Vice Hires Giant Bomb’s Austin Walker to Run New Gaming Site (EXCLUSIVE)

VICE Austin Walker
Courtesy of Vice Media

Vice Media has recruited Austin Walker, news editor at CBS Interactive’s Giant Bomb, to head up its forthcoming dedicated site on video-game news and culture.

Walker will start at Vice on July 5, working from the company’s Brooklyn headquarters. His first task: figuring out what he wants to do with the site, and what Vice is going to call it.

“I’ll be trying to determine what the voice of the site is and building a team,” Walker said in an interview. “There’s a certain style for the way Vice does things, when it comes to doing real investigation – we’re not just interested in products, we’re interested in people and culture. We’re interested in going a little bit deeper into a game or a game community.”

The yet-to-be-named gaming destination is one of six new vertical sites Vice plans to roll out this year; the other categories are health, travel, LGBTQ, finance and sustainability. Those will join the existing 11 owned-and-operated online channels, which include Vice News, Noisey (music), Motherboard (tech) and Munchies (food).

Walker, 30, in June 2015 joined Giant Bomb, an influential gaming news site CBSi acquired in 2012. Previously, he had written for sites including CBSi’s GameSpot and had an academic career as a researcher for Western University in London, Ontario, Canada.

Walker said he isn’t sure how many people he’ll be hiring at Vice but said one of the goals is to have a “diverse collection of voices.” “More than having a lot of people, we want the right people,” he said.

Vice’s existing coverage of the gaming sector lives at vice.com/gaming. The new gaming vertical when it launches later this year will have its own dedicated URL.

As an example of the stories he might explore at Vice, Walker cited a curious phenomenon in the “Elite Dangerous” massively multiplayer space game, in which a small group of players have traveled to the far end of the game’s galaxy – and all they’re doing hopping from star to star and refueling their ships. “That’s a weird and interesting story that I’d have liked to do for Vice.”

Walker announced that he would be leaving Giant Bomb on Thursday night on the site’s live-streamed show from the E3 conference in L.A.

The new Vice gaming site will encompass original video, including some live-streamed programming, Walker said. Separately, Vice this summer is launching five gaming documentaries, sponsored by Taco Bell. The first, “Pixel by Pixel,” launched this week with an eight-minute profile of Alx Preston, developer of indie game “Hyper Light Drifter.” The next in the series is “Versus,” an eSports documentary about the game “Smite,” slated to be released in August.

Walker holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Hofstra U. and a master’s degree in aesthetics and politics from the California Institute of the Arts.

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  1. John Walsh S. says:

    May Austin use his privileged knowledge you would call socialist run education for the masses. Wonder how much debt college degrees cost for the ever increasing privileged college students of the middle east west. What could go wrong with a multicultural diverse cast of oppressed youth. Sponsored by taco Bell

  2. Logan K says:

    I don’t favor VICE too much but I like and respect Austin a great deal. I’ll follow whatever his new site turns into.

  3. Luke S. says:

    I didn’t always agree with Austin and I definitely didn’t share his world view, but I’m sad to see him leave Giant Bomb. He cared and he brought a different perspective to the site, and we should all be happy to be exposed to views different form our own. They might even convince us to change or simply provide us with a deeper understanding of why their view is flawed.

    I’ll miss the trio of the Giant Beast more than that. The fact that all three of them sat in on everything really gave GBeast content its own flair that made it unique. They were almost their own seperate category of Quick Look. Vinny, Alex, and Austin worked together as a trio so well and complimented each other. His joining really made GBeast take off, to me.

    But most of all I’ll miss the fact that Austin liked the same kind of games I liked. Heavy stat driven RPGs and strategy games. He really filled a niche at Giant Bomb as someone who would champion little RPGs and the like that gave me a heads up into stuff I didn’t know about and wouldn’t have if Austin hadn’t shown them to me.

