state of escapist magazine - nick calandra and sam nelson

Hey folks,

Hope you’ve all had a good summer and are ready for the fall cool down like I am. I seriously don’t think I can stand any more 90+-degree days this year.

Since I took over as editor-in-chief of Escapist in July, we’ve been experimenting with lots of different content and have brought more news into our mix of coverage to keep you informed about what’s going on in the gaming and entertainment industry. We’ve heavily expanded our coverage of video games beyond the biggest titles and into the world of indie games, running more reviews and interviews with developers.

In addition to our expanded coverage, we’re working on a lot of new original content series. Here’s some of the stuff we’ve got going on.

VIDEO SERIES

  • The Joy of Gaming – Hosted by Nate Najda, The Joy of Gaming focuses on the hard work and passion of video game developers and celebrates what makes their work fun. Published every other Friday.
  • 3 Minute Reviews  – Various reviewers from The Escapist cover a wide range of indie games in quick and to-the-point reviews that are meant to feel like a friend is telling you about a game.
  • Gameumentary – The documentary series shares the stories behind the games you play. We just released our Insurgency documentary series and are now working on a Darkest Dungeon documentary, due for release late this year.

WRITTEN SERIES

  • In the Frame – Written by Darren Mooney, In the Frame aims to take a closer look at pop culture, digging a little deeper than a simple review into what makes a particular work so striking or interesting. Published every Monday and Friday.
  • Table Talk – Previously Escapist Unplugged, Table Talk is written by Sam Nelson and covers new and notable board, card, and tabletop roleplaying games. Published every Sunday.
  • From the Developer – Previously In Development, From the Developer lets game developers share their own stories directly.
  • “NEW” Elijah Beahm is joining us to write “A Second Look,” a series that will provide fresh perspectives on games new and old. Published every Thursday.
  • “NEW” “Don’t Miss It!” is a second column series from Darren Mooney that will be released every Sunday and will cover a TV series or movie that’s been overlooked and explain why it’s worth your time.

We’ve been adding a lot of new faces to our team of contributors to bring you all sorts of new content as Escapist continues to evolve. I’ve been looking back at the legacy of the site and how it offered new talent a place to grow and learn, and I’m happy to be able to continue that legacy.

I’m very happy with the work that our team has been putting out since I took over, and I’m excited to watch our community continue to grow and engage with the content again. We have even more new content planned for later this year that we’ll share when we’re ready, but my overall goal is to make Escapist an original content powerhouse again.

That being said, I’d love to hear your feedback on how you think we’ve been doing, what you’d like to see more of, and any suggestions you might have to continue to improve Escapist Magazine. We’ve been garnering a lot of feedback over the last few months on YouTube, and I’ve taken a lot of it to heart to actively improve the channel. I’d love to be able to do the same thing for the website. We want to work together with our readership to make this a place you want to come to engage with on a daily basis, so I’m open to hearing how we can improve things to make that happen.

Our parent company, Enthusiast Gaming, is currently doing some internal testing and experiments on their network of sites to modernize our ad solutions and fix long-running problems (like the video player). You may notice some changes and possible issues with the website during this time. Our editing team does not have control over this, so I apologize for any inconvenience. We’ll update you again when it’s all sorted out.

Thanks for taking the time to read this update, and stay tuned for lots of exciting developments from Escapist Magazine over the coming months.

Nick Calandra
Editor-in-Chief

PS: We have a newsletter now! Every Sunday get our original content dropped straight into your inbox via a nice and easy to read format. Sign up here.

From the Managing Editor

Hi readers,

Unlike Nick I’d be perfectly fine with summer sticking around for a few more months, though I am looking forward to Halloween and the lineup of horror-themed content we have planned for next month. I’ve been with the site since it relaunched last year, which has brought with it a whirlwind of challenges and changes. I appreciate everyone who’s stuck with us and hope to keep growing the audience along with our network of contributors.

I’ve been extremely proud to get to work with some new talent along with continuing series such as The New Mythology, which looks at the way popular characters and stories change over time and the impact they have on pop culture, and Escape from the Law, where we have lawyer Adam Adler apply his expertise to analyzing the news and portrayals of legal matters in entertainment. I’ve also personally enjoyed the chance to write more feature stories where I’ve been playing games and interviewing their creators to share the stories and ambitions behind new titles.

As Nick said, we’d love to hear more about what would make escapistmagazine.com a place where you want to spend time. If there’s any type of content you’d like to see more or less of, let us know in the comments or by emailing us at [email protected]

Samantha Nelson
Managing Editor

Nick Calandra
Editor in Chief of Escapist Magazine. Previously founder of OnlySP and Gameumentary. Patiently waiting for the Red Wings to be good again.

