The demise of Eurogamer.net

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  • mdogg 7 Jan 2010 06:04:11 26 posts
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    A sensational subject heading but it got you looking, right? Most media we connect with is here to inform, educate and entertain. So I found it rather intriguing that Mr Bramwell and his colleagues decided not to produce a top 50 for 2009.

    Reading the arguments against having a top 50 will lead you to conclude that any kind of rating or ranking system is pointless. Well, quite frankly, they are irrelevant. Placing a score next to a well researched, well written and entertaining review does undermine the thoughtful journalism. On the other hand, a review score provides a source of convenience; a relativity among it's genre - a ranking of sorts. So it has a practicality attached to it that the reader enjoys: when time is short (or the reader has the attention span of a fish), they can ignore the text and gauge the game quality quickly and easily. It also forces the writer to commit an objectivity that we as humans love. Scores give us a legitimacy that sometimes the review on its own cannot ("Oooh,9/10!"). It's a shortcut and a quick handle to justify what you like. Or it can be a tool that is swung in outrage, when the fanboy sees his game achieve less than 10. Scores and rankings: we love them because they put complex colourful creations into black and white pictures.

    The top 50 was, in my humble opinion, a great Christmas read. It allowed the reader to sit back and reflect on the year's gaming landscape. But much more importantly, after reading all the reviews over the year, it gave readers a glimpse into what the writers of Eurogamer really thought, regardless of populist choices. It also played out the outcrys and remonstrations between the team: Kristan's gushing prose would be countered by Tom's "what a load of pants" diatribe. And vice versa. The list demonstrated perfectly that there is no ulitmate top 50, but very much the kind of debate that rages around many a table at the local pub. And trying to manage that into a workable Top 50 cannot be easy, simply because you can sense that Eurogamer works to high standards. The amount of over-deliberation and hair-pulling that must go on.....they should make a Eurogamer TV eipsode out of it!

    I believe the Top 50 is part of what makes Eurogamer unique, demonstrating a depth of character and personality rare in many websites, newspapers and magazines.

    But the reasons to not do the Top 50 were rather worrying. Tom's concerns of offending the corporates is the very reason the list should be made in the first place: not because it warrants anti-establishment slander, but the fact that himself and his fellow writers can and should be free to express their choices. Everyone enjoys Eurogamer because the people behind it are skilled at what they do. That's why they have the following they do. And I believe the readers are therefore interested in the writers' gaming pet peeves, gushing love-fests, stand-up arguments over reviews, as well as their cutting remarks.

    The other reason of ANGRY FORUM POSTERS should be ignored. You've stimulated a discussion or started an argument. Nothing great ever came from antipathy.

    So, there is no real demise of Eurogamer. Just like there is no real Top 50 games of 2009, or no real Top 50 movies of all time. Time to scrap the Oscars then?
  • ilmaestro 7 Jan 2010 06:09:06 32,407 posts
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    Fortunately, I don't need to read any more than the thread title to agree with you.

    4235

  • MrTomFTW Moderator 7 Jan 2010 06:14:10 37,865 posts
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    Yeah, I'm with you on the scrapping the Oscars bit. I mean, what's the fucking point in them other than a load of self-congratulatory back-slapping?

    Follow me on Twitter: @MrTom
    Voted by the community "Best mod" 2011, 2012 and 2013.

  • mdogg 7 Jan 2010 06:27:38 26 posts
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    I actually meant that the Oscars were a good thing but not in the way most people see them.

    Awards/ Top 50 Lists and so on are not definitive, but they give us something we as people seem to need. We like winners but we also like to disagree with who wins. We love the debate. They're not real and they do not offer any real intrinsic value unless you value the source.

    And I value what the Eurogamer team has to say. I loved the musings, the pointed remarks, the overly defensive counter points, the fanboy feel, the unashamed proud boast of something deeply uncool. It just worked. I didn't agree with it but I loved reading it.

    And all I know is that I was disappointed not to have the Top 50 this year.
  • MrTomFTW Moderator 7 Jan 2010 06:36:36 37,865 posts
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    I don't know what the problem is... They gave us a list of the top games of 2009, which was headed by THE top game of 2009. Nice little article for each as well.

    Follow me on Twitter: @MrTom
    Voted by the community "Best mod" 2011, 2012 and 2013.

