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Default Matt Chat - #485 is perhaps the last Show

April 9th, 2022, 20:30
Matt Barton just announced that #485 is probably his last Matt Chat:

I thought I'd be able to make it to episode 500, but sadly, support for the show just isn't there. I've still got a couple shows in the works, but I'm thinking now that 485 will be the last Matt Chat.

Thanks, all! I really want to reach episode 500, and the support here is really touching. To be honest, support just hasn't been the same since COVID hit and people quite understandably had to reassess their priorities. I lost 3/4 of my support that never came back.
Thanks Matt - your show is a great effort for all CRPG fans!

Update:

Good news! Thanks to some very generous rat-slayers stepping up to the plate, I'm back on track to reaching the big 500. I don't yet know what will happen when that number is reached, but let's just say giant rats will not be thrilled. Humbled and thankful for your support!
More information.
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April 9th, 2022, 20:39
That's too bad. He's been doing it for what seems like forever.
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April 9th, 2022, 20:39
Very sad. I always enjoyed his shows and the pure excitement he got from killing giant rats. Also, the beer tasting he did was enjoyable.
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April 9th, 2022, 20:55
His interviews with key people from RPG development will continue to grow in importance; its a phenomenal body of work in terms of game history.
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April 9th, 2022, 22:02
Ahhh, the ol' mid-life crisis claims another victim.

But also, I understand what he's saying. It's tough on Youtube, really tough. For serious content at least anyway.
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April 9th, 2022, 22:41
I don't watch yet I've listened to quite a few over the years. It'd be a shame to lose someone that actually seems to have a real perspective on the industry like Matt does. I hope a way for him to continue arises.
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April 10th, 2022, 00:12
Well, he is still at around 1000$ per month on patreon. Certainly not enough to make a living from that alone in any western country, but not peanuts either.

But losing 3/4 of the support during Covid? That sounds intense and somehow wrong.
Anyone got any insight there?
From my perspective Covid actually boosted some of the stuff, like Retro in general.
Costs for big box games were increasing during that time, and a museum and podcast in Hamburg "Retrokompott" (I posted an interview with Burger Betty a while back which was by them) got a lot of support and donations by fans.
I got the impression that lots of people who have money rather had no means to spend it anymore (go out for a drink or on vacation) and so they spent it on retro stuff instead.. But that might also be in my "German" bubble, where the state might have prevented more personal financial issues than in other countries, the US in particular.

So I am not sure what exactly happened here, but 3/4 seems too much to be true or to have covid as sole source.

Generally I think it's great what he has been doing. However I personally didnt watch a lot of his stuff. Partially because of his personality (nothing really bad about it, but nothing which keeps me there either), partially because of his extremely low production values.
I mean he is somone who is doing this stuff for years and apparently doing it for a living. He should certainly have been able to upgrade his camera and microphone to something beyond the scrap level.
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April 10th, 2022, 00:13
Back on track for 500:
-> Update
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April 10th, 2022, 02:55
Originally Posted by Kordanor View Post
But losing 3/4 of the support during Covid? That sounds intense and somehow wrong.
Anyone got any insight there?
From my perspective Covid actually boosted some of the stuff, like Retro in general.
One of his other comments said things along that line. The gist of it being that there is so many other people doing similar things now it hakes it harder for him to get his slice. I guess the problem might of been that he didn't move with the times. He didn't land any updates on the big news sites and he does very little promotion work. He pretty much relies on word of mouth. He only got a couple of news postings on RPGWatch/Codex.

It's good that his backer numbers are back up now but he needs to draw in more viewers - because they are certainly out there.
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April 10th, 2022, 13:32
I remember Matt Chat from way back. He always seemed to have between 500 and 2000 views for his videos. They always seemed to be better than the viewing figures would suggest. He seemed to have his own interesting niche. But it was always a bit confusing as to why he never grew that much over time. Even today he still has sub-20k subscribers, which I still find odd.

Anyway, the stats of what's in his head currently regardless of any patreon funding will have a huge impact on his daily psyche.

Some stats on Matt Chat that I've endeavoured to produce since reading this thread this morning:

Chart 1: Each MattChat video's individual views, from the first to the latest:



nb: #39 has a part one and a part two, as does #50. #78 has three parts. Because back then video limits were just 10 minutes, and he was still establishing in his own mind how he wanted to count episodes. As such, the numbering is slightly off, but since it's so squashed-up it doesn't matter, it's impossible to tie one video to one line anyway. There is also a duplicated re-uploaded #369 alongside it's original.

nb: There is no MattChat#339 on his channel. Did he have a math fail or has it been removed by his or others means. Who knows.

nb: Viewing figures now do not represent viewing figures upon a video's release. One would expect higher views the older the video is, as per common sense. However, this would represent an even trend across all videos, so the general impression is still the same.

From Matt's point of view, when he looks at his stats, he hasn't had a 20k+ video since he interviewed Chris Avellone about Torment in 2014.

Prior to then, he'd have varying spikes of greater interest that would have been hugely motivational to continue, even though he clearly only has 4 MattChat's that are clearly the most popular:

#221: Seth Robin's Early Days
#123: Might and Magic VI Mandate From Heaven
#86: Bard's Tale 4 and Wasteland II with Rebecca Heineman
#54: Quake with John Romero

He's gone an awfully long time without any significantly noticeably 'above average' popularity video. In fact, since this decline set in, he's even had about a half a dozen MattChats which still haven't even exceeded 1,000 views, even after years on the shelf.

But individual views aren't overly useful by themselves. As the rules have changed, so have Matt's videos. for the first year and a half he was limited to 10 minutes. When this rule was lifted his videos gradually increased in length, a sort of very gradual creep over all the years to where they can now be hours long.

