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#1 by "Foogla"
2001-09-19 03:05:31
Erm AFAIK LtM isn't closing down because of financial problems, they have enough fanatical followers that donate money.
#2 by "Anonymous"
2001-09-19 03:08:55
Yes, although it seems that having their writers lured away by game companies who paid them better wages was a significant cause, so in some ways it was financial.
#3 by "m0nty"
2001-09-19 03:10:22
#4 by "wizard"
2001-09-19 03:17:55
#2 Anonymous
Yes, although it seems that having their writers lured away by game companies who paid them better wages was a significant cause, so in some ways it was financial.

Though, mythic can do anything they want in my eyes.  After playing the beta of DAOC and having it run more stable than many games I've played in release...not to mention it being a mess of fun, I'm sold on mythic.

#5 by "m0nty"
2001-09-19 03:21:35
Hmmm. Off-topic by post #4. Is this SKO record?
#6 by "wizard"
2001-09-19 03:24:18
I was a fanatical LTM reader and still stopped by from time to time once lum left (though it wasn't the same).  Then again, I'm an odd one, I'd assume, according to the web sites most people read.  For gaming I did/do ltm, omm, and infrequent stops at whatever stratics/planet site for the game I was currently playing.  Oh yeah and I read PC...damn addictive to argue with everyone :P

As for the current problem of losing game sites and no bright future to be seen...I have no idea.  We all know click thru doesn't claims to get good click throughs now because they use targeted marketing...whether it's the truth or not I don't know.  No one seems to have an answer...only hold on, it should get better...sounds like our (the american) economy :P.

Someone post a damn solution, I want to be a webmaster, but sure as heck can't afford to spend anything on it :)

"have we seen the start of the end?  will this moment be looked back on by future historians as the downfall of current society?" - anonymous (after seeing US's plans for the new "war")
#7 by "Talion"
2001-09-19 03:37:56
#0 m0nty
The question is, what does a successful revenue model for independent gaming sites look like in the current economic climate?

There isn't one.  Not until the advertising market ressurrects itself.  It's possible a few sites such as the shack can make it on donations, but that is, to say the least, a tough way to live.

People used to be willing to pay for game news in the form of magazine subscriptions because before the Internet was popularized gaming news was very difficult to get.  Today, you can get encyclopedia's worth of information about games past and future for free from a multitude of sites (even if no actual information is available, such as with Doom 3 and DNF).  This will not change because it is in the game developer/publisher's best interest to make the information as widely available as possible, and now that the means for doing so is there (the Internet) they will make sure it stays wide open to everyone.

Seems like we're stuck with banner ads.  Will we ever return to the Golden Age of Internet Advertising Revenue?  Seems doubtful to me personally, but we've already argued about that 500 times at PC.
#8 by "crash"
2001-09-19 03:40:24
surprised you didn't mention 3dfiles' demise.

and to address the original question: there most likely isn't one. being independent, and being a successful business, are two things that don't often go hand in hand. and in any case, when they do go hand in hand, they aren't in untried financial waters, if you know what i mean.

what this means is this: i don't think there can be one, because the internet-as-distribution-model is far too top-heavy and just too flat-out expensive to provide paid or unpaid content for any reasonable length of time without some sort of primary, non-internet-related revenue stream. this, of course, only applies to content-driven sites, not e-business storefronts.

i'd love to be proven wrong and have someone make it work--but they haven't yet. and the longer they don't, the less likely (i think) it'll be possible that they can.

think that covers it from me. this looks like it might be a fun one if it can stay on topic.
#9 by "Peter Kemmerer"
2001-09-19 03:40:58
Income from standard revenue streams doesn't meet the needs of a 'standard' gaming site that serves up more than http bandwidth.  There needs to be other sources of revenue beyond advertisements, targeted or not.  We're getting too close to the day where there are only a select few places to get a major game patch or demo downloaded at a reasonable speed.  Actually, in some cases, I guess we're already there.

While the ad market for the entire internet is pretty woeful right now, it's even worse in the gaming world.  Many advertisers won't touch games and gaming sites with a ten foot pole, which is incongruous with such a big industry.  At some point, one would hope that advertisers would get a grip and place a truer value on getting their name and ads in front of millions of young game-playing people.

As for GSI making it or not, nobody knows but them, if they even have a real clue.  They do have the advantage of some other revenue streams, cheap content workforce, etc., but providing the file serving that they do, it's gotta hurt.

I don't think we have a good business model to follow right now.  The economy is going to flush out a lot over the coming year yet, IMHO, and we'll see how we rebuild at that point.  Who knows, we might end up better off!

