX.

The lack of developer interviews is the most depressing. I love getting info on game development, and challenges they face and solutions that they come up with. I know some things are off limits because of NDA's, but this cant possibly silience them completely.

I dont know the inside details on how these things work at TNE, but I really wish there were more relationships developered with personel at publishers and developers alike. Readers are hungry for real news. Circle jerks of opinions can be left to clowns like me in the forums. LOL
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#2
I can tell you that for the early days of TNE, we basically had one Source for "inside" information. Not a developer. And we were fortunate to have him. That aside, it was just contact people to see what they would tell you. Some hits, mostly misses.

But...I can also tell you that I got to know one of the main guys at XSEED, and we were able to do some stuff with them around the time Pandora's Tower launched in North America. We had some friendly chats, and I considered him a contact. Then one day I followed up and was told that everything was now supposed to go through PR and publicists. Which I tried, and nada, never heard back from them again. Not saying that to slag* on anyone involved at XSEED or whatever agency they use; we're a small potatoes site, and they obviously used a strategy that got them some bigger press. But that's illustrative of how things have shifted in the past few years.

I'd wager it comes down to there being a real democratization of news around that time period. That was when gamers were gearing up for another new console generation, and that's when the big sites like IGN sort of lost their luster. The news aggregators caught up to the big sites and fragmented the readership; why bother even visiting IGN or Eurogamer when I can simply read a summary at GoNintendo? A site like IGN still gets heavy traffic, of course, but they aren't one of the only games in town, anymore. And if you aren't the grand fromage, why should developers bother? Especially since this all coincides with the death of the mid-tier "AA" game. More and more reputable developers (who could give the media scoops) work on a fewer number of "AAA" games, making it easier for publishers to give a one-size-fits-all NDA. So everyone gets a PR department and a publicist, instead.

That's my guess on scoops and news, at least.

On actual content, though? That's easy. Gen seven. Gaming had gotten "adult" with the PS2, and the beginning of gen seven was a sort of schism. There was this vast overcompensating in gaming media for the Wii's success as a "toy." Gaming couldn't be that anymore, because we were all "grown up" with our gritty first-person shooters and beating prostitutes to a pulp with a baseball bat in Grand Theft Auto. And the "mature" audience was divided, which made clickbaiting pretty easy. So sites fanned the flames of fanboy wars (I remember comparison shots between PS3 and 360 multiplats which has virtually no difference causing dozens of pages of flame wars - "can't you see the pavement lines are a little sharper on 360?!"), leading to op/eds taking the place of scoops and news (the only "news" usually posted were sales numbers, which has been cracked down upon, leaving even less reason to visit a big site). If you visited N4G at the time, the front page was pretty much always "why the PS3 is greatest and the Wii is an atrocity like Rawanda" or "the Wii destroys the 360 like a reverse Hiroshima." After a few years, people begin to notice that the op/eds are glorified blog posts, and we end up where we are.

WHY DON'T YOU CALL ANYMORE, XSEED?
 
#3
Seems like every day a new rumor gets posted. With so many "inside sources" it's hard to take any rumors seriously anymore.

In terms of interviews, I think it was Nintendolife or one of the 50 million "Nintendo" sites that recently interviewed the guy behind Axiom Verge. So that's something.

I think looking up game development and the like too, so that's why I like watching Beta64 and Unseen64/DidYouKnowGaming on Youtube. I also find breaking games with glitches interesting too, so I watch Son of a Glitch as well.

As much shit IGN gets, I find their news article good. Journalism isn't suppose to have subjective input and they're articles are usually just "here's the info".

I go to Destructoid for news, but they're not journalists by definition. To me though, they're a cool bunch and not a whiny lot so I enjoy the site.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#4
Seems like every day a new rumor gets posted. With so many "inside sources" it's hard to take any rumors seriously anymore.

In terms of interviews, I think it was Nintendolife or one of the 50 million "Nintendo" sites that recently interviewed the guy behind Axiom Verge. So that's something.

I think looking up game development and the like too, so that's why I like watching Beta64 and Unseen64/DidYouKnowGaming on Youtube. I also find breaking games with glitches interesting too, so I watch Son of a Glitch as well.

As much shit IGN gets, I find their news article good. Journalism isn't suppose to have subjective input and they're articles are usually just "here's the info".

