Games Journalism 2020 - Who gets the axe this time?

Crazy long run though.

Andy’s a complex dude*, but GI is never anything but Skymall for Games without him. He absolutely built that shit from nothing. Too bad GameStop is led by a revolving door of retail-oriented MBA assholes who never saw it as anything more than a cost center.

(* I worked for him for a decade. We don't have time to unpack all of *that*, as the man said.)

He couldn’t wait one more year to make it a round number?

The shame of the Gamestop era is that they ruined the better stores of their competitor when the merger occurred between Babbages, Etc. and Electronics Boutique (EB Games). The EB people were a lot more gamer focused and definitely had better policies and treated employees with a lot more respect. Their braintrust never ended up having much influence with the Barnes & Noble people after the merger, who tbh, have been crappy since the Software, Etc/Babbages days.

I remember when the Electronics Boutique guys all wore suits. Cheap suits, of course, but at least they had standards!

I miss Babbages + Software, Etc a lot, and EB to a lesser extent. Being able to run between floors of the East Town Mall in Knoxville to comparison shop between Gamestop and EB was great. Eventually, after the merger, they closed the old EB, but they were both still open under the same banner for a year or so (guessing a lease contract thing), with basically identical inventory/pricing. It was deeply silly.

Yep! I wore one! The District Manager who interviewed me said “We’re the car salesmen of the mall.” because you were expected to approach every customer personally and ask what they were looking for and if you could help them out. We sold lots of software then including productivity stuff so it was important as an employee to have not only good gaming background but good software background too. It was a very good place to work back then. The other place… from what I was always told by people there… not so much. That made it a really crappy merger.

eXplorminate shutting down:

As the title states, eXplorminate will be shutting its doors, effectively immediately. 2020 has been a rough year for us all, so I don’t claim to be special, but it’s been a year in which I’ve done a lot of reflection and thought and I’ve realized that I can’t keep up with it.

Some of you will likely rejoice at this news. For some reason, some of you have had it out for this all-volunteer site of 4X enthusiasts from the beginning, but for the others, I hope you enjoyed what we accomplished over the past 7 years.

That being said, I’ll still be here to help this subreddit and will likely get content going here, when I feel the urge.

In the meantime, thank you all for your support and I appreciate those of you that supported this thing we called eXplorminate.


What a bummer. The only other gaming forum I visit beside this one.

Why does he mention that some people will be happy to see them go? Was it a controversial site for some reason? (I’ve never heard of them).

That’s a damn shame, I liked them.

I read, watched, and interacted a ton with their content and creators, but I never actually sought them out. They would seemingly always be present wherever I was consuming information on an interesting 4x. And while I enjoyed what they produced, for some reason I never took the extra step of looking for more.

So while I probably won’t miss them directly, I’m sure I’ll feel their loss in the grander scheme of things. As a company, hitching yourself to 4x gaming seems like hard mode.

Afaik they had occasional controversies with their ratings and perception of being too close to / going easy on certain developers, but I think the level of that was trivial compared to full time review sites.

In the 4x circle, what isn’t? Especially on the subreddit. I disagree with them all the time too, but who cares, it was honest and free. Some people take it personally, for some reason.

More like a fan group promoting and discussing the genre in their spare time. They’ve even only added minimal ads, to the podcast, a few months ago.

I think it bears emphasizing that it was also a fan driven initiative (Afaik). The focus on 4x is niche, and they were great at it, but it was never making any one much (if any) money. Absolutely a passion project; I hope the forum manages to keep it’s momentum.

Rob is an intense dude. I’m not surprised he burned out on it. Pretty sure I banned him from a forum I was an admin on once.

That sucks, I liked having a site dedicated to 4x.

Indeed. It also reminds me when G4 took out TechTV, which was infinitely superior.

I found explorminate content helpful form time to time. I kinda stopped visiting them when someone using their Twitter account liked or retweeted a post (I can’t remember) making light of issues people from the LGBT community have. But since explorminate was a passion project, once they stop enjoying it it’s time to stop.

There was some falling out between Rob and other longtime members / contributors from comments on their Discord. There was also discussion of keeping the site up in read only mode as a reference as well.