Are Video Game Reviews Dying?

Do we even need to write in-depth video game reviews anymore?

Yes, I know that sounds weird coming from someone who enjoys writing about video games, but hear me out, and feel free to disagree with me: Traditional, written video game reviews are going the way of the dinosaur. Unless you’re a large outlet that’s able to secure free, advanced review copies, have access to the developers, and with the capacity to produce video reviews, there’s no incentive to try.

Gamers would rather watch Let’s Play videos on YouTube, follow live Twitch streams, or glance at Metacritic’s aggregate scores as a way to gauge how good or bad a game is.

There was a time a couple years ago when I was a bit more naive. I thought I could add my voice to the already crowded review space. I thought I could cater to older gamers like me. Thankfully, this led me to joining the crew at GamerVets, and subsequently, it got me a contributing gig at Dorkshelf. We weren’t looking to make money off this, and we still don’t! We wrote reviews because they were fun, albeit time-consuming ways for us to express ourselves. But over the years we’ve come to realize the futility in crafting these in-depth pieces.

Besides, there are much more talented writers out there, supported by equally talented editors, who actually get paid to write these things. In fact, competition for your eyeballs is so fierce that one of the best outlets at providing beautifully-written reviews, Joystiq, was recently closed by its parent company. Pour a bottle of liquor for Joystiq, folks.

And so, we at GamerVets decided to switch things up. You’ll notice, starting from our most recent review of The Order:1886, that we’ve significantly pared down our reviews. Like, really significantly. So significantly that I had to add italics!

Let’s be frank – we’d rather spend our limited time playing games. And you’d rather spend your time doing the same, instead of reading lengthy reviews. So instead of in-depth, descriptive reviews, we hope to provide more tips and tactics, as well as insightful, potentially inciting and provocative commentary and opinion pieces. You might have already read some from our resident instigator, Hockey Glory, as well as one from me.

As we continue to evolve, we hope you continue to read along, comment, discuss, and look at gaming with a critical eye. We’re all in this together; we might just not all agree. And that’s fine by us.