Wuttup meatbeaters, Happy Holidays n' shits!
Reflecting on 2018 as we hit the mid point in December and I wanted to take a few to acknowledge some of the deep brown before getting on to dank green a little later this month! 2018 saw some epic fails and it felt like no look back would be complete without a dedicated shitshow post to shine the spotlight on some of the turds that dropped on VR porn viewers this year!
HoloGirlsVR - Down and Out
The first high profile VR Porn failboat of 2018 was HologirlsVR's award winning schooner, which had shown signs of listing well back into 2017, where it became obvious that they had only produced a mere half dozen scenes or so that year, that were then being portioned out like deli cuts to be drip dropped down to their members in appetizer sized bites. This meant you might get your virtual dick sucked one week.... and then have to wait another month to smash in part deux!
I think it was around October of 2017, that I myself stopped hosting HoloGirlsVR trailers as well as posting up warnings on my website review for readers that things were starting to feel pretty sketchy from my perspective and to be careful with taking the dive on anything over a 1 month sub. By the same time, HoloGirls had also begun supplementing their catalog with generic content shot by VR3000 that had been previously released at other VR sites, and all signs to me seemed to point toward imminent failure as 17' came to a close .
They managed to release only a couple of more clips in early 2018 before essentially pulling the plug after presumably running out of new content to release in March and without so much as a peep to their subscribers or fans, they shut down production from all outward appearances.
Sad to See
And that's a sad VR story to me. I enjoyed the direction that some of the creators were taking there ( Anna Lee was even nice enough to name a scene after my reddit uname) but they were largely hobbled by poor rig design which ultimately profoundly affected the way they had to shoot much of their content in comparison to their competition. They brought us the first GFE attempt in VR in 16' and then watched from the sidelines as studios like WankzVR picked up that ball and ran with it to the end zone for the rest of the year.
Likely the only time I'll ever get a porno named after "me", shout out Anna Lee!
They had a great looking image at the time due to the rig being based on mulitiple cameras instead of just 2......but the rig itself was really big and ill suited for first person setups. As well, the post production software was not up to the task of convincingly stitching the images together into a final composite image.
This meant HoloGirlsVR had to shoot their talent fucking in what amounted to a very narrow cone in front of the rig. Which at that point...why seam 8 or however many cams together to begin with? Background clarity? There is no upside really. And that would even require them to go as far as to edit out many of the insertion moments in their scenes, as the talent would break out of the cone just mounting the dick in cowgirl, resulting in truly odd flow for porno and unsatisfactory feeling "insta-fucking" type edits.
HoloGirlsVR viewers gave them feedback on their tech issues on reddit for quite some time and eventually.......just stopped giving it, as it was clearly being ignored when the rep Obsidian would state over and over that everything was great from his PoV. In fact, "perfect".
The once boastful Obsidian then disappeared altogether from reddit, never to be heard from again and left things in the hands of performer Samantha Mack in the end, who at least genuinely tried to step in and make an effort on HG's behalf at interacting with the community during their last period of activity.
I give Obsidian shit and call him out in particular 1. because he talked a mile of shit about how good their tech was, and 2. I always got the impression it was a higher up at HoloGirlsVR, who should have been listening closely, instead of using reddit threads to toot his own horn.
Could Have Went Another Way
Holo should have been a success story in VR porn in my estimation, rather than a cautionary tale in 2018. They had a solid entry spot in 2016, preceding WankzVR into the content starved U.S. marketplace. BaDoinkVR was still shooting primarily in Spain, it was pretty much just Naughty America to compete with. They had the initial backing of the community. They had great casting and talent. They shot some cool early scenes.
But the problem with Holo for much of the time, was they were selling to, rather than catering to their audience I feel like. They were often speculating on what it was that their viewers wanted to see featured in VR from my perspective, when they could have simply let their viewers point the way to success. Simple things like the importance of utilizing basic proximity in VR and not shooting talent that is 4-6 feet away from the rig or a lot of "lean back" action for instance are things that viewers will and did point out.
