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Eurogamer starts subscription, asks community for financial support - not going too great


alex3d
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23 minutes ago, SozzlyJoe said:

 

Can't be, we don't find out what his favourite Turner painting is. Imagine that being the hook of their first premium article! Ballsy.

 

I mean, I imagine their target market for premium posts is a relatively small subsection of their regular audience – the kind that wants to support writers they like – as opposed, say, to catering to people who are snarky about them on forums. 

 

(It's not the first premium article either.) 

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13 minutes ago, Strafe said:

It was, they’ve just upgraded their ad blocker detection/blacklist.

 

The correct answer is both, then. It was for people whose adblocking plugins were detected, wasn't for people who slipped the net. Considering they weren't picking up detection of popular plugins like Adblock Plus or uBlock Origin before, it seems likely that this has now changed for quite a few people.

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They used to effectively have two pools for adblockers, I think. Regular posts like news, features and reviews, you’d just get the pop-up asking you to please turn it off. For guides and deals posts — the drive-by stuff that comes from Google and isn’t sticky in terms of audience building — you allowed ads or fucked off. 

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6 minutes ago, Uncle Mike said:

 

 

6 minutes ago, Strafe said:

 

I am not making a principled stance

 

I take back the "bowing out".

 

As we are at the non-contextual quoting part of an internet debate, I'll skip ahead to the overlong and detailed response that firmly outlines my actions, which will then allow you to selectively quote sections and score more internet points.

 

I installed AdBlock last week as a result of the announcement. The announcement piqued my interest in something I had never bothered with and, while hovering over the subscribe button, I wanted to understand better what experience I may be signing up for. I did that by installing AdBlock.

 

The experience was nice, but it resulted in an experience that out a pop-up on every page saying "Please support us" but there was an easy little link there that they provided which just let me close it and carry on.

 

They've then subsequently changed that pop-up to remove that link and insist you disable as blocker, subscribe or - in essence - stop utilising the site.

 

Now, I don't subscribe to the view that everything should be free on the internet. That's why I've never used a pop up blocker before. However, I do believe there should be choice: Eurogamer are free to choose to tell me how to use their site, and I am free to choose to just disengage as a result.

 

That really isn't a principled stance of any kind at all, and doesn't deserve any kind of galaxy brained sarcasm linking me to civil rights movements.

 

The above hopefully goes some way to explaining why I chose to install it, and why @Strafe's initial sarcastic response was misguided ("I'm sure they'll miss your revenue"). They'd had my revenue previously.

 

That's what your out of context quote is responding to @Uncle Mike rather than me grandly stating "my principled stance".

 

If you still feel it's some kind of misguided principled stance, that's ok too though. We're all stuck at home, a bit bored and lonely, and we have to pass the days somehow, right? That's sincere, i just don't think there's any more meaningful back and too we can have about why I am not going to read Eurogamer anymore and why you think I'm wrong in my reasons.

 

ignore this final tag, my phone won't let me delete it. 

 

@Uncle Mike

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52 minutes ago, Strafe said:

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of Donlan’s writing like it’s a live conversation style. Always full of “I haven’t seen this film for a while and I think this happens” or “someone told me this and it might be true, I don’t know!”. 
 

Mate, you’re a journalist with a keyboard and an internet connection. Look it up.

 

It's a bit of a relief to read this. I've always found his style pretty irritating but he seems to be universally loved. Pleased he's got his fans though. He's certainly a bit different. 

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1 minute ago, Jolly said:

 

It's a bit of a relief to read this. I've always found his style pretty irritating but he seems to be universally loved. Pleased he's got his fans though. He's certainly a bit different. 


I always feel a bit bad about slating Donlan as he is, I imagine, one of the nicest people in the industry.
 

It’s just when he writes like that it annoys me. I can skip the features and rambling musings but in actual reviews where you really want some sort of definitive answer rather than “I think” or “this reminds me of a detail in a book you wouldn’t have heard of, possibly, I can’t actually remember” it becomes irritating.

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22 minutes ago, Nate Dogg III said:

They used to effectively have two pools for adblockers, I think. Regular posts like news, features and reviews, you’d just get the pop-up asking you to please turn it off. For guides and deals posts — the drive-by stuff that comes from Google and isn’t sticky in terms of audience building — you allowed ads or fucked off. 

 

I've never seen the pop-up, for either case. I suppose they're experimenting now to see what works- would be interesting to find out what the subs uptake is.

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46 minutes ago, Rudderless said:

 

I mean, I imagine their target market for premium posts is a relatively small subsection of their regular audience – the kind that wants to support writers they like – as opposed, say, to catering to people who are snarky about them on forums. 

 

(It's not the first premium article either.) 

 

I don't mean to be snarky (or not as snarky as I sounded there). I genuinely think having a premium article that is all about his appreciation of a Turner painting is a ballsy move as one of the first premium articles on a gaming site. I agree if you look at it through the prism of supporting a writer you like it's probably a fine way to get going, shows he's not gonna 'go commercial'.

 

FWIW, I do think he's a very fine writer.

