The value of having a website about video games

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physicalscience

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I've been a subscriber to GiantBomb for a good chunk of time, but like a good bunch of people on here I have also subscribed to Nextlander.

As someone who hasn't really ever used Twitch before I have to say it is sort of a bummer after being used to GiantBomb. I recently tried to watch Brad and Vinny play through Dark Alliance and ended up stopping less than half way through because of a constant barrage of ads (three at a time!) that would interrupt randomly during the viewing.

Not to say that I feel so entitled to no ads because of the sub I pay to them on Patreon, but it has made me appreciate the Giantbomb player a lot more!

On top of the ad issue, I would say I feel a little less connected to their stuff just because it is split between Patreon, Youtube, Twitch, and Discord. Having a central place for blogs, forums, videos, and etc really is a better option (at least for me).

Maybe I'm not as into other streaming stuff as a lot of other people, but this introduction to Twitch wasn't a great one.

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csl316

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Yeah, my experience with Twitch has been very off-putting. I clicked on their TV app for a Nextlander archive, and its first task was to recommend 100 things currently streaming. The ads are bad, the live streaming culture it builds isn't really for me, and I wind up waiting for Youtube archives for stuff like them or Game Informer.

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Efesell

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Twitch has gotten very bad with ads in recent memory to great frustration from streamers and viewers alike. Generally ad blockers work pretty well for a time though sometimes updates catch them flat footed.

I also rarely seem to see them when I use the PS4/5 Twitch app.

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Kyary

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For what it's worth, I think the Twitch experience is dramatically better if you have Amazon Prime. I don't (I mean, Bezos has enough money) but it does help. I know running a website costs a lot of time and money (hosting, development, etc) but it's definitely a gigantic plus for me

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billymaysrip

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I'm sure people will come in with recommendations to use an adblocker, but I just use youtube-dl to just download the VOD directly from Twitch. Takes a bit of time/foresight, but then I have what I want without having to deal with Twitch's crappy site or any site at all!

The biggest thing that I appreciate about GB is having a site where I can just keep track of upcoming streams and general updates in one easy place. I would really rather not have to use either Discord or Twitter, and I've found Patreon to just be a sluggish website to use. Hopefully they'll iron out a regular schedule in the future and thus eliminate this gripe!

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BladeOfCreation

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I've watched Twitch streams where the person says they're gonna take a break for a couple minutes and they choose to run an ad (that doesn't play for subscribers). I usually run into either a 15 or 30 second ad when tuning into a channel I haven't subscribed to. But I was watching a stream last week where multiple ads would start running in the middle of the person talking, with no warning whatsoever. This happened several times over the course of less than 15 minutes. I can't imagine that's an experience a streamer wants for their viewers.

As far as subs on Patreon, I actually think that they should combine Patreon and Twitch subs at a certain level. This is a thing that a huge Amazon-owned company like Twitch could absolutely find a way to implement. I mean, people use Amazon credentials to pay for a lot of shit across the internet, right?

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kopcik

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I got really hyped when I heard about the Nextlander.

Strangely enough I end up watching GiantBomb even more. I discovered that Jeff G was always the main persona here at GB and with influx of new\old peeps it feels even better than before.

All recent bombcasts are blast to listen too.

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bigsocrates

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If you subscribe on Twitch you don't get ads and it's more tolerable. If you have Prime you have a free sub every month, and I gave mine to Nextlander even though I prefer to watch stuff on Youtube because I don't love livestreams in general.

I really like the Giant Bomb website for a host of reasons, including the forums, the fact that they used to have written content here, the vast archives that are relatively easy to sort, the Wiki etc...

But the site seems to be falling into disrepair. @billymaysrip says he likes the site because it is a convenient place to see upcoming streams and videos and it used to be but it's not really anymore. They sometimes post the schedule, sometimes don't. Which is true about a lot of other stuff with the current site.

The fact that we didn't get the updates about the site posted on the main site but instead got it in every other format (Twitter, Youtube, even a release on Gamespot) shows exactly how much Giant Bomb cares about the website side of things right now.

