So I was low to give this video from Gamespot more views but it seemed like too much of an integral part of this story to not do so. Gamespot, for their part, at the time of this writing has buried the video on their site somewhere that I was unable to find it. So I guess that’s how much they value it. Anyway, it was done by Peter Brown, who is a veteran staff member of the site and has been around since a time before the XBOX 360 was out. Which these days is considered a very long run at a particular site. He is usually a very logical and knowledgeable reviewer and journo so why this uninformed thing came from him is anyone’s guess.
But it does speak to the growing void between game journalists and influencers. I use influencers here as the industry term not to sound trendy, because as some one who would like to be an influencer I find the term more than a little annoying and erroneous as it really doesn’t mean what it sounds like it does. But that is definitely a story for another day.
In this article I would like to discuss why after 12 matches(maybe a little more or a little less) Gamespot decided to do a video on an early access game called Friday the 13th the Game and slam it. Which make no mistake that is what they are doing.
Most early access games get an unreasonable amount of consideration. Most previews say only positive things and in most cases the axiom of,”if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Applies in almost every case. Few reviewers or journos bother to step into the muddy waters of early access/preview content build/unfinished games; and if they do it is usually because they want to show something off that they discovered and it gives them a special feeling. So that is why this video from Gamespot seemed so strange to me.
The video touched on a lot of points that to me seemed a little off. I will review some of them now:
The game’s facial animations are bad. We don’t know if this on purpose or not but they are.
(OK, well you work at one of three biggest game media content providers in the US perhaps you could call the devs and ask.)
The game has a lot of bugs, most of them aren’t game breaking but they are there.
(WOW a game that ISN’T out yet has bugs! Astonishing!)
It really sucks that you have to stay and watch the rest of the game if you die early to get your XP.
(Well first, get good, second, this isn’t PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds! You are supposed to be playing with friends and helping the rest of your team get through the match. Were you guys even on voice chat? Because chatting during, before, and after the game is kind of the point.)
We have only played 12 matches, so hopefully we will get better and not have so much down time between actually playing the game.
(Yeah or maybe you shouldn’t rush to judgment after only playing 12 matches.)
The same cutscene plays at the beginning each match every single time.
(Yes, that’s true, consistency is good for multiplayer games, don’t you think?)
So I know it does appear that I’m picking on Mr. Brown here. But I am simply explaining that for someone who is at least some what knowledgeable about the game most of these issues are easily explained away. Also, for someone who has been in the business as long as he has it is hard to understand why he makes some of the statements he does about the game.
You might be asking how I got so smart about the this game or why I even care. Well, first I’ve been watching this game on Youtube and Twitch since the beta test which was a ways back. Recently some folks that are both backers and influencers managed to get a few copies of the games ahead of it’s soft launch and I was able to watch about 5 hours of gameplay. Probably saw at least 50 or so matches. I’m also a big fan of games like Dead by Deadlight which are in the same vein as this game. I also found it interesting that Peter Brown did not once mention Dead by Daylight as it is the most easy comparison to a game that is already out. If you’re interested here is an example of an incredible match of Friday the 13th the Game from one of the Youtubers I mentioned.
Centertrain01 has been around for quite a while himself and has a following of around 200,000+ subscribers on Youtube. He mostly plays Stealth games but he was a backer for this game and was excited about the horror theme. Certainly this is not exactly his wheel house, although stealth is important in the game. He is with a team of other youtubers/influencers who got the game early either because they were influential or because they were backers; or both. He also has an over 5 hour live stream recorded on Youtube if you are interested in that.
This person certainly proves my point about the difference between what seems to be an ever growing apathy by game journalists in a world where streamers, youtubers, and others work tirelessly to communicate with their fans. Often it seems like while a youtuber/influencer/content creator might know your screen name. The game journalist is likely not to even bother to look at their audience, comments, or even their twitter. As they are all TOO TOXIC. Well, I can’t say that the influencers have it any better than you folks and are paid far less for their trouble.
Many game journalists who work at big outlets will bring out the old chestnut that the game industry is SO BIG and that there are SO MANY GAMES coming out that they can’t cover all of them. So that is why they are uninformed or miss the boat when it comes to trends or current events in the gaming community. My response then is, perhaps you shouldn’t cover television, movies, and video games. If you can’t really handle any of them, because the industries are so big and there SO MANY TV shows, movies, and video games are coming out all the time. There are plenty of youtubers/influencers that have far few people working for them that seem to cover just as much. But they also work a lot harder than anyone with a 9 to 5 job that only works 5 days a week and gets EVERY SINGLE HOLIDAY off.
The lack of personality in the big media outlets is a major warning sign that their day has come and gone. While there have certainly been a ALOT of shake ups to influencers over the past year. These people are still the ones driving the industry. The IGNs and Gamespots of the world might have more traffic(not always). But their influence is much closer to that of the mainstream media among the hardcore fans and tastemakers of the industry. IGN, Gamespot, and Giant Bomb were late to the party on the last few trends that arose in the game community and I’m sure with Gamespot’s current outlook on Friday the 13th the Game. This will be no exception, as over the preview period for the game it was the #1 watched game on Twitch; even over League of Legends. That means that you need to more than a passing attention to it. You know, like PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds….