Giant Bomb

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Giant Bomb
File:Giant Bomb logo.gif
Slogan Giant Bomb is the world’s largest editable video game database. We're into Krogans, power armor, and viewers like you.
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Gaming Wiki and Video game journalism
Registration Optional (free)
Created by Jeff Gerstmann
Ryan Davis
Launched March 6, 2008 (blog)
July 20, 2008 (full website)
Current status Active

Giant Bomb is a video game website and wiki that includes gaming news, reviews, commentary, and video, created by former GameSpot editors Jeff Gerstmann and Ryan Davis in collaboration with Whiskey Media. After being fired from his position as Editorial Director of GameSpot, Gerstmann began working with a team of web engineers in Sausalito, California to create a new video game website. His intent was to create "a fun video game website"[1] that would not heavily cover the business side of the game industry. The site's core editorial staff includes Gerstmann and Davis, as well as Brad Shoemaker and Vinny Caravella, both also former GameSpot staff. Giant Bomb was unveiled on March 6, 2008 as a blog; the full site launched on July 20, 2008. The Giant Bomb office, known as the "Bomb Shelter", is located in Sausalito.

The Giant Bomb staff reports on video game news and reviews new releases. Their weekly podcast, the Giant Bombcast, is posted on Tuesdays and covers recent news and releases in the video game industry. Registered users are able to post on the site's message boards and maintain a blog, as well as contribute to the site's video game wiki. Giant Bomb produces a number of regular video series, the longest-running being the Endurance Run, which ran for 155 episodes over eight months. Released on weekdays, the series covered editors Gerstmann and Caravella's progress in the role-playing game Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, which they played and recorded in real-time, accompanied by their own running commentary. Davis produces the weekly series This Ain't No Game, in which he reviews movies based on video games.


History and development

Jeff Gerstmann was fired from his position as the Editorial Director of GameSpot on November 28, 2007.[2] Immediately after his termination, rumors began to circulate around the Internet that his dismissal was a result of external pressure from Eidos Interactive, the studio behind the video game Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, a game Gerstmann had recently given a negative review.[3] Both GameSpot and their parent company CNET Networks stated that his dismissal was unrelated to the review.[3] Ryan Davis announced his departure from GameSpot in February 2008, citing Gerstmann's firing as one of his reasons for leaving.[4]

On February 21, 2008 it was reported that Gerstmann and GameSpot founder, Vince Broady, were working on a new video game website that would "take on GameSpot".[5] Gerstmann considered his options after his dismissal, eventually deciding he did not wish to work in game development or public relations. He began to work with a team of engineers he knew and trusted to begin developing a new site.[2] In the process of deciding on the name for the website, over seventy different domain names were considered. Gerstmann wanted the website name to be catchy and original, saying there were too many video game websites with the word "game" in them.[2] In addition to Davis, who recorded early episodes of the site's podcast, the Giant Bombcast with Gerstmann, former GameSpot editors Brad Shoemaker and Vinny Caravella joined the site in June 2008.[6] Giant Bomb started as a Wordpress blog, which opened on March 5, 2008.[7] The full site launched on July 20, 2008.[8]


Giant Bomb was designed by Whiskey Media, a small group of web designers based in Sausalito, California. The technology that runs Giant Bomb, as well its sister sites ComicVine and AnimeVice, includes the web framework Django, the database management system PostgreSQL, Solr, and MooTools, a Javascript framework.[9] To track site metrics on video-viewing, or wiki and trivia submissions, the Whiskey Media developers created a set of analytical tools known as "Metrimatics". It allows the staff to track daily "how well [the] publishing platform and content is resonating with each brand’s audience." An API is available to developers, granting access to the databases of Whiskey Media's websites.[10] The Giant Bomb iPhone application, made available on the App Store in July 2009, allows users to access various features of Giant Bomb through an iPhone or iPod Touch, including news, reviews, videos, and the wiki.[11]

Editorial content

Unlike most video game websites, Giant Bomb does not heavily cover industry news from a business perspective. During an interview on X-Play, Gerstmann said that he thought video game websites had become too focused on the business side of games, and that game news had become "stale" in the process. "We want to get out there and talk about games, because we like games…and it seems like there's an audience out there, and they like games…and their needs aren't being met by what's out there right now."[1] Talking with Tyler Wilde of GamesRadar, Gerstmann said that their intent was not to make a site that would compete with GameSpot, but rather create "a really great and fun video game website…that we like and that we would use, and that users will have a blast using as well."[2]

Brad Shoemaker and Jeff Gerstmann discuss the classification of hamburgers in an episode of How to Build a Bomb


Video games on Giant Bomb are rated on a scale of one to five stars, with five stars being the highest rating a game can receive and one star the lowest. There are no half stars on the official rating scale, though user reviews can have half star increments, with the lowest score being one half star out of five.[12]

Video reviews were first introduced on Giant Bomb on June 20, 2008. Shoemaker's review of the PlayStation 3 title Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots served as the feature's inaugural inductee, and has since been followed by many more video reviews for a wide range of titles.


