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Forums - Website Topics - Discuss the state of the forums and find solutions

Most websites are a fraction of their former selves. The current internet landscape favors the use of a dozen or so major websites at the expense of more specialized forum like this.

Love and tolerate.

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The last notable exodus this site has had was when a large number of PS fans fell flat on their faces after their proclamations of doom for Nintendo Switch. It's the PS faction that has suffered the most significant decline relative to all others, because it used to be an about even split of Nintendo and PS fans on this site with Xbox and PC fans always being much smaller factions. The ratio between Nintendo, Xbox and PC fans is still about the same, but PS fans have... fallen off a cliff.

Since 2017 we have had Switch proving the doubters wrong time and time again. It wasn't until about half a year ago that there was a visible resurgence in activity from PS fans, because for one, Switch had slightly underperformed during the holidays, and two, PS was getting back into a position of winning after a long streak of playing second fiddle in the hardware sales charts. Even the Japanese market (Famitsu threads) somehow became relevant again.

It's not that PS fans have had less interest in gaming forums. ResetEra has been thriving all this time, after all. But one thing that I've noticed on ResetEra is that PS fans have worked towards the creation of a bubble that blends out Nintendo's success. This eventually culminated in the ousting of SalesEra because it was without a doubt an incredible annoyance for the hardcore PS fans to have sales threads paint a different picture than the desired one of PS4/PS5 domination.

So when it comes to the outlook for VGC's overall activity, it's not something that the people who are running this site can fix on their own. The necessary push needs to come from the outside, namely that Sony is the company who is winning. This was made pretty clear from the surge in activity earlier this year as well as things getting quieter again after the global pentup demand for the PS5 had been fulfilled and monthly sales for May have regressed to a point where the lofty expectations are not a given to be fulfilled anymore. The PS5 has gone from a record-setting quarter to one that is rather average, consequently followed up by Sony issuing a temporary price cut for the first half of July. Aside from the PS5 slowing down, there's also still the topic of Switch making its way to becoming the best-selling console of all time.

But one important overall aspect is not fixable at all. It used to be that it was believed that installed base matters a lot for consoles to get games made for them. But nowadays there's already so much proof out there that the AAA third party industry doesn't care, that console sales have become a lot less interesting for gamers in general. Back in the day there was real fear that games could leave PS and real hope that games could come to Nintendo, but this fuel for intense forum activity is virtually extinct, the recent Final Fantasy discussions being one of the few exceptions to this general rule.

Outside of this, it really comes down to moneyhats and acquisitions to drive this sort of activity; if you look at all the articles on VGC, the ruckus about Microsoft's A-B deal is by leaps and bounds ahead of everything else, routinely spawning 80 comments or more. This is also something that the forums have lost, because for whatever reason the PS vs. Xbox conflict was moved to the comment sections of articles instead of remaining in the forums; the vast majority of the people who comment belong to the most prominent posters on the forum. Perhaps articles are more attractive because they are less moderated; the discussions over there are certainly on a lower level than they would be here. Of all the things that could be done to make the forums more lively again, moving these discussions back here is the most feasible option.

As for what the users can do themselves, it would be simple things like the creation of threads for relevant news and recent games to discuss them. But many people have been here for so long that they don't care enough anymore. Perhaps the slower pace is welcome because it makes it so much easier to keep up to date with what happens here. If you come here only every three days, there's a good chance that you won't miss a single thread.

Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV will outsell Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I was wrong.

forums are so relevant pokemon just started theirs

 "I think people should define the word crap" - Kirby007

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Instead of seeking to convince others, we can be open to changing our own minds, and seek out information that contradicts our own steadfast point of view. Maybe it’ll turn out that those who disagree with you actually have a solid grasp of the facts. There’s a slight possibility that, after all, you’re the one who’s wrong.

