Home Gaming I can’t think of anything smart to say, so…goodbye

I can’t think of anything smart to say, so…goodbye

5 min read
54
Undertaker

It feels like it was just yesterday when Geoff and Gavin gave me a plane ticket to Germany for Gamescom, and had no idea that I had the navigational skills of a naked mole rat on qualudes. That was ten years ago, and I’d just started writing for the site, which then went under the alias of Lazygamer. I’d just finished a stint at Games 24, and maybe seeing something of value in me or lusting after my unsullied organs just in case, Geoff and Gavin asked me to supply the site with news, features, and review content.

And friends, it has been an absolute blast over the last decade.

I’ve done stuff that I can proudly talk about today, thanks to the terrible G-duo. I’ve been to E3 multiple times, flown around the world to visit video game studios, and I’ve spoken to developers who I have long admired. I’ve had the thrill and the privilege of creating informative game reviews, I’ve regularly taken the piss out of people with articles that I’d never be allowed to write anywhere else, and I’ve made friends for life.

That’s all coming to an end in the next few weeks.

Later in June, I’ll be saying goodbye to Critical Hit, as I pursue my passion for video content and continue my work at international outlets like GameSpot, where I’ve been doing news and guide features since last year. I’ve popped up at other sites like IGN, VG247, and VGC over the last year and a bit as well, as I’ve spread my wings!

I’m also walking away with no regrets whatsoever, and at this point many a writer in the same situation would have some humble words to say. Screw that, I’m tooting my own horn because I was bloody fantastic during my time here.

Doom

I think 2020 was Critical Hit’s biggest year ever, as traffic surged to new record heights, we hammered out numerous interviews, features, and next-gen reviews. We’re the only African site on review score aggregate Metacritic thanks to our consistent quality and the hardest-working crew under the sun. When Geoff left, I was tasked with leading the site and I think I did a damn good job as I juggled that responsibility with a huge increase in work during the middle of a pandemic. Hot damn, I am just that good.

But at the same time, I burned myself out last year. Since January, I’ve been running on fumes and reserving my best work and rare moments of chaotic neutral energy for other sites, focusing purely on news and reviews here at Critical Hit. When 2021 started, I’d already considered leaving the site to try something new, and I just didn’t have the courage to tell Geoff and Gavin until a few months later.

I am both terrified and excited for this new direction I’m taking though, and I’ve got plans to buckle down and produce the type of content that I find fascinating. There’ll still be the review deadline, but I love video games and this industry so much, and I just cannot wait to create the kind of content that gets me hot under the collar. No deadlines to worry about, no stories to edit, or several hundred emails to respond to every day, because running a gaming website requires so much extra work behind the scenes that most people are never truly aware of.

With that in mind, I just want to say thank you. Thank you to everyone who read my stories, thank you to all the valid criticism, and thank you for making the last ten years so memorable. Thank you to Gavin and Geoff, jerkasses I’m proud to call friends, for giving me a chance and always teaching me something along the way.

Thank you to Kervyn, for being the best damn movie reviewer around and a gigantic geek that I can talk to. Thank you to Brad for being a reliable friend and colleague, and I am so damn happy to see him landing a plush gig at Comic Book Resources. Thank you to Tracy for writing time-consuming content for no reward, being a rad pal, and possessing ungodly grammar skills. Thank you to Noelle for tackling game and comic book reviews which I’d never feel comfortable writing, providing fresh new angles that have been eye-opening and immaculately polished.

Craig, you’re an amazing writing machine that can pump out content in seconds and some of your typos have had me in giggles, but your words have carried your passion for whatever it is you’ve written about. Trevor, you’re as reliable as the sun rising every morning and I know that whenever I see one of your trailer posts in the backend it’ll be a superb breakdown of what to expect. Sometimes, reliability is the greatest resource you can ask for.

There’s a bunch of other names to add to this list of course, like Umar doing my favourite Weebviews, Daniel’s wonderfully wordy features, Jarred saving my bacon with sportsball content, Sam’s brief stint here showing huge improvements, and so much more. To the people working in the trenches of video game and entertainment distribution, you all know who you are and I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have created a tenth of my best content without your unwavering support in our market. It’s a thankless job, and you all do it amazingly.

