The Internet Reacts To ScreenPLAY's Cancellation

Image: Supplied

Less than a year after it was formally announced, the team behind screenPLAY announced that the show had been cancelled. It's the second cancellation of a show about video games from a major broadcaster in two years, and as expected, fans have been vocal in their displeasure at Channel Seven's decision.

The first announcement came out via the official screenPLAY account, but each of the show's hosts (Stephanie Bendixen, Nic Richardson, Miles Ross) and some of the production crew eventually expressed their sadness through their own social accounts later that evening.

Fans expressed a lot of anger at Channel Seven for the decision, while others noted that they mostly engaged with the show's content through YouTube or other channels.

Other users also questioned Seven's foresight in airing screenPLAY at the timeslot they did (having moved around on Thursday nights, before being shifted to Friday), while others questioned whether commercial Australian television is capable of supporting digital-first ventures like screenPLAY, or video games in general.

Seven's decision also means the cancellation of screenPLAY's esports league, which the network had announced was in the works in the middle of last year.

"In many ways this also represents a new, predominantly millennial audience for Seven – digital and social media natives as opposed to linear TV consumers – but one which we greatly look forward to serving directly through our exciting screenPLAY platform," Seven's chief digital officer Clive Dickens said at the time of screenPLAY's announcement.


Comments

    Why on earth would anyone start a TV show about gaming on commercial TV on 2017?

    Seriously. This kind of content is EVERYWHERE online and if anyone is savvy to that fact it’s gamers.
    Sucks for the small handful of people who had semi-prestigious free-to-air presenting gigs for a year, but I don’t see how anyone else is going to miss the content.

      I agree. It seemed like an odd choice to create the show to begin with and this outcome seemed inevitable.

      I don't think Seven every really wanted the show. What they really wanted was Steph.

    what is this thing called TV? such a strange name.

    j/k, I'm 37, it's just I haven't bothered owning or watching tv as an activity for the last 15-20 years!

    Last edited 01/05/18 10:43 am

      How do you know someone doesn't own a TV? Don't worry, they'll volunteer the information pretty quickly.

        One of the great humble brags of all time, 'Pardon? No sorry, I don't own a TV.'

          Is it the same if you own a tv but its only for gaming and netflix and the TV signal isnt even plugged in?

      That's rough buddy, watching Netflix & AnimeLab is a much better experience on the bigger screen. 4K HDR content is great.

      Last edited 04/05/18 2:09 pm

    It was never going to end well. This stuff belongs on ABC or SBS where passion out ways dollars. It was the first time i’d watched 7 in years and the last.

      I don't know why anyone would watch this on TV? There's tens of thousands of gaming channels on YouTube and lots of streamers on TwitchTV. It's not like there was ever a need for a TV show about games. No wonder both of these programs failed.

      Last edited 04/05/18 2:10 pm

    I get the idea of it more than channels constantly doing reruns of futurama etc. I grew away from watching TV because they slipped and never produced anything worth watching (like this). I suppose the Netflix model is a bit better as people can watch anything all the time

    Don't even have an antenna installed in our 2.5 yo house. No need. We watch literally everything online with the odd splat of 4k bluray if we use physical media at all.
    This content is all over youtube and other gaming sites, how this shows model was funded is beyond me. Would have worked better aiming at the VOD/streaming audience on Youtube/Twitch/insert website here.

    Hope Hex gets another shot in media. She is natural and worth a watch.

      Well, I have to say that she made her bed and now she has to lie in it. When she and Nich chose dollars and ego over loyalty they fucked over a lot of people. Karmic justice that ScreenPLAY has now failed. I'm sure she'll pop up again somewhere, but hopefully she has learned a lesson here.

        That's not true. The ABC was cutting content and Good Game was on the chopping block. Steph and Nich did what anybody would do in their situation, they abandoned the sinking ship.

