Good Game Has Been Cancelled

Image: Good Game

ABC2’s Good Game, Australia’s longest running television show about video games, has been cancelled.

Announced today, the decision to axe Good Game appeared to come as a last-minute shock to its production team. Host Stephanie “Hex” Bendixsen said at the end of December’s season finale that the show would return mid-February. The Good Game website still states that 2017 episodes will be “available soon”. And up until last Monday, Good Game’s Twitter seemed to believe that they were returning as well.

Unfortunately, it is not to be, and season 10’s finale will now be the series finale.

Good Game’s children’s show on ABC ME, Good Game: Spawn Point, will continue, albeit in an as yet unspecified alternate format. Good Game: Spawn Point debuted on 20 February 2010, and only reviews games rated G or PG.

Hosted by Steven “Bajo” O’Donnell and Stephanie “Hex” Bendixsen, Good Game was created in 2006 by Janet “Sydski” Carr, Michael “Kapowski” Makowski and Jeremy “Junglist” Ray.

Good Game celebrated its 10th anniversary last September with an hour-long birthday special in front of a live audience, which seemed to indicate that it was only going from strength to strength. There was a recent production shake-up, with Carr moving on from her role as Executive Producer at the end of last year, but a replacement had been instated. There was no indication the show would not continue.

There has been no official word regarding the fate of Good Game’s online shows, which were launched over the last two years. Good Game: Well Played covers esports, and was previously hosted by Michael “Hingers” Hing (who has since left to host the League of Legends’ Oceanic Pro League). It is currently hosted by Angharad “Rad” Yeo. Good Game: Pocket, hosted by Nich “Nichboy” Richardson, is a daily news and gameplay show.

The show’s cancellation was attributed to the decision of two of Good Game’s hosts to pursue other opportunities, as well as its audience's increasing tendency to find gaming information from other sources.

Both the show and games themselves have changed significantly since the first episode of Good Game back in 2006. Hosted by Kapowski and Junglist, it reviewed the then-new game Saints Row and looked at trailers for Portal, Team Fortress 2 and Crysis. It also featured creepy yellow monkey mascot P-Nutz.

As we wrote last September, it’s difficult to imagine a world without Good Game. Regardless of whether you enjoyed the show or not, there is no denying that it was an integral part of the Australian gaming scene. It’s a devastating loss, and leaves a massive void in Australian gaming media.

Goodnight, Good Game. Until next time, may all your games be good ones.

Update [11:50AM]: It has been confirmed that none of the shows aside from Good Game: Spawn Point are continuing.

Update [12:11PM]: Good Game has confirmed that the two hosts leaving are Stephanie “Hex” Bendixsen and Nich “Nichboy” Richardson.

Update [12:47PM]: Senior producer Peter Burns has criticised the ABC, saying the cancellation of Pocket was “absurd” and that the online series was “the exact show the ABC should have been making”.

Update [8:53PM]: Presenter Gus “Goose” Ronald also put out a statement on Twitter earlier today.

Disclosure: Amanda Yeo is the sister of Angharad “Rad” Yeo.


Comments

    Liked it in the early days then they added some robot to it and some crappy segments in between.

    Felt like its demographic sunk about 20 years when that was introduced.

    Sad news, i haven't watched the show for a long time but i remember it fondly, it was pretty cool that our government was funding a show about video games.

    10 years is a great achievement and all the guys who worked on the show should be proud.

    Interesting, I thought it was only growing in popularity ... well, I guess more people are just watching YouTube streamers, Twitch and such for this info now.

    That is a shame but I only watched maybe half a dozen eps last year.
    Then again I don't really watch TV and some of those were on catch-up
    And after the shit-storm they had when they hired Hex to replace Junglist it sounds like they might have had to replace both of them (or maybe it was goose and one of them) and figured it wasn't worth the risk if it alienating a bunch of their viewers

      That was 8 years ago lol, pretty sure noone cared after the first or second year.

        There are still losers on social media complaining about it even in light of this terrible news
        But this would be the first change to the core presenters since then so using the concept of what happened last time as a reference isn't too much of a stretch.
        It is the sort of justification that somebody looking for reasons to cut budgets would have raised as a reason with the departure of Hex and Nichboy

    That's a damn shame. Good Game was accessible, entertaining, and visible on a major network. Best wishes to those who left, and good luck to those who remain, hopefully they continue to produce content like this at the ABC.