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BladeOfCreation

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@bigsocrates said:

They sometimes post the schedule, sometimes don't. Which is true about a lot of other stuff with the current site.

The fact that we didn't get the updates about the site posted on the main site but instead got it in every other format (Twitter, Youtube, even a release on Gamespot) shows exactly how much Giant Bomb cares about the website side of things right now.

These two points here are legitimate significant criticisms of the site.

Like...I enjoy coming to this site and seeing a surprise stream is going on! Or a game I'm interested in (or interested in watching the crew play) has a surprise Quick Look. That said, this is a hugely personality driven site and I want to see them playing games that they enjoy, or have a reason for covering. That's why we're all here. So I get it that sometimes a game might come up that they weren't sure they'd play. But it still can be frustrating from the perspective of a fan/viewer.

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sombre

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If you subscribe on Twitch you don't get ads and it's more tolerable. If you have Prime you have a free sub every month, and I gave mine to Nextlander even though I prefer to watch stuff on Youtube because I don't love livestreams in general.

I really like the Giant Bomb website for a host of reasons, including the forums, the fact that they used to have written content here, the vast archives that are relatively easy to sort, the Wiki etc...

But the site seems to be falling into disrepair. @billymaysrip says he likes the site because it is a convenient place to see upcoming streams and videos and it used to be but it's not really anymore. They sometimes post the schedule, sometimes don't. Which is true about a lot of other stuff with the current site.

The fact that we didn't get the updates about the site posted on the main site but instead got it in every other format (Twitter, Youtube, even a release on Gamespot) shows exactly how much Giant Bomb cares about the website side of things right now.

They never posted a news story about Brad, Vinny and Alex leaving.

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billymaysrip

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@bigsocrates: Yeah, the lack of scheduling for live streams has been my biggest complaint about the site for the years that I've been a sub. I pay for premium live streams, but if I don't know when they're happening, then it's kinda a moot feature.

But, some schedule is better than none -- which is what Nextlander is currently at.

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Efesell

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Kunakai

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@efesell: The Twitch Schedule is only retrospective in so far as I've seen (Maybe I'm missing something). Vinny had to remind Brad to Tweet about them going live earlier today.

Not to say I mind in either case.

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Efesell

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I know they've mentioned using the Twitch scheduler on the pod a couple of times but I haven't paid that much attention so I would also believe it if they just sorta forgot.

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SethMode

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@sombre said:
@bigsocrates said:

If you subscribe on Twitch you don't get ads and it's more tolerable. If you have Prime you have a free sub every month, and I gave mine to Nextlander even though I prefer to watch stuff on Youtube because I don't love livestreams in general.

I really like the Giant Bomb website for a host of reasons, including the forums, the fact that they used to have written content here, the vast archives that are relatively easy to sort, the Wiki etc...

But the site seems to be falling into disrepair. @billymaysrip says he likes the site because it is a convenient place to see upcoming streams and videos and it used to be but it's not really anymore. They sometimes post the schedule, sometimes don't. Which is true about a lot of other stuff with the current site.

The fact that we didn't get the updates about the site posted on the main site but instead got it in every other format (Twitter, Youtube, even a release on Gamespot) shows exactly how much Giant Bomb cares about the website side of things right now.

They never posted a news story about Brad, Vinny and Alex leaving.

I understand where @bigsocrates is coming from because it can be frustrating to not be up to date on what and when new videos will be released, and I agree with him. Because that directly impacts the viewer and fan that comes to the site to see the content. What I don't get is why this particular lack of a news story about Brad, Vinny and Alex leaving seems to bother you so much. I have seen you mention this several times and to what end? YOU didn't miss the news, clearly. Who are you upset for? This mystery person that has no idea about the change because they never listen to the podcast, go to the forum, go to the subreddit, follow any staff member on Twitter, etc...? Who is this person?

Unless you WORK for Giantbomb, there is no reason to be bewildered, frustrated, literally anything by this fact. It does not impact you because you already know about the change? Also, you spend a large amount of your time talking about how you don't like GB content anymore anyway so...it's just so odd to me.