Giant Bomb produces several series of video content. Prior to the launch of the full site, How to Build a Bomb followed the Giant Bomb team during the pre-launch development phase of the website.[13] Each Monday, a video in the I Love Mondays series is released, detailing what is to happen on the site that week. The site regularly posts Quick Looks, videos showing unedited gameplay footage of a single game, featuring commentary from one or more staff members playing the game. The feature has been used to profile highly-anticipated games,[14] give mention to lesser-known games,[15] or to intentionally showcase bad games for humorous purposes.[16] Several Quick Look EX videos have been posted, which feature a developer playing an unreleased game. Games covered in such a way include Bionic Commando[17], Shadow Complex[18], Fairytale Fights[19], and Army of Two: The 40th Day[20]. Some multi-platform games received two Quick Looks; the first Dragon Age: Origins video was based on the PC version of the title, and was a standard Quick Look focusing on gameplay, graphics, and the overall quality of the experience.[21] The second was filmed from the Xbox 360 version of Dragon Age, and focused more on the conversion of the game from computer to console, and how gameplay, controls, and menus were changed for ease of use and accessibility.[22]

This Ain't No Game

This Ain't No Game (or TANG) is a weekly series in which editor Ryan Davis reviews movies based on video games. The feature started with a post on the Giant Bomb blog entitled "The Giant Bomb Video-Game Movie Experiment: Prologue", in which Davis wrote that he would "challenge myself to watch and assess every video-game movie ever made." Exceptions include movies that have heavy video game themes, but are not based on video games or series, and animated movies. The latter rule was established in part "to relieve me of the obligation to watch lots of terrible anime."[23] TANG was originally conceived as a text-based feature, but Davis later decided that it was better suited for video.[24] The first episode of TANG, which covered Double Dragon, was released on February 11, 2009.[25] A review of Onechanbara: The Movie was released on October 9, 2009, and was what Davis referred to as the "season finale" of This Ain't No Game, though he said the series would "hopefully" return in 2010.[26] To assess each title, Davis considers how it stands on its own as a film, and how well it "evoke[s] the spirit of the game it's based on".[23] The title of the series is derived from a slogan used to promote the game-based movie Super Mario Bros.: "This ain't no game, it's a live-action thrill ride!"[24]

Endurance Run

The Endurance Run was a daily video feature in which Vinny Caravella and Jeff Gerstmann played the PlayStation 2 role-playing game Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 in real time, with their own commentary over the video. Whiskey Media developer Mike Tatum compared the concept to Mystery Science Theater 3000.[27] The idea for the Endurance Run stemmed from the staff's interest in producing daily video content, as well as Gerstmann and Caravella's own interest in playing Persona 4, a game they were both curious about but didn't have time to play.[24] New episodes were posted on weekdays, detailing the two's progress through the game. At the start of the first episode, posted on February 9, 2009, Caravella invited viewers "to see how long we can play Persona 4…until we give up."[28] The series' fiftieth episode was commemorated with a behind-the-scenes video discussing the origins of the series.[29] After 155 episodes, the Endurance Run ended on September 18, 2009; Gerstmann and Caravella completed the game in over one hundred hours. At the conclusion of the episode, Caravella said that the two would be going on an "Endurance Run hiatus."[30]

In May 2009, while the Endurance Run was still in progress, Gerstmann and Caravella recorded an "Endurance Look" of the game Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2 - Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon, to evaluate it as a game to play after they finished Persona 4. The two found that, while they found the game interesting, it wouldn't have been able to hold their attention as long as Persona 4 had.[31]

Limited series

In July 2009, Ryan Davis and Vinny Caravella ran a new feature, Not Like This, which explored the final hours of the MMORPG The Matrix Online, which shut down on July 31, 2009. Episodes of Not Like This were similar in length to those in the Endurance Run. Episodes showcased the battle system of the MMO, discussed the history of the game, and met with dedicated players who were sticking with the game until the very end. The final episode, which featured the 'end of the world' when the MxO servers were shut down, was streamed live on The name of the feature is a quote from the first Matrix movie, the final words of the character Switch before she is killed.[32]

