Giantbomb’s co-founder, and well-known gaming journalist Ryan Davis was found dead on July 3rd. That news was made public on Giantbomb.com this morning. The cause of death is still unknown. He was 34.
Ryan Davis married his wife only eight days ago. He took last week off from the site. His last major appearance on Giantbomb came on June 25th when he hosted his last Giant Bombcast, the website’s weekly podcast.
Davis’ death is a major blow to the Giantbomb team, the site’s thousands of dedicated fans, and the game industry as a whole. Already, numerous names from across the gaming world have announced their shock and sadness over Davis’ death.
Carbonated will update this story as new information is released.
Update: Here are my personal thoughts on Ryan Davis and what his life and death meant to me.
I never met Ryan Davis, but I considered him a friend. My friend died today and that makes me sad.
Ryan Davis was one of the five major personalities on Giantbomb.com. What made Giantbomb so successful is that it placed the thoughts, opinions, and appearance of its staff as the selling point of its content. I’ve had a yearly subscription to Giantbomb for over two years. With that money, I didn’t buy access to breaking news or exclusive gameplay content – that stuff can be found elsewhere. Instead, my five dollars a month earned me the ability to watch Ryan and the crew play and talk about games some more.
Since the debut of television, or maybe even the printing press, certain individuals have been able to establish one-way relationships with their consumers. Just like some people claim they “know” Taylor Swift or Jessica Biel, I “knew” Ryan Davis. In the past two years, I imagine I’ve watched or listened to Ryan Davis for over 500 hours. I’ve come to know his opinions on games (Saints Row 3 was one of his all-time favorites), but also his personal life (he loved grilling, and owned a mask that made hummingbirds land on your face.)
I also knew that he was kind, and thoughtful, and funny. He also swore too much, and had a nasty habit of trying a little too hard whenever he was in “host” mode. I listened to the man speak for hours at a time unedited. I knew all his strengths and faults. I knew him.
I dreamed of one day working alongside Ryan at Giantbomb. Actually, that idea kind of terrified me. In reality, I dreamed of one day holding a position in the writing or gaming industry that would make Giantbomb want to talk to me. I imagined meeting Ryan, Jeff, Brad, and Vinnie and hopping right into a conversation about games and life. Now I’ll never get to do that.
I find myself in a difficult situation right now; I imagine it’s one shared by thousands of other Giantbomb fans: I never met Ryan Davis, and I doubt he knew who I was. That doesn’t change the fact that right now I feel cold, sad, and hollow.
I’ve already had a number of people tell me that I’m allowed to feel remorse for Ryan’s death, but I’m still defensive. I want people to understand how much pain I feel right now. This isn’t because I want any sort of pity party, but because I feel like unless people acknowledge the remorse today’s news brought me, that they won’t understand just how much Ryan Davis meant to me as a personality, a game journalist, and as a friend.