Shacknews has talked to a lot of interesting people over the years and while there's a certain charm to a text interview, there really hasn't been anything like talking to cool people face-to-face. We haven't exactly "pivoted to video" over our 25 year history, but our YouTube and Twitch channels have helped Shacknews expand into new horizons that might not have been afforded to us in the early days.
For today, we're going to take a look back at 25 of our all-time favorite video interviews. This was certainly not easy and took a staff-wide effort. Even with the full staff looking through our archives, narrowing this list down to 25 proved nearly impossible. After some painstaking research, we've put together what we feel is a definitive list.
However, let's start with a quick list of what didn't make the cut.
- Double Fine's Tim Schafer - Back at the 2018 Game Developers Conference, we caught up with Tim Schafer during one of his finest moments. No, it wasn't when Double Fine sold to Microsoft. It was when he won the GDC Lifetime Achievement Award and we were proud to get a chance to chat with him on the show floor.
- There is Shame to Your Game Panel - This one's a bit of a cheat, but we didn't want to totally exclude the PAX West 2018 panel, in which members of the Shacknews staff were invited to share their guilty pleasure games.
- Warframe Community Director Rebecca Ford - Among many of our personal highlights from TennoCon 2018 came this interview, where we learned that poop was coming to Warframe. Does it get more "Shacknews" than that?
- Devolver Digital's Mike Wilson - As Devolver Digital has continued to cement itself as one of the biggest publishers in the indie gaming scene, we look back at our 2018 chat with Devolver's Mike Wilson.
- Robotic AFLAC Duck - We've seen a lot of weird stuff at the Consumer Electronics Show over the years, as we'll get to, but we would be remiss if we didn't include this robotic version of the AFLAC duck. And, it was for charity!
- Shacknews E5's Latinx in Gaming panel - We didn't want to exclude this panel, either, led by Shacknews alumni Joe Tirado, in which we talk about the Latinx in Gaming organization and its efforts to increase representation across our industry.
- DeeJ and his new Iron Galaxy home - As Destiny 2 aficionados here at Shacknews, it was bittersweet to see David "DeeJ" Dague leave his former home of Bungie, but his future looks bright at Iron Galaxy and we were happy to hear all about that from him, Adam Boyes, and Chelsea Blasko.
- Nympho Trainer VR Hentai - Look, the title of this feature isn't "Best Interviews." If nothing else, this odd interview that took place outside of a dingy strip club was certainly unique and something we'll never forget.
- The Robotic Dress Demo - A "gem" from CES and what may be one of the banes of Video Editor Greg Burke's existence. For better or worse, we'll never forget this one, either.
- The Elephant in the Room - Lastly, there was somebody missing at Oculus Connect 3 and it wouldn't have been right to not acknowledge that.
Also, if you're more into text interviews, we have a few recommendations for you. Our Campfire Chat with the Stars of Red Dead Redemption 2 is an absolute must-read, as is our E3 2018 talk with Doug Bowser, which was conducted months before he took charge of Nintendo of America.
Now, let's get into the full list, in no particular order.
Ice T (2020)
This wasn't just one of the highlights of the pandemic year for Shacknews, it was one of our finest moments. We got to play video games and chat about a variety of topics with the legendary Ice T. From social issues to Borderlands, we had a lot to ask the old school rapper and star of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. It was an absolute treat to talk to T and we thank him for taking the time to play with us.
Mike Tyson (2020)
The pandemic year also gave us a very special opportunity to talk to the one and only Mike Tyson. Iron Mike has had a tumultuous life, which included serving a long debt to society. Now he's moved on to the next act of his life, which includes a marijuana business. We relished this chance to ask about his boxing career, his philanthropy, and what's next for one of the most dominant and fascinating figures to step into a boxing ring.
Fatal1ty and friends (E3 2019)
One of Shacknews' biggest achievements of the last decade has been a jump into a growing esports landscape. As part of our efforts to wade into these waters, it was an honor to share a stage with one of the all-time greatest competitive gamers. Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel is known the world over as one of the all-time greatest Quake players and we loved having him on the stage with us at E3 2019.
Palmer Luckey (GDC 2016)
Put aside for a moment what Palmer Luckey ended up becoming. Once upon a time, he was known for being one of the innovative forces behind Oculus. And for this interview specifically, we remember him for basically saying that Apple computers suck.