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mellotronrules

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...I would say I feel a little less connected to their stuff just because it is split between Patreon, Youtube, Twitch, and Discord. Having a central place for blogs, forums, videos, and etc really is a better option (at least for me).

yeah- this is a real thing for me. part of it is the end result of the band breaking up- between waypoint, fire escape, nextlander, the old gb guard holding it down here and (relatively) new kids minnmax- my video game enthusiast attention has never been more divided. and in my personal case- the end result is i'm kinda half checking in on all of them, kinda sorta. but i can't really say i feel 'plugged in' to any of them right now.

the lightweight game release schedule certainly isn't helping (i feel like a lot of outlets are trying to figure out how to fill the air time with less tentpoles to talk about)- but the centralized website model is certainly one i'm more comfortable with than trying to figure out when people are popping on twitch, or engaging on discord, etc.

right now i'm subbed here and nextlander- but honestly unless i get a handhold with one of these outlets i might let them all lapse and just skim as needed.

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bigsocrates

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#18  Edited By bigsocrates

@sethmode: I made forum threads about both the departures and the new additions and a bunch of people came into those threads and said that that's how they found out about them. If a small number of people are commenting then a larger number of people are reading and learning about them but just not saying anything (you can see from the number of views forum threads get vs. comments that this could be a hundred times as many people.)

And considering that the forum usership has shrunk so much, you'd think an even larger number of people aren't reading the forums and may not even know at all, since you'd think forum users would be among the most plugged in to the site (since they like it enough to bother to use the forums.)

I'm not emotionally invested in whether or not they mention it on the site. They had a whole big Bombcast episode devoted to the send off and that See You Next Game stream, so it's not like they didn't recognize it and I imagine most people who care about it either saw that content or could find it after the fact.

What irritates me more is their lack of announcements of what they're doing going forward. For a long time they were just radio silent, and then they did make the announcement on the Bombcast and put out some additional information elsewhere, including Gamespot, but they just never bothered to post the update on the site. Since unlike with the Nextlander trio leaving this isn't something you could glean from other material or necessarily know to look for, I'm positive a ton of people still don't know. And this is something that would affect someone's decision to keep subbed or whatever.

Between that and not even posting a GOTY 2020 roundup of their choices it's clear that they no longer really care about the website except as a place to host video. It used to be a lot more than that and I miss those aspects. Now you can argue that the emphasis on video vs. written word has changed in the last decade plus, and you'd be right, and I'm sure they have metrics showing that engagement with the site's written words was lower and less profitable than video. I'm not asking them to go back to posting tons of written reviews like they used to.

But some information is included in a newsletter they ALREADY WRITE. How hard would it be to post that newsletter in an archive on the site? Or just put up the Gamespot press release here as well as there.

The fact that they don't do these things with content they've already written and prepared shows that they do not care about this site as a website anymore. They may have good reasons for that, related, as I say, to audience engagement numbers. I'm sure this isn't something that just happened. But they haven't communicated any of this stuff to the audience (we're no longer going to be putting news releases on the website because it just doesn't get enough traffic on that stuff, or whatever) and its frustrating.

At the end of the day it's fine, whatever, they can do what they like and they are still producing good video content and it's been a rough year and a half for everyone. But I also understand why someone sees that they didn't post a goodbye article on the site like they used to when people left, especially considering who it was who was leaving, and gets a little sad and disappointed.

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SethMode

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#19  Edited By SethMode

@bigsocrates: This is all totally fine, but the user in question isn't worried about the same things as you are.

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AV_Gamer

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#20  Edited By AV_Gamer

Like I said, in another thread, my wake up call with Nextlander came when I tried to watch their E3 coverage. It just wasn't worth it to me, when I already watched the GB coverage. Another thing that is off putting to me, is the fact they are on Twitch streaming. I have no problem with them doing what they felt they needed to do, but now they don't seem special like they did when they were on GB. Now they just seem like you average everyday streamers playing video games. They no longer stand out as unique, which the GB cover provided, at least to me. I already have people and events I watch on Twitch from time to time. I do want them to succeed, but sadly, I won't be watching much of their stuff. At least, not at the moment. And for the record, the ad stuff can be a pain, even with Twitch Prime, which I have. Twitch in general has become very cold and corporate themselves over the years, which is kind of a funny irony.

