So I’ve been reading a bit more of video game related posts for either research or leisure reading, and I’ve begun noticed some interesting trends. These may apply to a variety of different sites, but for the purposes of this article I am going to focus on three. These are IGN, Kotaku, and RockPaperShotgun. There are two interesting behaviors I’ve seen involving these websites. There is a serious lack of outgoing links on large websites. There does seem to be incoming links though, more so for Kotaku than IGN. There is also the difference in content styling between IGN and Kotaku.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a link on IGN that goes to another site, they are internal links(this is excluding ads of course). While this may make finding content within IGN easy it makes it hard to branch out to other sites if you want to. Another thing is that even though they are this huge site there doesn’t seem to be a lot of inbound links either. While surfing the web I rarely see links to IGN. It is almost as if everyone their readers are so established that nobody bothers with links to IGN anymore. That doesn’t really seem to be the case with Kotaku though, there are plenty of external links leading to Kotaku. The most likely explanation of this is that it is due to the content. Kotaku often posts very opinion heavy pieces which promote discussion, while IGN focuses on news and game reviews. I’m not supporting either type of site, but I think that those differences in content probably explain some of the differences in web traffic. As for that matter it is interesting to me that such an opinion based website like kotaku got so big. I would actually put those two at the extremes of the spectrum. IGN being very corporate and professional, and Kotaku being more informal. I feel that they should honestly each move more towards the middle. IGN feels like a giant mega conglomerate that only cares about profit and Kotaku feels informal to the point of being inaccurate. One site that I think does a good job of balancing professionalism and opinion pieces if RockPaperShotgun. They are a PC gaming site that releases news, reviews and other gaming related articles on a regular basis. They openly criticize review scores which is something that IGN does heavily, I think to the point of detriment. Check out this post that covers that topic in detail. I think gaming websites should move more towards the type of content that RockPaperShotgun releases. While it is unique content, I don’t like that RPS is very limited in its scope. I would love to see viewpoints similar to theirs applied to other gaming medium, not just PC stuff.