justinhaywald's forum posts

Avatar image for justinhaywald
justinhaywald

935

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

94

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 6

#1 justinhaywald  Staff
Member since 2013 • 935 Posts

If you're looking for something more "old-school" 4-5-6 are all great entry points with great stories. DQ8 goes more down the path of 3D RPGs that were more frequent after Final Fantasy 7. It's also a great jumping on point with a straightforward story and fun voice acting.

While it's cool that DQ7 was finally re-released, I'd only recommend that if you end up really, really, really loving the franchise and are ready for a very long slog.

Avatar image for justinhaywald
justinhaywald

935

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

94

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 6

#2  Edited By justinhaywald  Staff
Member since 2013 • 935 Posts

@andrebetoche: As I've said before, in this same thread, "Our writers will make mistakes, and we're always trying to both be better writers and serve you with content that you like and that aligns with your interests. I want you to hold us accountable."

I think attacking Eddie directly is still ridiculous, and it completely ignores all of the amazing work he does each and every day. However, I do agree that that one, specific Zelda article had a bad headline. Nintendo's explanation for what's in the patch notes was not enough information, and it definitely didn't serve the people who were looking for more concrete specifics. I think we usually do a great job of letting you know how much (or how little) content is going to be in a story, and that Zelda story didn't quite meet those standards. Because of that, it's been changed to more accurately reflect what we learned (not much).

But as always, I appreciate all constructive criticism.

Avatar image for justinhaywald
justinhaywald

935

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

94

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 6

#3 justinhaywald  Staff
Member since 2013 • 935 Posts

@unfriendlytoast I appreciate the thoughtful response! And I also want to make one thing clear: I do not like clickbait. Misleading headlines and sub-par content drive people away and they anger readers. We have a weekly meeting where we go through every story written on the site and talk about what did well, what didn't do well, and things that can go better.

Because of that, I feel confident in saying that we're not a click-bait site. The site has changed over the years, and it will continue to do so. One unfortunate aspect of gaming-specific sites in general is that our audience is primarily 18-29 year-olds, but while our audience ages every year, our target audience does not. Because of that, we constantly try new things and new directions. That's the reason we've put more emphasis on entertainment content, gameplay clips, and general news content.

We still make time for long-form, in-depth features (like Tamoor's recent trip to Japan for a fascinating look at Resident Evil 7), but for the most part we don't do a lot of written previews or features because so few people read them. But when we do do them, we go all out.

Going back to the topic at hand, I've been in threads where people have complained about click-bait in general (and Eddie specifically) before, and for the most part, these arguments just don't have any actual substance. I think everyone makes mistakes from time to time, and GameSpot is no different; we aim to not make our content sound like click-bait, but I think sometimes our writers fall short. But those examples are few and far between.

If you have specific examples, I'm happy to either explain why we wrote that particular article, or apologize for getting it wrong. But these threads tend to have a lot of misplaced anger towards Eddie and a lot of unfounded hyperbole. Eddie is not only one of the best writers on the site, I think he's also the nicest guy I've ever met. I give him a lot of leeway and my trust, and I believe in his judgement about stories, because he's proven to be right over and over again.

When anyone has specific examples of something they don't like, I'm happy to discuss that. But blanket statements about click-bait or the quality of Eddie's writing is just demonstrably untrue.

Avatar image for justinhaywald
justinhaywald

935

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

94

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 6

#4 justinhaywald  Staff
Member since 2013 • 935 Posts

I'm in full approval of constructive criticism and feedback, but reductionism completely undermines these types conversations.

To quote: "He consistently creates misinformed articles that not only show ignorance toward the topic of the piece, but he shows a massive lack of research and any general background information. His articles always have a misleading title. Every time I read an article and role my eyes or get trolled by a massive information error I always scroll up and low and behold its Eddie Makuch"

I will admit 100% that Eddie is probably the editor who drives the most amount of traffic to the site for our news articles. Here's a sampling of yesterday's top 3 "clickbait" articles, all of which were written by Eddie.

  1. Free PS4/PS3/Vita PlayStation Plus Games For February 2017 Revealed
  2. NES Classic Sells 1.5 Million Units; Nintendo Apologizes For And Explains Shortages
  3. Three More Games Added To Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Program

I find Eddie's articles to not only be a great resource for the information that the majority of our readers seek, but they almost always add excellent context and links out to relevant further reading.

For better or worse, the GS editors do not spend as much time in these forums (or the comments of articles) as they once did, but that's because over the last 3-5 years, those conversations have shifted. These discussions and interactions still happen, but they're primarily on Facebook and Twitter. I encourage you to interact with Eddie, me, and all of our editors both through direct messages here on GameSpot, or those more frequently used social tools. When we receive constructive, rational criticism, we are more likely to respond in kind. Attacks without context (or any basis in reality) will tend to be ignored.

