tomoface -

Today is my last day as Editor of VideoGamer.com. It's an odd feeling. It feels strange even saying that. This site has been a huge part of my life for over 10 years - heck, it was my life for at least half of my 20s. But things change.

I've lost track of when exactly I became involved in what is now VideoGamer.com, but this is a short rundown of how it all went down, the story of how it became what it is today, and what it will hopefully become in the future.

I used to read a lot of magazines when I was a kid. Each month I'd buy pretty much everything, read them countless times, obsess over certain games, and exhaust demo discs. I'd write letters to mags in an attempt to get printed (and win prizes), and couldn't believe it when I saw my (probably poorly written rubbish) printed on the letters page of PS Plus. One year I went on family holiday, and the one item I chose to bring with me was a copy of Official PlayStation Magazine so I could repeatedly read the review of Formula One.

Writing about games naturally followed, with my first 'paid' work appearing on the retail website Streets Online. I say paid, but in reality I was just submitting reviews for as many games as possible, getting paid £1 for each that was accepted. This didn't bring in the big bucks, but for a kid with nothing but a paper round to fund a big games habit, a decent wad of store credit each month was great.

Fast forward to about 10 years ago, and I was studying Software Engineering at Brighton University (despite discovering I had little to no interest in software development), and as such a lot of my friends were into web development - none more so than Pro-G Media co-owner Adam. During my first year at uni I was writing for a small fansite called Madgamers and making trailer CDs for friends, and Adam was working on developing a gaming website.

Our overlapping hobbies eventually came up one day and initially I was just going to contribute to the site offering console news stories and reviews, but soon things developed into more. We ended up creating Pro-G.co.uk, which featured content mostly written by me, but with some superb help from volunteers. In a period of time when N4G didn't allow everyone to grab some clicks through baiting headlines, it's fair to say Adam and I spent every minute we weren't studying working on the website - and a lot of the time we were meant to be studying.

Time passed quickly and our courses at Uni were rapidly coming to an end. I remember scribbling some numbers down on a bit of paper to try and work out if it would be possible to turn this website into a money making business and a full-time job. I can't remember what figures I came up with, but it definitely seemed like a tall order, so it's probably a good job I didn't share the numbers with anyone else.

Still, possibly against my general risk-aversion way of thinking, Adam, James (who had until this point spent most his free time watching America's Next Top Model) and myself ignored the graduate job market and decided to work full-time, unpaid on Pro-G. We're now all 30, Pro-G is VideoGamer.com, we've got a proper office, a staff in double digits and have established ourselves in the UK games industry.

I'm very proud of what we've managed to accomplish in that time, not only in terms of site achievements but also in the people we've worked with. Will Freeman is now editor at Develop, Nick and Simon left to form their own video production company, Wez became news editor at Eurogamer, Seb left for video stardom on Gamespot, Jamin is now flying high as a community manager at Born Ready, TomP is having fun working all over the world, Emily joined mega-start-up Polygon, Matt Nellis is travelling to Germany to work for ESL, Martin left to join the other traitors at GameSpot, and Neon is now, well, probably trying to write a novel/screenplay/play/ while having strong opinions on which films are good.

And we've got a great bunch of guys here now, with Dave, Matt and Steve forming a brilliant team that could offend anyone with their obscene comments if given the chance - or is that just Dave? That team is wonderful, but I feel it's time they had a new leader, someone with fresh eyes and a new vision to take the site forwards.

As of next week I'll no longer be editor of VideoGamer.com, with a respected industry veteran taking my place from Tuesday. Finding someone for the job wasn't easy. This isn't just a job for me, it's something I've spent a third of my life on and remain 100 per cent involved in, so I'm extremely pleased that we found someone who's up for the task of taking us to the next level.

This isn't goodbye. I'm still here, heavily invested in the company, but no longer the person that has to ask Dave why he's looking at that picture, quiz Steve about the score he's giving the next AAA release, or pray the next Tweet by Matt L isn't going to cause a publisher meltdown.

Thank you to everyone who has helped over the years, our readers and forum members who keep coming back to the site, and to all the people I've worked with inside and out of the company. Hopefully you'll all be impressed by what the site achieves in the next 10 years too.

