Classic Game Show's Reboot Was Unceremoniously Scrapped

Another classic game show was close to returning to the airwaves, but it couldn't quite come to fruition. Starcade, the '80s arcade competition series, was nearly rebooted this year on G4TV, Comcast's video game network. However, the media conglomerate got cold feet with the G4 relaunch, unceremoniously shuttering the whole network in October. Prior to the shutdown, Xplay co-host Jirard "The Completionist" Khalil was deep into lining up a Starcade reboot. Khalil, who also served as G4's Executive Director of Content Strategy, revealed the reboot plans during an unofficial Xplay reunion that went down on Kinda Funny Games' platforms on Nov. 15.

"This is high level that no one really knew about, but I was about to pitch a reboot of Starcade," Khalil said. "We were very close to getting a sponsor and putting that in production, as well as Icons. Because those two shows were so formative for me in my journey to Xplay, and I knew that with me coming to Xplay, those were the two shows that I was like "This is what my identity was, and if I'm gonna be here, those are the two goddamn things I was gonna do before I left. And I fought so hard for both, and one of them was was was taking off, the other was further down the road, but I was very pumped to kind of be the secret bully that was trying to get those shows made."

Starcade was a beloved TBS game show, notable for being the first video-game-based game show. Competitors would face off in various hot arcade titles, trying to rack up the highest scores possible. Mark Richards hosted the esports series for its first 23 episodes before Geoff Edwards took over as the permanent host. Starcade ran for 123 episodes, which aired regularly in syndication, including on the original G4 and its 2021-2022 revamp.

As for Icons, it was a documentary-style series that was a fan-favorite from G4's original run. It was a documentary series focusing on various iconic figures, properties or movements in video games. (The final season broadened into covering general pop culture figures including J.J. Abrams and Chuck Liddell.)

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While Xplay is canceled, Khalil is still going strong on his own YouTube and Twitch channels (both under the name The Completionist) and his over-arching brand That One Video Gamer. He's also the driving force behind IndieLand, the annual game marathon that raises money for dementia research through The Open Hand Foundation, a charity organization dedicated to Khalil's late mother Karren Khalil. The 2022 iteration of IndieLand raised more than $100,000 for the cause.