Above: Shows how much the industry fluctuates. This year's summer was quiet, with explosive spring and fall launch seasons.
That's with thanks to all of you. With the utmost sincerity, we could not forge ahead as we have without the increasingly dedicated, vocal fan-base and readership. The encouragement, suggestions for improvement, and the community that's grown around the content – it's all part of the site these days. This is very much a “grass-roots” operation. Through word-of-mouth and sharing of content among friends, we're able to march toward the readership required to grow this operation's full-time team.
I'm still bottlenecking the pipeline, but that bottleneck has been substantially reduced as GN's team has increased its skillset and hours dedicated. To lack such a bottleneck, in my view of the media world, means to lack the level of growth we've experienced of late. I'm dead-set on keeping GamersNexus independently operated, and that means complete freedom of content management – if we want to spend a week researching some games-industry “fracas,” as it were, we're free to do that. I like that. The content feels fresh and alive in this fashion, unbound from impositions set forth by some larger, amorphous entity.
This year has seen a steady increase of in-depth analysis and a renewed focus on video content quality. Our videos in particular have most visibly fronted this emphasis on content quality: We now shoot in a studio – built by our very staff – complete with thousands of LEDs of lighting, high-end camera equipment, pro audio systems, and an established format. Keegan Gallick, the site's video editor, has slowly taken over more of my role in video production. He's shooting most of our b-roll (and has gotten very good at it), recording gameplay footage, and doing general behind-the-scenes production work. Mike Gaglione and Patrick Lathan have contributed to benchmarking and pre-publication analysis, further ensuring data validation and methodological accuracy. Patrick, for those who don't know, also handles most of our social media – another huge help in the site's “load leveling.” Michael Kerns has consistently delivered content which meticulously dissects his current interests – often mechanical keyboards or mice – and helps keep us above-board on peripheral review timelines. Andrew Coleman, who provides 3D animations and logo art, has been lurking behind the curtains with some truly impressive graphics that we're excited to reveal. The team is strong.
It's paid off, too. That serious dedication to overall quality – not just the content, which has always been king, but the production – has ensured enduring growth throughout the year. We try hard with this stuff. Not that we didn't before, but the team's gotten better; we're learning every day. That's the part I like most about this job – the endless material from which we must learn to improve: Studying cameras and lighting (our thanks to locals Epic Games for the walk-through!), studying pro-audio, studying GPU architecture, CPU pipelines, game graphics, engine technology, accounting and business management, and everything else. It's absolutely endless – and I like that. Granted, I'm also assigning different tasks to different editors. For the first time in the site's history, I was not the first person to learn how to use our newest equipment. I handed the box of wireless audio gear to Keegan and asked him to “learn how to use this, then teach me.” As a business owner, that's a great feeling.
Meandering aside, the point is this: Never in our seven-year history have we been more serious about quality. The focus on content depth has grown, too, but “quality” – comparative screenshots, photography, videography, and presentation of all that content – is the one word attributable to this year's primary point of growth. Quality is also hard to do. It's expensive. Equipment expenses, staff expenses, more real estate required for more test benches, more lights, more people. The major investments we've made have begun to pay off in this department, and I've never been more excited about the site's future.
So, again, our tremendous “thanks” to readers and viewers for supporting us. Our Patreon page is one of the best ways to directly support our endeavors, but don't let that overshadow our gratitude for simply watching (or reading) the content. Backing is great, commenting is great – but just enjoying the content is the biggest payoff.
Keep spreading the word. Here's to momentum.
- Steve “Lelldorianx” Burke.