          Oh yeah? So was there ever any official comment from ABC that Good Game was being cancelled anyway, or is that just Lucasing by Stephanie/Nich apologists? #HanShotFirst

            Curiously, where are you getting your information from that they fucked people over? I was also under the impression that ABC was cutting it due to funds, It's all been a bit downhill for ABC ever since triple J voiced their political opinions when ABC itself is supposed to be "unbiased"

            No comment from the ABC, but the statements from Bajo and Steph definitely alluded to it. It’s also well known that the wrecking ball was crashing through the ABC at the time.. It hit Triple J quite hard too.

            I definitely wouldn’t be blaming Nich and Steph for their current employment status, but if that’s what you call justice, then go for it edgelord.

              LOL, edgelord my arsehole.

              https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/game-over-at-31-why-abc-tv-host-hex-decided-it-was-time-to-switch-over-20170206-gu6kia.html

              The telegenic presenter had been offered more money to make the switch...

              ...Bendixsen says there was no hint a move was afoot to axe the show.

              This may not have been the ONLY factor that caused the ABC to shutter the show, but the ABC described it as a "major setback". I personally would have had a crack with Bajo and Goose, but that's irrelevant.

              Bottom line. She got offered more money. Got told she'd better make the switch now before she got too old. Decided she would stab her ABC colleagues in the back by jumping ship, thus contributing to the demise of the show. I include Nich in this assessment as well, so don't think I'm being misogynistic or anything. In his defence though, he was way less important to the show than Steph.

                you call persuing career opportunities whilst they are available 'backstabbing' ?

                Thanks for the article, it backs me up completely. Even though there was no immediate fear of the axe; Good Game was asked to change it’s format, likely a focus on Spawn Point (as we saw when Hex left). She saw the writing on the wall and took another job offer. That’s how the world works.. You can’t blame her for that.

                If Good Game was not in trouble, they wouldn’t have axed it because a presenter left. End of story.

                Last edited 02/05/18 10:03 am

                "You can't call me sexist while I'm being sexist. Because fuck that man too."

                  Sorry when did anything I say have anything to do with Steph being female? I think you are being a bit trigger-happy there...

        Wish I could upvote this more than once, the hole left in my heart by Goodgame still hasn't healed

        I dont quite get that attitude mate. Are you telling me if a company approached you with a better offer and a raise on the career path you chose you wouldnt take it?

        Am i still cut GG was cancelled.. of course. Even ScreenPLAY couldnt fill that void completely. But I dont begrudge nich and hex for their decision to leave. Everyone moves on eventually... heck even Bajo has moved on from GG

          Money isn't everything, but context is: a good offer from Seven for a show like this evidently isn't worth very much, is it? Hindsight is 20:20, sure, but even when it started there were people worried that Seven would botch and/or cancel it. I can't help but feel that the choice to jump ship was ultimately short-sighted.

          In those circumstances I would not have accepted the offer.

    Or the more common reaction “what the hell is screenPLAY”

    I can't say I ever watched it, and have to echo other comments that free to air is basically dead to me.

    But that's not to say a good video game show can't work.

    My favourite video game tv show is/was VideoGaiden/Consolevania, a show that started up as a web series before BBC picked it up.

    It was great, because the show wasn't just about the video games, it was about the presenters. Robert Florence is a writer and a comedian. The show was him and co-host Ryan MacLeod riffing off the games, making funny jokes, satirical sketches or just enjoyable meditations on video games that communicated a real love for gaming.

    It was funny, smart, didn't really have a news segment, and its reviews were barely reviews. And that's why I still enjoy watching it.

      Its a simple problem that niche shows like GG and Screenplah are slow burn. They will never be total ratings killers and require being tended to and supported till they get a very loyal fan base. Only then do they start getting returns

      Commercial F2A tv doesnt do this type of programming anymore. They want instant bucks and instant ratings now. Why do you think original aussie tv is dead outside of sbs and abc?

        I do agree, and it's noteworthy that Consolevania was on the BBC, and the only other game tv show I like was Gameswipe, also on the BBC. Gameswipe, by the way, comes from Charles Brooker, who, among other things, did Black Mirror.