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MeierTheRed

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I never did manage to get into the Twitch scene. I hate the site design, chats are usually obnoxious and so are the ads. I know you can subscribe and get rid of them, but seriously every thing is a subscription based thing these days. And i really don't need anymore then i already have.

I have been here for many, many years. I put all my eggs in this basked, and they will stay there.

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cikame

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I love being able to download videos that's the thing i like the most about the website, next to that is the forums, if i want to talk about games i come here, if i feel like writing a review or something weird it'll be here. The idea of having a gaming wiki is cool but it's never been that helpful for me, if i want to know something about a game i google it and GB is never a recommended site for finding the information, that's not a fault of the site at all there's just plenty of other resources like Wikipedia that have all that.

Also yes Twitch is pretty bad to use, i don't think it would take much for another platform to knock it off the top spot, Youtube streaming is growing more popular every day but it has its own problems.

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takashichea

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#23  Edited By takashichea

I'm tied to another forum site, the former sister site, Anime Vice. I do see value in Giant Bomb for video game folks. I'm not a heavy video game person. I did enjoy wiki editing before I had obligations. Giant Bomb caters to a pretty wide audience. Nowadays, a forum site with a wiki, reviews, forum for folks who are more into the community or little cliques, and front page for folks who are into the site personalities is rare. Zombie Pie blogs are a riot to read. I wished for the best in the wiki community of GB. Last time I was in the editing forum, they were expressing challenges in the wiki community. The Giant Bomb wiki community are dedicated folks in finding ways to keep their passion alive and getting people to try and fall in love with wiki editing. I got into different video games because I was talking with fellow wiki editors in the past and we were recommending similar games to the games we were wiki editing on.

2nd place I view video games but not really partake in engaging and leaving comments is Youtube. I have a hard time gravitating to video game focused Youtube celebrities. I mostly browse news and trailers.

3rd place is Twitter. I usually keep to myself or interact with folks I know.

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styx971

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i've used twitch on and off over the years but my life currently between a mix of family obligations and a sleeping schedules mean its rare that i ever catch a stream live during 'normal' hours if i do watch something on theres its from a streamer based in the uk. things on twitch used be archive but after amazon bought them that went down the drain after X amount of time and views so having a place to 'back them up' like youtube is what alot of streamers tend to do and nextlander is just lumped into that now. that said since thats how things are and youtube sucks for showing you things i litterally just haven't been watching their content that i'm sure i would prefer over alot based on what i've seen over the yrs here and its just sad being so spread out.

all that above is to make the point in yeah i do think theres value to having a game site its gotten kinda sad on here recently but overall its still better to have a place to keep track of things personally i hope once the dust settles nextlander will make at least a hub site with redirects. as for GB these days the conetent and staff are light so its been disappointing i don't Love the grubsnax thing ( 1 man show does do a ton for me when i get news from other podcasts already) but i think it just might take time the born to run stuff feels a bit too edited for me but i like the concept. i wish they'd get better about updating the whats coming next in the main page cause thats been a bit hit and miss lately but stuff happens sometimes i don't hate suprise streams cause i usually miss them either way but i seriously miss the more 'planned' and recorded content because archives are just Not the same as prerecorded they both have their strong suits but they have a different vibe.

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eccentrix

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#25 eccentrix  Online
@sethmode said:

This mystery person that has no idea about the change because they never listen to the podcast, go to the forum, go to the subreddit, follow any staff member on Twitter, etc...? Who is this person?

I found out about the departures because the title of the Bombcast was Brad's Leaving. Otherwise I wouldn't have listened. I would've found out from the See You Next Game video, but that's Premium, so what about free users? I stopped listening to any Giant Bomb podcasts years ago, I don't use Reddit or Twitter and the only reason I ever use these forums is because there's no new video content, so I just find myself scrolling all the way down the front page to see the latest forum posts at the bottom. I get most of my site news from the Giant Bomb Infinite chat, which is a niche, ephemeral thing.

I watch Nextlander content on Youtube and my biggest complaint is that they don't allow comments on any videos except their first. So I go to that one to post comments about the other videos and I'm always seeing recent comments saying "Just found out you guys left and started this new thing!"

