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Russ Frushtick Is Leaving Polygon

From the Polygon forums:
In what may come as a surprise to some people, today is my last day working at Polygon.

Why am I leaving?

Well, honestly, I'm ready. I've decided to take a break from doing the full-time games media work. I've been doing this for more than 12 years and it has vacillated from being exciting to being enraging but, overall, it has been a dream job and I consider myself extremely lucky to have started when I did.

But, there comes a day when you feel like you're not learning as much as you were, or you're not conquering as many new challenges as you used to. Even with awesome, amazing jobs like this, there comes a time when you feel like you need to try something fresh. Something new. That's been buzzing in my ear for the last few months and, as of two weeks ago, I let my boss, Chris Grant, know that I was taking the leap. (He was super cool about it, by the way.)

This shouldn't be taken as a disparagement of Polygon or the amazing team that works here. I am constantly in awe of the talent and dedication on this team and consider many of them life-long friends. Absolutely the hardest part of the decision was having to give up working with this fantastic group on a daily basis.

Without belaboring the point, building Polygon has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I couldn't be prouder of the site that I'm now leaving.

The same goes for Vox Media, which continues to do amazing things both on the technological side and on the journalistic side. I still have extremely high expectations for a company that was considerably smaller when I joined two-and-a-half years ago.

You may continue to see my byline or my face here and there on the internet-at-large, and you'll certainly continue to see me complain about things on Twitter, so don't consider this goodbye. Really, it's just hello in another language. (That sounded deeper in my head.)

Russ

PS - For those that care, we'll still do an August episode of Besties in early September with the whole gang. Where will it go from there? That's someone else's job to figure out!

Polygon seems to be losing people left and right.
 

ajcacio

Banned
I rarely agree with his opinions on The Besties but he always played the punching bag pretty well and his dumb impressions were fun. Sad to see him go.
 
I thought this was already known, but I must be remembering someone else leaving in connection with them scaling back features.
 

takoyaki

Member
Godspeed, New York Giraffe, I'll miss you

 

BennyBlanco

aka IMurRIVAL69
I thought this was already known, but I must be remembering someone else leaving in connection with them scaling back features.

Different Russ.

This guy (frushtick) was a pretty good writer IMO. Polygon is obviously going in a different direction from people who write good articles so I'm not surprised. I'm sure he'll find a better job.
 

Coxy

Member
ah man, thats a shame, he was actually pretty good, I guess this is part of their move away from features
 

DMiz

Member
ah man, thats a shame, he was actually pretty good, I guess this is part of their move away from features

Honestly one of the worst moves, and I still can't fathom the direction outside of the fact that those articles must not be pulling in ad revenue as much as the other stuff that usually gets quoted here (which, disappointingly, seems to prove Kuchera's point that articles containing this style of content do not support websites to any degree).

It's all just such a big shame. I still remember when they posted that long-form article on the development culture at Bungie and did some video interviews with a few key members of the Destiny staff (prior to us knowing as much about Destiny as we do now!), and it was fun, well-written, and very engaging. Stuff like the interview with the voice actor that did John Marston for Rockstar was great, too.

Is there really no room in this industry for us to have journalism of that type (if not calibre)?
 

BennyBlanco

aka IMurRIVAL69
Honestly one of the worst moves, and I still can't fathom the direction outside of the fact that those articles must not be pulling in ad revenue as much as the other stuff that usually gets quoted here (which, disappointingly, seems to prove Kuchera's point that articles containing this style of content do not support websites to any degree).

It's all just such a big shame. I still remember when they posted that long-form article on the development culture at Bungie and did some video interviews with a few key members of the Destiny staff (prior to us knowing as much about Destiny as we do now!), and it was fun, well-written, and very engaging. Stuff like the interview with the voice actor that did John Marston for Rockstar was great, too.

Is there really no room in this industry for us to have journalism of that type (if not calibre)?

The Kooch style clickbait articles generate more revenue and clicks, and generally cost nothing to make. It makes sense.
 
I enjoyed the banter on The Besties and some of their other regular programs, but it always seemed like it was more banter than actual insight into games, either as an art form or as an industry. Didn't help that they tended to just talk about mobile games when there weren't any big releases.

Put it simply: I have no idea what sorts of games any of the Polygon guys actually like.

Honestly one of the worst moves, and I still can't fathom the direction outside of the fact that those articles must not be pulling in ad revenue as much as the other stuff that usually gets quoted here (which, disappointingly, seems to prove Kuchera's point that articles containing this style of content do not support websites to any degree).

It's all just such a big shame. I still remember when they posted that long-form article on the development culture at Bungie and did some video interviews with a few key members of the Destiny staff (prior to us knowing as much about Destiny as we do now!), and it was fun, well-written, and very engaging. Stuff like the interview with the voice actor that did John Marston for Rockstar was great, too.

Is there really no room in this industry for us to have journalism of that type (if not calibre)?

