G4 pulls the plug on their video game content

Matt Hawkins Contributing Writer, Video Games

The first and only network dedicated to video games, G4, has been a shell of its former self for years now, but the final vestiges are being dumped by year’s end.

g4 G4 pulls the plug on their video game content

G4TV

Word came on Friday that X-Play and Attack of the Show will cease production by the end of 2012. According to the network, both shows will end their runs by looking back at the fun times that have been had.

Oh, and people who produce video game content for G4TV.com are also getting the axe. This is all part of their effort to rebrand the network as an outlet that caters to men’s lifestyle as a whole (for the second time, actually). Fair enough, but men like playing video games, last I checked. Why not keep both shows around?

Here’s a brief history of the network: G4 began in 2002 as a station purely focused on video games, and it was awesome. The first few years were rather rough around the edges, but like how MTV was during its infancy. It felt like the start of something new and fresh.

Unfortunately, I’m a person that digs video games and television, and there’s not too many like myself. Their target audience, that being hardcore gamers, simply weren’t interested. So they began adding proven ratings draws to the line-up, like Cops and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Not the worst idea, but it was the beginning of the end.

Time to backtrack a bit: G4 was founded by Comcast, and essentially based upon TechTV, but for a younger, hipper audience. In order to ensure G4′s popularity, Comcast dropped TechTV from their cable line-ups, which was a fairly underhanded way of devaluing their competitor. Mostly in hopes of eventually acquiring and merging the two.

Which is what happened. But instead of bringing the best that TechTV had to offer onto G4, to strengthen the brand and give it a sense of legitimacy among viewers, G4 also announced a shift in focus, their first stab at an overall more male-focused approach. Which is why absolutely none of TechTV’s assets were used, except for The Screen Savers, its most popular show.

And then they got rid of the hosts and replaced them with prettier, but not nearly as informed or endearing personalities. Thus the reign of Olivia Munn began. This was the first real sign that G4′s executives were total idiots.

From that point forward, G4 delivered video game content, which at its core was quite fine, but grating personalities whose lack of interest in the subject matter was fairly evident. Which has obviously worked, because look at where we are now.

Oh well. At least we got Ninja Warrior out of the process. That show is still awesome, no matter what.

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