Decent game-related website

I visit Kotaku and Gematsu somewhat regularly. Are there any other decent game-related websites?

So many out there just feel like fanboy fawning or complaining over shit, or just clickbait crap.

The format of those sites make it difficult to find non-disposable writing. I like some of the kotaku writers but the valuable writing can be lost in the flow of “content”

I like critical distance as an interesting game writing aggregator

To be perfectly honest, I‘ve grown really disillusioned with video game writing as of late. A lot of that stems from what’s become of the major outlets. My impression of what video game writing can be has always been based in the early to mid 2010s, so from my position, the scene has moved through:

  • - writers outside the establishment arguing that video game writing could be more than the corporate PR it had molded itself into;
  • - posing enough of a challenge that they entered positions of power within the industry;
  • - the writing from major outlets lapsing back into being corporate PR anyway but trying to maintain the idea that it's more than that (think how the discussion around *Red Dead Redemption 2* was "should we mention the crunch in our reviews" rather than "should we review the game at all given how heinous the crunch was");
  • - various scandals seriously undermining that establishment's ability to ever be the force for good it figures itself as (think what happened to Nathalie Lawhead);
  • - and finally, the apparent unwillingness of establishment writers to really do anything about either.
  • Understandably, I genuinely can't remember the last time I read something from a major video game outlet. When I do read video game writing, it tends to be from personal blogs - sites like [Deep Hell](, [No Escape](, [Invincible Ink](, [Bad Game Hall of Fame](, [Arcade Idea](, which can possess enough of a voice and enough distance from the phenomena they describe to not fall as prey to these problems. I specify "as prey" because my disillusionment also includes sites like Critical Distance (I get the sense that prizing discussion for its own sake has made it harder to find truly challenging writing).

    My first stop is usually polygon but only because there's a News feed, I only want to know about announcements and developments and polygon is big enough to concern itself with The Scoops and I haven't bothered to really dig for a similar feed on a better website. All the videogame discussion I feel I need I get here I guess

    If you‘re just interested in reading about games you would never otherwise see, I recommend @“Kimimi”#156’s blog:

    It is just a constant delight with the exact kinds of games I want to know about, from someone who can actually tell you how the story of that JRPG you keep meaning to muddle through is. For my tastes, her site is really the number one in terms of reading about older games.

    If you like our Mathew Kumar at all (I sure do!), I like his little capsule reviews of games he's finished. There's a variety of newer and older games in here and it's from a subjective yet sensible enough standpoint that I really enjoy it.

    If you like reading contemporary interviews of devs of older games which were never previously translated, check shmuplations (p.s. I still the word "shmup" is terrible). The interviews are not all about shooters btw! In fact it's mostly not them, but the website has persisted under that name. It's a great resource but also just really interesting in terms of how process has changed between the 80s/90s/2000s/now.

    For new stuff I just read twitter headlines. I mean what else do you really need there. If someone has a good resource for learning about new things I'd love to hear it! There used to be a great "daily roundup" email newsletter that summarized basically everything that was happening in games. But unfortunately it wasn't financially viable and got sold to an esports company. Axios has one but I don't like reading it, the info is broken out into weird chunks instead of just being one summary paragraph.

    Well that's what I got!!!

    I hear there's a website called insert coin or something like that…

    This blogspot is the only site I keep up with with any regularity. I enjoy the way they contextualize games I‘ll likely never play and reframe ones that I have with a little history or trivia. The featured games skew older but there’s no set format or schedule. Just playin and writin about games.

    Oh yeah, that‘s a good one - I should remember to check that too. It’s sort of in the same realm as kimimi‘s work but a lot less detailed, a lot more "here’s a thing." But the more of these kinds of websites I'm looking at the happier I am. I should start a web ring on here…

    As a news feeds for stuff that doesn't get a ton of coverage Retro RGB is and Wololo are pretty useful

    [size=12]☆This is (retroactively) a footnote for a separate post on Nanatsu Kaze no Shima Monogatari.[/size]

    I assume @"Fran"#p36488 is asking specifically about US / anglophone websites, and unfortunately there is not much recommandation I can share to help you.

    Willingly or not, this topic's obvious underlying implication is that the currently broken business model of journalism on the Internet does not allow for the conditions that would foster satisfying, thoughtful articles and criticism towards a small but dedicated audience interested in a more complex discussion about video games. Companies, institutions and consumers are all partly to blame, but rest assured this is not specifically a US / Anglophone problem.

    Most of the professional gaming press has collapsed in France as well, and you can pretty much find the same symptoms as in the English-written press. One of the main "mainstream" websites in France is [Gamekult.]( Think Gamespot without the whole Hitman fiasco. A few years ago, their EIC (who has left the industry since then) made the drastic decision to go almost full "paywall", in order to keep making what they perceive as high quality coverage, including the review of niche games, investigative journalism, retro gaming shows, covering niche topics such as game-related goods, etc. Only basic daily news and a few specific features (usually meant to entice subscriptions) are free.

