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Introducing: Aftermath Hours, Our Weekly Podcast

You thought reading our words was fun? Well get a load of this

2:53 PM EST on January 26, 2024

Luke Plunkett

It’s been a mere three months since we, the staff of Aftermath, invented blogging and revolutionized the internet, but today we’re trying something a little different. We call it a “podcast,” and it’s like blogging, but into a microphone. Huh, you say we’re  already doing that? About the rarely-discussed medium of comic books? Wow, we’re even more ahead of the curve than I thought. Well, now it’s time for podcast number two: Aftermath Hours.

On Aftermath Hours, a rotating cast of our staff – and sometimes guests – break down the week’s gaming news, give insights into our reporting (including details that haven’t made it into stories yet), follow Chris down labyrinthine rabbit holes of whatever his latest special interest is, and respond to reader questions. We plan to play with the format some over time – we’ve Remembered Some Games before, and we’ll do it again – but for now that’s the general idea.  

If you’ve been tuning into our weekly Twitch streams, you’ve watched what were more or less the pilot episodes of Aftermath Hours. We plan to keep recording live every week, because this whole Aftermath experiment is a community endeavor, and we feel like having y’all along for the ride vastly improves the quality of the show. 

Today we’re launching with two episodes, last week’s and this week’s, which you can find below and on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you prefer to listen to podcasts. If you like what you hear, make sure to leave a review, because those help podcasts pretty tremendously out in the cruel, algorithmic wastes. 

Here’s an excerpt from this week’s episode, in which we talked about the Microsoft and Activision Blizzard layoffs, Palworld, Gita’s piece on the toll of being a daily video game blogger, and somehow, eventually, Taco Bell:

Nathan: I’m sure we’re gonna get an expose on this from Jason Schreier in, like, two seconds because he’s probably gonna be faster than me: Blizzard canceled its survival game, which has apparently been in the works for six years. That is a long time to be incubating any sort of video game, but in this day and age, that’s about par for the course in terms of creating new IP. And we’ve seen this repeatedly with all these rounds of layoffs: cancellations of long-in-the-works new games. 

I think there are all these cases where people are already tired of the games getting put out because they’re just more sequels – they’re the same old IPs and things like that – and the games industry, when it comes to what it’s willing to cut in the name of short-term profit, the first thing to go is the future. It’s like, “Well, let’s just get rid of that thing we’ve been working on for a long time because we weren’t sure it was gonna drive profit.”

Chris: It would be really funny if that happened to [Ubisoft’s oft-delayed pirate game] Skull and Bones – if they’re like, “Alright, we’re just over the finish line” and then they pull a Netflix and remove it for tax reasons or some shit like that. 

Gita: I mean, they’ve been handed a business model precedent. Look at what [Warner CEO] Zaslav’s doing. He’s set the precedent of taking projects that are completely completed and rug-pulling them.

Chris: Last shot of Ark of the Covenant, but for a John Cena Roadrunner movie.

Nathan: Wait, I’m sorry, breaking news update: Jason posted an article about an hour ago about the survival game, Odyssey.  

Luke: Yeah, he did a big report. 

Gita: Does it take off the edge for the rest of you, when Jason scoops everybody, to know that he’s doing all of this in basketball shorts?

Nathan: I kind of always suspected.

Gita: I heard a story from a mutual friend – a former boss of ours – that at one point, when he hired Jason, he wore basketball shorts to the office. And during Jason’s first review, our former boss was like, “I didn’t know I had a limit when it came to what people wear to the office, but I think basketball shorts every day is my limit. So please don’t wear basketball shorts anymore.”

Nathan: But now he can work from home. Basketball shorts every day! All the time!

Chris: Yeah, that’s not weird at this point. Who are we to judge?

Gita: I wear clothing sometimes! Is it the same clothing several days in a row? Who’s to say?

Nathan: In my case, you better believe it. I do not want to know how I smell right now. It’s irrelevant to anybody’s experience of me. And when it becomes relevant, I will shower and change clothes. That’s just how it goes!

Gita: That’s a reasonable way to live your life, I believe.

Nathan: But yeah, I do think a lot of this sets a really unfortunate precedent for the games industry. If these companies are worried about the future, they’ve gotta invest in the future – in something that will actually have a long tail, as opposed to doing the classic thing where Wile E. Coyote builds a bridge of planks on air out in front of him while others collapse behind him. You can’t do that forever. Eventually the whole thing falls down, and you poof into a little cloud of dust. I was gonna say “die,” but no Looney Tune has ever died. 

Chris: That’s not true. That happened once.

Nathan: Wait, who died?

Chris: Daffy did, when he did the magic trick and he floated up into heaven, and it was like, “That’s a neat trick, but I can only do it once.” 

Gita: Well, only one Looney Tune has ever died, and he did it to make us laugh.

Chris: Yes, Tunes can die, but their soul has to leave their body, and they have to have a harp. 

(Podcast production by Multitude.)

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