In January 2010, Brad Shoemaker, Vinny Caravella and Dave Snider embarked on Giant Bomb's second MMORPG show, Set Phasers to Fun, as they began playing through the Star Trek Online Beta.[33] Much like the Endurance Run, a new episode of Set Phasers to Fun is released every weekday. Shoemaker plays the game while he comments on the game's qualities, humorous glitches and previous events in Star Trek shows and films with Caravella and Snider (and Ryan Davis, who as of part seven, has been in three episodes, once to replace Caravella while he worked on video content and twice to replace Snider while he works on the forth Whiskey Media "television/movie" website [34]). Their positive outlook on the game and Star Trek in general has lead to many of the Giant Bomb community joining the Beta (and appearing in the videos themselves) when 1,800 Beta keys were given away on the Giant Bomb website[35], as well as Gerstmann purchasing a lifetime subscription to the game[36].


Giant Bombcast
Hosting Ryan Davis
Language English
File:Feed-icon.svg RSS
Length Approx. 120 min.
Production Ryan Davis
Debut March 11, 2008
Genre Video gaming
Provider Giant Bomb

The Giant Bombcast (or the Bombcast) is Giant Bomb's weekly podcast, released on Tuesdays.[37] The show is hosted by Davis, and regularly features Gerstmann, Caravella, and Shoemaker. Prior to the announcement of Giant Bomb, Davis and Gerstmann produced the Arrow Pointing Down Podcast, which ran for three episodes during February and March 2008.[38] The first episode of the Giant Bombcast was released on March 11, 2008, and starred Davis and Gerstmann. Shoemaker and Caravella joined the regular cast on June 3, 2008. The show's weekly format includes discussion of game industry news, recently-released games, and e-mails sent in by listeners. Several special episodes have been recorded dedicated entirely to one game, such as Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and Modern Warfare 2. The site's staff have also recorded shows in Tokyo, Japan for the Tokyo Game Show, as well as during the Electronic Entertainment Expo and the Penny Arcade Expo.[37]

Community content

Users on Giant Bomb have the ability to create blogs, keep track of their game collections, and add information to game entries.[39] Additionally, the site has message boards, saying that "building a community of a big part of what Giant Bomb is all about". Every Wiki page has a forum and there are also General, Bombcast and Off-Topic boards plus several related to site maintenance.[40] In November 2008, Giant Bomb started a trivia game for all users on the site. The trivia questions covers all kinds of games, old and new, on all platforms. The multiple choice questions are submitted by users, and stats such as the difficulty of the question are calculated based on the correct/incorrect ratio. Users can flag specific questions if they are badly written, misleading, or incorrect. Giant Bomb allows all users to write and edit guides for any video game, or even general gaming tips for inexperienced players. The site features a proprietary editor to allow guide writers to insert images, use rich-text formatting, and even embed YouTube videos and other HTML code. The editor will also create a dynamic table of contents, allowing for quick navigation to specific sections of the guide.