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    14 Comments

    1. Is there going to be a set schedule for video content such as Big Picture, Escape to the Movies?

      You’re advertising Zero Punctuation Wednesdays at 1200 Eastern, which is good.
      Why do the others feel like they’re posted haphazardly, if at all?

      I mean, it’s almost 2100 on Friday, an still no Escape to the Movies.

      1. So we’ve been updating the schedule of things a bit to try and experiment. Escape to the Movies has started to be released closer to the movie release dates to make sure we’re getting maximum visibility on them on YouTube for obvious reasons.

        The Big Picture is typically released every Tuesday and Thursday at NOON Eastern, but on Dev Diary days they’re released at 2 PM EST instead.

        I’m planning on putting up a calendar feature like the old site had so that people know when to expect things soon. We’re gonna do that for all our videos and columns like it used to be, just working on getting original art assets made for everything and then that schedule will be up.

        It’s been a bit confusing as we’ve been getting our house in order, but October is pretty much set schedule wise so should be smoother and people should know when to expect things moving forward.

    2. Have been some articles lately that feel like a copy-paste from someone’s press release, along the lines of “Feature X to appear in game Y”. Which I realise has to be much cheaper/easier to produce but I find disproportionately more value in the longform stuff – analysis, insight, retrospective, weird anecdote; whatever the case may be.

      I guess there’s a place for both, but a high signal:noise ratio is also really valuable when I’m deciding which feeds to stay subscribed to.

      1. Yea, I mean there’s only so many ways you can write up a news piece about something. In October though we’ve got original content planned for each and every day for the first time since I took over as EIC so the proportion of content will be leaning towards more original content with some filler news pieces that we find interesting.

        I can actually see about tech creating an RSS feed for just our original content if some have no interest in the newsy bits.

        1. Sounds like you’ve some good stuff coming down the pipe. An RSS feed for the most interesting bits would be great to have.

          1. A little tricky to curate for everyone, that but here’s a trick: If you surf to the parts of the site you like, say our features, add /feed/ after it and you get the rss for that. So you can try to follow your favorite series and our cover stories:

            https://www.escapistmagazine.com/v2/category/features/

            For a more community interactive perspective, try this experimental new comment tracker page:

            https://www.escapistmagazine.com/v2/recent-comments/

            1. I wanted to use features rss feeds instead of the global feed in order to split everything into categories in my rss reader (as of now everything escapist goes under “videos games”, i’d like for instance “escape to the movies” to go under “movies & tv”), but it seems that the few latest items are missing in of each feed.
              for instance, the first item in /v2/category/the-big-picture/feed/ is now “The History of Propaganda…” from september 24. It is also the first item in the list on the big picture page, as more recent items are featured in the page header.
              It would be nice if this could be fixed (I know it may not be as easy as it seems, because wordpress)

    3. I’m probably not your target demo … but what is a deal-breaker for me is when sites like yours post so many articles a day it’s impossible to scan the headlines to pick some pieces out to read. I want to be able to visit the site semi-daily and not have more than 10 or 15 new postings. I give up after that, and don’t return.

      Other sites that would probably be counted among Escapist’s peers don’t really offer an overview of culture, so much as a birdshot of factoids no one cares about, except 14yo Todd who’s really, really concentrated on his favorite video game: Super Solider X.

      1. I don’t think we’ve ever had a day where we’ve had 10-15 new postings in one day.

        Though, either way we’re finally ready to have original content every day like I mentioned in the post, so our news output is going to decrease while original content will increase.

        Like I mentioned in a comment below, we’ll be making a Weekly Schedule like the old site used to have so people know when to expect new content. We’re still gonna cover news, but it’ll probably be just a few posts a day, if that.

        We also have the newsletter now too, so that’s worth signing up for if you just want curated content each week.

    4. Did you get rid of the list of all articles ordered by date? I don’t like to have to jump from section to section to check what has been published since my last visit.

      EDIT: Nevermind. I found it.

      1. Our menu has been updated as well for testing purposes, don’t have much control over it right now. Sorry about that, trying to get some of that re-implemented.

    5. Back in the day I was a big fan of the occasional Fiction pieces you guys would come out with: Videos like Unforgotten Realms, Doraleous, comics like Critical Miss. There was even a point where short stories were published. I vividly remember one written from the perspective of a game programmer having kind of an out of body experience describing as she programmed herself and her life into a game. Breaks up the endless flow of news and lets your creatives have a bit more personal expression I think 🙂

      1. It’d be cool to bring something like that back in the future, for sure. I’d love to have the comic strip back once we can support it. We’ve just launched quite a few new columns that I’m hoping will start garnering a following, and we’ve got some more video stuff in the works too.

        Best thing people can do to help support more original content is to share it around on social media and bring it to people’s attention, and that’ll allow us to start to get more creative with things as well.

    6. Sounds absolutely excellent! I love what y’all have brought to the site so far, and am excited for the future.

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