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The Walls Are Closing In On Game Journalists...

It's not very often we get to peel the curtain back and see behind the real industry at large... The landscape of games journalism is undergoing a significant transformation as we speak, marked by HUGE acquisitions and the consolidation of major industry players. The recent acquisition of the Gamer Network family by IGN Entertainment is a prime example, demonstrating the shifting dynamics within the field.

While this consolidation may streamline operations and potentially expand resources for the involved entities, it also raises concerns about the diversity of voices and the integrity of game reviews and narratives.

This reminds me of this tweet that Jordan Midler (Writer for @VGC_News) threw out there in a tantrum when Kotaku had assigned their "journalists" to write guides instead of propaganda...

Welp, these talentless 'hack' Youtubers are continuing to prove these 'pros' wrong. Time and time again. Independent sites like this one (SmashJT.com), ThatParkPlace.com, FandomPulse.com, alongside so many others are crucial in providing fresh independent perspectives and maintaining a balanced discourse in the gaming community.


So, What Happened?

On May 21, 2024, IGN Entertainment, a division of Ziff Davis, announced the acquisition of the Gamer Network family of digital brands. This portfolio includes well-known publications such as Eurogamer, GamesIndustry.biz, Rock Paper Shotgun, VG247, and Dicebreaker. The business also holds shares in Digital Foundry, Outside Xbox, and Hookshot (which many don't know - operates the sites of Nintendolife, PushSquare, PureXbox and Time Extension).


These acquisitions follow IGN's strategy to expand its reach and influence within the gaming industry. While the financial details were not announced, the implications are clear: a significant portion of gaming journalism is now under a single umbrella... and Some folks are out of a job.

This consolidation brings several challenges, and many people aren't too pumped about it...


First, it reduces the number of large independent voices within the industry. Publications like Eurogamer and Rock Paper Shotgun, known for their unique editorial stances and critical reviews, may face pressure to align more closely with IGN's broader corporate strategy. This can lead to a homogenization of content, where diverse opinions and critical analyses are overshadowed by more commercial narratives.


Additionally, the redundancies announced across the UK-based organization highlight another side effect: job security for journalists and the potential loss of voices. As larger companies acquire smaller ones, cost-cutting measures often follow, which can lead to a loss of talent and expertise.

This not only affects the quality of journalism but also the depth and authenticity of the content produced. This could be looked at as a good thing as well, trimming the fat of many that should never been raised to the positions they had been in the first place. While Kotaku is not a part of this deal specifically, being a part of the game industry, a move like this affects everyone involved.


The Role of Independent Sites

Quick shout out to myself here because lets be honest, in this environment of consolidation, independent gaming websites like SmashJT.com play an increasingly vital role. Smaller platforms offer unique perspectives that are often absent from larger, more commercial entities. Without the same level of corporate oversight, independent sites can provide honest, unfiltered reviews and commentary, fostering a more genuine connection with their audience.

SmashJT.com, for instance, is known for having a critical take on industry practices and its focus on issues that may be overlooked by larger publications. This site, along with others like it, serves as a counterbalance to the mainstream narrative, ensuring that gamers have access to a diverse range of opinions and insights.

The Future of Games Journalism

As the gaming industry continues to mature and evolve, so too will the field of game journalism. While consolidation presents certain efficiencies and potential benefits, it is crucial to preserve the diversity of voices and perspectives that enrich the gaming community - as long as there isn't a hidden agenda-driven narrative hiding in the shadows (yes, Kotaku, I'm looking at you). Independent sites and journalists must continue to be supported and valued for their contributions.

The acquisition of the Gamer Network by IGN Entertainment marks a significant shift in games journalism. It underscores the importance of maintaining a diverse media landscape where independent voices can thrive. As gamers and readers, it is our responsibility to support independent platforms and ensure that a variety of perspectives are heard. Only then can we ensure a balanced and vibrant discourse in the world of gaming... Even if we sometimes don't see eye-to-eye!


Oh, and don't forget... #EndKotaku - sign the petition here for the betterment of the entire video game industry!


~Smash


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3 Comments


Long ago, perhaps in 2015 or so; I visited Kotaku. Saw nothing of significance and moved on. No value then, even less now. 😉

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Haven't given IGN the time of day in years. I'll stick to SmashJT.com, thanks. 👍

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Smash JT
Smash JT
May 23
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This is the way! Haha - thanks Kim!

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