Their unwillingness to change their tech was frustrating to watch the longer time went on as well, as their basic setup would not allow them to shoot at close proximity to begin with even if they wanted to attempt capturing that type of footage. The same type of footage their competition was killing it with in 2016, as HoloGirls further dug in their heels on the seamed multi-cam approach.
By the time they moved to a better rig design in 17'......it just felt like a lot of the early enthusiasm for the project had waned, both from viewers and internally, and as if it had been dumped in Anna's lap to run with at that point, as the additional production style that was featured along side hers in 16, seemed to be missing.
Shutting down production without so much as a comment this year is pretty disappointing. It was just a weird way for a once boastful brand to go out, and HoloGirlsVR business end has shown a penchant for doing this it seems as Burning Angle VR and KinkVR were shelved without any real announcement on the websites or to their customers in similar fashion.
So shitshow shoutout to HoloGirlsVR in 2018.....you can't brag about being the best in VR one year, and be out of business without a word the next.
They should really update the billing page at this point as that "best value" annual pass to 4 dormant labels for 180 bucks is pretty nasty looking
Naughty America VR - Nobody Did it Better in 2018
Next up in 18', Naughty America VR and what amounted to Le Grande Shitshow of the Year to be sure, where NAVR served up a virtual buffet of hawt dookie for much of the year, flinging poo at their affiliates and customers alike, and telling them both to pretty much take it or leave it.
On my end, the proverbial canary began chirping back in 2017 when Naughty America affiliate payouts that once came like clockwork when I first started my site in 16'—issued from what appeared to be a fairly automated payout system—changed to what felt much like manually approved payouts that took increasingly longer to secure on my end starting in early 2017. No one, in VR, pays late. In 3 years now......not one other studio has caused me to go "hey, where the chedder this month?" even once. Let alone the multiple times I had to resort to with NA.
By the time 2018 rolled around, Naughty America was frequently months behind on payouts with me and each time I asked what was up, I was put through a comical (or not so much) cat and mouse routine between affiliate management and accounting, whom could never seem to sync up despite as many as a dozen email requests from me on some occasions. Sometimes I would even call and leave messages which were never returned. (I was later asked by one of the owners when he terminated our affiliate agreement "why didn't you just pick up the phone and call???")
They always paid me, unlike some others that I know.....but I had to literally hound them and resort to dinging Scott on reddit directly for much of 2017 and 18' and they were generally more than 2 months behind at any time during that period. And I honestly don't think I would have gotten paid like that, but for my fairly vocal profile in Naughty America reddit threads for the preceding 3 years where Scott likely didn't want to see that issue bubble up.
In 17', I also started seeing the same stories posted from other affiliates in the space on popular message boards such as XBIZ and GFY, the latter of which had an epic thread of affiliates, all singing the same song with the same names at NA, and rattling off fairly disturbing sums of money that when added up by the end of the thread, amounted to a sizable hill of beans.
Another common thread in these complaints, was that Naughty America would frequently terminate the affiliates account if they attempted to complain about the situation. And when Naughty America terminates your affiliate account, the legal team is in your inbox a few days later ensuring you scrub every bit of content and branding from your website.
The sad thing was, their attitude was essentially to blame their affiliates for traffic that didn't tend to rebill at NA, about guys that were cherry picking on a one month discount, and then canceling to rinse and repeat every few months, instead of questioning the way there were going about doing business internally. For years it now seems.
Since I can't post any NA pics and this post needs some pussy,.... here's a tasty shot of Kenna James at BabeVR!
Now, right around the the same time the affiliate issues came to a head for me, Naughty America was also in the midst of rolling out their fartacular EA lootcrate system much to their consumers delight. Content that was previously available to download under a standard sub, was then locked up behind multiple individual paywalls, that ranged in estimates from $500 to $1000 in total costs to unlock. For the same content that had been valued at 25 bucks a month or cheaper on an annual rate, for the 2 years prior.
