I finally did it - I cancelled my Rooster Teeth sponsorship or what is now called a First Membership. I had been thinking about cancelling for a while, but the "grandfather" payments I was making were so small that I just hung on, hoping that the site and the sponsor/First-only content would improve. The site, especially, was a sticking point for me because we had so often been promised a better or improved site. Sadly, neither has happened and I'm tired of waiting.
I’ll still watch RT and the various channels’ content, but I’ll do so on YouTube. I went back and checked each channel to see which videos or series are First-only content that I’d miss and the list was practically blank, so switching to only using YouTube to watch videos makes sense. Also, I don’t mind waiting the extra day or week for content to move from the website to YouTube, so that part of the First membership no longer holds any appeal for me. First seems to be primarily about streaming these days, but I almost never watch gaming streams, so this is no big loss either. In short, I’ve outgrown the usefulness and the appeal of the content provided by the First membership.
However, as I mentioned earlier, this is primarily about the website. It’s just terrible, it’s been terrible for years, and I no longer expect it to be improved within my lifetime. For a company that makes media for the internet and that places a premium on having their own service outside of other ones like YouTube or Twitch, I’ve never understood why their own site is so awful and poorly made. It’s as if the site was made on the cheap. Why, in this current version, is there one site for videos and another for the community? Moreover, where’s the transparency and improved UX we were promised? Nowhere to be found. Features and functionality seem to be worked on and deployed in an ad hoc fashion. Problems persist with certain features update after update. Bugs and features that we’re told will be fixed aren’t and then all follow up comments are ignored which I guess is a step up from the previous years where’d they just whitewash or rationalize their poor performance rather than seriously address it; it’s why I stopped watching the panels featuring the web team because I couldn’t stand listening to people lie or change history just to make themselves look somewhat competent. We’re told that better web people have been hired, but you wouldn’t know it at all from looking at the site over the past few years. Logging and tracking bugs and content changes is still just as bad as it’s ever been. This wouldn’t be a problem if the site didn’t have so many issues. It’s constantly down, logging people out of their accounts, the videos take a long time to buffer, frequently drop in quality, sometimes hitch or start over, etc… A new video on the RT site struggles to playback at a consistent 1080p whereas I can watch any video on YouTube at 2K or 4K without the slightest issue. So why watch content on the RT site when YouTube is so much better at it? For the First-only content? Sure, if any of that was worth it, but it’s not to me.
So this brings me to the point of the matter – I no longer feel any impetus to directly support RT. They can get whatever money YouTube will give them from my viewing content there. The site no longer feels like a community to me and I’m not sure it ever will again. If they want me to rejoin, then they have to supply me with an appropriate value proposition. Right now, even the little I was paying every six months isn’t worth it. So long RT, it’s been fun, but I’ve grown tired of hearing how you’ll one day improve your bad habits. See you on YouTube.