      There's a lot of talent in the cast and crew. Even if they don't stay with the ABC, I'm sure they'll land on their feet.

        Would be cool if they did a GiantBomb-esque move and set up their own video-casting / review site ... maybe not the necessary size in the Australian market tomake worthwhile though.

        I really enjoyed NichBoy's work on The Roast - another excellent show that got axed too soon.

    I know it's just a TV show, but I'm genuinely upset by this. I've been watching Good Game since the very first episode, and while it had a shaky start, it's got better and better over the years.

    Getting to actually meet and talk to Bajo and Dave Callan at the very first PAX AUS some years ago is one of my best memories of that event, and I hope that the entire team, whatever they do from here, continue to be engaged with the Australian gaming community.

      GG was the only TV show I would tune in to watch. It's been a part of my life since forever and I'm really going to miss watching the hosts getting into all sorts of shenanigans. I didn't get my gaming "news" from GG, but it was highly entertaining. Now I've lost a day in my week that I looked forward too. It's going to be a sad Tuesday without them

      Last edited 31/01/17 11:44 am

      Seriously outside of GG and SBS Food Network I rarely watch "commercial tv" anymore with the advent of catch-up, youtube and netflix.

      It's a damn crying shame I loved shenanigans of both their show and live shows =(

      I have nothing to look forward to to fill in my time in between weeks =(

    I'm sure major cuts to the ABCs budget had absolutely nothing to do with this

      Sad news. After the program’s summer break, two of the key presenters of Good Game announced they were leaving to pursue other opportunities.

        And I'm sure cuts to ABCs budget had nothing to do with their decisions.

        Last edited 31/01/17 12:00 pm

          Hex and Nichboy left to pursue other passions... But keep fightn teh guvmint man!

            Update to the article, budget cuts were the reason for the cancellation of Pocket.

              No it says "money = manpower"... Which is obvious.

              The ABC could have other projects, so many other things.

              Most likely will re-divert funding to something that brings in viewers or new viewers.

              Spawnpoint obviously was the show pulling more viewers (or it could come from a different set of funding)... Thus lives on. The side shows probably didn't and without the main show become redundant.

                Re-diverting funds equates to cutting the budget of those shows that are cancelled.

                  No it's called cancelling the show. But hey it's always the governments fault...

                  I blame Trump.... Yawn

                Spawnpoint would have been the least effort to work around as opposed to the main GG program.

                It fits perfectly well with the existing kids line-up on ABC4Kids and requires less "field work" as the main program (ie. E3 coverage, doing articles on the Indie scene, Victorias gaming programs, etc.) as its just reviews + letters of the day stuff.

                In other words it's the "cheapest" one to maintain without having to worry about the middle aged demographic that ABC traditionally doesn't cater for much.

            A presenter leaving doesn't end the show, there is plenty of talented people who can fill a presenter role if there is a will to keep the show on air.

      Trust me, the ABC doesn't need cuts to axe shows and by association jobs.

      They seem motivated enough to do so on their own.

    Fare thee well GG. I might not have watched you in years, but you definitely flew the flag for gaming in Australia. Oh well. Here's hoping like "The Zone" before you, you're remembered fondly by geeks aplenty.

      Like others, I used to watch GG back in the dark ages. In truth, Hex just put me off when I first saw her so I just stopped watching.

      To me, she just seemed all attitude for the wrong reasons and I didn't feel she represented the female demographic.

      My view aside, it is sad to see this go. But at the same time it does not surprise me.

      For over a decade now at least, the ABC has been thumbing its nose at its obligations as a public broadcaster and behaves like a corporate broadcaster (al la Channel 9, etc).

        Really? Hex was fairly down to earth as a host actually... she had to be ying to bajo's yang shenanigans in the show.

        She really grew into the show after the first year jitters + drama.

          OK. She just seemed to me like a living version of all that was bad with Lightning from FF13 or the more ansty versions of Lara Croft.

          It was only around five episodes before I stopped so looks like I simply didn't give her the chance.

          At the same time, this was during my PhD righting days; didn't have much patience and was under a lot of stress so the littlest thing just put me off.

