Ownership Change – The Future of GMB

on October 4, 2012 - 4419 Views

Since Philip has already handled my introduction, I’d like to take a moment to go into more detail about the recent ownership change. As expected, several concerns have been raised since I acquired this blog and I know there are questions to be answered. I’ll do my best to explain my reasons for buying the Game Maker Blog, my approach to the content and community, and how things will change.

But first, I have to wish Philip farewell and best of luck for the future. Like many frequent readers of the GMB I’ve come to admire Philip’s dedication to delivering quality GameMaker news and content over the years. I’m grateful that he has trusted me with the future of a project that he has spent so many years working on.

Reasoning Behind the Purchase

There are two distinct factors that drove my decision to purchase the site. The first may be obvious to anyone that follows my work: money.

I consider the Game Maker Blog to be quite a safe investment. As Philip mentioned in his farewell post, he could have chosen to sit on the site for years and continue to make a profit each month. This is a long-running blog that receives traffic from many different sources on any given day, so even with the lapse in post frequency over the past few months the site has shown it can produce consistent revenue.

As a self-employed content creator that is obviously a huge incentive to me. The Game Maker Blog is an established passive income stream, and I’m looking for those wherever I can!

However, money is not the only driving factor behind the acquisition.

I’ve wanted to own this blog for quite a few years now. Before the slow down, the GMB was responsible for informing game developers nearly exclusively within the GM community. Like many others I visited it on a daily basis.

Previously I had held back from trying to acquire the site due to a lack of confidence in my own blogging and writing skills. Granted, I’m not even close to a “skilled writer” but I can get my point across to an audience. After establishing my own successful blog, Touch To Start, and running it for several months I finally felt ready to take on the responsibility of running the Game Maker Blog.

I’m sure many readers have been disappointed by the recent lack of activity.

Last week I visited the blog not expecting much of a change from the usual. A few well-written community posts had been published but that wasn’t enough for me; I basically live and breathe GameMaker after all. I missed the “old days” when I could expect new posts frequently. Then I realized that there was no better time to make an offer to Philip – I could try and fix this problem myself! I actually sent my proposal spontaneously without a moment’s thought. It seemed like a very natural decision after so many years of doubting myself. Thankfully it’s one I don’t regret in retrospect.

So while the potential to produce a profit was part of my decision making process, I want to see Game Maker Blog restored to its former status as much as anyone else. And that’s what I plan to achieve.

What Is My Intent?

Despite our shared interest in the site, Philip and I are different people so it’s only natural to expect a different version of the Game Maker Blog under my ownership. However, I very much plan to respect the style of delivering content to the community that has been established here. In fact, I plan to keep a lot of things the same.

Visually the site won’t be changing much at all. I’m quite fond of the theme and I believe it’s suitable for a news site. You might have noticed some of the new features I’ve already added to the site, including the floating sidebar to the left, or the related-posts mentioned at the end of each article. These types of additions will hopefully improve your browsing experience and expose the GMB to a larger audience.

While I won’t be able to post daily, I will try to post as often as I can. I’m not used to writing in a news-orientated format so I can’t promise that I’ll be able to match the same standards that we’re all used to from Philip, however I will be recruiting a new team of writers from within the GM community to assist me.

Finally, the most common concern that’s been raised since the ownership change is that I would use this blog as my own personal advertising scheme. There seems to be a fear that I’ll use every sentence to promote my book or some craziness!

Well, let me be honest: this is a site that I’ve paid to advertise on before. I enjoy marketing and I don’t think it’s something I should be demonised for. I want to make it very clear that I will not use the Game Maker Blog to excessively promote myself. Of course, you may still see banner ads in the sidebar or an occasional plug, but one of the most valuable parts of the GMB is its content and that is something I’m not willing to ruin for the sake of a sale.

The Future of GMB

My goals for this site are quite simple. I want to:

  1. restore the Game Maker Blog as a pillar within the community
  2. increase the size of the readership
  3. add more variation to the content

The first goal is simply a matter of posting relevant content on a more frequent basis. In order to manage this I’d like to request applications from readers that want to become writers. I’ve removed all current posting privileges from the existing staff so I can create a new team of active writers. Whether you were previously on the writing team or not, please leave a comment below or contact me privately if you would like to become a frequent contributor on this site. It doesn’t matter if you want to publish news, review games, or write tutorials – if you’re serious about writing then feel free to reach out!

The second goal is something I’ll be working on extensively. I had actually been a GameMaker user for years before even discovering this blog! Hopefully I’ll be able to make use of social media and my existing status within various communities to help promote the Game Maker Blog more than it ever has been before. You can help us reach more readers by simply sharing any articles you like, and by following the Game Maker Blog on Twitter or our new Facebook page.

The third goal is a bit more personal. I’ve always wanted to see more game reviews on the GMB, and other types of articles like GM tips and tricks, and tutorials. I’m hoping to get the YoYo Games team involved more often if possible, and I’ll even host an occasional giveaway. Maybe even a competition? More variety will make the site more engaging and easier to create content for.

Final Thoughts

It’s taken a long time to write this post. I’m a very busy person with little free time, but I’ve adopted the Game Maker Blog as my own project and I consider it worth making time for. I can’t promise things will ever be like they used to. I can promise my best effort to provide quality GM content to the excellent community that has formed around this site.

If you have any questions for me please feel free to ask them in the comments below.

Welcome to a new era of GameMaker news, comment, and opinion!

8 Responses to Ownership Change – The Future of GMB

  1. Israel RN says:

    Hello

    Best luck. But I honestly hope this doesn’t delay the release of the book too much.

  2. Kinta says:

    I’m really excited about this and I’m confident that you will get the job done.
    As an indie developer using Game Maker Studio I’m looking forward to provide content for your team to write about on a regular basis. ;)

    Kinta / Rebusmind

  3. ItsaNeverendingDream says:

    Best of luck on this venture! I’m pretty psyched about this whole thing, this could be the start of something pretty special. The way I look at it, the current blog was drying up. A fresh start in this case is an all-to-gain, nothing-to-lose situation.

  4. elmernite says:

    Welcome! Here’s to the best of moving forward!
    -Elmernite

  5. Xerron says:

    I was curious how this blog was doing. I can say I am eager to see what you bring to GMB.

  6. Israel RN says:

    True Valhalla :
    It should have a fairly minimal effect on that if I can find a few people to help me with posting new content.

    Bear in mind markets move fast, especially when they’re new… if the book takes much longer to be released, some of the information on it may be outdated or have short life span.

    (Sorry, but I’m eager to read it and try to make some bucks out of my games. :P )

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