Just popping in here to point out something that showed up on Reddit earlier. Destructoid EIC put up a post about how half its readers use adblock. The post itself isn't anything new (it's not the first time that D-toid has engaged with this issue, either, I don't think). But read the Reddit comments thread for stuff like this:
Sorry guys, people are willing to do your job for free. Maybe not to the same standard but they'll always be free press and accountability on the internet regardless of whether people are paid to do it.
My hobby is video gaming, reading about them on sites is a nice extra but nothing that I couldn't do without.
I might seem like an arsehole but it's the truth.
http://gascash.co - Sweepstakes, Giveaway
There are people willing to write articles, post content and the like which adds to the hobby without being paid. Many even pay their own hosting site fees for the privelege. It isn't to say that there's no place for professional game sites, but in an age where gaming has never had more hobbyists and everyone has access to the internet, do we really need RPS, GiantBomb, Destructoid, Kotaku, IGN, GameSpot, Polygon, the Escapist and god only knows how many other sites to all basically either regurgitate the same news stories or provide reviews on games? The willingness to make a professional site does not entitle a company to the right to succeed. Not in this field.
I could quite happily make do with community-based discussion and reviews as you might find on Reddit (outside of r/gaming, naturally). In fact, many times I get a more accurate impression of a game this way than via professional games journalists - e.g. Skyrim (the fact that that game was universally praised just baffles me).
I don't adblock this website or that website. I am not a "reader" for a specific website. I browse the web. I read from aggregate and crowd-source curated internet. I adblock the entire internet, because it's not one segregated website anymore, its one giant mess of information, and you can't trust any of it. I think publishers trying to make money on the internet are fighting a losing battle against people who are willing to do it for free. If Destructoid can't afford to pay its writers what they deserve, then the writers should leave, Destuctoid should shrink and become a smaller more focused entity, or make way for Joe Blow in his basement doing it for free after his 9-5 job. After he quits his job, grows his website, sells it to a conglomerate and then complains that it doesn't make enough money, he can do the same and John Doe can start his turn at the wheel.
The thing is, none of the gaming websites need to exist. We have intelligent redditors and bloggers in the wild that are passionate about talking about video games that don't need ad revenue; since they write about games as a hobby.
Some of the gaming journalists do a decent job, but I'm not going to lament their extinction either. There will always be passionate fans that will fill the gaming discussion void for free.
Folks, this is your readership (or the readership you're trying to get). And this is how they think about your work. Ten more years of the same stuff isn't going to cut it. read