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Game journalists face more work, greater pressure | Big Games Machine Game journalists face more work, greater pressure | Big Games Machine
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Journalists who work in gaming are facing increased workloads and expectations and have to contend with the perceived looming threat of AI, according to a survey from PR company Big Games Machine (BGM). The company’s game journalist survey covers job satisfaction, common pain points, and several other topics, but the common theme seems to be that writers in the games space are facing uncertainty like the rest of the industry (as a matter of disclosure, GamesBeat’s writers did not participate in the survey).

When asked about their view of their job, a majority of the journalists surveyed (over 150 participants) said they felt at least slightly negative about the future of games journalism. According to other findings, the three major challenges that they face include lack of time to cover their stories — one of the other charts shows they’d prefer to receive a game’s review build at least three weeks before launch — an overfocus on SEO content and insufficient pay.

James Kaye, BGM’s co-founder, said in a statement, “The games industry is growing increasingly competitive, and as a result, we are seeing the media landscape grow and evolve. There’s more pressure than ever before on video game journalists to produce content sustaining the high level of interest in gaming right now. Still, it’s clear that a focus on SEO and shrinking headcounts at some publications are impacting how they work – and that’s without mentioning the large volume of emails they have to sift through daily!”

The threat of AI; decline of blockchain coverage

In BGM’s previous survey, 75% of respondents said they would not cover blockchain game news, and that stat has only risen in the 2024 survey. 87% of journalists said they’d be either unlikely or very unlikely to cover such news, and over half said they receive fewer blockchain pitches. Similarly, 58% of journalists said they were unlikely to cover metaverse activations on Roblox and Fortnite within the next six months.

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The majority of respondents, 63%, said they had either a slightly or very negative view of the impact of AI on games journalism. The survey quotes at least one journalist as saying that AI could have a use as a tool, but another says that search engines favor AI writing over that of journalists. “I worry that AI will exacerbate issues regarding SEO farming and clickbait. However, it could be a useful tool if done properly and ethically.”

That being said, the outlook was not completely gloomy. When asked their feelings on job security and prospects for the next 12 months, the responses skewed either neutral or slightly positive rather than negative. One journalist said in the report, “Games journalism will survive the coming AI apocalypse, but it will be in the form of substacks and subscription-based, creator-owned outlets. At the commercial level, games journalism will be a wasteland.”

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