Avatar image for justinhaywald
justinhaywald

935

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

94

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 6

#5 justinhaywald  Staff
Member since 2013 • 935 Posts

Hey guys, I'm GameSpot's Managing Editor Justin! I don't write much of the content you see on the site (sometimes I do things like this interview with Rick and Morty's creator Justin Roiland), but I oversee the teams who write it. I think over the last few years there's been a "Buzzfeedification" of content across the Internet. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, there's a lot of change--even old, traditional brands like the New York Times have become more bloggy (and in very rare cases clickbaity) with the way they frame headlines and content. Our job at GameSpot is to keep you, our audience, informed and entertained. But when we write content that pushes people away, we're not doing our job very well. Buzzfeed headlines are made for social media, primarily to get people to click on a single article, and then close it and return back to Twitter or Facebook. I won't lie and say our primary goal is NOT to get you to click on every story on the site. I would love it if every person on this thread every single thing we wrote every day.

That's not going to happen, but what we can work towards is making sure you enjoy the things you read and watch. GameSpot does occasionally have headlines I'm not entirely happy with. I don't review every article before it goes up on the site, but I work to instill the same "audience-first" approach in our writers for all of the content we create. When I see a headline I don't like, I talk to our writers, and we discuss why that was probably not a good idea and how we can avoid it in the future.

Now, before I go to far into the weeds, I do want to make a distinction between clickbait headlines and headlines that have a curiosity gap. I HATE clickbait headlines. I'm ashamed every time I click on one (because I know exactly what I'm getting into), and I know that we've made the mistake of using them on GameSpot before. A clickbait headline is something that misleads you into clicking it by withholding key information that, if you knew, would make you avoid the article entirely. When an article says, "You Won't Believe How This Man Lost 300 pounds in Just Two Weeks" and then it's an article about eating right and exercising, that's clickbait. I both believe that's how the person lost weight, and if I knew that's what the article was about, I wouldn't have clicked on it. "These articles cheat my time, or they lead to single-image galleries filled with nothing but ads, and with an additional ad after every third picture.

However, a headline is supposed to grab your attention and make you want to read more, and the reason headlines like that tend to work is because of a "curiousity gap." The story presents enough info so that you know what you're getting into, but not so much that you feel like the headline is the entire story. "New Mass Effect Coming to PS4 on Oct 25" -- that's a bad headline. You might click on the story to jump to the comments and start yelling about how excited you are, but why would you read that article? We'd likely write "New Mass Effect Coming in October." If you care about Mass Effect, you'll want to engage and learn more (and hopefully we have some cool other details besides just the date). However, if that story were about a MOBILE version of Mass Effect, I'd call it click-bait. If you're on GameSpot and you see a headline about a "new Mass Effect," you expect a full console/PC game. I think anything less would be misleading, and that's why if that were a detail, we'd be sure to include it in the headline as well.

For the headline that started this thread, while I don't think it's clickbait, I agree 100% that it's not a good headline. "These Two Ubisoft Games Are Shutting Down, Here's When and Why." Ubisoft has a huge stable of games, and this is a story about two of them you probably don't care about. If I was glancing through headlines, I might even imagine it was about Assassin's Creed--and that's not fair to you as a reader.

Our writers will make mistakes, and we're always trying to both be better writers and serve you with content that you like and that aligns with your interests. I want you to hold us accountable. When you see something you don't like, let us know in the comments, DM us on the site, and/or send an email to news (at) gamespot.com. We're listening. You might not always agree with why we do things the way we do, but we'll always be open with why we do those things. GameSpot's traffic and visitors continue to grow month-on-month and year-on-year, and to continue doing that, we will always evolve the way we approach content. But we wouldn't be anywhere without you, our readers. You're the heart of GameSpot, and in the end, we're here to make cool stuff for you!

Avatar image for justinhaywald
justinhaywald

935

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

94

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 6

#6 justinhaywald  Staff
Member since 2013 • 935 Posts

Hi Howmann888,

Thanks for your very thoughtful response! We carefully consider any kind of content that could be construed as objectionable or contain spoilers or any number of things that would ruin our readers' experiences for the games they (and all of us on staff) love.

But ultimately, our goal is to inform. For this specific case, the story of someone purchasing No Man's Sky early and streaming it online was an intriguing one, and one we thought our readers would be interested in. But you're also right that this case is a little different. Normally, we would directly embed any similar trailer, stream, or video directly in the story. In this case, we chose to link out instead.

From an information standpoint, we want to make sure that everyone gets the info that they want when they click on our stories. We sometimes work with developers and publishers to get up footage, trailers, and to arrange previews of games, but our responsibility is always to our readers. Leaks of all types unfortunately happen, and often for very big games (and movies and TV shows), and the creators of that content might not want their projects to go out early--specifically in a form that might not be indicative of the final product or that might convince people not to spend money on it--but whether to watch it or not is a decision that we left up to our readers.

