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GameTap Gives Editorial the Axe

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-fish dept.

The Internet 25

GameTap has announced that it will be giving their editorial section the axe and concentrating solely on the distribution business. "We have had a lot of successes over the last year and the move to the web has been a good one for us. While we have been very happy with the work done by our editorial and video teams, we've made a decision to focus the business on our biggest strength, which is our game catalog. As a result, we will be restructuring the site to focus exclusively on gameplay."

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catelog (1)

bobwrit (1232148) | more than 6 years ago | (#23590279)

You can have an editorial section in a catalog. Unusual ,al beit, but capable.

Re:catelog (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23590391)

Unusual, like spelling in a first post.

I went for the games anyways (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 6 years ago | (#23590345)

While I'm sure their non-gameplay related stuff was decent, really... i just logged in via the GameTap client, look for games to play... and play. So, I won't miss it.

Translation? (3, Insightful)

Serenissima (1210562) | more than 6 years ago | (#23590347)

The companies who pay us lots of money told us they didn't want bad reviews of their games displayed.

Re:Translation? (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23590493)

They got Kane and Lynched.

First Again!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23590507)

i so pwnzor today with teh first comments!!!!!! woooooooooooo!!!!!!11111oneoneone

Not a big loss (4, Interesting)

ckotchey (184135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23590515)

I first tried GameTap after reading some article online in which the author talked about the rather pleasant experience that GameTap could be - browse a few games, start a download, watch some of their vids, etc., while waiting for your download to finish, etc. After subscribing, I too enjoyed this aspect of it - particularly seeing the "A Day in the Extra Life" vids ("Rick Allen Rocks! Doozh Doozh Doozh!")
Then, one day, the client updated itself and all of the built-in, integrated "browsing" features disappeared, and instead of viewing the vids, news, etc., within the client, it simply launched the web browser and took you to their website.
For me, this was a prime example of an application "upgrading" in such a way that it totally ruined the "eXPerience" of the application itself. No longer was it a single integrated gaming and news "world", it was now a nice game launching application with a pathetic hook into your web browser. That marked the day that I never did anything with GameTap again - other than simply to play the games.
So, as I said - this isn't a big loss - they already shot themselves in the foot by making it harder to reach their news & editorials, so no wonder they are finally dropping it anyway.

Now, if they could only add more games, and return the great games that they once had on their service but then later removed.

Re:Not a big loss (1)

Arccot (1115809) | more than 6 years ago | (#23592235)

I first tried GameTap after reading some article online in which the author talked about the rather pleasant experience that GameTap could be - browse a few games, start a download, watch some of their vids, etc., while waiting for your download to finish, etc. After subscribing, I too enjoyed this aspect of it - particularly seeing the "A Day in the Extra Life" vids ("Rick Allen Rocks! Doozh Doozh Doozh!") Then, one day, the client updated itself and all of the built-in, integrated "browsing" features disappeared, and instead of viewing the vids, news, etc., within the client, it simply launched the web browser and took you to their website. For me, this was a prime example of an application "upgrading" in such a way that it totally ruined the "eXPerience" of the application itself. No longer was it a single integrated gaming and news "world", it was now a nice game launching application with a pathetic hook into your web browser. That marked the day that I never did anything with GameTap again - other than simply to play the games. So, as I said - this isn't a big loss - they already shot themselves in the foot by making it harder to reach their news & editorials, so no wonder they are finally dropping it anyway. Now, if they could only add more games, and return the great games that they once had on their service but then later removed.
Agreed on all points. It was better/easier/more likely to be viewed when it was integrated into the games app, and Extra Life rocks.

They really do seem to be focusing on the games lately. They're bringing back some of the publishers they lost, and introducing some good or at least popular games. And you can't beat the price.

I also like the idea that they're now really supporting independent gaming companies, which is where some of the most interesting gaming is at. Hopefully Sam and Max will continue, and the Grimm series will be good.

