We have numbers more often, a way better functioning site, and less toxicity (aside from politics).
If you really want a more active community try to push some conversations topics more often.
Not news topics, actual conversation topics.
For example, a game you really love (like Okami), make a thread about it, you'll find other people that love it interested in the topic.
A more popular game like Zelda or GoW would likely keep acticity way longer tho, and new games too.
I used to review old games I was playing for the first time here and loved it, it would bring small amounts of people and conversation but I always liked the kind of feedback it had, sharing games we like is always great.
New games are way better to get people here, if we start making threads about games we are currently playing more people will stop by.
I see an opportunity when Dreams release for a great thread for example, as it's a community creative tool.
Maybe Mario Maker 2 too, make threads to share levels and stuff.
So what I'm saying with all that stuff is that maybe we should try talking more about games we like here, that will get more people together.
I for one joined this site (after I discovered it because of 8th gen launch) to share my love for Disgaea on a thread about PS3 games.
That's why I stopped lurking and joined this site, to talk about games I like.
Yeah, you make fair points. Personally I always came to VGC because of the sales numbers, but what made me become a member was just how exciting the forum looked from the outside, there were constant threads and posts discussing all kinds of games and everyone looked like they were having fun. If I checked on VGC for sales numbers now as an outsider (something I'm not sure I'd do), I probably wouldn't be interested in the forum, since it doesn't look exciting at all on the front page. That's definitely one important thing, making the place more lively and more fun, and that's down to us.
You talk about the technical changes TalonMan brings, this is cool for existing users but seldomly the reason for new users to join. The main draw in point for VGC always were the numbers. Now that is severely crippled by letting the software numbers out and only show hardware numbers. So the site needs another strong point. It can just simply be a gaming forum, but there are others out there, to stand out is a thing of the community. But there are some additional things here: Game database and Prediction League. Both are somewhat unique. Other than that it boils down to attractive threads. I personally think the 50 greatest game thread at years end is very attractive.
It is, isn't it? But outsiders don't really know about that thread, because, well, it only takes place during those 3 months or so. In fact, I remember when I joined in 2014 (loads of new users at the time), there was a moment when people starting making threads with their favorite games ever, and even I got in on that, only later to realize that it was a thing that was done yearly. You talk about the Game Database and Prediction League as cool and unique things VGC has to offer, but both of these were in shambles around the time I joined and remained in shambles until very recently, so I'm inclined to say it's not a drawing point for VGC, at least not in more recent years.
Ultimately, sales numbers are really important, yeah. I can't condemn the shift that these have taken this year, given the rise of digital sales and hard numbers being so hard to keep track of accurately, but it is true that the place just draws in less people because of it. There are two parts to every new user: finding VGC, and joining VGC. I think people can have multiple reasons for joining, for example mine was due to the community looking really interesting from the outside, but finding VGC is almost always a result of people looking for game sales numbers, and I'm not sure where exactly people end up in when searching for that nowadays.
To be fair, activity here is very dependant on the amount of news the gaming industry offers, and right now, everything is very still waiting for the next generation of consoles.
This. VGC ebbs and flows with console generations. People were saying the same things back in 2012-13. With the next generation of consoles coming, I would wait until those get here to be worried.
Well, I wasn't around back then to know, but I sure hope that's the case, then. It just feels strange to me that it would work this way, given how active the place was with NX discussion between 2015-2016, shouldn't there be more speculation about the next generation now, too?