It was quite frankly the most retarded, not to mention outright anti-consumer and predatory move I have seen any studio in VR make in the last 4 years, and all of a sudden, I found myself linking out to this bullshit offer with a billing page that divulged none of the real details, from literally hundreds of posts on my website.
I threw up warnings on my reviews, and in a vocal thread on reddit, told NA to "get fucked" when it became clear they were indeed going to roll out such an insulting subscription model.
Look perverts.....I don't want to be involved with sendin any of you horndogs out to scummy offers, lol. If I am not down with the business practices of any of the studios featured on my site, I am going to speak about it as I am on the side of the viewer always. What happens if you click through my links or discount links, and get a shit sandwich on the other side? Right? WTF! He didn't say anything about THIS shit!
Kali Roses at WankzVR! Raaaaawr!
In the case of NA, I was literally in the same boat as you guys when all this shit went down in Spring, a paying member. In fact I had just bought an annual before the shit hit the fan, and if I log in on my grandfather account right now.....there are 5 gated categories I would have to pay up to $35.00 to unlock, such as FMA or PSE. When I could grab the new "unlimited access" monthly for 30 dollars. DERP.
Hard to Even Recap
Looking back, the shit at NA changed so much from week to week to month to month this year, it's hard to even backtrack and highlight it. From rig changes, to crew changes, to reddit staff changes, to sub model changes, Terms of Service changes, to release schedule changes....about the only thing that didn't seem to change from month to month at NA were the cookie cutter scenes they were doling out, one after another, often starring more than one performer, for a studio that looked to need to be checking their production costs, not increasing them via extra talent fees for marquee factor.
All the good will I witnessed their rep Scott build on reddit over the last 3 years, I saw destroyed in a matter of months, by a poster whom identified himself as one of the owners, that would frequently troll negative feedback with some of the worst customer service replies I have ever witnessed. The guy, was literally a prick, and deliberately so at times. It was fucking unreal to watch.
Scott didn't even stick around long enough for the shit to come flying back at him from viewers, ducking off into the night never to be heard from again, (he did pop out of his gopher hole briefly once recently, lol) after years of effective service on behalf of his home brand to the reddit community. Scott, was a member of that community, had the pulse of it, had taken more than one beating with a smile there over the years, and to see him bail....kind of nutshelled the poop up all into a nice Hershy kiss of an illustration of NA's internal problems in 2018. I can't say that I blame him for ditching.
Scott was also a lynchpin in relaying information back to the crews, about how the bros, like their VR pornos. So....ya.
It was just a fucking trainwreck to behold, for a studio that at the start of 2018, looked like it might finally get its shit together on the production and tech side of things. Soon after, returned the bowed and distorted images, the nubby square one production, and the utter crap shoot of what it was going to be from one month to the next, making for a year that in no way justified their insane new ultra premium pricing model.
Elena Koshka at VRHush!
"Hey guys.....I don't think they like the new sub model"
NA actually stuck with their hairbrained sub scheme for the better part of 6 months, floating on grandfather farts of the subs that had signed up pre-changes and obviously not hooking any new fish with their bait n' gate offer, as by the time late Fall rolls around, they finally abandoned it, introducing a new "all access" monthly sub for 35 bucks.
I made a post on reddit (my last, lol) about how the rate was still ridiculous from a competitive standpoint and "wtf had happened to the annual rate", and they dropped the sub to 30 and added the annual back a couple of weeks later in yet another can't-make-up-our-mind-this-year change. As well as, all of a sudden out of the blue "we value your feedback" bullshit cam flying back into their reddit threads.
So it was a royal fucking shitshow at Naughty America VR this year in my estimation and it hurt everyone really. It hurt consumers. It hurt whatever reputation NA had managed to build in the space over the last 3 years. It hurt numerous affiliates like myself that are either "allegedly" having to still attempting to recoup money owed them, or had to suffer the traffic loss from being told to scrub NA content from our websites after having our affiliate agreements terminated. When none of us.......had done anything but help them promote their website/scenes and asked to be paid what was owed to us when late. I was told by the co-owner during our phone conversation to "do business with people that treat you right then". Indeed.