They are incorporating them into the game section? (2, Interesting)

Jonah Hex (651948) | more than 6 years ago | (#23590573)

"What this means to our visitors is that instead of having a separate 'READ' and 'WATCH' section of the site we will be incorporating written and video content directly into the game pages. Doing this will allow us to improve and expand the gaming library and community aspects of our business.
So they are going to have the reviews and videos on each games page? Doesn't sound like a mass firing to me...

Jonah HEX

Re:They are incorporating them into the game secti (2, Interesting)

Brianech (791070) | more than 6 years ago | (#23591207)

Yeah this article is a little confusing.

Apparently, those who are not involved with actually running the games service will be let go in mid-June.
They seem to be assuming this, and they dont provide any sort of a source. This doesn't really surprise me that much, but I dont fully understand why they assume this. As the parent pointed out, they are restructuring the site to have video and written articles on the games page. Some one still has to write dont they? Unless they are going to get web designers and programmers to write editorials they still need their editors.

Like I said, I could be wrong, but reading the article, and message board link on it, I dont see any word from gametap that they are firing all their editors. One poster linked to the article saying there would be layoffs, but there has been no reply from the staff. Guess time will tell (IE editors saying they got their slips, or even the less likely case of the company confirming the layoffs in advance).

Re:They are incorporating them into the game secti (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23592391)

http://blog.wired.com/games/2008/05/turner-shuts-do.html [wired.com]

A Wired blog article says "several sources" have confirmed everyone not in charge of running the game services will be laid off. It doesn't sound like they're just making that up, nothing in the forum post mentions mid-june as a turning point of any kind, for example.

They never will be missed (1, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23590621)

GameTap? Do we, like, care?

I mean, when the San Jose Mercury News laid off half of their editorial staff, it really hurt the paper, which went from a top-tier newspaper to almost an advertising throwaway. The Washington Post editorial staff was recently cut to 80% of its peak size, including layoffs of three Pulitzer Prize winners. When the Wall Street Journal was taken over by Murdoch, and key editors were replaced, that was a loss. These are the people who dig into what the Government and business are really doing. We need them to keep the country honest.

When Wired laid off most of their reporters to become a clone of the Sharper Image catalog, we lost something. The demise of Next Generation magazine, the only gamer magazine with real editorial content, was something of a loss.

But editorial for a second-tier (if that) gamer web site? Who cares? Worst case, somebody spends a few bucks on a crap game and has a boring evening.

Re:They never will be missed (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#23591457)

But editorial for a second-tier (if that) gamer web site? Who cares? Worst case, somebody spends a few bucks on a crap game and has a boring evening.

Second-tier? Are you on crack? They have old infocom games, Civilization, Deus Ex, Planescape Torment, Sam and Max, etc...have you actually looked at the catalog?

Re:They never will be missed (1)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 6 years ago | (#23591883)

So they resell old games. Some of which are actually abandon ware and thus free. Yeah, go look it up while you're paying 10$ for a game that is legally free to download and 0$ goes to the actual creators of it.

Re:They never will be missed (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 6 years ago | (#23592085)

Abandonware != free

Such software still has copyright and can holders still persecute people for distributing without permission (not counting titles that have been put into free distribution)
Abandonware just means no on really cares to prosecute so people do it anyways.

Re:They never will be missed (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#23592137)

So they resell old games. Some of which are actually abandon ware and thus free. Yeah, go look it up while you're paying 10$ for a game that is legally free to download and 0$ goes to the actual creators of it.

First of all, abandonware is piracy. It's not legal to download, never has been, probably never will.

Secondly, if they're actively selling the games by definition they're not abandonware.

Thirdly, I am unaware of royalty agreements between the developers, the publishers, and gaemetap. I am, however, quite sure that a developer is far more likely to financially benefit by having their game on gametap than they are by having their game on an abandonware site.

So yes, $10 for a wide assortment of very good classic games, legally played, is worth it to me.

