What’s up Waypoint, I am a big fan of your publication and really think that you could do so much better when it comes to video.
I have been following you very closely since you launched, and thanks to the podcast feel like I have in a weird way gotten to know you. When you launched Austin wrote a great article about why you chose “Waypoint” as your name and what it means, additionally your about page states that your mission is “to explore how and why we play”
On the editorial side, I think you are more than succeeding at this goal, some of the work you produce is on-par if not better than Offworld (2015). The same can be said of the podcast.
Sadly I don’t think you are achieving your mission in video. Currently most of the videos you produce are Let’s Plays, which are hardly interesting, unnecessarily long, and more importantly common place in games journalism. Why would anyone choose to watch your Let’s Plays over another publication’s Let’s Plays; what are you bringing to the table in terms of Let’s Plays; who actually need / wants this content? Personally I think your video strategy would be better off if you got rid of Let’s Plays, unless you were able to find a way to actually make them entertaining and meaningfully different.
However Let’s Plays aren’t the only thing you do, you also have the Guide to Games series. This series is awesome, it feels like a natural extension of the editorial side of Waypoint, but the series’ potential is hampered by its length and format. A good model of how to do criticism through video can be found by looking to Game Maker’s Toolkit and Tropes vs Women. Both of these series are proof that criticism does not need to be bite sized; both series are proof of an appetite for deep dives in to games with thoughtful commentary through video.
Guide to Games does not allow you to flesh out your points when all you have is 3 minutes. I am not looking for 1 hour explorations, just 10 - 20 minute explorations. Also the success of Toolkit and Tropes if measured by views and subscribers to their channels, dwarfs your own video content and they produce way less videos than you with what I would assume are also much drastically smaller budgets. In other words your formula is not a winning one.
Another issue I have is the lack of stories or documentary style content. You are a part of Vice. Vice is well known for producing great stories in video format. Why not leverage that skill in to producing great stories about games and the culture and people that surround it. Nobody in games media is doing this in video, for some reason everybody thinks we want Let’s Plays. No.
In essence what I am proposing is a shift in video strategy for Waypoint. This shift would hopefully make your voice consistent across editorial and video by giving us great criticism and stories through video. Currently your video and editorial content feel like they are made by different teams. Waypoint is still new and I think still finding its voice , so I hope you at least try this.