And all that shit trickled back down the leg to the consumer in the end, as a high priced, unpredictable, often unsatisfying ride on the 2018 Naughty America Failboat cruise. I don't have beef with NA, there are good people that work there, in fact rumor had it the original talented producer at NA was doing scenes again at one point, which might explain some of the positive results this year. But the owners flat out embarrassed their brand this year and made quite a grand show of it.
And then fell back on it. Now what? What happens when you burn all your bridges and blame your customers and business associates for your problems? They were not doing great going into 18' ....obviously. What now?
Stay tuned fappers, 19' is bound to be interesting at Naughty America VR!
Reality Lovers - Download Haters
Second shitshow only to Naughty America VR for me in 2018 would have to be Reality Lovers, whom also had a year that was hard to keep up with as a monthly subscriber and reviewer.
Things took a wtf swing for me last December, when Reality Lovers— at that time releasing 2 scenes a week— decided upon an ill advised from my perspective X-mas stunt that involved them blowing out 30 scenes, or one release a day, for the entire month of December 2017.
Now.....do some math here bros. At 2x a week releases, that is 15 weeks of content or nearly 4 months. At 1x a week release rate, that is nearly 8 months of content, that got blown out in one month as a STUNT. If the average production cost for a month was say 16,000 for 8 scenes, December 2017 expenditures would have amounted to over 60,000 for December alone on simple napkin math.
I thought to myself at the time........there is no way that pays off. Ever. It's a dumb stunt.
And....... new year rolls around and Reality Lovers....shocker.....cut back to once a month releases in February.
Lets backtrack the timeline a little further at Reality Lovers and see that in June 17', they had raised prices to an industry leading 30 bucks a month, and killed off their annual option. In November 17', they half-ass switched to pay per clip only, depending upon how many times you refresh cycled the sub page, or if you emailed customer service to ask for a monthly rate. Then the Xmas stunt. Then the drop back to 1x a week releases in February 2018, as well as the return of monthly subscriptions. Some interesting timing on all that when looking back.
By Fall 2018, Reality Lovers announced the folding of their MILF site Mature Reality into the main Reality Lovers catalog, and are now padding releases at Reality Lovers with this previously shot MILF content, much to the dismay of many subs, whom either already saw the content on the other site, or didn't particularly sign up to Reality Lovers for Mature Reality content.
Now, as we arrive at the end of 2018, Reality Lovers have announced that they are moving to streaming only for the monthly sub, with an additional pay per download paywall of 3 bucks a pop on top of the 30 dollar monthly sub, which is right up there with Naughty America dumbfuckery for me, and is anti-consumer as hell, when no one else in the market charges extra for downloading.
And just as NA was doing this year, they are NOT divulging this on the sign up page, which is predatory in my book. It is deceptive. It is not transparent what is going on after you pay once for general membership, in a market, that expects to be able to download scenes as a base requirement for many viewers. Both NA and RL's buried this fact in vague fine print in their respective TOS agreements, drawn up to facilitate such things instead of simply posting *Downloads $2.99 extra per scene on the sign up page in Reality Lovers case.
With options like SLR premium emerging in the market this year.....who exactly is gonna sign up for this kind of shit going forward? Companies trying to nickle and dime you for DIGITAL GOODS they want you to pay them more than once to obtain. Are you kidding me?
So a shitshow nod to Reality Lovers for 2018 on the business end and best of luck to them trying to sell viewers on that deal in 2019. They are going to need it. I suspended hosting new Reality Lovers trailers last month, and all my links lead to a redirect warning currently, to make sure people are aware of the new pay per download cost, as you would never know on the sign up page.
VRBangers - Can't Buy Me Love
An honorary shitshow mention goes out to VRBangers, whom made a regular habit the last year of hitting me up via email and telling me how disappointed they were, that they were not ranked number one, let alone at all on my website.