Re:They never will be missed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23592785)

First of all, abandonware is piracy. It's not legal to download, never has been, probably never will.
Though the big media companies would have you think differently, copyrights do expire.

The original copyright lasted less than 20 years.

It's only in the days where the media companies want to make infinite profit for no work that they've bribed Congress to allow extension after extension after extension to happen.

Infinite copyright doesn't exist ... yet.

Re:They never will be missed (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#23592843)

Though the big media companies would have you think differently, copyrights do expire.

Of course, but I wasn't talking about specific games being protected forever, but abandonware, which by definition is copyright protected software. Once the copyright runs out it becomes public domain, and is no longer abandonware. I was simply staying that it is unlikely that the government will ever create an "abandonware" exception to the copyright laws (though it wouldn't be a bad idea).

Re:They never will be missed (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23592205)

"abandon ware and thus free. Yeah, go look it up while you're paying 10$ for a game that is legally free"

There is no such thing as 'abandonware'; just because a game is no longer in production does not mean you can scream yarr and let slip the dogs of copyright infringement.

That said, most companies don't care, but try not to suffer any delusions that what you're doing is legal.

Re:They never will be missed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23594997)

I figure if you make a decent attempt to buy it retail and cant then its fair game. If nobody is selling it then it is their own fault. I'm willing to pay, but nobody is collecting. That, however, does NOT go for ebay or any other auction site. In those cases no money is going to the publisher and the software is already paid for by the prior owner.

Re:They never will be missed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23595421)

> I figure if you make a decent attempt to buy it retail and cant then its fair game.

That's a fine philosophy, but it doesn't make it anything close to a legal reality.

Re:They never will be missed (1)

Arccot (1115809) | more than 6 years ago | (#23592487)

So they resell old games. Some of which are actually abandon ware and thus free. Yeah, go look it up while you're paying 10$ for a game that is legally free to download and 0$ goes to the actual creators of it.
Actually, many of their games are still being published and sold, and some are brand-spanking new. Sam and Max is still being produced and is especially selling well. Uru Online was exclusive and development paid for by GT. Grimm is going to be exclusive for awhile. As far as abandonware, it's still not legal to download it for free, even if you're not going to be busted for it.

The rights holders get paid for the content through their GameTap contracts, so yes, the actual creators see that money. More than your abandonware argument.

GT has a focus on contracting independent gaming companies these days, especially the small ones. Don't you think a GT contract with a small game development company is a good thing for that company and gaming in general? You know, the ones producing original games instead of sequels?

You really couldn't be more wrong. Stunning that someone seriously can try to argue that GameTap is a bad service.

Re:They never will be missed (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23599259)

Fuck you Animats. I don't know you but I know you're a snob. If you were dying of thirst in the middle of the Sahara I would not piss in a cup to save you. And, I won't miss you when you die.

I dig it (3, Informative)

fat_mike (71855) | more than 6 years ago | (#23593939)

I signed up when I heard that the Sam & Max games would be available and I was was shocked at the amount of games they had. Maybe it was nostalgia but I still think it is worth every penny of the $12.95 a month I spend on it.

I have never experienced any spam or other crap from them. I get an email telling me new games have been released and that's about it. I forgot my password once and had to call support and a real human answered the phone, fixed it for me and was pleasant to work with.

The only thing I would really like would be the ability to play the games offline. Sitting in the airport I don't want to have to pay another $9.99 to access their wireless so I can access Gametap.

Plus - THEY HAVE SAM & MAX!

Not suprising (1)

Awptimus Prime (695459) | more than 6 years ago | (#23597003)

It actually makes me happy to see them drop this feature. Web sites who sell games rarely give objective points of view, whether it be due to staff pressures or the person writing it wanting to fit in with his gamer friends by assuming a group opinion instead of an honest one.

Think of how people spew exaggerated claims about Linux and piss on Windows in a semi-anonymous environment for nothing more than mod points on here. Imagine if money and reputation were on the line.

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