I’ve got a lump in my throat right now, but I’m ready to forge my own path thanks to a decade of experience that I can now tuck into my fanny pack. Until then, I’ll still be here dropping news and reviews while keeping the gears oiled, and Gavin will have something to say sooner or later about what’s happening next. Folks, it has been a wild ride and I don’t regret a single thing. I’ll be taking a short break near the end of June, but keep your eyes open.

Laugh hard, run fast, and be kind.

Last Updated: May 21, 2021

54 Comments

  1. Caveshen Rajman

    May 21, 2021 at 07:00

    It’s been a pleasure, Darryn.

    I’ll assume you thanked me too (skipped over that part) so you are very welcome for all lessons you may or may not have learned from me. <3

    My own departure from eGamer was gut-wrenching, and a decision I also struggled with to the point that I feel I didn't handle it as delicately as I could have. It didn't end up mattering in the end because we closed shortly after, but I always think about the way I handled that.

    All the best in your future ventures, man.

    What's the succession plan for managing editor on here? Should I send my CV???

    Reply

    • The D

      May 21, 2021 at 07:06

      Thanks! You can always send a blood sacrifice to Geoff if you’re keen 🙂

      Reply

      • OddSockZA

        May 21, 2021 at 07:29

        Oh god no. Not me. Not my circus, not my monkeys. Except Darryn. He’ll always be my monkey.

        Reply

        • Yozzie

          May 21, 2021 at 07:32

          Didn’t you specify D’s food to be vegan only for one of the E3 flights?

          That’s animal abuse xD

          Reply

          • The D

            May 21, 2021 at 07:34

            That was Gavin, the ABSOLUTE BASTARD.

          • Yozzie

            May 21, 2021 at 07:35

            A yes… but that E3 was FANTASTIC!

          • OddSockZA

            May 21, 2021 at 07:39

            Remember that? Back when E3 was super rad? Geofferidge Farm remembers.

  2. Iskape

    May 21, 2021 at 07:20

    Good luck on for the future!

    Reply

  3. Yozzie

    May 21, 2021 at 07:20

    So long D

    Your punny headers will forever be missed.

    Can’t believe it’s been 10 years already. Good luck on your future endeavors, and it’s been fun through the years of battling Trevor for comment of the week while you had to sift through all those puns we made.

    Reply

  4. AC130 [Retired]

    May 21, 2021 at 07:23

    Adios dude, you were always one of my favourites

    Reply

  5. OddSockZA

    May 21, 2021 at 07:57

    Real Talk.

    Thanks, D, for being the best wingman I could have had when I was still running this place. I’d never have been able to do it without your incredibly positive attitude, unbelievable work ethic and ability to constantly deliver. Your passion and drive has been the foundation of this place for so long.

    Thanks – again – for taking the reins when I had to step away for health reasons, and for keeping things not just running, but flourishing. I look forward to whatever it is you do next, because it’ll no doubt – at the very least – be entertaining. That’s because above all, above everything else, you’re an entertainer – able to turn the dourest, dullest bit of news into something fun.

    You’re a legend, pal. Never forget it.

    Reply

  6. Mikit0707

    May 21, 2021 at 08:23

    Well… fuck. 🙁

    Reply

  7. Raptor Rants

    May 21, 2021 at 07:26

    I salute thee for your service.
    All the best for your future ventures dude
    https://media2.giphy.com/media/G9Oqx2QvHOlig/giphy.gif

    Reply

  8. I Forget Myself

    May 21, 2021 at 09:43

    All the best in your future endeavours Darryn, I have consistently enjoyed all of the content you put out and look forward to seeing where your talent will take you next.

    Reply

  9. Krabby Paddy

    May 21, 2021 at 07:47

    Thanks for all the many light-hearted reads these past few years. All the best and enjoy the break!