John and Brenda Romero (PDXCON 2021)
It meant the world to us here at Shacknews to get the opportunity to chat with John and Brenda Romero. A true power couple of the gaming world, we enjoyed this chance to discuss the past 25 years of Shacknews and what the site meant to the internet and gaming media as a whole. We continue to enjoy Empire of Sin and are excited for everything that's coming in the year ahead.
Tim Sweeney (GDC 2018)
Before engaging in Mortal Kombat with Apple, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney took the time to talk to us here at Shacknews back at the 2018 Game Developers Conference. We talked about a variety of topics from the future of Magic Leap and AR head-mounted displays to the potential of the Nintendo Switch. To think, this was just months before Sweeney joined the billionaire's club.
Minh Le (GDC 2019)
Some of these interviews are up here because it gave us a chance to talk to a legend of the gaming world. Others are here because they gave us a soundbite that we'll never forget. Counter-Strike co-creator Minh Le gave us both, giving us a unique insight into the realm of game development, the topic of game difficulty, and also giving us some advice that we'll always remember.
In regards to what draws players into games and whether it's the work ethic put in by developers, Le pointed out a harsh truth. A certain section of people... they don't give a s*** about your grandma's cookies.
Ed Fries (2021)
Ed Fries has been in video games for many years, which includes a long stint with Microsoft. His 25 years of experience means he's been around longer than Shacknews and it was a treat to get to tap into his experience in the industry.
It was especially nice of Fries to join us months after he helped contribute to our Bet on Black long-read on the creation of the Xbox. Be sure to watch this interview and then check out that feature to dive into a big part of gaming history.
Doom 3's legacy (Shacknews Select)
Speaking of Shacknews long-reads, having id Software's Marty Stratton talk to us about Doom 3's place in gaming and in relation to the franchise as a whole was an immensely fascinating conversation. While Doom is fondly remembered for the original game and for the 2016 reboot, Doom 3 and the chances it took should definitely not be overlooked. Be sure to read more about that in Stairway to Badass: The Making and Remaking of Doom.
Cliff Bleszinski (E3 2017)
Cliff Bleszinski will always be remembered for his contribution to video games through the Gears of War franchise. He probably won't be remembered so much for LawBreakers. Look, it wasn't bad and neither was this interview. In fact, we enjoyed the interview. We'll just never forget having the father of Gears tell our audience on Twitch that he had made "the Dark Souls of competitive first-person shooters."
Things didn't pan out for LawBreakers, but we'll always have the memories of this interview.
Ed Boon (2020)
Look... we could have talked to Mortal Kombat creator Ed Boon about Mortal Kombat and the future of the franchise. And, we did. But, also, when are we ever going to get the chance to talk about Smash Bros. with him and ask about the possibility of Scorpion telling Mario to "Get over here!"
probably absolutely never happen, but we can dream, can't we? And we weren't about to pass up the chance to ask.
Tommy Refenes (GDC 2018)
Here's the thing about Team Meat's Tommy Refenes. We've talked to him a lot. Like, a lot, a lot. We could probably write a whole Top 25 Tommy Refenes Interviews feature if we wanted to. Picking one to put on this list was harder than assembling the list itself.
In the end, we ultimately went with our chat from the 2018 Game Developers Conference, where we talked about serious topics, like Costco buttercream. That stuff is diabetes on a spoon.
Dave Oshry (Shacknews E5 2021)
Few game developers are more about making retro-style PC shooters for a modern audience than New Blood Interactive and Dave Oshry is proudly leading the charge. After breaking out with Dusk, the studio continues to put together incredible games and Oshry was more than happy to tell us what's coming down the pipeline. As a site with an old-school PC gaming audience, this warms our hearts and we were happy to have this chat with Dave.
Dave Oshry, if you're reading this, just know that we'll never bump you for Gabe Newell. Mostly because 99 percent of the time, we can't get Gabe Newell. (That one percent is pretty sweet, though. We won't lie.)
Phil Tibitoski (2020)
Before the PlayStation 5 released, we had a lot of questions. About 90 percent of those questions were about Bugsnax. We had so much we wanted to know about Bugsnax, this oddball world, these weird creatures, the game's story, how anybody could have come up with this idea, etc. So we have to give props to Young Horses' Phil Tibitoski for indulging us and answering every question we had.
Nate from Nintendo (DICE 2020)
It's always a treat to chat with the nice folks at Nintendo, so it was a special moment for us to corner Nate Bihldorff, who we affectionately know as "Nate from Nintendo." The long-time localization manager and Shy Guy voice actor shared his joy for Luigi's Mansion 3 with us. And, he took some time to rave about the Zelda franchise with us.