The Giant Bomb wiki, which opened with the full site launched in July 2008, is editable by registered users of the site. New users must first have their submissions approved by a moderator; approved changes grant the editor "wiki points". Users with more than 1000 points may submit changes to the wiki without moderator approval, and users with more than 5000 points are able to create new pages without moderator approval. There are eight types of wiki pages: games, franchises, characters, locations, objects, concepts, people, and companies. "Concept" is considered a miscellaneous category, containing gameplay concepts, species, or character abilities. "People" pages are only for individuals credited in at least one game.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "X-Play interview-Jeff Gerstmann". G4. 2008-03-06. Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Wilde, Tyler. "Jeff Gerstmann on GameSpot, Giant Bomb, and snark". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 GameSpot staff (2007-12-05). "Spot On: GameSpot on Gerstmann". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  4. Orland, Kyle (2008-02-04). "Gamespot exodus continues: Ryan Davis to leave". Joystiq. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  5. Plunkett, Luke (2008-01-21). "Gerstmann, GameSpot Founder To Launch New Site?". Kotaku. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  6. Grant, Christopher (2008-06-06). "Former GameSpot eds reunite at Gerstmann's Giant Bomb". Joystiq. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  7. Gerstmann, Jeff (2008-03-05). "Welcome to Giant Bomb (dot com)". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  8. Gerstmann, Jeff (2008-07-20). "Welcome Back!". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Help with editing and using the site". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  10. Tatum, Mike (2009-03-23). "It has been a good year for Whiskey". Whiskey Media. Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  11. Gerstmann, Jeff (2009-07-06). "Giant Bomb On Your iPhone: The Time Is Now". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  12. Gerstmann, Jeff (2008-03-18). "Giant Info Bomb #2: Reviews, Podcasts, and More!". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  13. "Gerstmann's next big ting: Giant Bomb". Joystiq. 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  14. Gerstmann, Jeff. (2009-01-27). Quick Look: Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage. Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  15. Shoemaker, Brad; Snider, Dave. (2009-02-05). Quick Look: Valkyria Chronicles. Giant Bomb. Event occurs at 0:16. Retrieved 2009-09-21. "[Valkyria Chronicles] came out back in November, and apparently not many of you are playing it. It hasn't been selling extremely well, so, we think it's kind of nifty, we thought we'd take a look at it, do some video, and maybe see if you guys are interested." 
  16. Davis, Ryan; Gerstmann, Jeff. (2009-02-03). Quick Look: Crash Time. Giant Bomb. Event occurs at 0:20. Retrieved 2009-09-21. "So this game is based on a German TV show, it's called Cobra 11 or something like that. And I thought that sounded really ridiculous and that it was probably going to be terrible, so I figured, well, I've got to get this. And it was immediately cheap, so, I got it, and it is." 
  17. "Quick Look EX: Bionic Commando". Retrieved 2010-01-12. 
  18. "Quick Look EX: Shadow Complex". Retrieved 2010-01-12. 
  19. "Quick Look EX: Fairytale Fights". Retrieved 2010-01-12. 
  20. "Quick Look EX: Army of Two: The 40th Day". Retrieved 2010-01-12. 
  21. "Quick Look: Dragon Age: Origins". Retrieved 2010-01-12. 
  22. "Quick Look: Dragon Age: Origins (360)". Retrieved 2010-01-12. 
  23. 23.0 23.1 Ryan, Davis (2008-04-14). "The Giant Bomb Video-Game Movie Experiment: Prologue"". Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Caravella, Vinny; Davis, Ryan; Colyaco, Bob; Gallup, Rich; Gerstmann, Jeff; Navarro, Alex; Shoemaker, Brad. (2009-09-08). Giant Bomb PAX 09 Panel: Part 01. Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  25. Davis, Ryan. (2009-02-11). This Ain't No Game - Double Dragon. Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  26. Davis, Ryan. (2009-10-09). This Ain't No Game - Onechanbara: The Movie. Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2009-10-23. 
  27. Tatum, Mike (2009-03-26). "The attention span of our Giant Bomb video audience". Whiskey Media. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 
  28. Caravella, Vinny; Gerstmann, Jeff. (2009-02-09). Endurance Run: Persona 4 - Part 01. Giant Bomb. Event occurs at 0:50. Retrieved 2009-09-21. "So, yeah, we're going to invite you to come along, and see how long we can keep playing Persona 4, until we give up." 
  29. Snider, Dave (2009-04-17). "Behind The Scenes: Endurance Run's 50th Episode". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  30. Caravella, Vinny; Gerstmann, Jeff. (2009-09-18). Endurance Run: Persona 4 - Part 155. Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  31. Caravella, Vinny; Gerstmann, Jeff. (2009-05-23). Endurance Look: Devil Summoner. Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  32. Caravella, Vinny; Gerstmann, Jeff. (2009-07-09). The Matrix Online: Not Like This - Part 01. Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  33. Shoemaker, Brad; Caravella, Vinny; Snider, Dave. (2010-01-13). Star Trek Online Beta: Set Phasers to Fun - Part 01. Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  34. Shoemaker, Brad; Caravella, Vinny; Davis, Ryan. (2010-01-22). Star Trek Online Beta: Set Phasers to Fun - Part 07. Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  35. "Star Trek Online Beta Key Giveaway". Giant Bomb. 2010-01-13. Retrieved 2010-01-17. 
  36. "Deal of a Lifetime?". Giant Bomb. 2010-01-22. Retrieved 2010-01-24. 
  37. 37.0 37.1 "Bombcast - Giant Bomb's Gaming Podcast". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2010-01-26. 
  38. Davis, Ryan. "Arrow Pointing Down » podcast". Arrow Pointing Down. Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  39. Davis, Ryan; Gerstmann, Jeff. (2008-04-15). Giant Bombcast 04-15-2008. [Podcast]. Giant Bomb. 
  40. Gerstmann, Jeff (2008-03-13). "Giant Bomb: Your Questions Answered!". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 

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