Joining The Switch Effect on today’s Industry Interviews is Michael Goroff, Associate Editor for EGMNow. EGMNow, an offshoot of Electronic Gaming Monthly, is one of the premier sources for all things video game related.
Michael, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Sure! My name is Michael Goroff and I’m an associate editor at EGMNow.com, formerly known as Electronic Gaming Monthly when it was still in print. I live in Los Angeles, eat a lot of ramen, and I also make cartoons and post them to YouTube occasionally.
What was the first console/game you ever owned?
I started gaming when I was four or five. My dad bought an NES that came with the Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt bundle. So I’ve been gaming for almost three decades.
Growing up, did you always want to work in the video game industry?
I’ve been reading gaming magazines and websites since I was a kid and I remember thinking how cool it would be to write about video games for a living. I just never thought I’d actually get the chance to do it until EGMNow hired me.
EGMNow is one of the longest-running sources for video game news, reviews, and more. For those that may be unfamiliar about the company, can you provide some history?
EGMNow is the online offshoot of what used to be Electronic Gaming Monthly, which was (as far as I know) the first news magazine for video games. Anyone above a certain age who loves video games has probably read at least one issue of EGM. Over the years, it changed publishers and owners a couple of times and experienced a few different iterations, but now it’s back under original ownership and functions entirely as a website. Personally, it’s pretty cool to work for a company with such a storied history that had an incredible impact on the industry as a whole. It’s easily the best job I’ve ever had.
You joined as an Associate Editor back in May 2017. Can you describe your role?
“Associate editor” is a fancy way of saying “all-around writer and content creator,” basically. My days are split between writing about games and reviewing games (when there are games to review). Every morning, my editor will give us a long list of subjects and headlines to cover and we get to choose which stories to pursue. We also get to edit gameplay videos, attend industry events, and pursue other, unassigned projects like opinion pieces and (occasionally) streaming. So the priorities are: news first, reviews second, and then everything else.
What’s been the coolest aspects to working with EGMNow?
Working in an office where everyone loves games and can talk about games with passion and intelligence is the best part about EGMNow. My coworkers all love games as much as I do, but we all have different tastes, which has opened my eyes to some games that I probably would have ignored before working here.
Reviewing games is obviously another perk of the gig. Getting to play games before anyone else never gets old, even if the game I’m playing doesn’t end up being one of my favorites. Plus, it also means I get paid to play video games, which is awesome.
It’s time to “switch” gears. Let’s talk briefly about the Nintendo Switch! What are your thoughts on Nintendo’s newest console?
Personally, I adore the Switch. I love it the way I’d love a family pet. Not only is the hybrid design awesome for its novelty and practicality, but I just love the Switch’s visual design. I’ve loved every Nintendo console (even the Wii U), but with the Switch I feel like Nintendo’s finally found a perfect balance between designing a console that appeals to core gamers while also satisfying their need to include a “gimmick” that sets it apart from the other two major consoles.
What advice would you have for Nintendo as they enter their second year with the Switch?
The Switch had an insane debut year with its first-party titles. Zelda, Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, and ARMS: that’s the craziest lineup of first-party titles that Nintendo has ever published in a single-year, as far as I can remember. And that doesn’t even count the Wii U ports: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Pokken Tournament DX. Also Mario + Rabbids, which I don’t think anyone was expecting to be good.
2018 should be decent for the Switch as far as first-party games go. Kirby and Yoshi (which are the only two properties with confirmed 2018 releases) look fun, but neither of those will have the impact of Odyssey or Breath of the Wild. The Labo looks like a fun distraction and will probably grab a couple of new customers, but I think it’s a little too weird for people who aren’t already familiar with the Switch to wrap their heads around, let alone buy a Switch to try it.
I think the Switch will remain strong in its second year as long as Nintendo continues to pursue third-party exclusives like Bayonetta 3 and indie developers. Golf Story was one of my favorite games from last year on any platform, so I think if the Switch can continue to appeal to indie developers who are making fun, unique games (the kind that your website covers with an admirable frequency, actually), combined with its second-tier exclusives like Kirby and Yoshi, the Switch should be fine.
As far as beyond 2018 is concerned, Metroid Prime 4 will probably be cool, though that series still hasn’t topped Super Metroid, as far as I’m concerned. And the next Smash Bros. should be a hit as long as the Switch Online actually delivers what people expect from online platforms, which are a functioning party system and a better chat service.
Besides, once the next Pokémon title hits the Switch (in 2019, I’m guessing), nothing else will really matter. That will easily push the Switch over 50 million units sold, if not more.
Preferably Switch titles, but what upcoming game(s) are you most looking forward to?
Honestly, one of the main titles I’m looking forward to is Mario Tennis Aces, which is coming out in May. Mario Power Tennis is probably my favorite sports game (besides Rocket League) of all time, so I’m pretty hyped to get another Mario Tennis game for the Switch.
Project Octopath Traveler is another Switch title I’m looking forward to. I’ve only recently gotten into RPGs, and I’ve been craving a good turn-based game for the Switch.
Then there are the multiplatform titles that just seem to fit the Switch best, like Owlboy, Dandara, Shakedown: Hawaii, Wargroove, and Pocket Rumble.
As far as non-Switch titles are concerned, 2018 should be a huge year. Monster Hunter: World already started the year off strong, and then we have Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Sea of Thieves, and Far Cry 5 all coming out in the next two months. Plus, Dark Souls Remastered, which I know is coming out on the Switch, but there’s no way I’m not enjoying the juicy 60 frames per second in 1080p that my Xbox offers. Sorry, Nintendo. I hope you can forgive me.
Finally, is there anything else you’d like to share?
If you like raunchy, poorly animated, weird NSFW cartoons, you can check out my YouTube page, Loserville Animation Studios. (If you can insert the hyperlink, that would be great:
Use the links below to follow EGMNow and Loserville Animation Studios!
Loserville Animation Studios