Why Won’t G4 Release X-Play on DVD?

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Earlier this year we learned that G4TV would be closing down its entire network to make room for a new “Esquire Network” which has yet to premiere. This whole concept seems weak, trying to fill a void which Spike TV has already done. But that’s not the focus here.

Extended Play was originally put online through GameSpot TV which then got picked up by TechTV/G4TV. The video game review show grew in popularity becoming a worldwide phenomenon… well it’s at least pretty well-known here in the states. I was never crazy into gaming but I grew up with some classic titles and I always loved G4TV programming for the obscure dark humor & cultural references.

Since 2007-2008 the network has been trending downhill. By this time many of the best shows had been cancelled including Judgement Day, Cheat!, and Cinematech. Attack of the Show was still fairly popular but this wrapped up sometime in late 2012. The decline from 2008 up until 2012 was noticeable, painful, and emotional comparing what G4TV used to be in 2004. Honestly the higher-up execs should take some of the blame, however the failure of this network likely has to do with many factors.

I am okay with the network going down because they’ve already killed the best programming. And the shows left behind have been deteriorating for years crawling slowly into their own coffins. I really wish the best for everyone who performed in these shows and I hope they can progress to something even greater. But I do have a problem with the G4/Comcast execs dropping this network like a stone and it boils down to their greedy ownership of the TV show archives.

If this network needed money they could have been releasing old shows on iTunes or even sold them as physical DVD seasons. I know I would purchase a copy of Cheat! season 1 on DVD if this was offered. The people who originally got started on TechTV spent hours laboring to write, cast, and direct these shows. These episodes do not belong hoarded away in some Hollywood archive never to see the light of day again. They belong to the world; To every kid who grew up with TechTV/G4TV who wants to re-live those memories.

The only reasonable excuse I can imagine is the trouble of paying someone to edit old footage and organize this into digital media tracks. It may cost more than the executives are willing to risk for releasing DVDs that may not sell in massive quantity. But why not release non-physical digital copies? G4 used to have a podcast for many of these old shows which included clips from each episode. The old videos are out there and passionate fans have been requesting access for years.

I penned this article about X-Play because it is easily the most renowned TV Show from the G4 library. If any DVD copies would sell like hot cakes, it would be for the original X-Play episodes. I don’t think anyone at G4 will ever see this post and frankly I don’t think it would change their minds anyway. But I do hope other fans will read this and agree with my sentiments.

For now there are many old episodes which have been uploaded onto YouTube. The G4TV website is already dead and just waiting to be taken offline. Esquire has officially killed the first original tech/gaming television channel in place of their own aspirations. While I do not support this new Esquire network at all, I wish them the best of luck trying to replace TechTV/G4TV. It’s going to be an uphill battle.

I do hope that another network will pop up but nothing can ever replace the original. These classic G4 archives should be released on DVD. It won’t likely happen but it is worth making some noise and trying to draw attention towards this message however possible. Otherwise the best we can hope for is a grassroots movement by fans to continue uploading old copies of episodes onto YouTube.

Thankfully we always have memories of good times on the X-Play boards keeping this spirit of G4 alive for years to come.

Tyler is a true culture fanatic with love for comic books, music, movies, video games, and all forms of pop culture.

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