The writing has been on the wall for a while now. It’s a troubling sign when a stalwart in any industry meets its end. Sadly, this was the case for the video game media industry on February 8, 2016, when Brandon Jones of GameTrailers announced that the website would be shutting down.
There are some who have already written about this better than I ever could, particularly Jim Sterling and his analysis of how the very nature of corporate media is the root in this situation. The fact of the matter is that whether or not you watched GameTrailers regularly, it’s foolish to deny their impact on today’s gaming media. Many of today’s YouTubers, game journalists, and personalities within the game industry have come out over the last couple of days to acknowledge the impact that GameTrailers had on them. I feel the same way. As a way of seeing them off, I wanted to highlight my personal GameTrailers memories and honor the work that they did.
…The place that introduced internet video content that was about games back in 2002, before YouTube was created.
…Where you go to for a professional style of video review, game of the year awards, and top 10 lists. GT COUNTDOWN…
…Where Retrospectives became fascinating watches that detailed a game franchise’s chronology – from Final Fantasy, to The Legend of Zelda, to Metal Gear Solid and more – all in anticipation of the series’ next big release.
…Where serialized game content in the form of online video shows gained loyal followings. I fondly recall watching many of these.
- Bonus Round – Geoff Keighley really came into the forefront as a video game host through GameTrailers, which has developed into his production of The Game Awards, but his roundtable discussions with industry guests were always fascinating listens
- Pach-Attack! – Michael Pachter thought of the game industry as a business, which it is, and while many liked to denigrate him for that, his perspective was a helpful one for me as I cultivated my hosting abilities
- The Final Bosman – Kyle Bosman brought a personable side to the latest game news topics, in this recent show format that is highly watchable and inspiring to me
- Annoyed Gamer – Marcus Beer knew how to bring the thunder in a rant-format show that was always in support of the consumer
- Pop Fiction – Breaking down the myths that existed about different games was never done in a snappier, more fun format
There’s lots to say about the undoing of GameTrailers. The proprietary video player that few people liked. The ownership of Viacom that helped get content on SpikeTV, but ultimately led to unrealistic expectations. The subsequent ownership of Defy Media (who also owns The Escapist), the firing of staff, the moving of offices, and the inability for stability in the last couple of years.
What I’ll remember most about GameTrailers is that these people loved games. Even as recently as E3 2015, when the company was only just holding it together, the notable GT personalities gathered around a table to watch the press conferences. During Sony’s show, they delivered the most memorable E3 reactions in recent memory.
On behalf of gamers everywhere – thank you, GameTrailers. You inspired so many people. Your passion and innovation will be missed in this industry. I am sure you will all find work very soon.
Please, take the time to watch some GT content this week.
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