Why it matters: Gamer’s frequently have questions about the games that they play. Whether trying to find stats on a weapon, or looking for backstory to a particular NPC, most players have found themselves on a wiki for the game. But what if a major source for information were to suddenly disappear?
Nukapedia is one of the largest and most comprehensive sources of information on the Fallout franchise. It hosts over 25,000 articles ranging from the original Interplay Fallout all the way through to the latest news on Bethesda's Fallout 76. To say it is the goto wiki for Fallout details would be something of an understatement. So it is no surprise that fans and admins are stirred up over a controversy regarding autoplay videos on the site.
According to Kotaku, Fandom, the for-profit company that hosts Nukapedia, tried placing video ads amidst the wiki pages last year. That move did not go over well with the administrators of the site. They said the videos were of poor quality and they had received negative feedback over them from the community. They shared this information with Fandom and the company backed off, and removed the videos.
Now it is trying it again. This time the videos are at least Fallout related trailers and such (preceded by ads of course) and are of better quality, but the admins and community still do not like them on the pages. The main complaint this time is that the videos are set to autoplay.
“While users may like the content of some of the videos, literally nobody likes autoplay videos," wrote one fan. “So when a service forces them on you, it shows that service has absolutely no respect for its users.”
“Super-admin” Chad writes, “Our relationship [with Fandom] has risen and fallen over the years, but we think it’s safe to say it’s either at, or near, an all-time low. We no longer take it for granted that what is good for Wikia is good for us, and are alarmed about the direction they are taking in many areas.”
A Fandom representative responded to criticism by pointing out that the videos were getting a 73-percent satisfaction rating across the board and a score of 87-percent on the Fallout 76 videos alone. So it appears that Fandom is less willing to bend this time around. This unwillingness to work with the community and admins of the wiki has resulted in tensions that have the content creators evaluating their options including finding another hosting alternative or closing shop altogether.
Chad fell short of saying that the wiki would be packing its bags, but clearly, there is a dysfunction here that cannot last without something breaking. Nobody wants to see the Fallout wiki go away, but that will primarily be up to the content creators.
As Kotaku points out, “The wiki on Fandom as it exists already gets priority in search results. The same cannot be said for an entirely new wiki, even if they’re bringing over a dedicated community of editors and contributors.”