John Bain, gaming critic and industry pundit, has passed away at the age of 33 following a four-year battle with cancer. Recognised by the labels Totalbiscuit and The Cynical Brit, he was recognised and respected for his harsh but fair commentary and consumer advocacy.
Bain’s career in the gaming industry spans more than a decade, starting with coverage of World of Warcraft via WoWRadio and was a vocal figure within the community. After moving to cover more general products, he launched the Cynicalbrit.com which emphasised PC gaming. While focusing primarily on first impressions of video game releases, his coverage was noted for its detailed commentary on optimisation and options menus.
Bain was famous for his willingness to stand up for less renowned figures and to level harsh criticism against consumer unfriendly industry methods. These included both major AAA publishers and minor developers alike, both in terms of product quality and company practices. Some of the more famous actions include a years-long boycott against Sega following its efforts to forcibly remove videos of Shining Force II, and Guise of the Wolf developer FUN Creators over attempted censorship of criticism.
Despite being diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2015, Bain remained active on podcasts, commentaries and first impressions. It was only in the final month leading up to his death, after conventional chemotherapy would be ineffective, that he even accepted partial retirement.
He is survived by his wife and CEO of Cynical Brit, Genna Bain, and his step-son Orion.