    So congratulations on the promotion and I’m sorry to see you go. Good Luck.`

  4. (Never have so many people that Variety didn’t have as consumers shown up at their site to only comment on one article. ) Best of luck Austin. And congratulation to Vice.com, because at least one of your six new sites is going to have a built-in, jump-started audience. Congrats all around.

  5. WilliamD83 says:

    Sad he’s gone. He has a unique point of view and shares it eloquently, a perfect fit for GB imo. These “Make Giant Bomb Great Again” people make me question our culture, and like the gamergaters, even ashamed to be a part of it.
    Best of luck to Austin.

  6. Collin Shipley says:

    Good luck Austin. Hope your PhD goes well.

  7. Mike says:

    What a huge loss to GB East. Follow this guy…

  8. We’ll miss you buddy on the podcast buddy, but we know you’re moving on to bigger and better things. Feel free to drop by anytime.

  9. I never liked Austin from the day I met him, and I’m glad to see him go. I look forward to the now excellent content coming from GB East in the near future, sans Austin.

  10. Lord Goku von Gohan says:

    Excellent, Austin was always a poor fit at gb good to be rid of the detritus.

  11. BJ says:

    Thank god.

  12. ct says:

    Great get. Brings both playfulness and heavyweight analysis to video games. Going to miss him at Giant Bomb, but will absolutely be following what happens at VICE. Looking forward to it.

  13. Austin is the best in the biz and they couldn’t possibly pick a better EiC to get this thing started.

  14. JB says:

    Congratulations, Austin! Sad to see you go, but so excited I get to follow you on this new venture. And I’ll be applying for a job in your new video department. : )

  15. Brad S. says:

    So glad, that Vice website will probably fail too.

  16. Great to see him moving into a position where he’ll be able to do even more. Bummer to see him go from GB, since we may not get to enjoy him on quite such a personal level at Vice, but it’s a great step up and I wish him the best of luck.

  17. AndersH says:

    He has been one of the best parts of Giant Bomb for the past year (though he sometimes talked over people), so I’m sad to see him go. I hope they get someone else who is as interesting and gels as well with Vinny and Alex on-screen.

  18. Robert A. says:

    I’m with you Chad. I don’t understand the hate. Austin has been a refreshing voice at GB. He seems to genuinely love games and always has great insight to offer. Just because he cares about games as an art form and means of expression doesn’t make him a SJW.

  19. John L says:

    Congrats Austin!

  20. Chad says:

    Nice job pretending to be people in this comments section, good to know literal human waste are the only ones commenting here. Good luck to Austin, it was a short but great time to see your content on GB, look forward to the future!!

  21. ?? says:

    great
    now we have a new SJW ruining the media. how fun

  22. Good riddance, seriously. This dude has been nothing but a cancer on the site since he joined.

    • chile16 says:

      Happy for Austin and all that jazz but the comments have made this article so much better. Love the troll jobs from the Jeff.

      #makegiantbombgreatagain

    • Bill says:

      Sounds like people take sarcasm seriously around here…

    • Cam says:

      For real? If you’d actually ever listened, he’s very open to criticism on everything he does. And god forbid he try to get some people from outside the US contributing to games journalism.

  23. backhash says:

    I’m happy, his nonstop talk about his perceived racism, sexism, etc. in basically every game and the fact that he contributed nothing besides that ruined the Giant Beastcast for me. Maybe the person who replaces him will actually have fun playing games and be a good entertainer.

  24. Patrick K says:

    Thank god

  25. Adrian R. says:

    Tough crowd xD Love you guys, sad to hear Austin is going, as he has become one of my favorite personalities on the site, but I’m sure this is an amazing opportunity for him and I wish him nothing but the best. Can’t wait to check out the new site.

  26. First hire: Gita Jackson.

  27. Ross O. says:

    Sponsored by Taco Bell…so Ryckert is involved somehow, right?

  28. Vinny C says:

    Thank God

  29. Jeff G. says:

    I hope Alex leaves now too, then maybe Giantbomb will be good again

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