Austin Shifting Responsibilities & A Goodbye to Danielle

Hey everyone,

On today’s podcast, it was announced that Danielle will be leaving and that Austin will be stepping back from his editorial role at VICE.

First off, we want to sincerely thank Austin and Danielle for their time at Waypoint. This community would not be what it is today without their commitment to Waypoint’s core values, which have served as a guidepost for us on the mod team over the last three years. Accepting change can be hard and scary, but we support them both as they move onto new and exciting things. We’re thrilled to see what they do next, and we have faith in Rob, Patrick, and Cado to carry the Waypoint torch going forward.

You can read what Austin had to say about what this change means for him and the future of VICE Games in his own words below. The crew also discussed the changes on today’s episode of Waypoint Radio, and if you’d like to listen to that you can skip straight to 2:10:39 (plus the length of any ads).

We’d also like to reassure you that neither the Waypoint Discord nor the Waypoint Forums are going anywhere. People may come and go over the years but our mission to provide a safe and inclusive space remains the same. As long as there are folks who want to be part of our community, we’ll be here to support it.

We welcome you to discuss these announcements and ask any other questions you might have in this thread. We ask that you be mindful of Rule 10, specifically:

Do not speculate on hires or personal lives of staff or personalities of this or any other site (and extend this courtesy to public figures in general); remember, this is a person’s livelihood. Their personal lives are not content.

Thank you,

The Waypoint Mods

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Per Austin:

What's good internet? If you've listened to today's episode of Waypoint Radio (or simply read the description) then you've heard the news. Danielle Riendeau is heading off to new video games journalism pastures, and though you'll still be able to hear me on the podcast every week, I'm stepping back from my editorial role at VICE. I'm betting you have some questions, but first and foremost, I want to underscore that this good news for everyone involved. The ship is not sinking, the alarms are not sounding, there is no fire in the barn (is that a saying?).

We dig into all of this late in today’s podcast (timestamp: 2:10:39, or a little later if you’ve got an ad). That said, I’m hoping I can anticipate some of your questions RIGHT NOW and offer you some answers. So, let’s start:

Q. What does this mean for the future of Waypoint Radio?

While Danielle is off to new adventures, I’ll be remaining on the podcast for the foreseeable future. (Labor-conscious friends: Yes, I’m being fairly compensated.) The team also hopes to expand the degree to which we bring special guests (both in the games industry and fellow journalists and critics) onto the podcast in the future!

Q. Will you still be writing articles for VICE Games?

Yes, but less frequently than before. Part of the reason I’m stepping back is to reduce my workload over all, and to let me feel a little bit less like I need to be part of every single emerging conversation.

Q. Is VICE Games shutting down?

No! While it has been a year filled with lots of changes, it’s also been VICE Games most successful year yet in terms of traffic and growth. We’ve got great editorial support from the incredible folks at Motherboard and the new head of Audio has been a great resource for us. It looks like we might even be getting a new podcast studio soon!

Q. What does this mean for the future of VICE Games?

It means that it’s in good hands. Cado, Patrick, and Rob are going to continue to carry the ethos and mission of Waypoint forward, and I’ll be here every week on Waypoint Radio to check in on them. On top of that, VICE Games will be working with new, diverse voices through freelance contributions to the website and additional guests on the podcast.

Q. Are y’all going to hire more people?

Now that I’ve left the editorial leadership team, this is one I actually can’t answer directly! That said, please know that we’ve voiced our own concerns about our team’s diversity with management and I know that the VICE Games team will keep that in mind if and when they are able to fill out the team with new, full time members!

Q: Why are you leaving?

Because it’s time, more or less. I first got into games journalism and crit over a decade ago. I took a pause for some grad school in there, but all said, I’ve devoted a lot of time to pursuing this career. And all the while, I’ve been working on side projects and developing hobbies into secondary careers in the background. The truth is, I’ve been ready to make this move for some time, I just needed to be confident that it was the right move (both for me and for the folks I was handing the keys over to).

And now is the right time.

But I’d be a fool if I tried to convince myself that I was ready to leave games behind entirely. I will always love games and have OPINIONS about them. I’m thrilled that the team here at Waypoint Radio (and my friends and management in VICE) are happy to let me continue to have those opinions in front of a microphone every week.

Q: So wait, what is next for you, Austin?

A lot of naps, hopefully?

A big part of why I’m stepping back is because I’ve been ignoring my own advice, burning the candle at both ends, and neglecting my own work-life balance by juggling my full time job at VICE, my part-time job with actual play podcast Friends at the Table, and an increasingly busy schedule of talks and panels and other side projects.

That is, of course, the other reason I’m doing this. If you follow Friends at the Table (or have heard me run the yearly Beastcast holiday RPG), then you know that the only thing I love as much (if not more) than video games, is “critical world building, smart characterization, and fun interaction between good friends.” Stepping back from VICE is going to give me the opportunity to do a lot more of all three of those things, not only in the context of FatT, but also in my own personal and professional life.

Speaking of that… make sure to keep an eye on my Twitter feed later today for the announcement of the first new project I’ll be working on. It’s something I’m really excited about, and I’m working with some incredible people that I’ve wanted to link up with for a long time now. Should be fun!

Thanks for your support all these years. Some of y’all have been following me on this journey for a full decade now, others hopped on around when we started Friends at the Table, or when I joined Giant Bomb, or when we launched Waypoint with a ridiculous 72 hour live stream three years ago. Some of you probably only just learned who I was! Whatever is the case for you, please know that I’ve only been able to make it this far because of your encouragement. It means the world to me that you’ve cheered me on all these years. And SPECIAL THANKS to the incredible Waypoint mods and community team. Y’all some real ones.