    Reply

  10. Gavin Mannion

    May 21, 2021 at 07:58

    … weird way to twist that I fired your ass but you do you I guess…..

    I kid, Thanks for the blood, sweat and horrifying food stories Darryn you are truly one of the most unique and caring people I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with.

    Reply

  11. Umar

    May 21, 2021 at 08:00

    You thought this was a farewell message??
    But it was me! A sad boy who’s really gutted you’re leaving, but excited for all the amazing things you’re going to be doing.

    For the last and final time…Dattebayo, good sir. Dattebayo.

    Reply

  12. Original Heretic

    May 21, 2021 at 08:38

    Damn, I got an actual pit in my stomach while reading this.
    As long as I’ve been frequenting this site, The D has been a constant source of entertainment.
    And now it’s over.

    You’re most assuredly going to be missed.
    This place ain’t gonna be the same without you.

    Reply

    • BradeLunner

      May 21, 2021 at 08:53

      Aye this pretty much is my sentiment

      Reply

  13. Hammersteyn

    May 21, 2021 at 08:46

    Cheers Darryn, the chili spider web still haunts my dreams and I’ll never forget the glorious work you did with the headers on Friday the 13th and the many other fun days around the year. Best of luck with your future endeavours.

    Reply

    • Gavin Mannion

      May 21, 2021 at 08:48

      that spider video is still the most horrific thing I’ve ever seen

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        May 21, 2021 at 10:13

        Still amazing how you took it like a champ

        Reply

        • Gavin Mannion

          May 21, 2021 at 10:14

          lol it was only Tabasco, that was the moment when Darryn decided to stop playing spicy food games with me…

          Reply

  14. dawid22

    May 21, 2021 at 10:52

    Darryn, I don’t think I’ll ever forget seeing you for the first time at Gamescom 2011 – you were the new guy on the block we had ‘heard’ about. Later that evening at a dinner you took a big dump on another local media (being new to the industry and all that), not being aware that those people were sitting right next to you. Don’t think I had laughed that hard in years.

    I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with you over the years. Our crews somehow just gelled and we some great times at E3 and other local gigs. Your bizarre quirks will always separate you from other wannabes. Also, you’re without question the best Batman that ever was.

    It’s sad to see the local media spreading so thin these days, but I’m sure you’ll be killing it elsewhere. All the best, pal.

    Reply

    • The D

      May 21, 2021 at 11:11

      AWKIES! Thanks though dude, going to be a pleasure to sit down and watch a gaming stream for once instead of having to take notes.

      Reply

      • dawid22

        May 21, 2021 at 11:28

        Believe me, it’s a fantastic feeling. I now just potato and watch it, like a normal person.

        Reply

  15. dawid22

    May 21, 2021 at 10:52

    Darryn, I don’t think I’ll ever forget seeing you for the first time at Gamescom 2011 – you were the new guy on the block we had ‘heard’ about. Later that evening at a dinner you took a big dump on another local media (being new to the industry and all that), not being aware that those people were sitting right next to you. Don’t think I had laughed that hard in years.

    I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with you over the years. Our crews somehow just gelled and we some great times at E3 and other local gigs. Your bizarre quirks will always separate you from other wannabes. Also, you’re without question the best Batman that ever was.

    It’s sad to see the local media spreading so thin these days, but I’m sure you’ll be killing it elsewhere. All the best, pal.

    Reply

  16. Daniel Hallinan

    May 21, 2021 at 09:15

    If nothing else, we know you’re the most Powerful Writer on the roster. None of the others were able to overcome you, not even when they teamed up against you shounen final-arc style, when you lauded your perpetual indulgence in the war crimes that are your food preferences.

    Truly, the strongest of the word smiths.

    Reply

    • The D

      May 21, 2021 at 09:53

      I hereby declare the Fourth Great Critical Hit Global War Of Succession.