I go to Destructoid for news, but they're not journalists by definition. To me though, they're a cool bunch and not a whiny lot so I enjoy the site.
I look back at the stuff IGN used to do. They used to score the entire hidden history of Retro Studios in an 11-page read. They would reveal exclusive games. That doesn't really happen anymore (devs are more likely to be under NDA gag orders now, and they'll get fired if they reveal details about their big-budget games). You're more likely to read things like the Unseen64 stuff...which is still very insightful and interesting, but is as likely to be about what happened to Project Hammer as anything presently newsworthy.

TBH, I think a part of the state of gaming journalism has to do with us game players. With the way the internet has fragmented media, you can find writers just as good as anyone on the big sites writing their own stuff. There is no real "authority" to gaming journalism anymore when your readers are as good as you. All the big sites have is industry access, and when industry access doesn't produce exclusive information...well...
 
#5
I look back at the stuff IGN used to do. They used to score the entire hidden history of Retro Studios in an 11-page read. They would reveal exclusive games. That doesn't really happen anymore (devs are more likely to be under NDA gag orders now, and they'll get fired if they reveal details about their big-budget games). You're more likely to read things like the Unseen64 stuff...which is still very insightful and interesting, but is as likely to be about what happened to Project Hammer as anything presently newsworthy.

TBH, I think a part of the state of gaming journalism has to do with us game players. With the way the internet has fragmented media, you can find writers just as good as anyone on the big sites writing their own stuff. There is no real "authority" to gaming journalism anymore when your readers are as good as you. All the big sites have is industry access, and when industry access doesn't produce exclusive information...well...
The good ol' days. I remember a Mega Man restrospective is what got me on TNE's front page. I won't look it up cause it's probably shit tho.

IGN recently posted something that was a good read, the comment section was also positive, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was about. I'll post if I can find it
 

Goodtwin

Well-Known Member
#6
I'm not trying to slight any site in particular, but I do wish there was a better flow of interviews and factual rumors.

For example, can TNE reach out to THQNordic for clarification on the Wii U build of DarkSiders Warmastered? I think that would be a juicy not of exclusive info to aquire. It how about an interview with Shin'en concerning the Fast Racing Neo dlc and physical release? How about contacting Fuzzywuzzy games for a follow up on how Armillo did?

Sent from my SM-G360V using Tapatalk
 

Shoulder

Your Resident Beardy Bear
#8
It randomly popped in my head, it was a good read

@EvilTw1n @Goodtwin

http://in.ign.com/the-legend-of-zel...vival-story-of-tantalus-the-studio-that-ports

I'm a fan of Lucy O'Brien. I went on her Twitter looking for this article before I remember it, cause I knew she was the one who did it. She's pretty funny.
That was quite a good read. Makes me curious now what else Tantulus is working on. And looking back, when they said they were working on another game from a "top-tier publisher," everyone was thinking pretty much anyone else except Nintendo. Possibly a port of Tomb Raider, or GTAV, The Witcher, Just Cause, etc. So many possibilities, and yet, it ended up becoming Twilight Princess.
 

Odo

Well-Known Member
#10
I'm not trying to slight any site in particular, but I do wish there was a better flow of interviews and factual rumors.

For example, can TNE reach out to THQNordic for clarification on the Wii U build of DarkSiders Warmastered? I think that would be a juicy not of exclusive info to aquire. It how about an interview with Shin'en concerning the Fast Racing Neo dlc and physical release? How about contacting Fuzzywuzzy games for a follow up on how Armillo did?
I think there's still enough interviews out there, but I believe that news industry tries to select the interviews based on audience.

For example, even though TNE is a Nintendo site and could look for the answer for this questions, it'd end up being like: who cares? Wii U doesn't have enough audience and it's much easier to get traffic talking rubbish about NX.
 

Odo

Well-Known Member
#11
The thing is, I believe that developers and companies today are all shielded by PR. Back in the days, the industry wasn't mature enough.

Today big companies like Nintendo and EA tries to control all the flow of information in order to release then in events, "directs" and official channels. For example, Nintendo has its directs and Sony has it's youtube channel with interviews and devs explaining their development decisions. Right now for example you can watch everything about 2017's game Horizon Zero Dawn on playstation channel on youtube, information that IGN couldn't get, because Sony is already controlling and releasing.

