03 November 2015

A Sad Day For The Classics

It was recently announced that Classic Game Room, produced by Mark Bussler, is scaling back significantly. For starters, their store is closing by year's end, though Mark hinted that T-Shirts may still be available in some way, and overall output of reviews and videos will be less frequent. In the past year, following the successful Kickstarter for a compilation DVD and Blu-Ray of CGR's best reviews, Mark has been bitten by the art bug, the one that led to the creation of Agent 0040oz in his past, and has now brought us both Lord Karnage and Ethel the Cyborg Ninja
Most tragically of all, though, is the closure of CGR Undertow. Undertow was the companion spin-off to the main show, run almost exclusively by Derek Buck and ultimately outliving its counterparts CGR Toys, Garage, Overboard, and Comics. It was meant to be a kind of snack-pack edition of the main channel's reviews, with several shorter reviews posted throughout the week. They often weren't as funny as Mark's videos (Sorry, Derek), but they were every bit as informative and insightful as any other game review site out there, arguably more so since CGR has been fundamentally community-driven from the start. 
I don't want to speculate on any behind-the-scenes drama or controversy, and I've no reason to believe there was any beyond Mark simply wanting to go out on a bang and focus on other projects. As for Derek, he said it himself, every toad must leave the swamp. He's a young guy with his whole life ahead of him, and while I envy his role on the site, I wouldn't want it to define my life, either. Furthermore, amid all the actual drama and controversies surrounding other gaming news sites such as Gamergate, CGR has managed to dodge every single bullet left and right with no effort. It's kind of like Red Dwarf, immensely popular and omnipresent, yet somehow cult and obscure at the same time. They fancied themselves as the cure for the corporate review, and as much as that kind of sentiment may not gel with my politics, they backed that boast with gusto. 

Derek, Mark,
if we ever meet in person, I'll buy you a drink. 

Thanks for the memories and I look forward to the new ones.