  • Kostabi 7 Jan 2010 06:49:20 4,911 posts
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    I have to admit that I prefered the way they did it this year to be honest, but then I enjoy the more retrospective pieces that EG run.

    Personally I found it more interesting seeing what EG considered the top games of the year and then seeing how they placed with the readership at large in our Top 50.

    I think the big problem is that the reasons Tom cited for ditching the list were weak at best as if he had never mentioned Peter Moore most people would have just put it down to the site trying an experiment, which is kinda why people are here isn't it? Because EG does things differently compared to the vast majority of websites.
  • Toonster 7 Jan 2010 06:49:54 6,842 posts
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    I'm thinking of a number between 1 and I don't give a shit.

    3DS: 0361-6951-2609 (Tom)

  • Deleted user 7 January 2010 06:55:45
    Can someone summarise the wall of shit, in less than 15 words?

    EDIT: Quick glance suggests he's moaning about the lack of a Top 50 and thinks EG were scared of pissing people off.

    Yawn.
  • mdogg 7 Jan 2010 07:00:35 26 posts
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    Yes, some good points Kostabi. I think you're right that Tom's reasons were weak and probably spurred me to write the post in the firs place. Fair play to him to be honest enough to state them and not attempt to state it wasn't a factor.

    I think part of me just really enjoyed the conversational element of how the Top 50 ran. And you have to admit, no one else wrote a top 50 like that!

    But nothing wrong with change, so long as it is for the right reasons (and not corporate approval).
  • mdogg 7 Jan 2010 07:10:37 26 posts
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    Yeah, I guess I am moaning about it. But it's not just the fact that "thinks EG were scared of pissing people off." but more a case what the wider ramifications of such a statement makes to the readership as a whole. Does the collective see EG as some sort of commercial entity that needs to on occasion tread carefully in fear of upsetting its paymasters or is it perceived to offer solid independent journalism?

    (You can yawn to that too if you like).
  • Deleted user 7 January 2010 07:32:50
    No great surprise that web content providers are controlled by fear of advertisers wrath like traditional print media is.
  • mdogg 7 Jan 2010 07:37:19 26 posts
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    It sounds like you've a better grasp of gaming websites than me. And they sound questionable. Don't get me wrong, Eurogamer is my web-based game bible.

    I've limited comparisons. I read Edge magazine so that's my benchmark. I see that sometimes as overly dry a tad self-indulgent but nonetheless editorial of a fairly high order. And I think I perceive Eurogamer as a more chilled and relaxed version of that magazine (less up its own arse).

    Apologies for the wall of text. I don't do posts usually so I'm not cultured in the ways of getting things across in Twitter time frames.
  • speedofthepuma 7 Jan 2010 07:43:03 13,285 posts
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    In all honesty I don't think it was a bad post or thread, and I kind of agree with you. The top 50 was missed and the reasons outligned seemed poor.

    I lurk. If I've spoken to you, I'm either impassioned, or drunk.

  • LawrenceArms 7 Jan 2010 08:10:39 1,475 posts
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    Post deleted
  • morriss 7 Jan 2010 08:38:21 70,947 posts
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    I agree with a lot of that, tbh. The day you let people like Peter Moore and any teenage fanboys ccontrol what you do/do not publish must be a sad one in any publications' history.
  • Deleted user 7 January 2010 08:38:44
    This is an important topic.
  • otto Moderator 7 Jan 2010 09:16:51 49,314 posts
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    mdogg wrote:
    any kind of rating or ranking system is pointless. Well, quite frankly, they are irrelevant. Placing a score next to a well researched, well written and entertaining review does undermine the thoughtful journalism. On the other hand, a review score provides a source of convenience; a relativity among it's genre - a ranking of sorts.
    Ah that hardy perennial!

