Few video game podcasts can make me cry, laugh and rejoice in the space of a single episode. Even fewer can build a following of more than 28,000 followers and a forum with more than 12,000 active members. NoobToob was all of this and more. After almost five years and 231 episodes, Tobin Coziahr and Yuzo Watanabe have decided to call it a day on their popular YouTube show. Although it’s sad to see such a great production end, I can’t help but thank them for all of the stellar work that they’ve done.
I first stumbled across NoobToob during my freshman year at University. The lack of heavy scripting and mix of intelligent comedy instantly caught my attention. Here were two amateur enthusiasts from California, producing an hour long podcast that was consistently better than the content of most professional websites. The setup seemed almost too simple; the pair would sit in front of a video camera at home, drink wine and review the latest games that they’d played that week. There was no professional editing and no distinct packages or features. Just simple, honest chat.
Yet it worked. The honesty of NoobToob and the clear bond of friendship that Yuzo and Tobin have for one another captured the hearts of gamers everywhere. They were gamers, talking about games. They were one of us. In a strange way, towards the end they felt like friends I really knew. Sharing jokes, producing crude swipes at one another and messing around with hilarious skits. Each episode flew by, never once becoming tired or stale.
The end of NoobToob was abrupt, but expected. Anyone could tell that the pair were struggling to produce an episode every week. The podcast became slightly shorter and many were pre-recorded back to back. They were growing up, moving into jobs with increasing responsibilities and starting families of their own. It was never going to last forever.
The finale was brilliant. It was a great chance for Tobin and Yuzo to look back on the show and answer many of the questions that they had avoided in the past. I never would have guessed that they used to work for Microsoft, especially on voice recognition projects such as Kinect. It’s a beautiful irony that shows just how connected with the video game industry they’ve become. I wish Tobin the best of luck with OnLive (a relatively new cloud based gaming system) and Yuzo with Lab126 (a development company for Amazon’s Kindle device).
It’s been a great run and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every show. Thank you, Tobin and Yuzo.