One of my favorite performances this year, Ella Nova rocked it for VRBangers in Blow Dried
Each time, I would explain to them that while they were on my radar, and that I had really enjoyed Blow Dried in particular in 2018, every other movie I grabbed from them this year was over-scaled and in the case of one particular rig.....frequently orange. Tech in past years had been all over the place, as well as content providers, and quite simply, I have yet to get on board the Bangers train for anything more than a quick ride, let alone be able to divine some line of judgement on them to share with others. It changes all the time from my perspective as a viewer and I could give a shit less honestly about what artificial K they are shooting at or pimping.
This explanation fell on deaf ears though, and they soon, much to my amazement, went on to actually offer to PAY ME EXTRA TO PLACE THEM AT NUMBER 1 ON MY WEBSITE. When I told them, "are you crazy, lulz, no, gtfoh, get your own blog!".....they went ahead and hit me up again with the same offer, before I literally had to say "YO.....wtf are you doing? Have some class. Ain't no payola bein accepted over here to spin your records yo", lol.
We are willing to up your % higher for a better position up to 65% for first place.
In 3 years now bros, no one else has ever attempted to pull any shit like that in the space with me, not a single one of the studios. Many studios that you do not see reviewed on my website have asked for reviews and been declined, but none have ever offered to grease the wheels with "Boss Tier" pay, available to affiliates that place them at number 1 on their platforms or told me "we should be number 1, I am disappointed". I give a fuck, lol.
Honestly, as a reviewer that likes to think he has some integrity to his readers...I find it pretty insulting someone would attempt to buy their way into a ranking on my platform, or influence my rankings here, which is why I am putting it on blast, as well as them floating it by me more than once. Like I said to them......"How often does that work?"
I want to see Bangers succeed in VR, but..... they keep doing derpy shit year after year, from my point of view, as a consumer and this year, as a reviewer with that shit.
So Bangers gets a shitshow mention from me, for that and hyping their 30 fps interpolated 6K incessantly, like it is the be all end all metric in VR porn, while shooting on rigs this year that had noticeable scale and color issues for many viewers. Blow Dried rocked with the largely Ella Nova carry, (it was a simple one position scene like most others), but that was pretty much the only thing I caught from Bangers this year that I didn't feel like was more of the traditional unpredictable mixed Bangers bag on tech or fairly off the mark on many metrics on production, which often consisted of unimaginative one position scenes where the talent was the only real selling point.
These are the same guys that once rationalized that mounting cameras in a mannequin head would be the next revolution in VR porn rigs after all.
Bangers got a shitshow mention from me last year as well for baiting in folks with their highly hyped Sorority Hookup scene, and actually having the balls to tell folks that there was a surprise about the scene. Only.... come to find out... the "surprise" was that they had cut the scene (hacked it more like, right in the middle of Elena's grind) in half, for the purposes of drip feeding out in 2 chunks, the 2nd chunk of which appeared a timely 5 weeks later......or just enough to get another rebill out of their customers that had subbed just to watch that scene. "What was the surprise?" "oh, that WAS the suprise". ha ha.............ha. *And they literally end the year in 2018 with this same shit, releasing part 2 of their Christmas special on Jan 1. You know.....after X-mas! lol. (and after the next monthly billing cycle)
Them literally offering to pay me extra this year to place them at number on on my website, more than once, earns a personal shitshow shoutout.
ONSFW - theActionisGone
reddit was yet another shitshow this year, starting off with NA taking a big fat runny dump on onsfw and rolling into Summer with a shady backdoor deal where an affiliate apparently purchased the sub from the original mod with the intention of making it his own cash site funnel. This led to bro getting himself promptly banned by reddit admin and leaving the sub up for open grabs to anyone that wanted to claim it.
User Fucktherainbow saw the sub up for grabs and took the reigns, and from all outward appearances, did a really great job of trying to get the sub back up on its feet again with new moderation.