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User Comments

Marink's Avatar

Marink

The fantastic four is no more, but I wish you a happy life, Tom.
Posted 23:12 on 01 April 2013
Batmamerc's Avatar

Batmamerc@ BC_Animus

I Was been ironic obviously, it sounds like a depressed version of Karl Pilkington, no offence Tom
Posted 21:07 on 01 April 2013
BC_Animus's Avatar

BC_Animus@ Batmamerc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Batmamerc
Good luck Tom hope we hear that beautiful voice of yours on the podcast at some point still lol.

"Beautiful"?
Posted 16:07 on 01 April 2013
Batmamerc's Avatar

Batmamerc

Videogamer is the first site I actually invested my time into, i only ever popped into other sites occasionally before and they were usually the official console ones but they were missing something, then I found the videogamer podcast a couple of years ago while playing with my new iphone at christmas and from there I went onto the site and found unlike the other sites that were just people doing a job to get paid for it, videogamer.com was a site run by gamers people who actually played games in there spare time not because they had to do a review on it, which comes across in there reviews especially the games they are passionate about, It felt like these people were friends who you could talk to or banter with on the site and forums and with the podcast it all added up to make a great community that I'm proud to be a part of, I now check into the website 2 or 3 times a day without fail and listen to the podcasts when I'm driving, it's sad to see all the originals leaving but they have all Been replaced with the equivalent type of person the best kind of person a Gamer. Good luck Tom hope we hear that beautiful voice of yours on the podcast at some point still lol. Keep up The good work everyone else. Videogamer.com till I die.
Posted 12:15 on 01 April 2013
s_h_a_d_o's Avatar

s_h_a_d_o

Hope you'll at least continue to make the odd appearance on the podcast Tom - somebody needs to keep the kids in check!
All the best, and thanks. :)
Posted 21:34 on 31 March 2013
rickystaines's Avatar

rickystaines

It's really sad to see you go, Tom! I've really enjoyed listening to you on the podcast, and just wanted to say thanks again for giving me the chance to write for VG! Wishing you all the best for the future!
Posted 20:58 on 30 March 2013
WaterrDrinker's Avatar

WaterrDrinker

Even though you were mean to me once and probably don't remember, I still thought you were awesome Tom.

The company has changed a lot over the last few months hasn't it, i can't believe it's been so long since little tom left, hell i can still hear his voice ringing in my head.

Good luck mate.
Posted 13:59 on 29 March 2013
MissFrozen's Avatar

MissFrozen

You've made an amazing website, with amazing people being part of it. You will be missed by a lot of us and I hope you do well where you're going to next :)
Posted 08:39 on 29 March 2013
SM7THY's Avatar

SM7THY

Oh wow. In my last post I was only asking for more reviews and podcast appearances from Tom. So this is big shock for me. Tom you should be proud of everything you have acheived, congratualtions. I'm keen to know what your role is set to be at VG, or will you actually be part of VG still, or working on your next project just in the same office. Well done mate and all the best YOU WILL BE MISSED.
Posted 21:33 on 28 March 2013
pblive's Avatar

pblive

A Tom Orry Minute is a great idea, though explaining where he's going might be an issue as he's staying at exactly the same desk he was at before. Then again, Tom can make anything sound exciting ;)
Posted 19:21 on 28 March 2013
Neon-Soldier32's Avatar

Neon-Soldier32

Right, on the next podcast you need to do a final (possibly?) Tom Orry minute explaining where you're going / your new job.
Posted 19:16 on 28 March 2013
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls

Ummm.... what?
Posted 18:32 on 28 March 2013
dazzadavie's Avatar

dazzadavie

***** off Tom you can't leave too, everyone is leaving, everyone is swanning off VG is not going to....be......oh wait your not leaving, oh your staying at the same desk ah ok, umm Well done on your fantastic work Tom old boy.

So we're getting a new Captain and new fisherman friend, umm interesting
Posted 18:12 on 28 March 2013
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

Blimey. I do hope your podcast appearances are more, rather than less, Tom! Best of luck with your new role (does it involve continuously poking Dave with a stick, at all? :p)
Posted 17:53 on 28 March 2013
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister

You should do a 'team photo' with tags so we know who everyone is, then update it every so often as and when required. Appreciate getting that many staff in one spot at one time can be difficult, booze helps.
Posted 17:35 on 28 March 2013
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