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IGN Entertainment acquires Gamer Network (GI.biz, Eurogamer, VG247)

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IGN has acquired the Gamer Network from ReedPop (who will keep the events like EGX). This is Eurogamer, VG247, GamesIndustry.biz, Rock Paper Shotgun and stakes in Digital Foundry, Outside Xbox and Hookshot (Nintendolife, PushSquare, Time Extension). There are also layoffs including Brendan Sinclair, Managing Editor of GamesIndustry.biz, and Alice Bell, deputy editor of Rock Paper Shotgun.
 
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Not surprising. The traditional media is dying anyway and with AI news, search and streamers being the new reviewers the traditional media won't survive.

Granted modern game journalism is not really a journalism but - outside of 2-3 people - all are basically glorified bloggers with strong opinions.
 
Brendan Sinclair from Gi.biz got fired from this and he’s one of the best and sharpest journalists out there. It’s extremely maddening to see. Brendan’s reporting and coverage has been the go-to on so many levels.

Same with Stephany at VG247 whos been at it for 15 years. What are they even thinking?

Of course, I guess their plan is to fire anyone above 30 and go ahead and replace them with someone in their early 20s to churn out press releases for entry level pay.

Granted modern game journalism is not really a journalism but - outside of 2-3 people - all are basically glorified bloggers with strong opinions.
Extremely unsympathetic comment and you have no idea who you’re talking about. You must not have read Gamesindustry.biz or Brendan Sinclair’s work for that matter. Why would you even write this as a response to serious and professional people getting fired?
 
Extremely unsympathetic comment and you have no idea who you’re talking about. You must not have read Gamesindustry.biz or Brendan Sinclair’s work for that matter. Why would you even write this as a response to serious and professional people getting fired?
Maybe those fall onto the "Outside 2-3 people" he mentioned, I'm sure he was not literal on just 2-3 people being good Journalist. But it is true that in Gaming, most of the "Journalist" are just bloggers/streamers(as of lately) that just happened to be early to the party and gathered a following, again, there are exceptions of really good/professional folks that do an awesome job.
 
Maybe those fall onto the "Outside 2-3 people" he mentioned, I'm sure he was not literal on just 2-3 people being good Journalist. But it is true that in Gaming, most of the "Journalist" are just bloggers/streamers(as of lately) that just happened to be early to the party and gathered a following, again, there are exceptions of really good/professional folks that do an awesome job.
This is kind of true of journalism in general. A lot more hobbyists in gaming but, thinning the field will reduce the level of high-level criticism, investigative journalism and analysis of the industry. Especially since layoffs target more experienced journalists meaning we will have far fewer experts and far more bloggers struggling to put out 5 guides a day.
 
Extremely unsympathetic comment and you have no idea who you’re talking about. You must not have read Gamesindustry.biz or Brendan Sinclair’s work for that matter. Why would you even write this as a response to serious and professional people getting fired?
Post Christopher Dring's coverage of ABK, I don't take GI seriously anymore. And don't read anybody else there. Hell, even sales reporting from him are relatively often not neutral at all. From the public faces, the only one neutral person is probably Matt Piscatella who provides numbers and his opinion does not slant the numbers themselves.

Tom Henderson used to report some cool stuff and he still does from time to time, but when he got his website he started to lean towards clickbait.

From proper journalists aside Schreier, I can't even name anybody else. While I don't agree with his personal opinions, his reports are quite good. I recall somebody from IGN was kinda good - one person? - but I don't remember the name of that girl.

Videogame journalism is for the most part an extentions of publisher/platform holders and their marketing campagins.
Quite often it is true. Especially when media is desperately afraid to be blacklisted by the platform holder or when they have friends in some studios.

