iTunes Gives VirginWorlds the Shaft
Oct 17, 2007 01:59:19

Well, after being there for pretty much a year solid, VirginWorlds has been ousted from the featured game page in iTunes. They show 15 podcasts on the feature page. VirginWorlds and GFW Radio were always fighting for slot 15, but now we're ranked 16 and 17. Why?

Halo is reason number one. The Official Bungie podcast came out of nowhere and rocketed straight to number one, even surpassing X-Play. This is understandable considering the current Halo climate.

The other reason is the one that is a serious bummer. The Penny Arcade Podcast. Why is this a bummer? Two reasons: 1) They never ever update the darn thing and 2) It's complete crap.

Poor me. The rest of the podcasts I can totally understand. They're either consistent XBox podcasts, solid general gaming shows like the 1UP podcasts, PC Gamer and MOG or WoW shows such as The Instance, World of Warcast and WoW Chron (woot!) But The Penny Arcade show? Oy.

What can be done about this? Really only a few things. Post an iTunes review if you haven't. The top ranked podcasts have oodles of reviews. Also, tell your friends about VirginWorlds. Buy your MMO friends and iPod for the holidays. :) And while this is a late-night-cranky-at-Penny-Arcade-post, I do appreciate the support. Thanks much.


Submitted by Brent on Oct 17, 2007 01:59:19 CST (comments: 21)


'Penny Arcade Blows...' by RadarX
Submitted on 2007-10-17 09:07:18 CST
Not that I really need reason to crack on them. The ocasionally funny cartoon and charity organization is their only saving grace in my eyes. I didn't think it possible to get any more random or opinionated than their daily ramblings but thank you Brent for opening my eyes to the podcast and raising the bar.

Hopefully as your show gets bigger you can bump somebody off. If nothing else even the Halo fans are going to get tired of talking about Halo eventually.

'In defense...' by Scott
Submitted on 2007-10-17 12:23:09 CST
Brent only said the Penny Arcade PODCAST blows. I don't think you'll be able to find a gamer with anything bad to say about their charitiable contributions or the awesome job they do on their cartoon.

They're not the only respected game site to have a poorly managed podcast, either due to poor production quality or the lack of any schedule for shows.

'Nothing to Defend...' by RadarX
Submitted on 2007-10-17 13:06:00 CST
I never argued PA had talent when it comes to their cartoon and who in their right mind would criticize the charity work? Then again I would've participated the last few years even if Microsoft had sponsored it. I'm not a fan of their daily blogs, they seem to jump all over the place and the podcast has so far sounded very similar.

And you are absolutely correct, there are plenty of large networks with poorly managed podcasts, but the difference is, they aren't on this list. It's taking up space which could be dedicated to something that not only is current, but more informative.

'of course' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-10-17 14:25:19 CST
Oh of course. Don't take this to mean that I have a problem with Penny Arcade as a whole or PAX and all that. I'm not a raving fan of the comic or other content but I also recognize that any malice I might direct toward what those guys have done is purely rooted in jealousy. :)

But boy does the podcast suck.

'Could lessons be learned?' by matrixgmbh
Submitted on 2007-10-17 15:53:37 CST
I'm bewildered by the negative comments about the PA podcast. I'm pretty new to the world of gaming podcasters, but Downloadable Content definitely stuck out as one of the better ones. I'm not stuck listening to ostentatious intro music or verbose apologies about the quality of audio recording. I mean, DC makes no bones that just it's Mike and Jerry sitting in a room talking about games and making the strip. And thank god, 'cause if they began each show with a five minute exposition on what they were going to joke about that episode they'd lose me as a listener.

For comparison, here's what I've been listening to on a regular basis: Press Start, Channel Massive, Gaming Steve, VirginWorlds 1Up Yours, 2d6 Feet.

'Gaming Steve?' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-10-17 15:57:06 CST
He hasn't done a show in 7 months, and before that he skipped another 7 months...

'regarding reviews' by twistah
Submitted on 2007-10-17 15:58:48 CST
Are reviews regional ? In my iTunes, Virginworlds have no, zero, zip reviews. Are this my national or european version of the VW page ?

Also, in my iTunes, a norwegian podcast rule the top spot on the first page. Guess its localization for that at least...

'Yes - localization is in effect' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-10-17 16:06:58 CST
Yes twistah. Everything in iTunes is localized. No comments over there? I guess I'm hated in Europe. I wonder how i could log into to those versions from here to see the status and comments worldwide.

'Damn my tiny country...' by twistah
Submitted on 2007-10-17 16:15:22 CST
Localization: understand. Even if you could log in, would you be able to understand it ?
At least now you got a very nice rating average after I submitted the first one. ;)

'I could be listening to crap...' by matrixgmbh
Submitted on 2007-10-17 16:22:18 CST
I'm not saying Gaming Steve is great - in fact, I'm not even subscribed any more. I just wanted to give some context for my sentiment that DC was one of the better gaming podcasts out there.

And you could definitely make the same complaint about DC what with their several month breaks - I know I forget they even do the show until I see it crop up on the news page.

Don't get me wrong, I like VW, but it's dismissive to say "X sucks" with out considering what made X popular in the first place.

'Cardinal Sin of Podcasts' by Scott
Submitted on 2007-10-17 16:23:28 CST
Not sticking to your promised or a regular shedule is the worst thing a podcast producer can do.

