Kikizo Relaunches - Ten Year Celebration!
We celebrate ten years of online video games coverage today with a relaunched site and hot coverage line-up.
Welcome to the new Kikizo!
Ten years ago today, I nervously flicked the switch of my gaming site and waited to see how the world would react. SegaWeb was dedicated to coverage of the once mighty platform holder, just as details of its Dreamcast project started to emerge in Tokyo.
The Internet was a different world in August 1998, and so was the world of video games.
Having spent a couple of years since 1996 dabbling with video game magazines (then also a very different scene, one now essentially owned by a single company), the opportunity in the web seemed the obvious place to take my passion for telling people why Sega was awesome. Proof that it worked was in the numbers: by 1999 SegaWeb had snowballed into the most popular Sega site, despite established competition from people who frankly wrote much better than I did.
But gamers like writers who are passionate, even if they have ten years' learning how to write ahead of them (OK, make that twenty, haterz!). These roots soon became GamerWeb, whose story is too vast to detail here, but the conclusion to which (certainly from my point of view) was the emergence of Kikizo in 2003. Having sailed past its own five-year mark back in February this year, Kikizo is today the product of ten years of work that my many wonderful writers and I have been proud to publish.
But before everyone gets too emotional, let's back up a minute.
As much as Kikizo has had its many moments in the spotlight these last five-and-a-half years (for better or worse), today things are getting serious. It's ten times more competitive in the business of providing serious coverage to gamers than it was ten years ago. The biggest sites are behemoths owned by the world's largest media companies. Competitors who were mere fleas ten years ago are now local market leaders. These days people wouldn't dream of getting their gaming news anywhere else than RSS, modern aggregation sites and things called 'blogs'. Awareness and confidence in the editorial landscape has shifted, and it's trickier to produce content that matters -- and impossible to be everything to everyone.
We think we've got a pretty good plan to continue providing the type of exclusive content that people once expected only from the big boys. And to celebrate a decade in the market, we decided to freshen things up a bit, too. Kikizo's appearance has evolved organically over the years, but this is the first complete redesign bringing it right up to date. We're still optimising for one or two very new browsers (Firefox 3), but without boring you to tears about it all, things are obviously cleaner and more functional now. Our Forum has also been completely recoded with modern features that we hope will encourage further growth of our own friendly community of gamers.
So we used the typically quiet summer months to modernise the site, impacting our publishing schedule somewhat, but we've been very busy editorial bees behind the scenes. We've been to all the events that matter (and some you didn't even know about) and picked up some great content that we've been saving for this teary-eyed 10-year relaunch month and beyond.
We've decided to focus on our obvious strengths: industry interviews with gaming's very top executives, interviews with the hottest game creators which we often like to label as previews, along with non-interview-based features and of course good old reviews. We're not bothering with 'news' that we don't break ourselves through our own access to the industry; we've decided there's no point in regurgitating news just so we can say we've got a news service to go with it all - the web just doesn't work like that in 2008. And as for our once-superlative video service, please watch this space for its rebirth, one that we aim to make worthy of its heritage.
Coming right up, we've got fresh and revealing interviews with more big names than you can shake a motion sensing controller at, including Peter Molyneux's most eyebrow-raising interview of the year and in-depth discussion with Dennis Dyack, Ray Muzyka, Randy Pitchford, Cliff Bleszinski, Doug Lombardi, Kudo Tsunoda and Rare, as well as the top development minds behind Mirror's Edge, MotorStorm 2, The Force Unleashed, Tom Clancy's EndWar, Ghostbusters, LittleBigPlanet and simply tonnes more. And that's just the stuff we've already done - there's a frightening amount on the way, including some rather epic things we've been working on. Maybe even some entirely new launches too, who knows...?
Oh, and sorry, but we're keeping our shitty slogan - "Life's a Game!" - unless anyone can suggest something better.
I hope you enjoy the new site and everything we've got coming up.
Over and out.