There are too much clickbait in the existing media outlets, which is understandable as they want to get as much traffic as possible. But in that case I can get the same thing on Twitter. By and large, in my opinions the reasons for decline of the traditional media are the following
  • Outdated websites
    • I haven't visited IGN for years, but do they still have forums or anything? No idea really and other websites seem to stuck in 2010s and comment sections are straight from the previous century or something at this point. Just unpleasant to use.
  • Clickbait
    • While I understand that they are trying to catch the traffic, I don't really need to see Starfield score being reposted seven times during the week (or more). Plus some websites are trying to be edgy in their attempts to chase clicks. It is like Kotaku that turned into a meme tabloid at this point.
  • Lack of engagement
    • I mean if the author of the article is much more active in the Twitter comment section than on his own website....What else to say there? Just like with gaming, the modern discourse - while it might be a bit more toxic than it should be - requires engagement. Reading plain articles without comments is just not interesting anymore.
  • Opinion match
    • If I see an outlet producing more and more articles or opinions that I don't agree with, I won't follow it anymore. There is no shortage of channels and boards I can follow.
  • Bias
    • Not much to comment there, but as an example - post KF not willing to report on Insomiac's leak due to them having friends there, I have completely written them off and stopped following them. You can't be serious when you happily posted about Xbox and Capcom leaks.
  • Entitlement
    • I completed abandoned and muted all those Reedpop's websites when they complained about not getting review codes for Starfield. And at that time I still believed that Eurogamer was a proper outlet.
Fundamental issue is that if you cannot provide an unbiased opinion, you should not be surprised if people are not willing to follow you if their opinion does not match with yours.

I think even IGN will fall eventually and become more like an event platform or something (I think it is already kinda is), because anybody with a camera or a stream can have an opinion whose value is not less worthy than a person publishing on IGN, GameRadar or Gamespot. Sure they don't have weight on metacritic, but that's all. There is too much personal feelings in the modern reviews and reports - which make it no different from Reddit or forum posts.
 
Post Christopher Dring's coverage of ABK, I don't take GI seriously anymore. And don't read anybody else there. Hell, even sales reporting from him are relatively often not neutral at all. From the public faces, the only one neutral person is probably Matt Piscatella who provides numbers and his opinion does not slant the numbers themselves.

Tom Henderson used to report some cool stuff and he still does from time to time, but when he got his website he started to lean towards clickbait.

From proper journalists aside Schreier, I can't even name anybody else. While I don't agree with his personal opinions, his reports are quite good. I recall somebody from IGN was kinda good - one person? - but I don't remember the name of that girl.


Quite often it is true. Especially when media is desperately afraid to be blacklisted by the platform holder or when they have friends in some studios.
You may not like Chris for whatever reason but he gives far better detail and information than whatever Mat Piscatella does. Just think about it for a second, the reason we know of the debut sales number closely for a lot of games last year is because Dring gives the best information. We know Zelda /Mario Wonder did around 205k / 60K launch weekend at retail in UK, but we have no idea about the debut retail sales in USA. He also gives far better hardware reports monthly than Mat Piscatella.

When the Switch Successor launches, compare how Mat and Dring will give out information. We will know exactly how big the launch in UK was from Dring, but in USA, it all depends on Nintendo (who will most likely tell us) but it won't be due to Mat Piscatella at all. Dring will also provide info on European Switch 2 launch but Mat won't tell us anything about Canada now will he.

Chris is a nintendo fanboy and I have absolute zero idea why some of you dislike him just cos he has opinions
 
You may not like Chris for whatever reason but he gives far better detail and information than whatever Mat Piscatella does. Just think about it for a second, the reason we know of the debut sales number closely for a lot of games last year is because Dring gives the best information. We know Zelda /Mario Wonder did around 205k / 60K launch weekend at retail in UK, but we have no idea about the debut retail sales in USA. He also gives far better hardware reports monthly than Mat Piscatella.

When the Switch Successor launches, compare how Mat and Dring will give out information. We will know exactly how big the launch in UK was from Dring, but in USA, it all depends on Nintendo (who will most likely tell us) but it won't be due to Mat Piscatella at all. Dring will also provide info on European Switch 2 launch but Mat won't tell us anything about Canada now will he.

Chris is a nintendo fanboy and I have absolute zero idea why some of you dislike him just cos he has opinions
I agree with alot of what you are saying but I think your messaging about Mat is possibly unfair because he may simply not be allowed to give more information than he does. I don't think Mat would purposely withhold information if he was allowed to. On the other hand, Chris could possibly just have no restrictions on the information he gives.

