Monday, January 25, 2010

Crispy Gamer

Some of you may have heard of a gaming news site called Crispy Gamer. Earlier this month, the upper management laid off all of the writers. Quite aside from the fact this obviously sucks for all those involved, this was one of the best gaming sites out there, with thought provoking and excellently written articles on various different topics. They employed a collection of very talented writers that, regardless of whether you agreed or not, always drew you in to a good debate.

It had the feel of more of a Sunday news paper rather than Gamespot. Instead of just covering the latest news stories and blockbuster reviews, it examined topics such as the No Russian mission in Call of Duty or the punishing difficulty of demon souls. It also had a light-hearted video section, the the most useful review score system ever and even a comic strip.

As you can tell from this rambling love letter, I will sorely miss the writers on this site and will make a concerted effort to follow them, wherever they go.

What I am worried about is what this implies for digital games journalism in general. Presumably the reason these writers were let go was because it was not financially viable to keep them on. Crispy was funded by adverts, and while there was hardly a shortage of them, it is difficult to believe they were making a fortune out of it.

Talent writers want decent pay. I am worried that there isn't enough money to pay for talented writers and the only option is to turn to people like me who are just desperate to write about games.

To be fair, this is not limited to games, or even digital media. All news outlets are struggling to deal with this era. Advertising is becoming worth less and less as we all become attuned to just ignoring it. Someone needs to come up with a viable business model for journalism because no one seems prepared to pay for it any more.

"All your base are belong to us"