      Reply

  17. Guild

    May 21, 2021 at 09:26

    Already commented on Twitter but again, all the best for the future budd. Definitely going to be watching out for your posts and content. I know you’ll do well and succeed at it……Also don’t forget the food video idea. Would be great to see

    Reply

    • The D

      May 21, 2021 at 09:52

      I’M NOT EATING HEALTHY FOOD NEVER

      Reply

      • Guild

        May 21, 2021 at 10:54

        lol budd, I don’t think Cheesecake counts as healthy food.

        Reply

      • Guild

        May 21, 2021 at 10:54

        lol budd, I don’t think Cheesecake counts as healthy food.

        Reply

  18. MaSeKind

    May 21, 2021 at 09:34

    Thank you for your sacrifice. Putting up with us in the comments is probably not something you’ll miss.

    Good luck with your future plans!

    Reply

    • The D

      May 21, 2021 at 09:52

      Well, most of you were terrific 🙂

      Reply

  19. Pixelated Gambit

    May 21, 2021 at 10:31

    Thank you so much for all the content you’ve produced Darryn, can’t wait to see where your journey takes you next!

    Reply

  20. Jbumi

    May 21, 2021 at 12:18

    Thank YOU for all the great reads. Wishing you all the best going forward – will be watching for your byline! ???

    Reply

  21. Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    May 22, 2021 at 04:48

    I only visited this site to read Darryn’s work. All the best ma man! You’re going to flourish!

    Reply

  22. Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    May 22, 2021 at 04:51

    You guys need an editor??? Hehehe

    Reply

    • The D

      May 24, 2021 at 04:30

      We’re good! We’ve hired this new devilishly-handsome dude by the name of Barry Donthuys.

      Reply

  23. Jim says ByeBye

    May 23, 2021 at 04:03

    “So long, bye bye
    So long, bye bye”

    To be fair, I actually thought Kervyn would be the first to pull the trigger and ride off into the sunset (but judging by the tweets, even he’s jumping ship). Either way, I can’t say I blame you.

    However, I’m not so sure about your plan to go the freelance writer/video content creator route. The problem is the market is heavily saturated with youngsters (15 to 23 year old) on tik tok, youtube, twitch etc. They are hungrier, younger and extremely eager to battle it out on the arena of social media – and many are extremely tech-savvy with production values that are actually quite impressive. My simple point, you’re no spring chicken any more, and probably need to start thinking about things realistically

    My honest advice would be to rather get a real job. Go work as a real journalist at a real paper (thus making use of your journalism degree), even try your hand at being a copywriter or just get a normal office job – and if you really want to make video reviews do that on the side as a hobby. You’re not a young lad any more, AND you need to start thinking about the future, moving out of your parents’ home, building a nest egg, and making sure you have enough going into your pension fund.

    Remember, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be successful as a Youtube/Video reviewer, and especially now in a syn-Covid world, freelancing is a tricky prospect (especially as many international gaming review sites are shedding their staff or even closing their doors)

    PS: Oh wow, 40+ comments. I haven’t seen that in a long time. I guess all it took was a goodbye post. Anyways, all the best, yadda yadda yadda. That’s all you’re getting from me!

    Reply

  24. KzA

    May 24, 2021 at 03:04

    Good Luck dude !

    Reply

  25. For the Emperor!

    May 24, 2021 at 03:10

    Best part of LG/CH for me was you*, Mr D. I will miss The D. It was the best D. Good luck on your future adventures!

    *Not to say the remaining peeps are bad, just that one stood out to me.

    Reply

    • OddSockZA

      May 24, 2021 at 10:54

      f*ck you, pal.

      Reply

    • OddSockZA

      May 24, 2021 at 10:54

      f*ck you, pal.

      Reply

      • For the Emperor!

        May 25, 2021 at 05:32

        No thanks, I like my socks in pairs ?

        Reply

  26. RustedFaith

    May 24, 2021 at 04:43

    All the best dude, I remember playing quake back in the day against you.

    Good luck for to all your future en devours.

    Reply

  27. Matthew Figueira

    May 31, 2021 at 05:34

    You’re an absolute legend, D! I really admire how hard you work, and how much fun you have with your words 🙂 looking forward to seeing what you get up to next!

    Reply

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