Time to check up on your Mountain Dew supplies, and ensure that your stockpile of Gamer Grub is close at hand: G4 is apparently coming back. The NBCUniversal-owned network—which offered up a very particular, cable-based window into the video game culture of the years between 2002 and 2014—announced its revival with an online teaser this afternoon, referencing the first video that ever ran on the channel (and also, as it happens, the last).
Per Deadline, said teaser emerged on the Twitter accounts of popular network offerings Attack Of The Show! and G4TV (as well as that of actress Olivia Munn, who got her start on AOTS!). It promises a return for G4 in 2021, although it’s not entirely clear what form said effort will take. Deadline notes that it’s apparently operating under the umbrella of Comcast Spectacor, the telecom giant’s eSports/hockey/stadium hot dogs label, which has apparently been tasked with “constructing a new G4 TV” to capitalize on the growing gaming market.
Which is exactly the sort of statement that can’t help but make one reflect on the old G4, a network that, even before it suffered from extensive mission drift during the second half of its existence, often seemed beholden to a very specific, young and male vision of what gaming culture looked like. (This is the channel that brought us a late-night programming block titled “Midnight Spank,” after all, to say nothing of a frequent blurring of the lines between entertainment, journalism, and advertising that’s still rife in the world of gaming coverage.) There were good shows on the network, to be sure, and people passionate about the medium making them. And the idea that gaming—never bigger, or more profitable that it is now—can support a dedicated network of some kind seems patently obvious in 2020. But if G4 was a failed experiment, as lethally of its time as it was ahead of it, then there’s something a little worrisome about seeing the people behind it suddenly announcing that they’re now returning to the lab.
More news about the G4 revival is expected to emerge in the next few weeks and months.