Nintendo is an even harder source. NX is a secret of state.

To sum it up, the news industry doesn't have the access like they used to have back in the days.
 
#12
I might be too out of the loop these days to have much of a perspective, but my first thought is that perhaps vast majority of consumers of the gaming industry have outgrown their thirst for scoops. Seems like they just want to jump straight to getting hands on with the finished product.

But on second thought, I think the userbase for the gaming industry has expanded so much that it no longer became useful to spend time and resources catering to the "inside scoop" crowd. Specifically, most of the money is probably coming from people who aren't passionate about gaming and just want to be sold the finished product. So gaming companies have shifted to pandering towards that.

Not to mention the gaming industry, in my opinion, was comparatively a more exciting space for innovation by in the day than it is now. Now it just has been who's going to come out with the cooler gaming with better graphics -- exciting feats, but nothing worth wanting to get the inside scoop on. People are more focused futurist applications such as VR, AR, and the likes. Streaming your platform from a portable device to the TV? Sure, might be a first for gaming, but the core application is neither new nor being popularized (the latter of which is something Nintendo would at least be the leader in doing).

So that's my unorganized take.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
Moderator
#13
It randomly popped in my head, it was a good read

@EvilTw1n @Goodtwin

http://in.ign.com/the-legend-of-zel...vival-story-of-tantalus-the-studio-that-ports

I'm a fan of Lucy O'Brien. I went on her Twitter looking for this article before I remember it, cause I knew she was the one who did it. She's pretty funny.
That's very good stuff. Best lines out of there:
“A lot of making games is about tricks and hacks and cheats”, says Crago, “and that engine on the GBA is a shining example of what it’s possible to do when you're playing around the edges of reasonableness.”

...

“Even though new hardware brings with it tumultitude, you really have to embrace that, it has to be part of your DNA as a developer."

Refreshing honesty. Not "MOAR PAUER OR WE CAN'T DO IT." Not "this hardware isn't from my wishlist on the CPU, so eff it." I'd almost forgotten that people who knew their ass from a hole in the ground gave interviews like this. It's also surprising to see, y'know, some obvious things admitted:

The financial crisis wasn’t the only problem Tantalus faced. Mobile was on the rise, and the bottom of the ‘middle class’ of video games - those in between indie and AAA - dropped out entirely.

Everyone sorta tip toes around this, but sub-AAA gaming used to be stunningly vibrant. It's the reason the PS2's library was so amazing, and why the Wii was able to fill out so much of its catalog with niche-ier games. It's a market that is moving over to independent development, which leaves marquee release schedules looking so same-y these days.

And this also helps encapsulate why things seem barren on the "scoops" front these days:

Crago can’t talk much about Zelda. Factual or even celebratory articles of what Nintendo does behind the scenes are rarely exempt from its strict internal privacy policies.

On a Nintendo site, we don't get much info because Nintendo is so secretive. Anyone that works with Nintendo therefore has to be secretive. And there simply aren't that many third parties working on big projects for Nintendo home consoles right now because of the bottom dropping out of the gaming middle class (which is why we're left hearing from indies here and there).

Good work, IGN. I knew you had it in you.
 
#16
If Kotaku is any evidence, it's been dead for a while.



Quick edit: why the hell isn't mobile image uploading working?
Some nationalist has a wordfilter on Tap a talk so whenever that is posted, even if its in a url, it will replace it with "genital warts", thus killing the url or in this case image upload/embed.
 

mattavelle1

Crunk Ain’t Dead!!!
Moderator
#17
Some Great Mod of the People has a wordfilter on Tap a talk so whenever that is posted, even if its in a url, it will replace it with "genital warts", thus killing the url or in this case image upload/embed.
Oh Fried good grief. We will change it back just so I don’t have to listen to your complaining no more. Sad
 
#19
speaking of literal nazis, reminder I will ban anyone posting polygon links to stories or articles, thank you
Weegee is a giant piece of shit for basically plagiarizing an underrated creator I know, but this is still ludicrous and hilarious.
 
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theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
#22
Yeah the genital warts joke was been run dry. I am filtering "Great Mod of the People" from now on, though.
it was supposed to encourage people to not keep that annoying shit in their settings, it can be turned off, but nobody bothered unfortunately

tapatalk is the plague of internet forums IMO, if only for its on by default in post advertising
 
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