It is a sad day in Australian video game coverage. screenPLAY, one of the few television shows that cover video games in Australia, has officially been cancelled.
Announced via a Facebook post, the team at screenPlay stated that “It sucks, but unfortunately there are commercial realities in TV” as the reason behind the show’s cancellation. The post goes on to thank the fans of screenPlay for supporting the show during its short run on Australian free-to-air television. “We wanted to say to you all how incredible you’ve been supporting our show since the very beginning. We maintain that we have one of the best communities of any show, ever – sharing some of the funniest, happiest, craziest moments we’ve had in video games.”
“Together as a team we’ve loved coming to work every day to make content, share thoughts and hear from you guys about your opinions, speculations and stories as well.”
Nich Richardson, one of the hosts of screenPLAY, commented via Twitter that the “numbers were all going up”, which can only make the shows abrupt cancellation all the more confusing. “[It was] too much fun to be something that wouldn’t get murdered” stated Nich Richardson.
The other host of screenPLAY, Stephanie Bendixen has also made a statement about the show’s cancellation via her Twitter account. “My passion for games will forever have an outlet – via Twitch, event coverage & discussions with all of you.” Though Stephanie has had a long history in video game coverage, she plans to use the cancellation of screenPLAY to dive into new fields. “There’s a world outside of games I plan to explore.”
screenPLAY originally aired in mid-2017 on Channel Seven and featured hosts Bendixsen and Richardson, who previously worked on ABC’s Good Game. Channel Seven had never produced a show covering video games, but the community had faith because of the hosts’ previous work in the field. The hosts were approached by Channel Seven to create and host a new video game coverage show that would air on free-to-air television while also having a high focus on digital content for Facebook, Youtube and Twitch.
Besides Good Game, screenPLAY was one of the only shows dedicated to video game coverage currently airing in Australia. It treated its viewers with respect and provided professional, yet fun coverage of the industry many of us love. It is sad to see the show become a footnote in gaming coverage, but we wish the hosts and everyone working on screenPLAY the best and can’t wait to see what their futures hold. Good luck, guys!