There's no way I can make a blog title like that without coming off as a bit dramatic. Just bear with me here.
So I should probably note that progress on this blog was first made back in 2021. I've been trying on and off for the past couple years or so to write something, anything, about video games that interests me. Unfortunately, I can't seem to write a full blog anymore. At least nothing as detailed or as long as I used to. I know artists will often draw comics or images about having writer's block as a way to force themselves to make something. I was originally going to try and do that with writing, but still couldn't muster up the energy.
Then after I got back home from Pittsburgh during the 4th of July weekend last month, I decided to check up on Qtoid and noticed that the Destructoid community was imploding. And that a whole bunch of people from Destructoid are now following me on Cohost, of all places. That's when I learned Chris Moyse was fired from Destructoid. And weeks later, CJ would leave. So I guess now's as good of a time as any to write something. And maybe air some grievances I've had for a while now with not just Destructoid, but for gaming blog sites in general now.
I was gonna put in a bunch of images of some of my favorite stuff from Destructoid throughout this blog, but the image tool doesn't seem to be working on my end anymore. Also I don't have the enthusiasm to do it here, so y'all are gonna have to deal with a big wall o' text. Sorry.
Where do I start? Well for one, I don't even buy most video games at launch anymore. When I do buy games, they're almost always at some major discount. Do you wanna know where I spend most of my money these days? Furry shit. Art commissions. Telegram stickers. 3D models for VRChat. Fursuit stuff. Conventions. Porn. MAGFest. Seriously, I've spent significantly more money on furry shit over the past decade and got so much more out of it than I have with damn near anything that came out of the big AAA space.
There are some exceptions, of course. Nier Automata, Psychonauts 2, No More Heroes III, NEO: The World Ends With You, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart spring to mind, but even those were purchased well after the fact. Hell, I don't even buy most Nintendo games until at least a little while after launch. I got Tears of the Kingdom a couple weeks later through Gamefly.
I just don't feel as invested in the gaming scene as I used to, which is not at all how I felt more than a decade ago. This came from a combination of gaming companies putting horribly predatory monetization schemes in both premium-priced games AND free-to-play games, the avalanche of abuse stories that have come from studios in the past few years alone, and efforts of the gaming press to outright ignore it in favor of promoting the next Call of Duty or Assassin's Creed so that they don't lose their precious SEO and access to publisher/developer interviews, previews, hands-on events, etc. And please, don't ever tell me that it's not about that juicy access. I've done the game journalist stint before. It absolutely was.
In fairness, gaming sites in general (Destructoid included) have been talking about worker abuse that have been plaguing game studios more frequently for a while now. And that's good! I'm glad that more people are having these conversations about an out-of-control industry that desperately needs some goddamned regulation. But then, we just saw a whole video about a Bethesda employee's account of transphobia at their studio right before Starfield launched and hardly anyone besides The Gamer picking it up. Shameful.
Plus, it's always gonna be suspect to see an article or an opinion piece condemning Actiblizz for their latest immoral acts on one page and then see an Diablo IV review on another. And hey, it's your website. It's your review. You write what you want. Just don't expect me to take anything you have to say on the matter seriously. Don't even get me started on the Hogwart's Legacy shit.
Speaking of the gaming press, I'm also just kind of done with game reviews from most outlets in general, Destructoid included. I used to read reviews on Destructoid for their words every now and then, not for whatever number was attached. But now that the scores are the only meaningful things you see from their thumbnails on the front page, it makes the actual context of the review feel kind of meaningless. Honestly, it feels pretty regressive in comparison to other outlets and reviewers that abandoned review scores entirely.
And that was all before Destructoid devolved into this content mill that I've seen so many other websites devolve into. I noticed that their top 10s all had the same title format as I'd see on other websites. They've hired writers to pump out video game guides and answers to specific questions, to mine clicks no doubt. If you scroll past the article you clicked on, it just takes you to more content farmed crap. Meanwhile, the ads plastered on the front page have become more obnoxious. And now they'll outright block you from accessing the website if you so much as dare to have an adblocker on certain browsers.
And then they went and fired Chris Moyse. One of the few writers who I still had a modicum of respect for on this site. One who had, from what I heard, been one of the main proponents of keeping Qtoid alive (but feel free to correct me on this one). This, I feel, is the straw that broke the camel's back for me. And judging by the exodus of community members, I'm not alone. Even before that, you'll probably have noticed that new C-blogs and Q-toid posts are not nearly as frequent as they used to be. I've noticed that C-blogs in particular will have gaps in posts lasting upwards to a week at times. Fuck, I remember when I was helping with weekly C-blog recaps and there multiple blogs to read through every single day. Now there's barely enough to pad out a recap. That would've made my job easier back then, if more depressing.
There are a couple people I've talked to who hope that Destructoid doesn't die out. And I get why. Destructoid has been around for almost a couple decades now. For myself and I suspect a lot of people, it's been our home for all things gaming. It was that weird corner of the gaming internet that propped up cool indie games and fun articles. It was the starting point of some of my favorite personalities in gaming. Jonathan Holmes, James Stephanie Sterling, Laura K. Buzz, Ashley Burch, Conrad Zimmerman, and many more. Destructoid had a major impact in our hobby, especially the aforementioned indie gaming scene. Hell, Mr. Destructoid is still a default emote you can use on Twitch to this day. So to see a website that meant so much to me and so many others implode like this hurts to watch.
These days, the site is a shell of its former self. The articles are cookie cutter with ads out the butt. The c-blogs and qtoids are far less frequent than they used to be. And to be clear, I don't fault any individual writer for this. As someone who works in a support tech position for a major international tech firm, I know firsthand that the shitty decisions from the brand don't come from the people you interact with on a daily basis. They come from the shitty management up top.
I'm not writing any of this to celebrate Destructoid's downfall if and when it comes. I'm not happy that a website I loved is dying. But it is dying. It's been dying for a long time now and a lot of us hoped that it would bounce back. But the longer we hold out hope for something that gets worse, the more it hurts. So the best any of us can do at this point is to move on.
If you are interested in keeping up with those of us who left, check out #qtoid on Cohost. There's a Google spreadsheet made by ctg867 that's actively updated with community members for you to follow. I highly recommend checking that out if you want to reconnect with us. Personally, I'll be using Mastodon as my primary social media outlet, but I'll be around on Cohost too.