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Ah the intro to the second one there elucidates that off-topic is specifically non-gaming related, which is where the Turner chat comes in. I suppose they don't want to alienate people by paywalling gaming stuff but it makes it a tougher sell!

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3 hours ago, Uncle Mike said:

I've got Privacy Badger installed on Chrome (thanks to @TehStu recommending it somewhere) and that continues to let me access EG with no issues.

Gets rid of the Stripe javascript that follows you around our forum, too.

 

I like Ars' model, but I have no idea how successful it is. Being a subscriber gets rid of the ads and trackers, but they also throw in a hardware security key so if you're in need of one of those the first year is pretty cheap.

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On 03/10/2021 at 20:01, ChewMagma said:

Your music example is awful btw because literally no one can make a living making music anymore outside of a handful of megastars and their megalabels that is because, yes, people just want everything for as close to nothing as possible.

 

My son makes his entire living from music. He did have to start up two record labels in order to do so, admittedly.

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14 minutes ago, Camel said:

 

My son makes his entire living from music. He did have to start up two record labels in order to do so, admittedly.

 

Good for him. If anyone can make a decent living running a record label in 2021, they probably deserve every penny!

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On 04/10/2021 at 12:23, Wiper said:

 

Putting together guides is gruelling stuff, but it's also a lot "easier" than review-writing. Lots of playing and logging of data, but almost no editorialising, argument making, or worrying about prose style. You don't have to try and come up with an entertaining framing for your guide, express opinions in a way that's entertaining and also informative, plus as an added benefit don't have to deal with a load of bellends calling for your scalp because you only gave the latest Nolan North-starring title an 8 instead of a 9 a Recommended instead of an Essential.

 

Such a subjective thing, what one finds easiest writing. Is this just based off your personal experience, with some peers who agree? 

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Based on having done both in the past for money.

 

There is a reason I put "easier" in speechmarks; I actually personally find guides far harder to produce because they're exhausting in terms of the demands of playing and logging actions and collating meaningful screenshots (and/or videos, something that thankfully wasn't routinely expected back when I was doing it).* But the workload is far easier to quantify; tied directly to the scale of the game and scope of the guide; you can go into a game knowing "this game will take roughly x hours to complete, so it'll take y hours to produce a walkthrough. It has n collectables, so that's another m hours to deal with that [modified by whether you're the first walkthrough writer online/have access to any guides from the developer/publisher themselves]".

 

By contrast, you approach a review with the knowledge that a) it's a game of length x, but with no idea of whether you'll be playing it for that length, or less, or more; and b) that the time you spend playing it will bear absolutely no relation to the time you're going to spend producing your write-up.

 

I'm a long way out of the industry, but if things haven't changed reviews tend to be commissioned either individually, or as one of a relatively small pool of reviews a month per staff writer, generally selected for their genre knowledge/preferences, and the key quality sought from review writers is their ability to write engaging copy to a deadline. Guides tend to be commissioned en-masse ("we need you to produce x guides a week, across games we'll choose for you"), at a relative pittance,*** with the key quality sought being ability to produce large amounts of work in a short period of time.

 

So yes, it's "easier" in the same way that, say, my job writing SQL script is "easier" than writing reviews. It takes problem solving and attention to detail, but I never have to worry about coming up with a nice turn of phrase, struggling to think of something interesting to say about a boring subject, or general writer's block.

 

* I would also note that I'm very much talking about online, step-by-step guide writing here; not the venerable printed 'strategy guide' of yore with its broader, often intentionally vague guides and lore. That's a whole other kettle of fish.

** obviously this ignores freely produced reviews and guides.

*** which really is saying something, given the average pay in the sector.

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2 hours ago, Wiper said:

Based on having done both in the past for money.

 

There is a reason I put "easier" in speechmarks; I actually personally find guides far harder to produce because they're exhausting in terms of the demands of playing and logging actions and collating meaningful screenshots (and/or videos, something that thankfully wasn't routinely expected back when I was doing it).* But the workload is far easier to quantify; tied directly to the scale of the game and scope of the guide; you can go into a game knowing "this game will take roughly x hours to complete, so it'll take y hours to produce a walkthrough. It has n collectables, so that's another m hours to deal with that [modified by whether you're the first walkthrough writer online/have access to any guides from the developer/publisher themselves]".

 

By contrast, you approach a review with the knowledge that a) it's a game of length x, but with no idea of whether you'll be playing it for that length, or less, or more; and b) that the time you spend playing it will bear absolutely no relation to the time you're going to spend producing your write-up.

 

I'm a long way out of the industry, but if things haven't changed reviews tend to be commissioned either individually, or as one of a relatively small pool of reviews a month per staff writer, generally selected for their genre knowledge/preferences, and the key quality sought from review writers is their ability to write engaging copy to a deadline. Guides tend to be commissioned en-masse ("we need you to produce x guides a week, across games we'll choose for you"), at a relative pittance,*** with the key quality sought being ability to produce large amounts of work in a short period of time.

