Welcome one and all. Come and sit by the open fire and share a moment. For me, today is one of the best times of the year. Friends and family are moving around rooms throughout the house. Food is on offer and there might be the occasional present under a tree with my name on it. To top it off I have the unrivaled honour of being able to share this day with you, my fellow GD’er.
The fact that you are visiting GD today, like I am, shows that we have a lot in common. The lure of gaming, technology and the most amazing online community in the world.
Lets get straight into some gaming info shall we? According to you, Shadow of Mordor has been the stand out title of the year. On that success, I expect it wont be long until we see Shadow of Mordor 2. If anyone wants to know all the other best of the best winners of 2014, across the gaming industry then step over to our trophy halls of splendor - Global Game Awards 2014. I love organising events like that and the 12 games of Christmas, because it lets us share our collective opinion throughout the online world, about stuff we like and have fun while doing it.
Year on year Game-Debate becomes increasingly more significant in the internet’s official gaming news space. The industry is really starting to take notice of our once small indie site. Which is cool because it means its easier for us to get review samples and interesting interviews with some of the coolest dev studios, like Cloud Imperium Games Studio Director Erin Roberts Interview. I also have some interesting exclusive interviews lined up for early 2015 on some VR tech being developed right now. And so with 2014 coming to a close we look towards starting 2015 in a very unique place, we have the voice of a publishing media giant but the heart of...well me and you, which is a modest indie gaming social network.
In 2014 we reviewed more games, covered more news stories than ever before, had more readers, ran more competitions, created a really cool browser extension called GD Anywhere (it lets you take GD system requirements with you on your travels around the internet) added new sites to our indie network (pc-specs, phone-debate) to help answer more tech questions and next year I want to try and find the resource (money) to overhaul the flow of the GD member area. So we can all benefit from a much slicker social network experience. I have been cataloging your feedback and suggestions from the year and before I embark on any upgrade I will request another round of feedback. So don’t worry if you haven’t given your thoughts yet on what we want upgraded, you will get a chance.
Sadly 2014 is not all great though. Weird stuff is happening to the online world. The default method of making money from content online is through those crappy ads we see around websites. Money from those ads has dropped by around 50% since last year. So although GD reaches more people than ever before I actually have a real looming problem of trying to keep things moving forward, when income dwindles so rapidly. This is the same for all publishers of content online, not just GD. I have spoken to a number of big site owners that are thinking of closing and moving on. GD wont be doing that, but please know its tough and your support through Premium membership is really appreciated.
While a lot of people think the internet and its content is free, the harsh truth is, nothing is free and eventually the price for managing and generating online content will be far more than publishers can afford. Something will have to change. If you had talked to me a few years ago I would have told you that owning an influential website, like the one GD is today, would have made me rich. Many of you already know that I have made no money myself from our GD adventure so far and spent a lot of my own cash getting us to where we are today. Do I regret it, hell no, its been great fun and a privilege to build an online space where so many millions of people can enjoy the creations that plop out from my brain. I have also made tonnes of long term friends and proudly watched many of you make online friends here as well.
Speaking of which I want you all to know how much I love the GD admin. These handpicked superstars are plucked from you guys, the best community in the world! This means they are outright awesomesauce. They help free some of my time up so I can oversee the development of things, plan news item feeds, debug, arrange marketing and ads, map out competitions and interesting features with Jon. This appreciation always extends to my amazing admin who have come before our current team. They always have a place to call home here in GD Towers.
Above all others though...Pip. Need I say more. Well I shall. His fiery passion for everything he attempts has meant that he always excels and he has been beside me here on GD, unwavering, for years. Together we create ideas, talked over in the early hours of the morning, like the recent GFX resolution performance ratings that everyone appreciated. That one was all his brain child. Big hugs, Son.
And so, where do we all go from here? 2015, like 2014, is going to be jam packed full of massive games. Two in particular are getting me very excited, GTA V on PC and The Witcher 3. The PC gaming market is getting filled with titles that push your hardware to the limit and will soon push aside all other platforms. Sony and Microsoft are talking about not creating any more consoles, at least in the way that we currently understand consoles, because of the pace of tech development. I reckon this means that the future consoles will probably be cloud based gaming, but whatever, it looks strong for the modern PC gamer.
Right I am off to enjoy food and drink with the family then maybe find a quiet corner and play a little Mordor.
If you are skulking around enjoying GD in the shadows then I urge you to get involved more and become a member, you will not regret it. Everyone will welcome you with open arms, no matter what your native language or gaming preferences.
Big love to you my fellow GD’ers and thank you all for popping by on this family day. It means you think of me and GD as your family and by that very thought it makes us a GD family.
Happy Holidays everyone and best of luck with everything you want to happen in the New Year.
Queen Felix ;)