    Subscription is roughly $6/month. I believe they have reached between 10.000 and 15.000 paying readers, and they seem pretty satisfied with it, although getting people to subscribe and to stay subscribed (typically after one year) seems to be a constant battle. My understanding is the audience is pretty old, 35+ on average, and therefore an audience of former game magazine buyers. One thing the staff keeps clamoring is that they would have certainly never been able to keep covering games the same way, had they not switched strategies a few years ago. Apparently, their owner (a big group owned by a bigger group) is currently keen to have in their portfolio a weird niche site that manages to get subscribers rather than a pure ad network. But the wind could change obviously, depending on factors outside their reach. Most other professional gaming websites have either disappeared, moved towards a more pop culture angle like IGN or fallen into full clickbait mode. Some quality amateur stuff can be found, possibly moreso on Youtube than on blogs. There are still quite a few active message boards.

    I am not sure if there is any similar successful case of a subscriber-based website in the US? I assume this has now been replaced with Patron-type engagement. I don't know Easy Allies and Giant Bomb very well but my understanding is these two groups come from "traditional" game media and managed to set up such businesses with something akin to subscribers, although I guess Patreon adds this entire idea of tiers and blurs the line on the topic of what "subscription" means vs. "support" etc. I don't know if these two ventures qualify as gaming websites in the way @"Fran"#p36488 intended, though.

    I noticed another notable difference with the US media landscape. In France, the mook industry has developed earlier and stronger than in the US. The trend started in the late 00s. There are at least three or four dedicated small mook and gaming book publishers. Most of them focus on Japanese games, systems and publishers since the audience is often linked to the vast manga audience for a variety of historical reasons. Some of these publishers even export some of their books with English versions, although I don't think these attempt at export are very successful.

    It was easier to establish this industry in a country like France because of the more compact country and some specificities of both press networks in France and local laws on book pricing regulation. Also, the audience was a bit more homogeneous, possibly. As this local market was quickly established, it cemented an audience for this kind of product. I am not sure it's growing much or catching a new audience though. It simply benefitted, at the right time, from the vacuum of gaming press suddenly disappearing and an existing core audience in need of a replacement which the Internet could not become entirely. It also helped that early mooks were sometimes of high quality or at least high informative value (such as the Nintendo history books which had many exclusive information).

    I get the impression that, in the UK and the US, this has not really caught on for various reasons, and instead there has been a stronger focus on creating ambitious coffee table books with high quality of production and a hefty price. This is probably due to differences in culture but also logistics.

    Sorry for the rant. It does not really help answering the initial question, but I thought we could expand the topic to the more general discussion of how games are being written about in the press. [size=10]Also, I plan to use this comment for something else...[/size]

    I frequent Siliconera and Gematsu frequently for regular doses of the typically overlooked / less mainstream games that are on the cards.

    I've also subscribed to ex-Edge editor Nathan Brown's daily [newsletter](, which is a spiritual successor to his personal column whilst he was there. I think it's great and it's a solid, bite-size dose of insight into whatever corporate disaster has happened that day.

    @“yeso”#p36494 [upl-image-preview url=//]

    unsure what you mean by “disposable”

    (actually i laughed at this and think about it often)

    @“chazumaru”#p36619 Always interesting to see the french perspective - I noticed the mook (and other specialty publishing) industry got off to a much stronger start in France, and Japanese mooks were getting translated there well ahead of coming out in english, if they came out in english at all.

    the paywall idea is interesting - frankly I'm surprised it works for any game website, and I suspect it only works because of the language specialty. I don't think you IGN could turn around and do a paywall and expect to keep their readers.

    I really don't see the solution for game journalism going forward, which is part of why I left. But I do still think there's room for a game developer magazine out there - the void it left never got filled by anything.

    Pulling some out of my RSS feed

    Internet Archives Game Magazines (updates when new ones added)

    Gaming Alexandria - Video Game History and Preservation

    HG101 -

    RetroRGB -

    miki800 -

    Supper Mario Broth -

    Video Game Art Archive -

    My homies that used to run Bemanistyle have a site called Otaquest. I never go to the site, because they post every news update in Discord, haha. But it has great writeups. The homie that runs it is a true Mother fanboy and goes to every event in Japan, and there's been a lot lately because of the MOTHER PROJECT.

    [upl-image-preview url=//]

    You kinda have to be your own investigative journalist these days. RetroRGB is too busy lately to update with any real useful discoveries, basically just saying so-and-so device has a new firmware upgrade lol. They need more writers. I drop them absolute gold nuggets like Cubivore N64 release but without the privilege's of posting, it doesn't get done.