So where he used to post about 40-50 MattChats a year, from 2017 onwards he started to reduce the number of MattChats being released, from 31 in 2017 to just 16 in 2021. Even though the total time required to watch all his videos might have actually increased.

So let's look at his total annual views, which were the golden MattChat years:



It's a similar story, but, of course, we need to divide the total views by the number of videos, because 44 ten minute videos would likely get more total views than 10 one hour videos, if all the videos got 2,000 views. So what his historical per-video viewership:



And yes, it's not quite as bad a situation as the previous graph suggested, he's not actually been on continual decline since 2014, in fact he's had lots of little improvements from bad years.

But still not really getting any 'big hits', which will likely create a lot of built up frustration.

I suspect he's happy with 2,000 views per vid, as one should be, many would love that, but it's not hugely profitable to play youtube on those numbers and it wouldn't take much change in the patreon feed to set the panic in. And when you've been at something for 14 years and not much has changed it can sometimes feel like your running to stand still.

I'm glad some rich folk have come forward to help out, for a lot of youtubers who don't have good connections they probably wouldn't have kept going much beyond 2015/6. Such is the precarious and often depressing side of Youtube (and fame-based industries generally).
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April 10th, 2022, 16:00
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
nb: There is no MattChat#339 on his channel. Did he have a math fail or has it been removed by his or others means. Who knows.
I see a 339?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-ysbzerZhA
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April 10th, 2022, 16:46
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
I see a 339?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-ysbzerZhA
Ah, that explains that one then:

"Video unavailable
This video contains content from ITV_plc, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds"

Location restricted.
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April 10th, 2022, 16:54
@lackblogger Have you ever thought about working as a statistician?
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April 10th, 2022, 18:13
I quite likely would have never heard of this Matt person had it not been for these forums bringing him and the games he enjoyed to my attention. It was like chocolate and peanut butter colliding in a delicious fashion.
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April 10th, 2022, 21:15
Originally Posted by Carnifex View Post
I quite likely would have never heard of this Matt person had it not been for these forums bringing him and the games he enjoyed to my attention. It was like chocolate and peanut butter colliding in a delicious fashion.
Back in 2009 there weren't that many places to get a decent review of things like the original Civilisation game or Worms games or even Planescape: Torment, all three being games I was searching for at that time & Matt Chat just kept popping up, and he was one of the first guys I remember to do his shows in front of a literal wall of old PC games (before it became a must-have set-design for bandwagoners). It was, like, hey, this guy is 'one of us!' instantly.

So I've kind of seen stuff from him every year since then. I don't watch all his stuff though, I freely admit, as I'm not that into dev interviews much and I haven't played many of the 80s and early 90s PC games at all, but whenever he did a vid about a game I'm familiar with he usually got a full view out of me.
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April 10th, 2022, 21:18
The hardest part for Matt's show is that he's running out of content. He's covered the majors, and there isn't as much new stuff that hits the same sweet spot. So, it isn't purely a reflection of him or the COVID times, as much as he's done it all.
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April 10th, 2022, 21:39
Also I am just seeing that he is doing different types of content, which generally is rather a bad thing. He is doing these Interviews, he is doing reviews, and he is doing let's plays.
But this all has different audiences and is therefore a bad choice for the youtube algorythm and it's hard to get and keep subscribers.

I can understand why he is doing that, and I am doing the same on my english channel, because the subscriptions in my case are terribly low, and you need to get past 1000 subs to monetize the channel.
But once you have a decent audience it might make sense to split up.
I did so on my German channels, where I got a Let's Play and a Review channel.
So people who are just interested on the videos can subscribe that and don't get spammed with the let's Play videos.

You can also see something like that with LGR. He had a very "casual" channel first, even did Let's Plays on there. Then he split it up (and stopped Lets Plays).
Now he got his main channel with high production value videos, and he got his blerbs channel with smaller stuff. (he also had a food channel which is separate).

So for me, I don't see a whole lot of use to split my english content with only 90 subs or so into two channels. But I am pretty sure, that if Matt (20k subs) just made a separate channel for let's Play videos, he could do so, announce that and quickly get the 1000 subs on that channel as well, which would be better for the viewers and for the algorythm on top of that.
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April 10th, 2022, 21:44
Originally Posted by Pappy View Post
The hardest part for Matt's show is that he's running out of content. He's covered the majors, and there isn't as much new stuff that hits the same sweet spot. So, it isn't purely a reflection of him or the COVID times, as much as he's done it all.
That's the thing though, he really hasn't.

For example, he only covered Icewind Dale in April 2019, some 10 years after he began, and he's still yet to make a vid for Icewind Dale 2.

Nothing yet on Exile/Avernum, Fallout 2, any expansions or mods for any Neverwinter, Lionheart, Morrowind, and that's before even thinking about less well known games.

He didn't even cover Temple of Elemental Evil until December last year.

And then there's the fact that most of the early stuff was limited to 10 minutes, plenty of opportunity to do as many revisits and deeper dives as he likes.

He could also try a different format, you know, do some of his personal favourite type vids, either as top 10s of this that and the other or just talkabouts.

There's always new people to interview.

He also does do new games, and there's always something new coming out somewhere.

I mean, the idea that he's 'done everything' because he did 10 minutes on some games 13 years ago is very reductive reasoning.

He's never even done a 'best rats I've ever encountered' video, and that's his bleedin' unique selling point!
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April 11th, 2022, 04:59
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
Ah, that explains that one then:

"Video unavailable
This video contains content from ITV_plc, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds"

Location restricted.
It's the 3rd installment of the interview with Julian Gollop. There's a short clip from the 1970 ITV show "UFO" in it
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April 11th, 2022, 18:29
UFO is such a great show, I re-watched it a few years ago while I was in Canada and found it still enjoyable.
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