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SethMode

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h0lgr

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@sethmode said:

This mystery person that has no idea about the change because they never listen to the podcast, go to the forum, go to the subreddit, follow any staff member on Twitter, etc...? Who is this person?

I found out about the departures because the title of the Bombcast was Brad's Leaving. Otherwise I wouldn't have listened. I would've found out from the See You Next Game video, but that's Premium, so what about free users? I stopped listening to any Giant Bomb podcasts years ago, I don't use Reddit or Twitter and the only reason I ever use these forums is because there's no new video content, so I just find myself scrolling all the way down the front page to see the latest forum posts at the bottom. I get most of my site news from the Giant Bomb Infinite chat, which is a niche, ephemeral thing.

I watch Nextlander content on Youtube and my biggest complaint is that they don't allow comments on any videos except their first. So I go to that one to post comments about the other videos and I'm always seeing recent comments saying "Just found out you guys left and started this new thing!"

I agree, it's been way inconsistent the last few years. The way you have to find out what things are happening, where and how soon (or how long ago) is very inconsistent. I also don't watch every single video and read every single comment so I feel it.

@sethmode said:

@eccentrix: O....kay?

What kind of response is this? It's a legitimate point.

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SethMode

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@h0lgr: What is it that you want me to say?

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eccentrix

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#29 eccentrix  Online

@sethmode: You also seem dissatisfied with my response to your question. What is it that you wanted me to say? Maybe you just wanted sombre to answer, not the mystery person in question.

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tartyron

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#32  Edited By tartyron  Online

@physicalscience: as to the nextlander ad problem, I have solved it by having Firefox combined with adblocker, which I know cuts off a bit of their revenue stream but as a subscriber on their Patreon at above the minimum level I don’t feel too awful about it. When I try to watch on my phone, I often quit and save watching for the archives on my main Pc due to the frequency of the twitch ads. Twitch has gotten a little too rotten with the interruptions in recent years

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wolflinen

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I've never used Twitch either. I don't even have an account on that site.

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sombre

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I've been saddened by how incredibly boring Nextlander has been. It's nothing new or exciting, it's just exactly what they did on GB, but without Jeff

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superslidetail

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@sombre said:

I've been saddened by how incredibly boring Nextlander has been. It's nothing new or exciting, it's just exactly what they did on GB, but without Jeff

Same here for the most part. I think I'm just watching Alex-y Quest on YouTube and that's it. Sucks they don't have a normal central site for everything or maybe I would subscribe. I don't do the Twitch or Patreon thing.

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someoneproud

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I'm absolutely of the mind that if I'm paying for something I shouldn't have to deal with ads. I don't use Twitch and Q&As and early podcasts just aren't valuable enough for me to support Nextlander.

I watch some of their stuff on youtube but even there the comments being disabled puts me off. I get why they wouldn't want to deal with that shit but I'm not supporting them without more community features (I'm not counting Discord, fuck Discord)

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AtheistPreacher

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I keep hoping that the Nextlander guys will actually do something with Nextlander.com, but I suspect they never will. Right now it just redirects to the Patreon page, and for a while there it had stopped working altogether. Would be nice if it at least became a site with the schedule on it, and maybe eventually even with YouTube embeds of all their past streams and links to the flagship podcast. That would definitely be more attractive presentation-wise than what they've got now.

I like their podcast a lot (more than the Bombcast, actually), but I've found most of their streams uninteresting. There have been exceptions, but for the most part they've been playing a lot of games I'm not all that interested in watching.

I think I'd be a Patreon supporter if the low $5 tier got you the Ramblecast, but for $10 I have to take a pass. That's 3 to 4 times as much as the annual discounted GB sub and just doesn't seem worth it to me.

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monkeyking1969

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I think a website is a 'buggy whip' in a world of jet cars, but that is okay. I've changed. Gaming has changed. The landscape of media is has a meteoroid fell on it, then a volcanos erupted on top of the hole, than the flood waters rose to fill the hole. Game zines, games websites, and all teh rest have no widespread attraction...and that is okay.