I cannot wait for the next chapter of Waypoint Radio and VICE Games to begin. Until then… (then = Monday, I guess?)… … … Peace.

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Big props to Austin for taking care of himself and prioritising what’s important. Glad to hear he’ll be around for Waypoint Radio for the foreseeable future, while kicking ass at whatever he does next.

What an absolute legend.

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Enjoy those well-earned naps Austin and thank you for the incredible job you have done (and will continue to do) with Waypoint. I can’t wait to see what’s next for you, Danielle and Waypoint as a whole. :heartpulse:

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This is bittersweet. I’m so glad to hear people making job changes for their own work-life balance in the public eye, it means a lot to someone who is not in the public eye and thinks about that stuff. I will be sorry to read less of your articles and see less of your influence around the site, Austin, but I’m happy that you’re doing it to pursue long-held goals and also to give yourself a break. Honest to god I am working my way very slowly through COUNTER/Weight and someday I may actually listen to modern FatT and benefit from this newfound time you’ll have for it.

For Danielle it’s far more straightforward - I’m sorry to see you leave here but I look forward to seeing where you go next and I will simply see you there instead.

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Oh man not gonna lie, this is a little sad to see. But I gotta put my selfish feelings aside and remember that y’all absolutely should be able to do what’s best for yourselves.

The Waypoint team (yes, you’ll always be ‘Waypoint’ in my heart) are some of my favorite people in the world of games, so I’ll continue to follow and support you all–Austin, getting some much needed rest, Danielle, with whatever adventure awaits you next, and Patrick, Rob, and Cado, as you continue to hold down the Waypoint fort. And I’ll absolutely stick around on these here forums and on the discord. You all have built something truly special and should be forever proud of what you helped to create.

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This is… a lot to take in this early in the morning. Glass half empty person, this just feels like the end of Waypoint to me. Best of luck to Danielle, excited to see what you do next. Austin is making the right choice for him, my need for a podcast to fill up time at the office doesn’t matter compared to that. He’ll still be around and I’m sure what he’s doing next is awesome (pls be a book :smile:) but I don’t know what’s next around here…

I’m gonna hold off on listening to this episode for a bit.

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I’m excited for whatever is next for you both! You have created and fostered an amazing community that I’m incredibly proud to be a part of.

I’ll miss y’all! Thank you so much for all of your hard work over the years!

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I got a Twitter specifically to see what Natalie stays up to, and now I can keep up with Austin and Danielle over there.

As bummed as I am, I truly hope that everyone from waypoint has success in whatever they do. The work that everyone on staff does is impressive and I know they’re going to continue to do great stuff wherever they go.

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I feel a need to point out that Austin will still be on the pods, he says it right in the thing! I feel like a bunch of these comments make it sound like he, too, is leaving, but we will still be hearing him every week in WPR!

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As someone who had to step back from some creatively recently due to stress/burnout, this hits home really hard but also because Danielle and Austin are two people I’ve looked to as peers and innovators both here and abroad and they deserve only the best.

Will miss Danielle on the pod (I’ve been saying this since Idle Thumbs)! But excited to see her elsewhere, and Austin, you are the best. Hope you get some relax time.

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What a spoon to swallow early in the morning, the knee-jerk reaction is hard to shake but after reading Austin’s words I’m happy for them.

Waypoint has been so fantastic in both highlighting smart and diverse game criticism and helped foster an inclusive and wholesome community, and wherever staff decide to go I’m happy to stay tuned for future endeavours (though I still got to rack my attention span for FatT).

Much like Danika and Natalie it’s a blow to see Danielle move on from the team, but I’ll be just as interested in where she goes next, happy trails!

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Change is always hard, but this one seems manageable. Danielle is still going to be in games, and Austin will be on the pod and occasionally writing. So we’ll definitely be hearing from them going forward. I predict the worst part of this transition will be on the “non-political” types coming out of the woodwork to proclaim Waypoint dead for the millionth time.

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In lack of a better place I want to thank Danielle and Austin for their work here. Since the start, Waypoint has been a great, calm space to find good writing from a range of perspectives in. Both of you, at least from my limited perspective, have been essential in fostering this space. Best of luck wherever you go next, I’ll do my best to keep up.

And a special shout out to Danielle, since it was your energy and excitement during the 72 hour launch stream that got me into the site in the first place.

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I’m much more of a lurker than a poster, but I really wanted to take the opportunity to thank Danielle and Austin for their excellent contributions to Waypoint. It’s definitely sad to see them go, but I’m excited for what they’ll be doing next.

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Well that’s a gut punch right in the morning. Bittersweet as a fan but happy for both of them. Best of luck to both Danielle and Austin in their new endeavors. I’m looking forward to what’s coming next. Glad to know that Austin will still be on the podcasts. I definitely feel the sentiment of burning both ends

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Very happy to hear Austin is lightening his workload. Work-life balance has been such a big issue for him.
Please take some time to relax and take care of your health!

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As someone who felt guilty about calling in sick to work despite having a 103 degree temp, I am glad to see Austin is taking care of himself by stepping back a little bit. FatT has become one of my favorite podcasts (along with Waypoint), and I’m happy that he is pursuing his passions. Same with Danielle. She does good work and I’m sad she won’t be on the Pod anymore, and I look forward to seeing what she does next.

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Thank you Austin and Danielle for making Waypoint, the site, the podcast and everything, into such a great space. I’m sad to see you go, but really look forward to seeing what you’ll be up to next.

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