Forums especially for gaming are a dying breed of social media due to the existence of alternate means of communicating between users - Reddit, Twitter (despite its ups and downs), Discord, YouTube, and specific dedicated sites that have a support page with discussions (like the recently opened Pokemon community or the Steam Discussion section)

On top of that, the remaining regular forums like this one are easily squashed by the biggest gaming forum - ResetERA which has more members and way more activity that focuses on not just gaming discussion but sales, etc discussions.

Interest in sales numbers alone is a niche - majority of people who were "interested" in them on this forum years ago were only interested console warring wise and not because of the actual economic front of the companies that were competing against each other - a lot of them left due to the moderation and others left due to the toxicity of the discussions like the political forum.

Top it off with the fact that "Nation" or group threads were made which discouraged users to post in topic specific pages and instead had users lurk or just post in those specific group threads slowed down the traffic of threads being made (That and Discord did a number as well on top of all the drama that was happening between certain users).

You are not gonna get what you had 10 years ago especially with the community now consisting of members who are older, are full fledged in their careers and/or have families to provide to, no one has the time that they had 10+ years ago.

Just move on.

Here, I’ll help by posting for the first time in years. You’re welcome everybody!

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Rol's post was a bit long for my tastes but I tend to agree with him. I think the forum is quiet because the switch is dominant. I think it took a lot of the fun out of console wars.


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super_etecoon said:

The fact that you called it the PS3/360 era and omitted the Wii in that sentence is pretty telling.  

But no, your thesis seems inaccurate.  The fact is that in 2006-2010 people were more likely to visit websites and forums.  And there weren't that many of them to begin with.  These days the gaming community is spread out across a great number of robust platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, Discord, not to mention Facebook (which wasn't even a thing back during the heyday of this site, if you can believe that).  The fact that VGChartz doesn't have a very good mobile site doesn't help things and certainly doesn't encourage new usership. 

Overall I think we all should feel lucky the site even still exists some 12-15 years removed from when it had the best shot at viability.  I think we have a strong group of volunteers (and minimally paid) users who are to thank for that.

Pretty telling of what? It's general knowledge that Nintendo after the GameCube is not really in it to compete with Sony or Microsoft in a lot of ways. Different approach to console design, different business strategies, different focus on certain demographics etc. They are off doing their own thing and being mega successful at it.

The Wii won sure but the console wars of the 7th gen has always been ps3 vs 360 cuz they were basically a clone of each other, and that's why I 'omitted' the Wii. Not everything is a dig at Nintendo < 3

Edit: holy hell @ that Rol post! I need 3 business days to read analyze and give my feedback.

Last edited by Deyon - on 11 July 2023

Captain_Yuri said:

I vote to have my old username back

That could be arranged :P

Regarding the site, a number of factors for sure...

  • As some mentioned — the time period. This isn't 2006/7 anymore. The forum structure just doesn't punch the way it once did. 

  • How we distribute sales these days may have turned some folks off (though that was inevitable, VGC gets less credit than it should for even attempting what it did).
  • When the consoles were closer in numbers was the strongest point for VGC. And that makes sense. These days, Nintendo and Sony are runaway success stories. It's, for all intents and purposes, boring to many people. 

Of course, people have suggested a full overhaul to the anatomy of the site, but that's much easier said than done. But there are still plenty of folks around here, so as long as that is the case, there will always be activity!


One reason for the decline is there being less consoles to track the sales of. Now there's only three relevant systems when 15 years ago there were five to discuss. Also with Playstation being the clear winner again between Playstation and Xbox if the Switch 2 is just a standard successor that does well things will be quite static since the next few years will be pretty similar to the past several in terms of the state of the market but this time less intrigue and debate over Nintendo resulting in less discussion.

Less interest in forums, less transparency in sales data which is the whole reason the site exists.

Also the site is frankly terrible on mobile devices, which is what most people use to navigate the internet. Also bad SEO, as the only time I'll ever hear about the site when I'm not looking at it is from someone on Twitter who already knew the site existed, which isn't often.