How did we make Lazygamer happen?

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Lumia are currently running a campaign called #MakeItHappenZA where they are giving people the opportunity to make your dreams happen. Just head over here to tell them your idea. As part of this campaign they approached us to ask us to tell you how we made Lazygamer happen.

Since it is something that I get asked more often than I expect, I thought it would be a good time to put the official backstory down. So grab your self a beer and pull up a chair while I spin you a tale.

Some History

Just some back story, I’m actually a qualified software developer and have been working in development permanently since around 2001. I’m married and have two little daughters, well they’re actually getting pretty big now at the ages of 10 and 11.

Around 2007 I realised I needed to further my education to improve my career prospects so I signed up for an online Masters degree in Software Engineering via the University of Liverpool. So there I was working an 8 hour day and studying 4-5 hours a night for my degree while still trying to have a family and very quickly burning out.

The Idea

One weekend I was sitting in my lapa having a beer with the wife and discussing life in general and the fact that I used to be overly addicted to gaming and can’t even play video games anymore came up. That conversation moved onto the lack of proper local online media covering the industry and Bobs your uncle Lazygamer was born.

The name comes from the fact that I am an incredible lazy person, I believe that everything can be done in an easier and simpler way and the idea of Lazygamer is that we can help you stop scrounging the internet for new as we’d have all the important news in one place.

The Execution

And that was that, I through up a wordpress blog, made a custom theme and the money just came rolling in.

Okay that’s entirely not true. After 6 months of slogging away with no one reading my news no matter how hard I pushed it on local forums and other sites I was ready to give up. It then came time for some serious courses in my degree and I stopped posting for a couple of days. Around that time someone posted a comment asking why I stopped and hoping that I would continue.

This was the catalyst that I needed, I found the phone numbers for all the local distributors and made appointments to meet with marketing. I walked into each of these meetings not knowing a thing about marketing or media in general and just spoke honestly to them about what I thought we could offer.

EA and Megarom saw some potential and agreed to small sponsorships and that was the very first time we got some industry support.

Where We Are Now

Today Lazygamer is the largest South African video game website and the only one in Africa who’s reviews are listed on the internationally renowned Metacritic.com. We are regularly featured on international video game trailers and get invited to many events across the world and the country.  The website brings me endless joy and no shortage of pain and suffering but seeing something you built from scratch being used by hundreds and thousands of people is quite the rush.

That’s all great but unfortunately we are still ridiculously poor. I still have a full time job as an enterprise architect and often have to use my personal income to cover the guys’ salaries.

The Future

This is not the end of the journey though, I now believe I have the best team in the country and we are about to start searching for the perfect business partner so that we can #MakeItHappenZA. So if you are in the market to partner with something truly special and you have what we need, we should chat. Nothing would make me happier in this world than being able to pay the entire team proper salaries and being able to devote all my time and attention into Lazygamer.

If you have a dream, be it that you want to start a company, climb a mountain or propose to that perfect person in your life then head on over to the Lumia site and let them know and they could be the perfect partner to make your dreams come true. And if you have any questions about the history of Lazygamer, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Last Updated: November 13, 2014

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

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