[The following was something I wrote for the launch of USgamer, the new site I’m working for in addition to GamesIndustry International. We ultimately decided not to publish it there for a few reasons, not the least of which was wanting to avoid reader confusion.]
First off, a special thanks to all our backers who really came through for the USgamer team by giving to our Kickstarter! When we first launched the campaign with a specific dollar figure in mind, a month-long publicity campaign mapped out, and a detailed internal budget for the site, we had no idea anybody would give us money for it! Seriously, it hadn’t even occurred to us! But USgamer has the best fans in the world, and now that the site actually exists, it’s time for us to follow through on YOUR expectations, and that’s to do the same thing that made YOU willing to support us with YOUR money in the first place: to write about video games!
But this won’t be like any other site out there. Not a chance. Now the leash is off, no more publishers telling us what to, no more advertisers to answer to! Now we’re empowered. Now we get to do the work we’ve always wanted to do, and fulfill the vision of game journalism we’ve been pursuing our entire careers but have tragically been held back from by the corrupting influences of outside forces! And we want YOU to tell us how to do it!
That’s right! As far as we’re concerned, each and every one of YOU is one of us now. YOU supported USgamer because our history speaks for itself. We have decades of experience and have been responsible for work that shaped your notions of what games journalism should be, and we want YOU to tell us how we should do our jobs! The great thing is, we’ve already started!
When we first conceived of USgamer, we were steadfast in our vision of what a great gaming site should be. We knew what belonged in a gaming site, what was necessary to create a USgamer that featured only the best of the best, an incredible mix of thought-provoking content, streamlined and laser-focused on a level of quality that just wasn’t possible under the old models of gaming journalism. But then the response from the Kickstarter was so huge, we hit stretch goal after stretch goal, and now we’ve got all the extra bells and whistles YOU wanted, including microtransaction reviews, five weekly podcasts, retro strategy guides, and a cat meme gallery!
But now we need to take it a step further. We want YOUR input on everything! What’s newsworthy? What score should we give this game? What should our position be on on-disc DLC?
Of course, our backers from the Dedicated reward tier will get to influence this more directly as they write their editorials with guaranteed front page placement. And obviously, the user profiles of those generous contributors who made up the Archivist reward tier will carry permission to edit any piece of content on the site. But we want to go further, because we know that YOUR ideas are the only ones that matter!
In the end, this will be an unprecedented collaboration between the audience and the content creators, working together to realize OUR ARTISTIC VISION with YOUR CONSTANT INPUT. Because that’s what USgamer is. It’s not MEgamer. It’s not YOUgamer. It’s US, gamers.
(Unless you guys think YOUgamer is better, because we could go either way on this, really.)