 

So yes, it's "easier" in the same way that, say, my job writing SQL script is "easier" than writing reviews. It takes problem solving and attention to detail, but I never have to worry about coming up with a nice turn of phrase, struggling to think of something interesting to say about a boring subject, or general writer's block.

 

* I would also note that I'm very much talking about online, step-by-step guide writing here; not the venerable printed 'strategy guide' of yore with its broader, often intentionally vague guides and lore. That's a whole other kettle of fish.

** obviously this ignores freely produced reviews and guides.

*** which really is saying something, given the average pay in the sector.

 

This tallies with my experience. I probably wouldn't do guide writing again for all the reasons stated ("gruelling" is the right word) but the actual writing part is a great deal easier than reviews/previews/features etc. Having done both, I have a lot of respect for guide writers. Even if you love the game in question it's very time-consuming, often tedious work. 

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I've never fully understood guide writing, perhaps someone here can help me understand. How can you guarantee that the guide writer will always be able to find everything in a game?

 

For example, Alan Wake tasks you with finding 100 thermos flasks hidden throughout the whole game, nearly all of which are missable if you trigger a certain cutscene and with no real indication of where the ones you haven't collected yet are located. Is a guide writer expected to play through the levels over and over again until they find them all or what? How on earth does writing a guide for something like that work?

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5 hours ago, Majora said:

I've never fully understood guide writing, perhaps someone here can help me understand. How can you guarantee that the guide writer will always be able to find everything in a game?

 

For example, Alan Wake tasks you with finding 100 thermos flasks hidden throughout the whole game, nearly all of which are missable if you trigger a certain cutscene and with no real indication of where the ones you haven't collected yet are located. Is a guide writer expected to play through the levels over and over again until they find them all or what? How on earth does writing a guide for something like that work?


post-it notes

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8 hours ago, Majora said:

I've never fully understood guide writing, perhaps someone here can help me understand. How can you guarantee that the guide writer will always be able to find everything in a game?

 

For example, Alan Wake tasks you with finding 100 thermos flasks hidden throughout the whole game, nearly all of which are missable if you trigger a certain cutscene and with no real indication of where the ones you haven't collected yet are located. Is a guide writer expected to play through the levels over and over again until they find them all or what? How on earth does writing a guide for something like that work?

 

Just copy it from GameFAQs. ;)

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21 hours ago, Pelekophoros said:

That was not the old setup at all.

 

The old setup was "Please consume ads". The new setup is "Consume the ads or fuck off".

 

I'm bowing out of the discussion now, I don't feel any need to dig into my reasoning any more than I have done.

 

You have to admit, it is a bit of a strange stance. 

 

You were happily reading EG and consuming ads. EG say they are financially struggling and introduce a new method of reading which may help them and you take this as your cue to try to prevent any money flowing to them at all. 

 

EG - 'We're financially struggling, please subscribe or continue to view ads' 

You - 'Well, I was happy to view ads when I thought the site was very profitable, now I know its struggling I'll go out of my way to make their financial situation even worse by trying not to view the ads at all'. 

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My work laptop is set up so I don't have permission to install any extensions in Edge, but for whatever reason the ads don't load (maybe organisational filters at play) and I get the "we notice you're using an adblocker" thing which I can't do anything about other than pay for EG.

 

I've disabled my adblocker at home (even though a quick ad filter refresh took care of the popup, I think it's fair enough to support them either through ads or money) but this is a bit frustrating.

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I always assumed the Prima strategy guides that we used to sell on day one, alongside the game, were written from information supplied by the publishers.  They have everything in for 100% completion, loads of extras, maps, photos and yet they are available at the launch of the game and flogged alongside as a high margin add-on sale.  It's surely impossible for a writer to be given a copy of the game in advance and be trusted to come up with a strategy guide themselves.  I though the writer was merely rewriting the information they were already supplied , changing it from a pile of documents and maps and turning them into a book.

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9 minutes ago, dumpster said:

I always assumed the Prima strategy guides that we used to sell on day one, alongside the game, were written from information supplied by the publishers.

 

Yes they were, which is why strategy guides would regularly mention stuff that was cut or ended up different in the final game (I've heard the Sonic 06 one is pretty infamous for this).

 

But obviously a lot of stuff that drives traffic now is GAAS updates, what's changed on the map in Warzone, what's the best build for the Destiny event, etc. So people actually need to do the legwork as you're not getting that stuff in advance. Honestly I'm surprised they still offer a lot of traffic, because I thought a lot of that had largely migrated to game-specific websites (like CharlieIntel.com or whatever).

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That's a fair point about the GaaS stuff. There's a lot of traffic in it. The EIC of one of the Future websites used to load up Destiny 1 at 10am on a Friday to find out what Xur was selling because the Xur post always did huge numbers. 

 

I totally see the sense in it. When I get stuck on something I just get my phone out and google it and click on the first result, unless it's a website I can't abide for whatever reason. And most sites are smart enough to bury this stuff behind the scenes, keeping it off the front page, so it doesn't get in the way of the day-to-day browsing experience. It's not sexy work but it's probably more important for keeping the lights on these days than a news desk etc.

 

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