Still in Beta, GameVideos.com now has
700,000 640,000 monthly visitors, according to Jason Freidenfelds, spokesman with site owner Ziff-Davis. (It’s part of ZD’s 1UP Network for gamers.) That’s a lot of gamers looking at trailers, industry interviews, and segments from ZD’s video programming, which is what led Entertainment Weekly to dub it “the videogame version of YouTube” last year.
That may be overstating it, though its relative success does suggest a danger for YouTube, which could lose out to niche video sites like this one, if they don’t make it easier for viewers to find the content they really want to watch— as opposed to wading into YouTube’s morass of mistagged/deceptive/just plain bad videos. (By contrast, GameVideos has the human filter of an editorial staff that ultimately select the videos which go up.)
From my vantage, at least, it’s going to take some time before it’ll reach YouTube’s heights, if ever. Unlike YouTube, many of the site’s videos come embedded with commercials, and the community tools are still relatively scarce or difficult to navigate.
And since Ziff Davis depends so heavily on the advertising dollars of major game publishers, I worry that this concern will discourage them from posting user-made videos harshly critizing this or that platform or game. Even worse, GameVideos comes with no channel for machinima, the user-created movies made from video capture of gameplay, often to great effect. All in all, this doesn’t sound like YouTube for gamers— more like an ad-heavy, strictly regulated gamer press site with a dash of YouTube flavor.
But maybe I’m wrong. I put these concerns to editor Mark MacDonald and the site’s ad team, so they could give their case for GameVideos.
How come some videos have embedded ads?
If you’re asking why some videos have ads while others DON’T, we rotate through ads and only serve ads up some of the time so users can click through a series of videos without waiting for an ad before every video.
And, of course, if you’re asking why we include ads at all, GameVideos.com, like the rest of the properties of the 1UP Network, is an ad-supported site. We’re always looking for big advertisers to reach our gaming audience. So if you know of some who aren’t advertising on the site yet, let us know.
Will you showcase well-made user-created videos which are critical of a game system or major publisher’s game?
Absolutely! It springs from our editorial philosophy. The 1UP Network,as a product of Ziff Davis Game Group, has always maintained an editorial tradition of brutal honesty that avoids sensationalism… As a recent example on GameVideos.com, check out our interview with David Jaffe, Sony game developer— it gets harsh at times. That one was our number-one featured video [last Friday.]
We’ve got plenty of user-submitted videos that lampoon, mock, and outright trash the major game and platform makers— along with plenty of effusively positive videos praising those very same companies. We’ll take anything and everything related to games, and if it’s funny, or particularly relevant, or something that strikes our editors as a video people need to see,
they’ll feature it. The site content is controlled by editors as independent as our magazine and website editors (led by Mark MacDonald, Director of GameVideos.com and former Executive Editor of EGM.)
Why no machinima channel?
Funny you mention that — we actually sponsored the 2006 Machinima Film Festival, and we created a custom channel at that time just for machinima!
As to why machinima isn’t part of the permanent Channels in our list, well, I’ve just submitted a request to make it so!
How come there’s not an easily-accessible community/bulletin board setup?
We definitely want to do more with feedback— it’s been high on ourvdevelopment wishlist since the start. For now, we link to the relevantvgames and video contributors on 1UP.com, and the conversations takevplace on 1UP.com members’ blogs and in 1UP.com’s clubs and messageboards. We also let contributors supply any URL they want to thevright of the video so they can direct viewers to relevant discussion. But look for more direct comment/input features in the next version of GameVideos.com, due later in 2007.
Update, 2/4: Unique user count amended by Jason Freidenfelds.
Update, 2/5: In Comments below, Freidenfelds has some important updates and clarifications.