        My point is more I never watched Goodgame or Screenplay and I'm a lifelong gamer since Battle Chess and Prince of Persia back in the day. I wouldn't watch these shows because they don't give me anything I couldn't see elsewhere.

        Consolevania and Gameswipe, though, are genuinely unique. I don't know if there are more recent media personalities that could do something similar, but could you imagine a video game show created by John Safran? Or could you imagine a documentary of video games steeped in video game nostalgia presented by Shaun Micallef? That would kind of be the equivalent. That would be a show I would watch and I suspect, so would a lot of other people. But neither of them are probably even gamers, and getting someone genuinely interesting and funny on that sort of level who is also a gamer would be unlikely.

          could you imagine a video game show created by John Safran? Or could you imagine a documentary of video games steeped in video game nostalgia presented by Shaun Micallef?Sign me the fuck up.

          Would settle for @dkzeitgeist though.

    Haven't watched F2A TV in 15 years +.

    I had to organise The Bachelorette for my wife last year using the TEN online portal thing and **** me, what an atrocious mess of ads that was.

    TV has its time and place, sadly video games show's don't work on TV.

    I think everyone agrees with this and Channel 7 should just stick to making crap shows
    like MKR.

      Actually they do.... the popularity of Good Game to the point it created a spin off is proof it can work.

      The problem is the expectation that such shows will be sudden instant ratings killers. These shows are slow burns that require support to build a fan base. I mean lets be honest GG probably wasnt the huge show it became during its early years it took a while for the fans and word of mouth to go.. but when they got built up you had a very loyal following there.

      Normal commercial tv us all about just tossing in cash and expecting to get lightning in a bottle instantly

        Honestly though, I only watched a handful of GG episodes on TV. Back in the day I'd download episodes through iTunes and later I watched on iView… Admittedly though, I probably wouldn't have known about the show if it weren't on TV.
        screenPLAY was only (properly) viewable through 7's terrible online streaming, and at the awful times they allocated. The YT content was naff content copying everything else on the service; not even as distinct at GG Pocket was.

    Good Game for me was the only one worth watching, and it is a shame that it was sacrificed to give this venture on channel 7 a go.

    If the staff at Good Game had stayed where they were, GG would would be still going strong as it was prior and we'd still have a show about video games made from Australia for Australian TV. Now we don't. So was it worth it? I say not.

    Last edited 01/05/18 4:01 pm

      Do you really believe that? Honestly? Or is there a little bit of hope thrown in?

    It sucks in that they were putting out high quality content with great hosts but didn't get the viewership and then you see on youtube crappy content with annoying people but they get millions of views. Hope to see them again soon. So nice to speak to in person.

    I hope Steph can keep this team together, or even bring some "former" TV Gaming personalities and keep some sort of Good Game/ScreenPLAY show going, even if it is a Twitch/YouTube thing with Patreon Support.

    Australia deserves some sort of gaming/entertainment production yes there is Player Attack on community television with Jessica Citizen, but let's change the model from needing TV backing to something like Kinda Funny, and in future evolving into Rooster Teeth like quality.

    The main issue I see with Channel 7 wanted something like Good Game, yet I never saw any advertisements on their "Primary" channel advertising anything for their "Secondary/Tertiary" channels, as someone who grew up with 5x Free to Air channels I tend to stay on the main channels 95% of the time so you need to see advertisements spread to all channels within their network to get people watching.

      Steph had her chance to 'keep this team together' back at Good Game, but we saw that she just wasn't interested in anything other than her own career advancement. I wouldn't hold my breath. That being said, I'm sure she'll pop up somewhere doing something sooner or later. She's clearly talented and popular.

    Honestly who watches TV to get a once a week videogame show.

    This should have been thrown on a streaming service.

    with the Advent of Youtube / Titch / Etc. Who is clamouring around the TV to get their review and news from a TV show. This isnt the 80's/90's

    Screenplay . . . oh, that was that tiny show stuck between huge banks of television ads.

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