A Terrible Year For Games Media Just Got A Little Better

Animated versions of the new staff of Aftermath appear in front of a pink background.
Animated versions of the new staff of Aftermath appear in front of a pink background.

So many great video game websites have died, it’s nice to finally see some new ones being born. The latest is called Aftermath, a subscriber-funded venture by former Kotaku staffers. Full disclosure: I worked with all of these people for years and they are amazing.

Co-founded by Nathan Grayson, Gita Jackson, Riley MacLeod, and Luke Plunkett, Aftermath will be a website focused on video games and internet culture. Unlike most of the ones you already love, however, the media company behind it will be worker-owned and funded by subscriptions rather than rapidly evaporating digital ad revenue. Highlight Reel creator Chris Person will also be a featured contributor, along with Insert Credits’ Alex Jaffe and a bunch of other freelancers.

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Subscriptions will run $7 a month or $70 for the year to get access to all articles and bonus podcast episodes. A $10-a-month tier ($100 a year) unlocks commenting and gives you the keys to the Aftermath community Discord server. It’s a business model similar to the one used by Defector, 404 Media, and Hell Gate, all great websites you may have recently decided were worth paying for.

Remap is another, helmed by former Waypoint staffers after Vice imploded and tried to shortchange laid-off employees on severance while paying executives giant bonuses. That outlet, which recently launched a website of its own, showed that even in a year of slashed budgets, continued layoffs, and head-scratching closures, the hope for a new way of funding good games media springs eternal. I’m excited to watch Aftermath do the same.

Correction 11/7/2023 2:47 p.m. ET: A previous version of this article confused writer Alex Jaffe with League of Legends dev Alex Jaffe. We regret the error!

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