I'd disagree that it's unfair to the developer of No Man's Sky that someone acquired the game and started streaming it early--lots of games do something very similar, where they post playthroughs and clips of games that aren't out yet. Sometimes people just want to see a final game in action. In this case, while we didn't upload the videos to our own system, we wanted to give people that gameplay information if that's what they wanted. That's a decision we wanted to leave up to you (and our readers). Some people don't like to watch even a single trailer for a movie they're eagerly anticipating, and conversely some people read every movie review as soon as they hit Metacritic.

I hope that explanation makes sense--that while we have nothing but respect for game developers, our ultimate responsibility is to keep our readers happy and informed.

If you have any other questions or want more of an explanation, you can respond to this thread or DM me on the site!

Thanks,

Justin Haywald, Managing Editor

Avatar image for justinhaywald
justinhaywald

935

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

94

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 6

#7 justinhaywald  Staff
Member since 2013 • 935 Posts

Synthia will be jumping into a meeting with our news writing team tomorrow to discuss. But we definitely won't be nuking comments, or even selectively turning comments on/off for certain articles. Particularly because these articles aren't opinions or editorials. The most recent one I think being brought up (http://www.gamespot.com/articles/there-are-still-too-few-women-developers-esa-says/1100-6434951/) is around a pretty non-controversial quote from a high-ranking person in the games industry. If I hadn't seen the number of comments, I wouldn't have guessed this would have even raised a flag.

Regardless, we're not changing our coverage strategy (meaning both we're not going to start having inflammatory op-eds, and likewise, we're not going to ignore stories on the weekend that a small, toxic subsection of our userbase dislikes), but hopefully we can find a solution that helps out the mod team as well!

Avatar image for justinhaywald
justinhaywald

935

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

94

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 6

#8 justinhaywald  Staff
Member since 2013 • 935 Posts

Hey guys,

Thanks so much for all your hard work in moderating the forums and keeping the crazies at bay! I definitely don't envy the amount of junk you guys have to put up with daily.

For weekend content, as weird as it sounds, we tend to see a rise in overall views per story over the weekend. Part of that is likely due to the lower amount of content overall--we only post news stories, and don't tend to have new videos, trailers, etc.--but there is definitely still an audience that comes to the site on Saturday and Sunday! Sometimes stories will get held from Friday to go up over the weekend if it's going to be too late in the day (like the example you cited from a DICE panel), but we typically try to get content up as fresh as possible, or as early the next day as possible (the GS audience isn't predominately made up of early birds, but the bulk tends to come from the UK, and then spreads across the East Coast of the US).

What would be the best way to work with you guy to make your jobs easier? Is there a particular email or group to CC when someone posts up a story that has the potential to aggravate the sometimes less-than-pleasant groups in our audience?

Avatar image for justinhaywald
justinhaywald

935

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

94

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 6

#9  Edited By justinhaywald  Staff
Member since 2013 • 935 Posts

Hi Elheber!

Deeply apologize for the spoilers! We do have spoiler tags for stories, but we had a lapse in judgement and didn't use them in this case. We figured, if someone actually clicks on the story, which says "potential spoiler" in the headline, they're already caught up through season 5.

I'd argue that the poster itself is pretty ambiguous and doesn't spoil things one way or the other (but you're also right, it shouldn't have also been the thumbnail--that's been changed, and I sent a note to our writers to be more mindful of that. It should be common sense that, if the story is about an image that we're calling a potential spoiler, that image shouldn't also be the thumbnail.

But you bring up an excelled point about endless scrolling and inadvertently coming across info that you might not even mean to see. To that end, we'll be enforcing the use of spoiler tags much more often, and in the near future we should be able to add them to images as well. So you'll be able to scroll through your feed safely and without fear of (almost) any spoilers.

Real talk, though, Jon Snow is totally alive. Even if he's killed off in the books, there's no way they'll off the series' most popular character this early for the show. I'm still lamenting the fact that the show will now go past the books and I will not have the protective bubble of, "I knew they died years ago!" that the books had previously provided.

As for entertainment content, that's still something that's slightly experimental, but has overall had a great reception and we'll be expanding in 2016. It's a natural fit to marry together games and the things gamers love. However, you'll also be getting more customization options as far as what you see on your feed and the homepage. Want your GameSpot to only be about games? If all goes well, we should, hopefully, be able to provide that experience soon!

Avatar image for justinhaywald
justinhaywald

935

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

94

Followers

Reviews: 2

User Lists: 6

#10 justinhaywald  Staff
Member since 2013 • 935 Posts

With the right song, I'll alwasy pick vocals. But drums are probably the most fun (and exhausting).