    I wasn't even aware that an annual top 50 had become a tradition. What a joke. Who on earth cares about a top 50?? I always saw it as a way to prepare reams of recycled material in advance and publish it bit by bit over the Christmas period allowing the editorial team to have a holiday while the site still keeps posting 'new' content. This is absolutely fine by me, everyone should have a holiday, but if they don't want to publish a top 50, I really don't see why anyone else should care.

    say no to Eurogamer sigs

  • dr_swin 7 Jan 2010 09:27:25 4,887 posts
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    I started a thread about this as well, but no-one seemed that bothered about it really, which surprised me somewhat. Having said that I did enjoy reading the retrospectives over the christmas period as well.
  • otto Moderator 7 Jan 2010 09:28:31 49,314 posts
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    Anyway, you want an EG top 50 for 2009, just go to the reviews page, sort by score, then sort by date, and work it out for yourself. ;p

    say no to Eurogamer sigs

  • dr_swin 7 Jan 2010 09:36:29 4,887 posts
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    come on - the fun is in the discussion and the heirarchification (is that even a word) of all those 8, 9's and 10's.
  • morriss 7 Jan 2010 09:38:44 70,947 posts
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    I don't care therefore it doesn't matter and you're stupid.
  • Deleted user 7 January 2010 09:40:51
    morriss wrote:
    I agree with a lot of that, tbh. The day you let people like Peter Moore and any teenage fanboys ccontrol what you do/do not publish must be a sad one in any publications' history.

    Yeah, the gist I got of it was that 'we're not doing it because important people complained', which to me was a pretty poor reason for a list that's traditionally collated by personal preference rather than being outright objective. Maybe those important people should just make better games.
  • Mugwum Staff 7 Jan 2010 09:41:04 625 posts
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    Hey there!

    First of all, thanks for posting this, and thank you to everyone who commented during the Christmas period. It's all been really useful feedback and I do appreciate it. The decision to do something different to the traditional Top 50 was something we agonised over for a long time.

    Let me address you bit by bit. First off, I think you've slightly misunderstood the thing you mention about "offending the corporates" - I don't care if Peter Moore, who I mentioned in the blog, agrees with what we write, and I can obviously also put up with a bit of backtalk from people who think are selections are stupid. But I do think it's vitally important that everyone who wants to read EG, whether they work in games or not, can understand what something represents, and that was the trouble we were having with the Top 50 and why in the end we opted to change it.

    What I really wanted to do was come up with an alternative that provided the same kind of entertainment and interesting commentary that the Top 50 did at its best, but in such a way that people understood the context easily and were able to enjoy the sentiments and their reflections on the games in question without getting angry or frustrated. That was always the objective of the Top 50, but it never worked out that way. In hindsight, I'm happy with the way our new approach worked out, but think we can do a lot better again this year too and the door is never closed on anything.

    One thing I did miss though was, as you say, the banter between writers. We got a bit of it into the Game of the Year post, but it was a little more serious than it usually would have been. However, one of my big things for 2010 is allowing EG's personality and the people who write it to shine through a bit more both on EGTV and in the weekly podcast (which we're launching this month), so hopefully while the Top 50's particular brand of back-and-forth may be lost, you will soon have more ways to experience me pointing out that Kristan's wrong and insane than ever before (he is).

    Anyway, thanks again for the feedback and I'm sorry I haven't done more talky Editor's blogs lately - the second half of last year was a bit of a whirlwind.
  • otto Moderator 7 Jan 2010 09:41:37 49,314 posts
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    morriss wrote:
    I don't care therefore it doesn't matter and you're stupid.
    /golfclap

    Nice contribution morriss. That's not what I'm saying, I'm just trying to understand why this is an issue. dr_swin's last post quite helped in that regard actually.

    say no to Eurogamer sigs

  • Demikaze 7 Jan 2010 09:46:12 6,698 posts
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    I think the reason it is being raised as an issue in the first place is probably because Tom Bramwell posted the little editorial about it. If it hadn't been explicitly mentioned, people probably wouldn't have really noticed. But I think it is the reasons given for why the usual format wasn't used are what people are talking about here.

    Edit: And this post is now two posts too late :)
  • Cappy 7 Jan 2010 09:50:35 11,901 posts
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    I didn't miss the top 50 to be honest, it's not like the staff play anything particularly interesting, just a list of all the usual suspects.
  • JetSetWilly 7 Jan 2010 10:00:16 5,721 posts
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    Mugwum wrote:
    One thing I did miss though was, as you say, the banter between writers.

    This is exactly what I used to enjoy about the Top 50. I didn't really care for the individual articles tbh. They just felt like paragraphs that got cut from the original review.

    Podcast returns \o/

    Please, please can we have the Editor's Blog in the main site feed?
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