From Tom N.
Subject: Please stop talking about phones
It makes you sound like a fucking idiot. Calling android a rip off of iOS is like calling Linux Ubuntu a copy of iOS. At this point in time it is really apple who is playing catch up. Quad-core androids will be here soon.
I didn't realize that smartphone fanboys were as defensive as console fanboys, but I can admit that when I said Android ripped off iOS during out last podcast, that I was channeling a bit of Steve Jobs. I've been reading his biography, and recently finished the part where he absolutely goes nuts on Google, Eric Schmidt and Android for ripping him off.
Hey guys, I've been a fan for quite some time and thought I should finally send one of these. Let me start off by saying it's great that you've managed to evolve your site to what it is now and it's a good sign that you're now starting to get recognized by YouTube. However now that I've said that I really feel like I should point out some real concerns I have with what's been going on.
First, to John, I want to say that I was really disappointed in the quality of your Assassin's Creed Revelations guide. The video lengths themselves seemed just too short per segment and generally it seems like it would be more efficient to post in more concise chunks like 10-15 minute videos (but perhaps you had your reasons), and while you kept commentary to a minimum in between cutscenes, the commentary itself was lackluster & from a gamer's perspective probably didn't help them. Additionally, you skipped big parts of the story and for a while I didn't even know that there was more to it. Furthermore, as it stands you didn't post any of the Desmond's Journey levels which was really disappointing as I'm sure a lot of people wanted to see those not only for story but for getting the multiplayer emblems in them. I know you may not care about these things but there's a reason that other sites pay attention to them, which brings me to another concern. I was so dissatisfied with that guide I found myself turning to The Media Cows on YouTube and was so impressed in the effort they put into their Assassin's Creed guide. Not only were the videos good length, but both commentators really brought forth intelligent commentary, whether about the intricate in game story, gameplay mechanics, and decent strategy guide, but they could also balance with just the right humor. Sorry to say John, but they really stuck the double hidden blade in you. It actually made me go back further into your work and I've really started to notice that over the years, and there are guides on here that either shouldn't exsist, are just plain missing, or in all honesty should be done again. This is not the same guy who made the excellent Splinter Cell Double Agent guide that I first watched, or the guy who made a phenomenal God of War 2 guide that really helped me, or the killer Dead Space 2 guide. I know you love playing games but you need to love GAMING and that means making sure when you record a game you make it look like the best recorded game you played. Maybe the next time you record the next Call of Duty you take a couple of more notes (and I know Call of Duty isn't a great example)and in voice-overs just give a little more of a professional walkthrough. Drink Along's are always awesome, but there are alot of people who really want some focused discussions about what actually going on while you play.
Which now brings me to you Dan, the business man. I wanna say that when you first came up with the Beer-Koozi idea it was awesome, and I really wished you had expanded on that more with more merchandise as it really does help you get out there. But sorry to say, this is also an area that The Media Cows also trumped you. Going to their Youtube site you'll find that they are just giving away gaming consoles, controllers, games, and much more, all because they put a little more effort into this side of the business and get these things from other companies. I know there are only two of you but you have an entire wiki community doing a lot of work on guides and I would think that might give you more time to work on other things. The Media Cows only have three guys in the entire group, and they've pulled off all of this, and sorry to rub the alcoholic tampon in deeper, but not only did they get a free copy of Saints Row The Third, not only did they get permission to use the in game music, but they EVEN got a free can of the Saints Flow energy drink advertised in the game. You probably don't care about that but the fact is they got it and you didn't even get a reply from THQ. Doesn't that kind of want to make you work more on doing these things if these guys are doing it and getting decent money from it? Who knows how much they've made over the years with this? Maybe you should even get in contact with them and see if they can give you some advice on the matter. If you don't, you shouldn't be surprised if eventually they start getting more views on YouTube than you (they could be already).
I really want to see you guys go forward in this, and I just bring this up because I hope something here sticks and you actually see improvement here. But if you continue what you guys are doing right now, you really risk the chance of dropping the ball even further down the line during a time when you really can't afford to. Maybe it's just a sign that you guys are just not into this as a job anymore, in which case you may want to start looking for other ways to make it out there, but if you guys do still care I hope you'll be able to expand and work well into the next generation of gaming.
If not... "MOO!!!"
Wow...thanks for the extensive email and well thought out criticisms.
As a response to the criticisms of my ACR videos...you're right. The commentary was pretty lackluster on my part, but for the ACR 100% Synch walkthrough, I was actually trying a new way of editing my guide and voiceovers that I guess just didn't work. I've never edited a guide like that before, and I guess I won't be doing it that way again.
Do you honestly think ACR needed a full walkthrough though? Except for maybe 3 missions, the game was extremely easy to 100%. The more guides I make, the more I realize that most games offer zero genuine challenge and probably aren't worth making full guides for. Check out my Dark Souls guide though. Dark Souls was one of the first games in a LONG time that made me work hard at finding good strategies. I do still love gaming, but story discussion is something that has never interested me at all.
The #1 ranking factor for search results on YouTube is when the video was uploaded. Like you mentioned, TMC has some sort of hookup with the publishers, because not only did they get tons of free shit, but they get permission to post gameplay videos BEFORE the games come out. I've talked to my contacts at IGN about TMC specifically and how TMC gets permission to post gameplay vids pre-release, and IGN doesn't know, let alone have permission themselves, to post gameplay videos pre-release. Trust me when I say that we're working hard at trying to develop ANY sort of contact with game publishers to get these hookups, but it's going nowhere.
Dan and I are certainly still into this as a job. We've had an amazing winter with record numbers for YouTube views and website traffic. Again, I really appreciate the criticisms, you've given me a lot to think about.