The Future of NGB

Wednesday 28 Feb 2024

Hello! It’s been a while. I guess now is as good a time as any to issue a bit of an update about NGB, where we are and where we’re going.

NGB was started back in 2011 as an offshoot of WENB, aiming to cover anything and everything to do with video games. It was founded as a “by fans, for fans” site by Asim Tanvir, and it quickly started to grow. I joined the site in 2013, and when Asim left to pursue opportunities in the games industry in 2016, I took over the mantle of Editor-in-Chief. It’s been a hell of a decade, with the opportunities offered up to go to E3, Gamescom, EGX and so many events. But the truth is, this was always a secondary gig to every member of the team. Life, careers, babies, as well as health issues and more have hit us all pretty hard over the past few years, and it’s time to make a decision.

That decision is this. As you’ve probably noticed, there’s not been a huge amount of written content over the past year or so. We’ve kept uploading bits to YouTube here and there, and with that in mind, we’ve taken the decision to wind down the website arm of NGB. We’ll still be posting to YouTube, and we shortly, we’ll be pointing the main URL to a list of links, with the YouTube channel being the primary focus. If you’re reading this and haven’t subscribed, get yourself over to our YouTube Channel and hit that subscribe button. We’ll post content when we can, and just have fun with video games. Review content and technical analysis will, of course, be part of the channel, but that stuff will likely not be on embargo, unless we can get hold of copies pre-release.

It will of course mean more of the Let’s Look At series, Kieran’s excellent Something For the Weekend series, focusing on smaller titles, as well as NGB Retro and random content like NGB Board Game Night.

For those who want to read a little more, this might get a little indulgent, but it’s something I’ve wanted to do.

NGB has changed my life, there’s no doubt about that at all. I’ve made friends for life through this site, and I’ve come to know people in the industry I’ve loved since I was a kid. I’ve met CEOs, game designers, industry icons and other content creators who have a much, much bigger audience than we have here. I’ve had access to hardware and games months before they hit the public domain, including a phenomenal couple of months where we got hold of this generation of consoles a full month before their release dates. For a lad who works in IT in the Midlands in Lincoln, that’s a dream that I never thought I could’ve realised. There’ve been massive ups, and unbelievable downs, and in truth, the downs have contributed to this decision more than anything else.

Without going into the weeds, our lives have all gotten a bit more complicated, and as such keeping up to date with industry contacts has gotten more and more difficult over time. As a result, we've struggled to get hold of items for timely coverage. As a result, the running of NGB has come at a substantial cost, both financially and mentally. As time’s gone on, the industry has changed. The way games get covered has changed, and access to things has slowly but surely changed as well. This is by no means a slight on anyone who we’ve been in contact with over the past 13 years, but it’s been an increasing struggle to stay relevant in an industry that’s constantly in flux.

The struggle for content has also been very real. With everyone’s life becoming less focused around gaming, the time required to sink into reviews has gotten much harder to find. My philosophy for this site has always been “Life comes first”, and as time’s gone on, that’s gotten much more complex. From a personal perspective, that’s something I can’t continue to do in the current guise of the site.

I don’t want this to sound like a goodbye, as I’m not prepared to let NGB go in its entirety. It’s a shift in direction, and one that will hopefully lead to an increase in quality content.

With that being said, it would be churlish to ignore the people who helped NGB get to where it has been. Asim, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. You changed my life for the better, and honestly I don’t even know if I’d even be here without you. Suff, you put your faith in me and I hope I repaid it. Gari, another NGB OG, you’re an absolute hero. Naughty Dog World is flying, and I couldn’t be happier for you. Your work with NGB cemented why I wanted to be here, as it was always stellar, and you’re a friend for life. Nico, much the same. You’ve been a rock and I couldn’t be more pleased for you and Lydia with how things are working out. Sully and Aryel, you guys made those E3 trips memorable in so many ways. Being a voice of reason in the madness is never easy but Sully, damnit, you somehow always managed it. Nick, the ol’ faithful for so long, I’m proud to have had you as part of my team. And Neaves, I’m sorry things worked out the way they did, and truth be told I never really got over that.

To everyone who has contributed to NGB in any way, shape or form over the past 13 years, thank you. Truly. It helped lay the foundations that we were able to build off and live the dream, even to a small degree. And of course, to every single one of you who’s read some of our content, it’s massively appreciated. Like I say, this isn’t a goodbye, more of a shift in focus. We’ll see you over on YouTube.

Ben Ward