Someone please tell me… Is it too late to start pushing overly positive reporting on various MMORPGs?
This is going to sound a bit odd, I’m sure, but it seems like I have a bit of a problem with my coverage of gaming, especially the Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games, which used to be what I primarily covered way back in the day. Well, let’s go back to the beginning…
A bit over a decade ago, I started up a video podcast on YouTube called “Full of Fail”. Don’t bother looking for it there, I removed the entire backlog of those shows when YT kicked me off of the Partner program during the Adpocalypse, for being too small of a content creator.
But that’s neither here nor there.
Anyway, when I started “Full of Fail”, I provided mostly positive coverage of MMORPGs like “Lord of the Rings Online”, “World of Warcraft”, and “Rift”. Those were the games I played, and thus the games I had the easiest access to cover, and usually the ones I had the most information to report on.
Now I wasn’t a huge content creator, as I said before, but I still got positive attention from game companies. From access to closed betas to their linking to my videos to positive attention to my posts on their game forums, and so on. I never asked for any of this, mind you, I was simply discussing news on the games I enjoyed. Nevertheless, these game companies effectively boosted my content, which was pretty awesome at the time.
Then things started to change.
You see, in time my coverage of MMORPGs expanded to cover a variety of different games, not just the ones I normally played. That coverage wasn’t always positive, although it was always honest. Bad news happens in the game industry, as we know, and I simply reported on it, or gave my honest opinions.
Then I had to do the same with the games I was playing.
Well, so much for getting access to closed betas. Suddenly my channel was “Persona Non Grata” for pretty much every game company, up to and including the shadowbanning of my account on their forums.
No matter what positive attention I still might bring to MMORPGs, due to any negative attention I had given them, I was basically cast aside. Which is fine, because as it turned out, the more negative videos and blog posts I made, were tending to gain more attention by that point.
I even had to create a new YouTube channel and website (The MMO Troll… no, you can’t find either still online anymore), just to focus the more negative content on. The website did pretty well for a while, as did the video podcast, but that really wasn’t what I wanted to do.
I wanted to make honest content regarding video games, like I used to. But I also wanted to not be a pariah because some companies can’t handle the truth.
Unfortunately, it appears that Blizzard and Standing Stone Games, among others, have exceedingly long memories, when it comes to some of the things I reported on, all those years ago. Well, not so long ago really, considering our coverage of WoW and LOTRO on “Loot Mechanics”.
But let’s be honest here… Have Beoulus and I said anything untrue about WoW or LOTRO, let alone the other games we have covered the last few years? No, we have not. Nevertheless, I guess that’s reason enough to leave our content here flying with our proverbial asses in the breeze.
So, let’s get back to the question at hand. Should I try to turn our content here, both on the Blog and in our Podcasts, in a strictly Positive direction? What I mean is, to only cover positive stories, and give only positive coverage of the games we cover?
If you look at the blogs and podcasts out there that are thriving, this would seem to be a no-brainer, actually. They skew their content in a positive direction, most of the time, and this gives them many benefits. Better access to the games they cover, no shadowbanning, and so forth. But there are some problems that might arise from this, actually.
First of all, it can be damn hard to come up with solely positive stories, actually. Especially with games like “World of Warcraft”, “Lord of the Rings Online”, “Rift”, and “Secret World Legends”, which I would be most likely to cover heavily, finding positive stories to report on each week on just our podcast “Loot Mechanics” alone would be quite the chore!
I’m not saying there’s never anything good to say about these games, just that there can be long droughts of positive news.
Very. Long. Droughts.
Next, there comes a question of our integrity. While getting increased site views and podcast downloads might be great from more positive coverage, we would also lose the integrity we’ve built up over the years. We may not have many listeners or readers overall, but those who do enjoy our coverage know we always speak our minds, and give our honest opinions.
We don’t lie or even just couch our opinions, to try to make negative stories seem better. We don’t ignore negative stories on games we enjoy. In fact, I think we may be a bit too likely to post bad news about the games we love, simply because we want to hold them up as an example. We want to hold those companies accountable, so that they do a better job, and maintain the fine product we enjoy for years to come.
Obviously, that isn’t really working out for us.
A part of me really wants to start over, after a fashion. Let’s be honest, my podcast “+1 Podcast of Slaying” isn’t exactly burning up the podcast charts. It is the content I produce with the lowest amount of downloads each week, let alone post reads on the site. I should have known this would occur, as this was basically a reboot of my old podcast “Roleplay Domain”, with the exact same content, yet I still gave it another go, when I came back to podcasting after my surgery last summer.
So, what about this: What if I semi-rebooted “+1 Podcast of Slaying”? I could take it from the roleplaying-focused podcast it is now, to a show that covers mostly MMORPGs… and focuses solely on positive coverage of those games.
At this point, this podcast can’t really go down any further than it is (averaging 3 downloads a week, per PodTrac stats), and maybe a fresh perspective could help it catch on? Also, I think that maybe on a solo podcast like +1PoS, I could manage to find at least one positive story a week to cover, in the MMORPG industry. The only question is, can I do so without stretching my integrity to the breaking point?
Perhaps. It can’t hurt to at least try, right? Then again, since none of the companies running the games I would be covering will ever give me the time of day anymore (as I learned during my time on Twitch), why should I even bother?