The gaming-focused television network G4 has hinted at something happening next year via a brief video on its revived Twitter account. And while that’s exciting for those of us who grew up watching G4 in the early 2000s, it’s unclear what exactly it will bring to today’s audiences.
The teaser was released during an IGN Live broadcast as part of the ongoing Comic-Con@Home event. The minute-long video tracks through a warehouse, ending on a game of Pong with ridiculously high scores before cutting to the G4 logo and the words “2021” and “We never stopped playing.” Following the teaser, a mysterious update to the G4 website immediately set the internet ablaze with speculation.
According to sources cited by esports reporter Rod “Slasher” Breslau, G4 is being brought back by Comcast in some form in 2021. Reportedly leading the charge is Tucker Roberts, who is currently president of both the gaming wing of Comcast’s Spectacor brand and the Overwatch League’s Philadelphia Fusion.
In addition to appearing on G4’s new YouTube channel, the above video was also uploaded to YouTube channels for former G4 network programs Attack of the Show, a variety show about the entertainment industry, and X-Play, which focused primarily on gaming and game reviews. On Twitter, Attack of the Show hosts Kevin Pereira and Olivia Munn have been coy about their involvement, while X-Play personalities Morgan Webb and Adam Sessler separately noted their surprise at the possible revival without outright saying they weren’t in the know.
G4 was a paid television channel that originally launched in 2002. In addition to Attack of the Show and X-Play, the channel’s 12-year run also featured shows like Arena, an esports-lite video game competition, and Electric Playground, a review show where many of us were first introduced to Hideo Kojima’s future best friend, Geoff Keighley.
While a huge part of gaming history, G4 was also known for its casual sexism, mostly due to the channel’s adolescent male-focused marketing. The network eventually devolved into airing reruns of shows like Cops and Cheaters before shutting down in 2014.
Does the gaming industry need G4 in 2020? That’s a good question! Smart money says it won’t be on television because who watches that anymore, but that means it’s probably going online, an ecosystem already bloated with gaming content. Whatever the case, we’ll learn more as we near 2021.