On the Chris Dring being a Nintendo fanboy, it's time to stop pushing this agenda. His defenders needing to repeat it just says you all know it's a lie. His post history just plain points to him not being a Nintendo fanboy as much as he and his followers want to proclaim. It's similar to when someone says "no offense" and then proceeds to say something offensive. It's really no big deal whether he is or isn't a big Nintendo fan, he doesn't need to protect his opinions about Nintendo. Just comes off as needing to validate his opinions about Nintendo, by telling us how much of a big fan he is.
 
The response to people losing theor jobs being "well they are just glorified PR arms for publishers anyway" is so tone deaf. I'm not surprised but it still doesn't make it any less shitty.
 
The video gaming industry is being gutted out in front of our eyes in nearly every horizontal and its about time the games media actually did some hard analysis, research and bring these issues to light....unless they too want to go the way of other redundancies.

We saw rampant consolidation
  • in the AAA tooling industry (completely forgotten by games journalism)
  • we see that its increasingly true that a lot of the AAA industry is dependent on a single game engine ( hmmm maybe someone should do an article / investigation on that)
  • we saw the AAA studio mass consolidation with Tencent, Embracer, MSFT, Sony and its consequences
  • we saw the consolidation of mega-publishers with Tencent, MSFT and its consequences
  • and now we are seeing the support stack (Keywords etc) and games media being rolled up
The video games media was woefully unprepared and ignorant in the MSFT/ATVI anti-trust case, lets see if they are able to learn their lesson.

Media is incredibly important in informing the people, fans and industry members on things that can be widely damaging. They can go so far as even influencing court cases, outcomes, the views of politicians and moves that regulators make when well written, researched and frutiful investigations are carried to end.

Make no noise, and you will be snuffed out. You can look at your fellow colleagues in the movie and music industry if you want to see where its all leading to.

Here's what I have:

Screenshot-2024-05-22-at-01-38-05.png


Anti-trust often employs a simple metric to show when marketshares of firms in a fixed market become oligopolistic, highly concentrated to negative consequences and when mergers can trigger such marketshares. Obviously, the biggest point of contention is what is the market definition, as said definition can widely change the numbers. Recall Google saying its market is not the digital ad industry, but the global ad industry in whole and I'm sure as we go on, these monopolistic firms will have the increasingly dystopian ambition that the market isn't just X, but the time of every human being. "Don't you see Judge, Netflix is competing with the gym membership, and the coffee shop down the road!"

Since most VG news sites rely on ads, and therefore with some rate, views can be a defining metric, I've used similarweb to get the Monthly visits per site. Only VG specific news sites are included (so a big media site having a games editorial isn't, like Metro or WaPo etc) and sites like fandom, metacritic, gamefaqs aren't.

The agencies generally consider markets in which the HHI is between 1,000 and 1,800 points to be moderately concentrated, and consider markets in which the HHI is in excess of 1,800 points to be highly concentrated. See U.S. Department of Justice & FTC, Merger Guidelines § 2.1 (2023). Transactions that increase the HHI by more than 100 points in highly concentrated markets are presumed likely to enhance market power under the Horizontal Merger Guidelines issued by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. See id.

The HHI for English video game news journalism
  • Pre merger <1700 , 5 publishers own 83% of the market
  • Post merger 2150+ , 4 publishers own 83% of the market
Hint, if this goes through, expect further consolidation. That number 4 will likely go to 3.
Welcome to send this to a games journalist and see if they will do further investigation and make an article out of it.
Oh and yes you can file a complaint to the FTC.
 
Post Christopher Dring's coverage of ABK, I don't take GI seriously anymore. And don't read anybody else there. Hell, even sales reporting from him are relatively often not neutral at all. From the public faces, the only one neutral person is probably Matt Piscatella who provides numbers and his opinion does not slant the numbers themselves.

Tom Henderson used to report some cool stuff and he still does from time to time, but when he got his website he started to lean towards clickbait.

From proper journalists aside Schreier, I can't even name anybody else. While I don't agree with his personal opinions, his reports are quite good. I recall somebody from IGN was kinda good - one person? - but I don't remember the name of that girl.


Quite often it is true. Especially when media is desperately afraid to be blacklisted by the platform holder or when they have friends in some studios.