Escapist Magazine also comes to mind as an offender of this back when I first picked up their official podcast launch quite some time ago. Gaming Steve was another, as Brent pointed out with a huge gap in his and the usual apologies.

I've unsubscribed from many podcast's that podfaded like that, simply not worth keeping in a list in the hopes they'll post a brief audio apologizing for disapearing and they'll have something back up "soon".

'Europe and iTunes' by Sente
Submitted on 2007-10-17 17:25:42 CST
Since I don't have an iPod or a Mac I don't use iTunes, I'm not sure how localized iTunes is here - but I doubt that there would be a "European" localization. We have over 40 countries in Europe, most of them with a language associated with that country specifically.

You could be hated in one country Brent but be considered a godsend in most others ;)

As far as I know, IPods does not have quite the same market penetration here as in the US, so there would be a higher percentage of people not using iTunes to fulfill their podcast needs.

'iTunes' by Brad
Submitted on 2007-10-18 14:02:02 CST
I can't say much for the other podcasts shown, but I think the Instance is top notch for a WOW podcast. I get all my other gaming news from Brent, Shawn, and Lady Sinaea. I have heard that at one time, unsubscribing/resubscribing peaks the numbers in the mysterious iTunes formula.

Maybe just change the logo, slap a pic of your wife in that bikini you mentioned in an earlier podcast, perhaps that can be an attention getter! (just kidding).

'iTunes' by franglais1969
Submitted on 2007-10-18 14:09:33 CST
So sorry to hear you have slipped out of the Top 15, Brent. I was one of the very first people to post a review about your podcast on ITunes, well over a year ago now.

Be positive, and I am sure you will get your spot back. :)

'Nothing wrong with this, but...' by Fraeon
Submitted on 2007-10-20 08:03:36 CST
"I mean, DC makes no bones that just it's Mike and Jerry sitting in a room talking about games and making the strip. "

Yeah, but they're just not terribly interesting to listening to. It just seems like they don't have much to say about what they're talking about.

The GFW Radio guys, for example, do this a lot better. And the podcast is exactly just about a bunch of guys sitting in a room talking about video games and throwing off-beat commentary here and there.

And I know I have no right complaining about free entertainment but I'll do it ANYWAY, beef with Gaming Steve isn't that he dropped off the face of the earth, but that he just leaves the audience hanging. It seems like he doesn't wanti to say anything about his disappearance. How much does it take to tell your listeners that your podcast is on hiatus? I'd say "not much", but I'm not the podcaster here.

'podfader' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-10-20 16:59:03 CST
Yeah, I have the same issue with Gaming Steve. There's simply no excuse for vanishing for several months and not at the very least taking 60 seconds to say so on his blog, even in the comments. What's almost more annoying are the seemingly limitless amount of apologists he has who don't seem to notice or care that he's treating his most die-hard fans like crap by not having the common sense to inform them of his plans or lack thereof. The entire thing is mind boggling and even more disappointing because I really admired what he was doing and took many cues from him when I started VirginWorlds. Oh well.

'Another bad one is...' by dominici
Submitted on 2007-10-21 22:03:36 CST
No disrespect, Brent, I know you're friends with the guys from MOG Army, but I think your podcast should take their place on the rankings. I can tell they're extremely knowledgeable when it comes to MMOs and games, but it's hard to filter any of that through their dribble and infantile antics. I stopped listening to MOG after their World of Whorecraft episode. Nothing to do with being a prude, I just want a decent informative podcast about MMOs and games. I understand that the kind of "banter" style that MOG delivers can be appealing to many, I'm saying that a podcast like "Gamers With Jobs" delivers that with more wit and style. Anyway, Brent, I hope you hit the top ranks again soon, you certainly deserve it!

'Was Going to Leave a Review, but...' by tirephus
Submitted on 2007-10-22 07:05:10 CST
Since I needed to give them a CC# to post, I just starred up a couple of them. Very uncool of Apple.

I might suggest you pimp your #70 "How to Make a Podcast" podcast as well - I've been looking into doing my own and after an afternoon of reading podcast books, there was very little I didnt know after listening to yours.

'Hey...I actually like the Penny Arcade Podcast and heres why' by Gooney
Submitted on 2007-10-26 04:14:50 CST
If you listen to the podcast you get a glimps into the creative process of a couple comic artists.

Now if your not interested in that process then that podcast is complete crap, which I understand.

Art creation is messy business, PA Podcast illustrates that, 2 guys go into a room and basically start talking throwing ideas back and fourth until they start to home in on the basic idea. Once they have that idea they start polishing it, throwing out more ideas until they find something that makes both of them laugh. Once they have that they refine it until they have something general enough that their very wide audiance can relate.

Thats why I like it, I really enjoy the creative process of it, and theres usually some laughs along the way. Just wish it came out more often.

Frankly though given the infrequency and arguably focused audiance I'm surprised its even in the top 50.


'Back in the top 15 Featured Video Game podcasts!' by ted
Submitted on 2007-11-22 15:23:40 CST
Heya Brent,

Looks like you slipped back into the featured video games shows! Comparing the 15 featured now to your screenshot it appears that both Virginworlds and The Sarcastic Gamer Podcast replaced the PC Gamer and Medispective podcasts.

Congrats Brent!

- Ted

'yay' by Brent
Submitted on 2007-11-24 14:09:23 CST
Hey, you're right. Precariously perched at the last position. Good deal.

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