An Ode to Nibellion

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Rory Galvin looks at the hole left in gaming Twitter

If you are not aware of who Nibellion (commonly shortened to Nibel) are: they’re an account on Twitter. Okay, it’s more than that, but what it really boils down to is an account that was extremely helpful and almost necessary in the gaming space. Let’s talk about what they did, why they got popular and what caused their eventual retirement.

Nibel consolidated almost all of gaming news into one space - similar to how most outlets report on what they can, but better. Not only did they provide a kind of TL;DR (too long, didn’t read) of the story, but tweeted about things some outlets might be worried about posting for legal reasons, such as big gaming leaks. The account had fantastic growth over the few years it was active, solely for being useful to many. For most enthusiasts, keeping on top of gaming news in this ever-growing industry means checking multiple websites daily and even keeping tabs on journalists' own accounts (looking at you, Jason Schrier). One of the best examples of their work would be all of their coverage on different gaming presentations. No matter the time-zone or perceived value, Nibellion would tweet out as everything happened - so if you were like me: not bothered to watch the PC Gaming Showcase, you had a place to go that cut through all of the fat. 

No matter the time-zone or perceived value, Nibellion would tweet out as everything happened

One criticism of their work was the very nature of it: consolidation. Because Nibel was not actually creating original content, some people considered them no better than a Twitter bot, but in fact what they did would be impossible to automate. They shared the biggest bits of news, gave the bullet points, and most importantly, credited and linked all of the articles. All of this eventually led to the launch of a Patreon, a platform where fans can directly pay for someone’s work.

Nibel’s Patreon offered exclusive access to a new feed which included things like event summaries and write-ups - there was also mention of an exclusive Discord server in the works. There was a cheaper tier that was just to show support - the regular tier was €3. In a little over a month, Nibel decided to call it quits. It was a shocking move; they explained it by writing “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.” It’s a shame, but with the time needed to run an account like that - it looked like a full time job, and they weren’t getting the money to make it worth it. Their almost posthumous Game Awards nomination was a sign of gratitude from the people who looked at the account daily, like me.

If you want to make use of an account similar to Nibellion, Wario64 is still on Twitter and is a legend - as long as you can wade through all of the affiliate links. Here’s hoping Nibel returns in some form eventually. It’s easy to imagine them running a more official gaming account.