There are too much clickbait in the existing media outlets, which is understandable as they want to get as much traffic as possible. But in that case I can get the same thing on Twitter. By and large, in my opinions the reasons for decline of the traditional media are the following
  • Outdated websites
    • I haven't visited IGN for years, but do they still have forums or anything? No idea really and other websites seem to stuck in 2010s and comment sections are straight from the previous century or something at this point. Just unpleasant to use.
  • Clickbait
    • While I understand that they are trying to catch the traffic, I don't really need to see Starfield score being reposted seven times during the week (or more). Plus some websites are trying to be edgy in their attempts to chase clicks. It is like Kotaku that turned into a meme tabloid at this point.
  • Lack of engagement
    • I mean if the author of the article is much more active in the Twitter comment section than on his own website....What else to say there? Just like with gaming, the modern discourse - while it might be a bit more toxic than it should be - requires engagement. Reading plain articles without comments is just not interesting anymore.
  • Opinion match
    • If I see an outlet producing more and more articles or opinions that I don't agree with, I won't follow it anymore. There is no shortage of channels and boards I can follow.
  • Bias
    • Not much to comment there, but as an example - post KF not willing to report on Insomiac's leak due to them having friends there, I have completely written them off and stopped following them. You can't be serious when you happily posted about Xbox and Capcom leaks.
  • Entitlement
    • I completed abandoned and muted all those Reedpop's websites when they complained about not getting review codes for Starfield. And at that time I still believed that Eurogamer was a proper outlet.
Fundamental issue is that if you cannot provide an unbiased opinion, you should not be surprised if people are not willing to follow you if their opinion does not match with yours.

I think even IGN will fall eventually and become more like an event platform or something (I think it is already kinda is), because anybody with a camera or a stream can have an opinion whose value is not less worthy than a person publishing on IGN, GameRadar or Gamespot. Sure they don't have weight on metacritic, but that's all. There is too much personal feelings in the modern reviews and reports - which make it no different from Reddit or forum posts.
There are others but your posts started this derail.
Mod Post
Stop with this line of posts and have some tact
 
So platform holders buying studios and gutting them for IPs is scummy but makes sense, but why would media publishers buy outlets and then gut the staff? What is there to gain doing that?
 
The response to people losing theor jobs being "well they are just glorified PR arms for publishers anyway" is so tone deaf. I'm not surprised but it still doesn't make it any less shitty.
Not only that, layoffs like this will only accelerate the death of actual journalism in the industry. It's shitty all around.
 
There is a shift toward going the YouTube/Patreon route for journalists (just look at how the Gertsman/Bosman sort of people are raking in on Patreon), and the only way any site can survive is by using half the site for popular media coverage like IGN does, like TV shows and gossip.

Even Gamespot these days is 50% movie and TV coverage. I remember during the Game of Thrones heyday when every videogame site was like a Game of Thrones fansite because it drew in so many views.

And it's a shame because the current journalists are significantly worse than before. Something of significance has been lost. And I don't see any hope here, 90% of the audience is going to YouTube to watch gaming videos rather than websites. It is what it is and it won't change.
 
The video gaming industry is being gutted out in front of our eyes in nearly every horizontal and its about time the games media actually did some hard analysis, research and bring these issues to light....unless they too want to go the way of other redundancies.

We saw rampant consolidation
  • in the AAA tooling industry (completely forgotten by games journalism)
  • we see that its increasingly true that a lot of the AAA industry is dependent on a single game engine ( hmmm maybe someone should do an article / investigation on that)
  • we saw the AAA studio mass consolidation with Tencent, Embracer, MSFT, Sony and its consequences
  • we saw the consolidation of mega-publishers with Tencent, MSFT and its consequences
  • and now we are seeing the support stack (Keywords etc) and games media being rolled up
Correct. Epic were literally engaged in what was very obvious vertical integration activity, along with dumping piles of money to distort the market in a way that was never sustainable, and if successful would have been a massive rug-pull performed on both customers and developers, and the depth of "analysis" offered was "More competition equals good so lets portray a bunch of people who previously wrote off the PC games market as a bunch of pirates as saviours. I am very smart"
So platform holders buying studios and gutting them for IPs is scummy but makes sense, but why would media publishers buy outlets and then gut the staff? What is there to gain doing that?
In most cases the media brand is more important than the individual journalists to publishers, so they can fire veteran staff on higher salaries and replace them with entry-level employees, then award themselves bonuses for reducing costs. By the time the brand has been devalued by these actions they'll have moved on to the next carcass.
 
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