          Views aside though, the sadder part in all this some are already trying to engineer a unfound political statement of all this.

          I don't see why the ABC should be treated as a pure, unquestionable entity. The corporation (that is what it is called) has long stopped keeping the public interest in hear and is only protecting itself and the higher execs within.

          The ABC we have now is nothing like the balanced version over a decade ago. Left or right, it doesn't matter; it is not in the middle anymore and puts its own interests ahead of the public now.

            Lol... yeah I can actually see people thinking that about Hex on her first season. She had the whole "punk" look and was rather stiff in her delivery for that season and literally just wasn't sure how she would be "presenting" for the show.

            She literally loosened up later on though and had a great flow with the shenanigan/funny banter with Bajo as she got used to the position.

            As for the political side of things.... eh I choose not to touch that. I watch GG for entertainment.

            But to be pefectly fair "public interest" is basically just whatever the government dictates at the time for the network. Since it's public funded you are never ever going to get that middle because they have to answer to whoever is in charge (ie. the sitting government) or else they loose funding and get cutbacks. I'd say it's even worse for ABC since w/o private funding they're almost always on a leash. ABC hasn't been "hands-off" for a very long time

    This is really sad news. That the ABC was supporting a professional show about video games was one highlight of the TV schedule. Would love to find out who went where? From her Instagram account Steph seems like she's moving on to other things, but was that a result of the change or a cause? In any case, Australian TV will be worse off for it.

    @amandayeo @junglist Any chance of a retrospective on the series by Junglist? I'd love to see an article on what moments stood out for him over the life of the show.

    Surprised.

    Didn't watch, I got tired of the 2 host format where they agreed 99.9% of the time.

    But thought it had a following.

    Meh. Good riddance.
    The show was on a decline anyway. After the last season I would have put money on Bajo leaving or being forcibly replaced. The tone of the show changed from goofy and light hearted to Ultra serious and you could see personal politics entering almost every other story produced on the show. Even the games featured on the show changed from games people were playing to basically promotional spots for indie games that Hex wanted to push. When they did cover big games, Hex's personal politics would often be brought up as the reason she'd score the games low. Bajo would sit there during these moments silently with no opinion at all. In fact, a lot of the 2016 season featured Bajo saying very little.

    However, I've got nothing but praise for Janet Carr as producer. A lovely woman who cared deeply about the show and the fans. She'd go out of her way to address any complaints te fans had in a nice and civil manner. She also has one of the quickest wits on Twitter, having shared many a joke with her on the platform. I also feel for Goose, the poor underrated guy in all this. Top bloke and a real nice guy who often would be forgotten in news posts (notice he's the only name missing in this article?).

    Bajo stated on Twitter that he'll stick with Spawn Point by the way.

    Update: So because Hex leaves the show ends. Yet I'm getting downvotes for pointing out her influence in the decision making process of the show?
    So what we got over here? A Cuppa Haters!

    Last edited 31/01/17 12:25 pm

      Upvoted your post.

      I don't necessarily agree with your opinion, but your post is quite nicely communicated and your points made are perfectly valid. I don't know why people need to treat downvote=disagree all the time. Surrounding yourself with your own opinion is a dangerous way to live life, guys.

        Thanks man. While I don't expect people to agree with me, sometimes a "Agree to Disagree" is good enough. Too many people like to echo-chamber themselves about things these days.

          Eh I'm in moderation hell.....

          The usual 5 suspects.... Maybe if I somehow blame Trump or "conservatives" next time?

          Or just blame the government.

      Downvotes probably rolling in from putting the blame on someone people like. I don't think you're wrong though; if she alone chose not to leave, then the show would probably continue.
      I can't blame her for wanting to leave after 8 years though, nor should she have to continue being on the show if she no longer wants to, regardless of the outcome.

      A bit disappointing if what you say about personal politics is true. It's stuff like that killed Cracked.

      The other theory is of course ABC just won't bother w/ 2 GG and decided to just cash in on the SP one since it blends in with their children programs.

      GG was probably one of the few shows that attracted the middle demographic from ABC. So I guess go for broke and cut it off and focus on the traditional "Auntie" viewers and the kids shows again?

