Letter from the Ed - 2014Platforms: All
Let’s be honest – 2013 was a great year for Gaming@TheDigitalFix. We’ve always strived to produce the best quality reviews and articles that we can as an enthusiast site, and this year more than ever I believe we have come closest to achieving that goal. That’s not just me blowing a bit of hot wind, and it’s always hard to talk about stuff you’ve achieved without sounding like a complete tool, but 2013 is, I think, going to be a benchmark year for quality control for many years moving forwards.
Fantastically, our consistency in delivering this quality was well rewarded in February with our acceptance onto the Metacritic list of accredited partners, meaning that from then on our scores have fed into the weighted average for each game we have reviewed. It was, essentially, the step that took us in external eyes from being a site of fairly competent bloggers to us counting as ‘real’ gaming critics.
Where Metacritic led, inclusion on other gaming sites followed – GameRankings and GameFAQs to name just a couple. This industry recognition may not affect you, our readers, that much, but it goes beyond simply expanding our own egos - it kicked down a few PR doors that had remained closed to us and led to our elevation in the eyes of many of the companies that we deal with. As a mark of our quality it has resulted in our job becoming easier, and it should provide a level of assurance to you all that our output is well considered and worthy of your reading time.
Taking a step back, we managed to provide a ton of content for you all last year. We published 222 reviews and 64 feature articles over the year – I’ll again stress that we are an unpaid enthusiast site. This is, I think, a remarkable achievement and for those of you that have been with us throughout the year I’d like to thank you for your continued readership. Hopefully our combination of diligence and slight irreverence has kept you entertained and informed, and I’d like to think that our opinions have formed part of the reference material you check before you come to your own conclusions about new releases.
But you know, that’s all in the past now. 2013 and all that. Let’s talk about the future. We’ve gone over all of our backend processes (oh, matron!) and fine-tuned everything. Luciano, our Reviews Editor, has been beavering away in the background, providing oranges and spit buckets for all of our contributors as he puts them through their paces. He’s essentially a slightly younger version of Mickey Goldmill from Rocky, although of course he’s somewhat less cool in stressful moments. We think. What this all means is that our aim is to continue to get you daily reviews throughout 2014, keeping you abreast with releases over all of the main formats and beyond. We are also trying very hard to expand our PC coverage – we would dearly love to be able to provide you with more coverage of some of the esoteric or niche titles that the PC platform receives, giving exposure to releases other than the media darlings we all know about.
Over in Features land and our heroic Gareth Gallagher, Features Editor extraordinaire, has a foolproof plan to take over all of your spare time. For a while now Gareth has been busy planning and procuring various bits and bobs to enable him, from the New Year onwards, to take you on podcast journeys. Wow, how 2001 you all say! And you’d be right! But bear with us, we’re all fairly oldschool here, and anyway – who is going to be able to say no to listening to a probably drunk group of people with Irish accents potentially talking about games? It has the potential to be epic, and we hope it is.
Away from mere audio we’ve also been working (well, some of us have – I usually just delegate and then send annoying chase emails) on producing some actual video content. AMAZING! It’s like we’re kids and we’ve just discovered a webcam and YouTube. This should be a little intriguing to all you getting-oldies out there though (and we know you make up most of our grumpy readership!) because while everyone else in the world with a next-gen console is going to be streaming you the latest AAA title 24/7 we’ll be taking a couple of steps back in time to look at, play and comment on the titles from yesteryear. And I mean 8-bit yesteryear. Even better, but these videos might also contain the potential to include the previously mentioned drunk Irishmen! They may be pandering to a horrible stereotype here, but by Jove they are willing to take one for the team.
There are many places you can call home on the internet; many places you’ll find yourself drawn to daily, or try to check in weekly or even just find yourself staring at during a slow day at work. I’m not pretending that we should be counted as one of those – I know you’re all busy people out in Realworldland and that there are plenty of other sites you could be spending your time on. I’d like to hope, however, that you’ll keep us in mind and grace us with your company whenever you can – certainly, at least try to check out some of the new content coming in, and let us know in various comments boxes whether you like the direction we are trying to steer this beast in.
So, that’s us then. I hope you’ll continue to join us in this New Year and check out our new content. We’re always looking to grow and find new and interesting gaming related things to talk about – let us know below if you have anything in particular you’d like to read –or, indeed, to contribute! – and we’ll do our best to meet your expectations again. Have a great 2014 everyone – we intend to!
Lewis Brown, Editor of Gaming@The Digital Fix