#10 by "crash"
2001-09-19 03:42:57
oh, just noticed you were asking specifically about gaming sites. to that one, the answer is "not without a significant non-gaming-related revenue stream to support the website." no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

if you want to know why, answer this question: what's more important to visitors to a gaming site--editorial coverage or screenshots?

and then the follow-up: which is more expensive to serve up, editorial coverage or screenshots?

the answer to both may surprise you. or not.
#11 by "Eyegore"
2001-09-19 05:28:53
Before the dot-com bomb hit, the online world was built by sysops running local bulletin board systems from their homes over normal phone lines.  The BBS world.  The vast majority of them asked for no membership fees and sysops didn't mind paying for an extra phone line.  They didn't do it so they could quit thier real was a hobby.  They did it because they loved doing it.  When the dust of this dot com craze finally settles I hope that all these "professional webmasters" go back to thier real jobs and leave the game sites to people who do it for the love of games, not money.  Good riddence to all these guys who can't keep doing it because they can't make a living at it.  Who ever said they should?
#12 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-09-19 05:34:19
Not that I agree with making a living off of a web site, but a guy running a BBS in his bedroom off of an extra phone line is a far freakin' cry from running - and paying for their bandwidth requirements.  From what they said on the site, it was something like $50K a month.  I don't many residential phone lines that cost that much.
#13 by "Anonymous"
2001-09-19 05:35:05
#9 Peter Kemmerer
At some point, one would hope that advertisers would get a grip and place a truer value on getting their name and ads in front of millions of young game-playing people.

The game-playing people, and millions are void really. Gamers happen to make of one of the most sought after markets (we're young, and have a ton of money that we have nothing better to spend on). Nobody has yet found a good way to target that market. They've tryed being hip, and ended up beign 30 years to damn late on what is hip. They've tryed alternative meathods, but those tend to be much harder to use in mass then any thing else (for example Ford tryed launching the Focus by parking early versions outside of places kids hang out, it worked but it'd be insane to try on a national level).

The internet should be the place where we're much easyer to target, but again they're using meathods that are to 'outdated' to have much effect.

Virtualy 'park' the product on a web site. Pay the site to put an image of any product in there logo. Imagin hitting Voodoo extreme and seeing a WRX, Golf, or Focus zoom behind the voodoo doll in the logo. Heck Blues even has the perfict setup for selling food stuff with there weekly game character in the logo.

Note to advertisers, your normal banners are fucking boring, your hip banners are fucking annoying, find a happy medium and relate the banner to the site. (the ad the blues has for Falcon Northwest is a great example).
#14 by "None-1a"
2001-09-19 05:36:23
opps must remember to reenter prefs when they must be deleted to fix little problems.
#15 by "Anonymous"
2001-09-19 05:54:51
This shouldn't get posted...

-- Gabe
#16 by "Gabe"
2001-09-19 05:55:32
#15 Anonymous
This shouldn't get posted...

But of course it did. :)

-- Gabe
#17 by "shaithis"
2001-09-19 06:01:38
#11, Eyegore -

Yeh, and when the dot-com dust settles, and the hobbyists take the internet back, I for one look forward to the return of 14.4 connections, 1.5kb/s download speeds, and time/download ratioed sites! It'll be like 1994 all over again!

When the companies go, so does all of the free bandwith, dude. You want to compete with 800 other guys to get on one phoneline to download a 100mb game demo? Have fun.

#18 by "m0nty"
2001-09-19 06:05:18
Good luck to anyone trying to download 660MB worth of game client, too.
#19 by "Blood_GC"
2001-09-19 06:33:28
I didn't even know Loonyboi was gone.  So I went to Blues just now and tried to search for Loonyboi...but guess what...Blue's DB is down:
"September 17, 2001
9:40 PM


We're sorry -- portions of the blammo database are down for the moment, so that we may investigate why they aren't playing well with the other portions of our site. We hope to have them online as soon as tomorrow morning, but it may take longer than that. We're sorry for the inconvenience.

-- Blue"

Having a site that has no archive search is bad news for a news site.  He should stop screwing with it...just leave it alone and post news from now on.
#20 by "JMCDaveL"
2001-09-19 06:34:52
I just wanted to post this from my new DSL account. :D
#21 by "shaithis"
2001-09-19 06:36:33
Forgive my sarcasm, btw. But... I dunno... There's a section in Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes" where a woman eagerly returns to childhood... only to find that once there she's horrified by it.

I see tons of people constantly longing for "the good old days" (and not just re: computers), but the real truth is that if you transported 90% of these people back to the days they're longing for, they'd hate them.

#22 by "Tetrad"
2001-09-19 06:38:07
Well it seems to me that the problem with trying to advertise towards gamers is that we just don't want to be advertised to.  I know a LOT of people that have ad-blockers installed, and the gamer demography is the group that knows just how to do that.

As for other forms of revenue, there might be some hope in them.  They just don't seem to work because, again, the gamer demography doesn't want any "featured" or "sponsored" links to buy other things.   Besides, small sites cannot really sell hardware or anything at the lower prices of actual hareware resellers, so there's not really any money in that...  

Maybe micropayments?  Unfortunetly that would require secure servers, etc, and be all the more expensive to run... Not to mention that some people would find a way around it.
#23 by "G-Man"
2001-09-19 09:17:27
I see no reason why a site like Bluesnews couldn't just open up the doors to a volunteer rotating editorial staff of dozens, along with some sort of load balanced hosting among peoples' personal broadband connections (assuming they drop the local downloads too). Blues@home if you will. It isn't like they have any advertising costs, or backend development costs. Just about the only costs they have are bandwidth bills and paying Blue's and Frans's salaries. They CHOOSE to keep it closed and under private management for their own benefit (and thus their potential losses as well). Blue could probably very easily retain editorship of the site and just serve as a content director as a hobby to keep the site alive if he wanted to. There will always be plenty of willing game fanatics with a talent for cutting and pasting to help staff sites like that.

