I started Lazygamer.net back in 2007 as a hobby to give me a break between working fulltime and studying correspondence. It quickly became something of a monster and started taking more and more of my time to keep the site updated. Since then we’ve had some memorable moments.
This is more of a loving romp through history than anything… I’m loving writing it so apologies if it bores you to tears.
First up would be the first advertising contract I managed to sign with EA Games and Megarom (two clients on the same day). It was for very little money but hey I was now being paid to write my opinions on the Internet. How cool is that?
The next big event is when we got an invite to preview a game for the very first time, it was Army of Two and it was very early code which just made me feel like an absolute rockstar. I didn’t know what I was doing really but it was an awesome experience.
Soon after that we started getting invites to press events in the area, it was so exciting to hear what was coming up and to see all the big boys in the industry just hanging around talking to each other.
Then we needed our own dedicated server, shared hosting was just not cutting it and we had now progressed into the big leagues, this is also when I started panicking as I now had responsibilities and real monthly bills that had to be covered, hey but at least we were growing.
But the biggest moment by far was when I hired Nick de Bruyne to help with the site. It wasn’t full time but I had now entered the world of being an employer of sorts. I had to pay him a salary every month, of sorts, and that was truly scary.
Quite shortly after that Nick and I boarded a jet plane and headed over to E3 for our first international conference, what an experience that was.
Moving forward we picked up a few more paid and unpaid freelancers along the way and were starting to be seen as a valid media outlet in the country which was very rewarding. Then the fateful day arrived where a tweet from News24 started a whole new chapter for Lazygamer.
We became affiliated with them and instantly the power of being linked with mainstream media was realised with us now being taken a lot more seriously by virtually all of the local distributors. We also picked up a young and inexperienced Darryn who changed our Skype chat forever.
Shortly after that the scariest moment so far occurred when Geoff was retrenched from his previous crappy job and I had to make a choice, either take him on fulltime or lose him forever. So after reaching into my personal debt hole and seeing if anything was left I made the leap and brought him on fulltime as our first fulltime employee.
Slinking forward it all starts becoming a bit of a blur with countless international trips, staff coming and going at a rate of knots (I’m apparently an ass) and more importantly some impressive growth and plentiful site updates.
And now we are here today, currently we have 3 fulltime employees and I’m still stuck working a fulltime job to cover the bills as unfortunately Lazygamer isn’t rolling in the money. But we can’t complain too much as this is possibly the best job in the world (when we get paid, else it can be insanely stressful).
But exactly one month ago we received the biggest news of our history and now today I can make the biggest announcement, for us, in our history.
I want a drumroll…
Anyway starting from the 14th of February 2013 Lazygamer.net has become the first media outlet in Africa to be affiliated with Metacritic.com.
So what? It’s just a review aggregation site right? Wrong…. so very wrong.
Metacritic is so prevalent in the industry that its aggregated review scores are included in developer contracts. The higher the score the more bonus they get paid. Which means we now indirectly affect what developers do and as such we are now exceptionally important to them and that means South Africa as a region now has a much louder voice.
In Metacritic’s own words
“Metacritic has evolved over the last decade to reflect their experience distilling many critics’ voices into the single Metascore, a weighted average of the most respected critics writing reviews online and in print.”
This achievement could never have been met without the incredible hard work put into the site by our team of top notch journalists. I’m not saying this just because it’s the done thing to do, I’m saying it because I don’t like reviews. They are hard and take forever and we get so much abuse over them.
But I owe a huge amount of thanks to Nick for starting the professional format and then to Garth and Geoff who took our quality to a whole new level. Then to Darryn who has amazed me by becoming such an extensive writer and who now regularly pulls in more readers and opinions than anyone.
And last but not least the two lovely ladies on the team, Abigail and Yolanda, who represent such differing sides of the gaming spectrum and truly help make us a rounded team who can review and give opinions on any aspect of the industry.
So how excited are we about being linked with Metacritic?
Well we made a gif (it’s 1Mb) so click here to see it and t-shirts and brand new media packs. Also we are going on a road trip to all the distributors to let them know in person.
I won’t lie… this is one of the proudest moments in my life and easily the proudest I have ever been of the company that feels like my baby.