The weird thing is that Polygon's sister site The Verge seems to be going strong.
 

hawk2025

Member
No quality control, bad hires, a terrible reviews editor, and clearly under-researched data driven articles with awful quality.

Polygon has been a fairly large disappointment overall, despite their great overall design and some great feature articles.
 

BennyBlanco

aka IMurRIVAL69
No quality control, bad hires, a terrible reviews editor, and clearly under-researched data driven articles with awful quality.

Polygon has been a fairly large disappointment overall, despite their great overall design and some great feature articles.

phil kollar is cool. that's pretty much all they have going for them at this point.
 

Tommy DJ

Member
Imru’ al-Qays;126665648 said:
The weird thing is that Polygon's sister site The Verge seems to be going strong.

When The Verge started, it has a lot of very good "user experience" content from the likes of people like Joanna Stern as well as very interesting longform content relevant to technology and consumer electronics. Additionally, they had killer video content. Those made The Verge a lot different from a lot of tech websites. They had a lot of content and there was a lot of effort to publish content that was both relevant and informative. Which obviously attracted a lot of people.

But the thing to note is that quantity of quality content on the The Verge has tanked hard. I suspect Vox Media wants better returns on investment and clickbait articles have been proven to be the way to go.
 
From the Polygon forums:


Polygon seems to be losing people left and right.

My only reference point for Polygon is Kuchera... and he's... well... I don't think I could paint an accurate picture of him without using some really offensive language and getting a ban.

So is there any reason not to think the same of Frushtick for simply being part of Polygon? (I honestly don't know the name... but I hear Polygon and I just start thinking negatively of whomever is being associated with the site.)
 

Shinta

Banned
The best part of Polygon was the long-form features, and that was largely up to Frusstick. So, congrats on that.

That said, moving on to something else is probably a good call. They never tried new methods of monetization, and long-form articles, while idealistic and neat, are not going to fit into any realistic business model based on eyeballs on ads.

And as time marches onward, the need for gaming journalism continues to decline. Nintendo showed that they can beat everyone at E3 coverage by doing their own thing, and they have their own Nintendo Directs year-round. Youtube and sites like NeoGAF compete with Polygon and Kotaku constantly, with unpaid amateurs doing largely the same things.

I certainly wouldn't want to bet any kind of long term future on gaming journalism.
 
I certainly wouldn't want to bet any kind of long term future on gaming journalism.

There's a medium and an industry to write about. There'll always be a games "press".

Just not one built on the decades-old model of preview/review/obsessive focus on AAA/upcoming.
 
For some reason I always feel bad when someone leaves a job, even if I dont like them. Good luck Russ, remember you have a face for writing, and not podcasting.
 
The signs were on the walls for Verge and Polygon for a while now.

Vox is doing great, but then again, Verge and Polygon started with promise too.
 

Codeblue

Member
Bullshit. They have Justin and Griffin McElroy. They're gods. Chris Plante and Brian Crecente are good too.

They just have Arthur Gies and Kooch holding the rest of the team down.

I agree, and would like to add Matt Leone to the list of things Polygon has going for them. Street Fighter 2: An Oral History is a phenomenal piece.
 

Zerokku

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?
Bullshit. They have Justin and Griffin McElroy. They're gods. Chris Plante and Brian Crecente are good too.

They just have Arthur Gies and Kooch holding the rest of the team down.

Yeah Justin McElroy, the guy who called out and made fun of fans for not liking Mass Effect 3's ending. Real swell guy.

Fuck anyone who treats their readership like that. By all means disagree with them, but don't belittle them for it.
 
Polygon is really circling the drain, quality-wise. Kuchera, McElroy, and Gies are a terrible group of writers. Condescending, arrogant, and treat their readers as though they were stupid children.

Kotaku isn't great either but their only legitimately bad writer is Patricia Hernandez.

These days I only use NeoGAF for gaming impressions and news.
 
Polygon is really circling the drain, quality-wise. Kuchera, McElroy, and Gies are a terrible group of writers. Condescending, arrogant, and treat their readers as though they were stupid children.

Kotaku isn't great either but their only legitimately bad writer is Patricia Hernandez.

These days I only use NeoGAF for gaming impressions and news.

What? How come? I like Justin
 
What? How come? I like Justin

The guy is an unprofessional joke. His temper tantrum in regards to the whole Nier thing (he tried fishing at the wrong spot, wasted a lot of time, and then refused to review the game while slamming it and calling it 'soulless', all due to his own stupidity) should have gotten him fired from Joystiq.

I refuse to read anything that has that hack's byline.
 

ValeYard

Member
Russ was great. Listen to the way he introduced himself on the Besties back when they recorded regularly, he always cracked me up. He always struck me as an intelligent writer with unique energy.

I wish him all the best in the future. From his final post on polygon, it sounds like he doesn't want to write about games anymore. I just hope this isn't because of all the paint fumes he said he'd inhaled in his New York apartment building.
 

Harlock

Member
I never understand why Vox go after the heads of Joystiq and Kotaku to form your game site rather than guys from full sites, like 1UP or Gamespot.
 
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