If you’re someone who likes to keep up with gaming news, there’s a fairly good chance you’re a follower of the pseudonymous Twitter account @Nibellion, along with almost half a million others. Except, not anymore, as the individual behind the account announced that he’s closing it all down, citing a lack of Patreon support, and the arrival of Elon Musk at Twitter.
Nibel didn’t break stories but rather had an almost preternatural ability to tweet about them before anyone else. If you wanted to know a Nintendo Direct was coming up or that the latest trailer for God of War Ragnarök had gone live, Nibel would likely be there first. Presumably by way of perpetually and forensically scanning news wires and other Twitter accounts, he made a name for himself in the industry as being a trustworthy source of information, as well as a calm voice when it came to his own editorializing.
In September, Nibel launched a Patreon as a way to monetize what presumably must be a full-time job of scanning feeds. Despite an initial flurry of people backing him, Nibel reports that these numbers quickly began to drop. At the time of writing, the Patreon has a very healthy 985 backers, but with only two backing tiers—$1 and $3. Assuming that works out to around $1,000 a month after taxes, it’s not really a living wage.
“Unfortunately,” Nibel says in a pay-gated Patreon statement, “I was not able to create an interesting and sustainable Patreon which is evident in the number of Patrons stagnating during the first weekend and the first (of many) pledges being deleted during the first week.”
“I have miscalculated the value of my Twitter activity and realize that it is nothing worth supporting by itself for the vast majority of people. It is not me who is popular, but it is that work that is useful. It is not valuable by itself, but a comfortable timesaver, and I get that now.”
Paying someone to tweet was always going to be a tough call, no matter how useful the feed became to so many. Especially since Nibel wasn’t directly creating anything himself, beyond convenience. Still, it’d be nice if more people had been willing to throw a buck a month his way for the sake of the work he was doing for them.
Nibel goes on to discuss the recent takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk as another reason for feeling it’s time to move on. Calling this the “elephant in the room,” he adds that he doesn’t believe Twitter has been well run for a while and that “this trend will not change with Musk either.”
“I do not trust the platform,” Nibel says in his statement. “I do not trust Musk and his seemingly infinite immaturity. I do not think Twitter will fall apart instantly but that it could die a slow death. Why waste more time?”
In his final comments on Twitter, before locking his 448k follower account, Nibel explained he wants to turn his attention elsewhere.
“After some introspection, I’ve made the decision to focus my time and energy elsewhere and move on from Twitter. This marks the end of my video games coverage and my active participation in this platform.
Thanks to everybody for the fun times!”
The account is locked, rather than removed, to prevent anyone else from taking control of the handle and causing mischief. Not that this has stopped people in the past.