After taking time to run elections, and making sure to instill multiple mods in order to prevent any one mod from having too much power, rainbow turns the reigns over to the new master mod, whom then introduced himself to the sub with a "Hi guys, I'm a dick but luckily there are 2 other mods" post.
mherick, has't been on the sub long, claims he has never subbed to a VR studio, and could give a fuck less if the studios are even allowed post to the sub. In fact, if he had his way, they wouldn't be able to.
Which begs the question.....why would such a person volunteer to moderate a sub, that has traditionally been founded upon VR porn studio posts for the last 4 years now? What motivation, would a person that doesn't even sub VR porn, have for moderating the largest active online community for VR porn subscribers? The chores of which he himself describes as being "A huge pain in the ass".
Predictably, this guy banned me within months of taking the reigns as I have traditionally been one of the more outspoken members of that sub over the last 3 years, and had given him plenty of shit since introducing himself to the community with his "I'm a dick, lucky for you, there are 2 other mods to keep me in check" bullshit.
There were no threats to "get back" at anyone by me, it's absurd, and you can see he warns "other studios" of which I am not one. The dude just has this bias toward all VR studios and website owners period, regardless of who they are or how they have historically represented themselves on that sub
I lit dude up one day about a guy that has been trolling and shitting up threads on the sub for the better part of a year on an alt account, after being warned myself about responding to the dumbfucks incessant bitching and earned myself an insta perma ban for it, lol.
When someone else said something about my ban.... that person was then subsequently banned. (he eventually reversed that one).
When the 2 other mods sided against him and removed my ban, the little pussyfart stripped one of their mod powers to "chat mod", and rebanned me, leading that mod to quit, and leading the other mod to declare "I didn't sign up for this". So in essence, what user Fucktherainbow had once sought to prevent, one mod having too much power over the sub, is exactly what has happened. And this dudes just all "well suck it, it's mine now, and I ain't going nowhere", lol.
I've been on that sub 4 years, daily. Never heard of this guy mherick before this year. He winds up winning the election when the leading vote getter mysteriously withdrew/got banned, depending whom tells the story. Why would this person want to mod the sub? What is this guys interest in doing it, when he appears to have nothing but disdain for everything it stands for to begin with?
State of the Douche Address - His warm up... the entire thread linked below gets better with dudes comments to the community feedback
mherick recently made another warm address to the community of over 32000 subscribers he now finds himself lording over, and the future looks bright for the sub at the end of 2018, with studios made to feel nervous about pissing of the new anti mod, and folks being banned without warning if this guy sees fit to get his panties in a snuggle.
So shout out to OG mod Shadow for selling out to an affiliate, thanks to that affiliate for fucking up the sub and getting it closed down by reddit, and thanks to mherick for being an all around coolguy and doing the community of 32,000 subs further service this year! Way to shitshow it up fellas.
Shitshow Comic Update After Initial Post
In a pure fucking comedy update, less than a day after posting the above, Scott from Naughty America 1. Pops out of the gopher hole! 2. Gets himself banned by the same dumbfuck, for the same shit! hahahahahah. Looks like we'll all be banned and posting over at xVR sub soon! lmao.
12/20 update with more details from Scott below. If yall redditors feel some sort of way about one person dictating what you consume as an adult, on a sub that in fact, has VERY few issues that need to be moderated, and care about the community, drop either one of these self centered pricks a DM or mod mail and let em know how you feel at least, as well as post shit to the board so it is in broad daylight for everyone to comment on. This shit is going on and no one knows about it except for stories like this leaking it out. Who gets banned next? They also banned TranzVR yesterday (which is fucking retarded, the same rep OBVIOUSLY posts for WankzVR currently, and is not banned lol. ) Pure.....fucking.....dumbshits.
Master dick: mherick and his powerless sidekick Shadowman_13 may be reached at those links.
2018 Highlights to Come
Alright fuckers, that wraps up the low points in VR porn this year for me, I'll have another post up looking at the sunny side of the 2018 VR buttcrack before the end of the year!