… And now the times are changin'
Look at everything that's come and gone
Sometimes when I play that old six-string
I think about ya 'n wonder what went wrong

It will never be 1996 again when teh world thirsted for another gaming magazine, they were more viable systems than ever. There was the internet, but is was not worth a damn because loading even a 240 by 240 image took 30 seconds on Netscape and gaming video online was a net trick of blocky 150 pixel images running at 10 frame per second.

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Shindig

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There's just a better sense of focus when it comes to gaming websites. And sometimes I like to know if a game is good or interesting without trying to parse it from a person's stream broadcast.

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All I do here now is check the forums and watch GB Infinite.

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Retris

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@sombre: Can't forget that they do even less of checking out smaller games, which is just the opposite of what they originally talked about. Comfy crew is kinda fun, but the podcast itself which I'd think is the flagship product is just so devoid of joy and life that I've gone from listening to it with intent, to listening to it while doing something else, to listening to it if I have nothing else to listen to.

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BaneFireLord

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I still post on these forums because I like bitching about games in a semi-anonymous fashion, but yeah, I really miss having the sense of concentrated, focused coverage and community that GB used to provide. In recent months I've fallen off both the Bombcast and the Nextlander podcast and nothing has swooped in to fill that void. And I sure would like to find something, because the strongest contender right now is impotent doomscrolling and that can't possibly be healthy. Ah well.

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CurseOfTheWise

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@sombre said:

I've been saddened by how incredibly boring Nextlander has been. It's nothing new or exciting, it's just exactly what they did on GB, but without Jeff

Can't wait to hear about how sick of them you are in 3 years...

Seriously, I'm with @sethmode: at this point, some of y'all feel like you're here to complain and NO OTHER reason. No constructive, all criticism and just unwilling to move on and find something more your speed because, for all that y'all apparently "hate it here," it's still so comfy.

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sweep

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#44 sweep  Moderator

@sombre said:

I've been saddened by how incredibly boring Nextlander has been. It's nothing new or exciting, it's just exactly what they did on GB, but without Jeff

Can't wait to hear about how sick of them you are in 3 years...

Seriously, I'm with @sethmode: at this point, some of y'all feel like you're here to complain and NO OTHER reason. No constructive, all criticism and just unwilling to move on and find something more your speed because, for all that y'all apparently "hate it here," it's still so comfy.

Welcome to the Giant Bomb forums!

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styx971

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I keep hoping that the Nextlander guys will actually do something with Nextlander.com, but I suspect they never will. Right now it just redirects to the Patreon page, and for a while there it had stopped working altogether. Would be nice if it at least became a site with the schedule on it, and maybe eventually even with YouTube embeds of all their past streams and links to the flagship podcast. That would definitely be more attractive presentation-wise than what they've got now.

I like their podcast a lot (more than the Bombcast, actually), but I've found most of their streams uninteresting. There have been exceptions, but for the most part they've been playing a lot of games I'm not all that interested in watching.

I think I'd be a Patreon supporter if the low $5 tier got you the Ramblecast, but for $10 I have to take a pass. That's 3 to 4 times as much as the annual discounted GB sub and just doesn't seem worth it to me.

this is pretty much me , i mean i enjoy some of what they play and i watch it but on average alot of what they pick in a given week isn't something i want to watch , i would also sub to the lower tier if ramblecast was in the cheaper option probably in place og my GB sub frankly cause most of the output here Also hasn't been for me anymore sadly. sadly their 5 dollar tier offers me nothing i want and the 10 bucks is too steep for that honestly i really think they would possibly make more overall if they moved it cause idk how many ppl are like us but i'm sure its sizable. website-wise i still think a site is more useful for the reason i stated many moons ago , but is what it is sadly.


All I do here now is check the forums and watch GB Infinite.

same only instead of infinate its bombcast and the rare video that interests me since they haven't been covering as much stuff i haven't made my mind up about or haven't heard of the way they used to in video format. long plays coming back have been nice to see but i dislike horror in general so silent hill is of no interest to me and i sorta wish they'd have kept the genre in holloween month with some slight overlap to finish to be expected , is what it is tho.