Ben Brode (PAX East 2018)
We've talked to a lot of Hearthstone developers over the past several years here at Shacknews, but it was PAX East 2018 where we got our one and only opportunity to talk to Ben Brode, the game's director. Brode is always a warm personality and a great interview, so it was wonderful to talk to him for a spell about what was coming to Hearthstone. What landed this interview on our list, however, was that Brode made headlines just days later by leaving Blizzard for new pastures.
PlayerUnknown (Tokyo Game Show 2017)
Before Fortnite became a pop culture phenomenon, PlayerUnknown changed the face of shooters with PUBG, one of the first and biggest battle royale shooters on the market. We go all the way back to September 2017 to talk about the launch of PUBG 1.0 and his endeavors as a DJ, learning more about the PlayerUnknown behind PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.
Nick Chester (PAX East 2018)
Speaking of battle royale shooters, let's move on over to Fortnite and revisit our conversation with Epic Games' Nick Chester. The former Harmonix dev was happy to talk about all things Fortnite with the Shacknews staff, from its early access state to the ballooning battle royale craze.
We also talked about Roseanne's potential as a battle royale player. That would have aged a lot better had Roseanne not... you know...
Team Cherry (GDC 2017)
This is one of those interviews that we look back at with increasing fondness the more we think about just how great Hollow Knight was. This was an incredible game and we now count ourselves lucky that we got to talk to Team Cherry about their creation back at the 2017 Game Developers Conference.
Today, we continue to await any word on what's next.
Suda51 (PAX South 2020)
Goichi "Suda51" Suda was another gaming luminary that we've chatted with multiple times, so it was hard to narrow down which conversation with him we enjoyed the most. We ultimately decided on this snippet from early 2020, which one of the few times we've gotten to talk directly about No More Heroes 3. Plus, we got to ask him about the state of horror games and how he would help bring the genre back to prominence.
Suda51 is one of the most creative minds in the industry and we look forward to finally getting our hands on this game later this year.
Ben Laulan (PAX West 2019)
As big fans of Dead Cells, we were excited to talk to Community Manager Ben Laulan about everything coming to the game. For us, the fact that the Dead Cells booth was set in a makeshift castle made it one of the cooler interview settings we've ever had. Learning more about the epic DLC campaigns that were headed to Dead Cells was a pleasant bonus.
Yacht Club Games (PAX West 2019)
As long as we were wandering across castles at PAX West 2019, it felt like a good time to check in with the folks at Yacht Club Games. The makers of Shovel Knight did not disappoint, giving us another of our most memorable interviews, talking about Netflix shows, cereal, and other cool retro goodness.
Gearbox (E3 2019)
We like our Borderlands at Shacknews, which is why we were ecstatic that Gearbox made time to give us a first look at Borderlands 3 back at E3 2019. We talked about what it meant to leave Pandora, explore vaults on other worlds, and create all-new villains. And, of course, we talked a lot about the game's loot and weapons, because what's a Borderlands game without all that?
Adam Bromell (GDC 2016)
Our community is a big part of what makes Shacknews and it gives us a swell of pride when posters on our Chatty boards go on to create their own projects. Adam Bromell posts here as eonix and he's one of the minds behind Astroneer. We were proud to chat with Adam about what would come to the game and we're elated to see what Astroneer has grown into in the years since it released.
Justin Roiland (E3 2019)
Well, we weren't finishing a list of our 25 favorite video interviews without this one. Rick & Morty co-creator Justin Roiland finished up E3 2019 with us and... what can we say about it that we haven't already? It really might be the interview that's helped define Shacknews in a lot of ways, whether it's Roiland's boisterous personality or the fact that an interview is being conducted while everyone is surrounded by people in shark suits.
When we said "E3 is dead," we weren't expecting a pandemic to set in, but our original point holds up. This is where E3 jumped the shark and that's something we're standing behind. We proudly do so with arguably our greatest interview ever. It's 40 minutes of joy, laughter, and "What the f***?"
In wrangling together 25 videos from across 25 years, it's almost inevitable that some slipped through the cracks. If we missed anything egregious, join the conversation and let us know in the comments. Keep on visiting Shacknews, as we continue to celebrate 25 years on the internet.
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Shacknews' 25 favorite video interviews
Super Meat boy is easily my favorite.
0H, MAN, feek that game