      But heck this is all just pointless speculation =P

      As for the show being "ultra serious".... honestly never saw that. The show was still pretty damned wacky shenanigans most of the time. Sure they had some serious stuff like when they focused on mental health week but honestly I see nothing wrong with changing things up like that once in a while... Pocket was just pure wacky goodness.

      Meanwhile for the elephant in the room Hex's personal politics in reviews... honestly IMHO it's not that bad. Compared to other reviews out there where they basically shove it in your face most of that stuff was just thrown in personal comments as to why she disapproved she and bajo very quickly goes back to talking about the game anyway. I didn't agree with some of the stuff she said.. but she was still down to playing a game and scoring it decently if it was a good game mechanically or storywise in her books.

    Im surprised by how many people enjoyed the show. I watched part of an episode last year and thought it was out dated compared with YouTube etc...

    Just looked like an old TV video game show trying to hold on for dear life. Plenty of better content to watch on YouTube at any time I want.

      xenoun, I loved Good Game, and am now searching for something fill the void - at least until the new show comes out.

      You say there is plenty of better content on YouTube, but so far I've been unable to find anything quite the same, i.e. a grounded, weekly show with clearly communicated reviews from more than one person, documentary segments, fun snippets like name the game, etc. Could you please share any suggestions for me and others?

    Sad news I suppose, though I haven't watched it in years. Liked it until they got rid of Junglist and replaced him with Hex, I found her personality didn't offer any contrast to Bajo and they both sounded like pompous news reporters so I couldn't stand it.

      Is it really worth commenting about a change in the show from 8 years ago?

    GG Facebook confirmed it was Hex and Nichboy who left

      What a shock... NOT!
      Looking at the comments on here, not many people cared for Hex. However because she leaves the show ends... Shows how much influence she had on decision makers there.

        I don't understand the hate for Hex or the love for Junglist. Watched Junglist when he moved to another gaming show shortly after leaving GG and he was awful.
        That, and it was like 2009? It's been 7 years dammit.

          It's the same "SJWs are ruining gaming" BS. "Hex ruined it with her politics, rah rah rah". "They're pandering to minorities, stop forcing wimminz on my gaming shows", etc.

          I don't love Hex, but I don't get the fanboi-ism for Junglist either.

          Last edited 31/01/17 1:37 pm

          I didn't really care for either tbh ...

          I'd prefer (if they were going to go on) that they paired Bajo with Goose. I think they could work together quite well.

        Your earlier comment is literally the only one saying anything negative about Hex.

        I thought Hex was great.

        Her leaving doesn't equate to having undue influence on the show at all, more likely just the ABC management had been waiting for a chance to axe the show. The budget cuts are really brutal.

        The logic of that doesn't make sense. If people didn't care for Hex, then why wouldn't the showrunners replace her with someone - according to that train of thought - who had vastly more appeal with the audience instead of cancelling the show?

        The reality is that Hex was beloved by the fans, a hugedraw card for the ABC across more than just Good Game, and will go on to have a huge career.

          This is the ABC we're talking about here, you may be overestimating the depth of qualitative audience data they have at their disposal for such decisions.

          ABC aren't great at decisions though. Remember when they cancelled one of the greatest (and more importantly cheapest) Australian shows on TV just so they could play the English equivalent's repeats for a cheaper cost?

          I'll never forget you, Countdown.

            TNETENNBA

              Can you use that in a sentence?

              Milk, straight up.

                I challenge you to a game of street countdown
                What's street countdown
                It's basically the same as normal countdown but it's played on the street
                That doesn't sound dangerous
                It can get quite cold

        I watched pre and post Hex.

        Different dynamic but honestly a lot of the "Hex-hate" seems to have come from the "hardcore" GG fans of the pre-Hex seasons. And just dropped the show w/o giving her too much of a chance because Jung got kicked or because the show got more "mainstream".

        Which is a fair enough call if the show isn't any longer to your taste... but Hex did have a decent amount of fans as well. Heck I found her fairly down to earth even on the live show and Q&A stuff.

    Compounded with all the other crap going on in the world, I think this has just about broken me.

    Based on what Bajo said on twitter, the "new format" Spawn Point will be something similar to what currently exists with "Angharad, Bajo, DARREN and Goose", so at least the series will continue in some capacity.

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