Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Craig and I make game review style videos on my YouTube channel Critical Nobody. I also stream on Twitch as CriticalNB.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the gaming industry?
It’s a very different space then it was when I was growing up. I used to get ultra excited for multiple releases each year, but now I tend to approach each AAA game with varying levels of cynicism. It seems like every other game a major publisher puts out these days relies on a live service model or at least has some long term road-map planned before consumers even have the product in their hands. Plus, a surprising amount of the time, the supposed “finished” product feels more like something in beta. Games are ultimately a business and they have to make money, I get that, but there has to be a better way to do so other than breaking up experiences and selling each piece back to us a few dollars at a time. That’s not to say amazing games or quality compnaies don’t exist and given the technology we have today I think games are capable of being the best they’ve ever been, but as long as greed is the main defining factor for most publishers, very few titles will be able to reach that potential.
Do you think it will ever move away from the monetization model that is currently being used?
I hope so, but I don’t see it becoming a reality any time soon. Money talks and all you have to do is look at the yearly earnings of companies like Activison Blizzard or EA to see that despite how loathed things like season passes, time savers and cosmetic microtransactions are by some of the core gaming audience, these practices bring in huge returns. As long as these things keep making money, they’ll keep shoving them into everything they make. Maybe if there are multiple Battlefront II level blow ups back to back to back we could see a shift, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up.
What are your thoughts on the Current YouTube landscape?
I think YouTube has and will continue to have tons of great creators making great content, but the site itself seems to routinely go out of it’s way to try and change that. If you’re not already an established name, getting anywhere can seem like an impossible task as YouTube prioritizes safe content like late night talk shows or news clips over stuff with actual personality. Their lack of communication also doesn’t help as generally the only way to get their attention should a problem arise is to have a large enough audience to make your complaints worth listening to. I’d best describe YouTube as a fickle mistress. One day all your videos will be within community guidelines, monetized and performing well, and the next some new policy, algorithm change or a bot making a bad flag will throw everything out of whack. It’s absolutely possible to succeed on the platform, but it can be an uphill battle on top of the mountains of luck you already needed.
What is your favorite thing about being a popular YouTuber/Streamer?
Well, I wouldn’t describe myself as “popular” by any standard. I’d call my current success modest at best. But my favorite part of being a YouTuber is that period after I’ve released a new video. Sharing something I’ve made with a wider audience and seeing all that time and hard work pay off, watching the views rise and reading every comment that’s posted can’t help but give me a sense of accomplishment. I had this idea, I put it together and now people are able to see it and let me know what they think of it. It’s a cool feeling. As a streamer, interacting with the chat is the best part of that. If that wasn’t fun, I may as well be playing games by myself.
Other than Stealth games what is your favorite genre and why?
I generally dabble in a bit of everything, but I play a lot of action games. First-person shooters like Doom and third-person games like Uncharted or Remnant: From the Ashes. Blasting aliens, demons or mercenaries in a virtual setting is pretty much always satisfying.
If you could only play three games for the rest of your life what would they be?
That’s tough because I usually don’t play one game for years. I like variety too much to not move on to other things once I’ve gotten my fill of something. But if I had to choose, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is something I’ve replayed dozens of times and never gotten sick of. I’d also choose Resident Evil 4 which I’ve also beaten more times than I can count. As for a third option…I don’t know Fortnite? The kids will think I’m cool if I say Fortnite right?