 - []
#24 by "crash"
2001-09-19 09:27:17

When the companies go, so does all of the free bandwith, dude. You want to compete with 800 other guys to get on one phoneline to download a 100mb game demo? Have fun.

on the bright side, removing the internet as a reliable delivery method might just cut down on the number of fucking patches we have to download. and having to serve those patches (and pay for the bandwidth their goddamn selves) might just give publishers a very strong disincentive to not ship broken fucking buggy bullshit out the door to make a quarterly goal.

if that's at all a possibility, i'm sorry, shai, but HELLO NINETEEN NINETY FOUR. WELCOME BACK BABY! WE MISSED YOU!

maybe i'm just bitter.

what's going to be verrrrrrrrrry interesting in the next couple of months--around, say, end of fourth quarter--is to see how many non-publisher download sites are going to be left. and what'll also be interesting is to see how much the ones that are left will be charging to host files for these companies. and it'll be interesting to see if companies'll pay these third parties to host their half-CD-sized demos, or if they'll try and eat the costs themselves.

will be interesting. my money says the availability of demos on the 'net dries up bad in the next, oh, say eight months or so. whenever Q1 2002 ends, anyway.

ps: don't want to hang you out to dry, shai, but please don't say "free bandwidth" unless GSI is hosting files out of the goodness of their hearts, ok?
#25 by "Flamethrower"
2001-09-19 09:28:44
EvilAvatar iz going strong & has freebie editors...
#26 by "crash"
2001-09-19 09:32:23

EvilAvatar has freebie editors...

[smartass totally unnecessary comment deleted in a rare, blinding instant of good judgment]
#27 by "m0nty"
2001-09-19 09:34:54
crash (#24), before shai has to say it, might I point out that he is not the official GSI spokesperson, nor does he actively shove the GSI position on things down our throats when he posts here. We had a GSI-bashing session in thread #280, more than 20 stories ago, and I think that topic was done to death many times over. Let's be positive, people!
#28 by "HoseWater"
2001-09-19 09:38:49
He aint going all that strong, he's trying to get boned up at school so he can go get a real job. The man's got three mouths to feed, and I'm willing to be the site is making that very difficult.  He's running game servers from borrowed parts. Look for him to start working the site part time in the near future.
#29 by "Houston"
2001-09-19 09:41:23
I'll take it that meant something along the lines of.. you get what you pay for

I have to agree with crash on the rememberence of 1994 (earlier, etc.).  Back then, games, game patches, mods, whatnot, were respectively sized to the max bandwidth available.  Of course, that was when most games came on floppies.. and I mean REAL floppies!  5.25 baby!

For myself, I actually would appreciate websites that take less bandwidth, the virtual elimination of warez (trying to grab 600+MB over a 2400... would take a patient person), and agree that gaming companies seem to rely on the ability to patch the game in order to meet their release date.  Does this mean they sit in a big boardroom and think "Well, we can relax.. we'll meet the release date, and then just patch it!  HA!".  No, more along the lines of switching priorities.  If something can't be done by the ship date, resources can be diverted into what CAN be.

so... yeah.. me too.

Of course, there would be no non-text based MMORPGs.. oh well, like, sniff, or something.
#30 by "Flamethrower"
2001-09-19 09:48:20
It's a shame you don't 'get' EvilAvatar.

If you don't like it, you can do better or is it can you do better?

He's had scoops, good stuff has been put in his forums (often by developers), and keeps it current.

And, bad or not, at leat the site is a read.

Have any of you fuckers ever tried READING Bluesnews? I used to like reading it back in the day when Blue would show personality. Today it's a random mishmash of links and clicks.

If anyone else wants to show me a gaming site that is actually fun (if disagreeable) to read then I'm up for it.
#31 by "HoseWater"
2001-09-19 09:59:09
I actually have to agree with you there flamey, back in the day, I used to read Blues, but now, and for quite sometime, I'm thinking since he started puting everything in little sections, but now it's like reading the classified section of a gaming newspaper if such a thing were to exist.

Might as well be a robot scooping the news from PR, and email.

These days, when I remember to visit, I just skip down to the 'out of the blue' section to see how the old chap is doing, it feels like a real human writing is actually writing that part of the site.

If you were yelling at me though for saying that EA's not doing all that well, I was talking about site finances, not content.
#32 by "Houston"
2001-09-19 09:59:09
#30 Flamethrower me a gaming site that is actually fun (if disagreeable) to read...

That pretty much says it

the only site that makes me laugh my ass off these days is The Onion, and, well...
"The Mushroom"

#33 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-09-19 10:00:56
Phil is losing support though.  I've personally sworn off of his site.  I used to frequent the forums, but the negativity there is too much for me now.  I don't need that in my life, so I don't visit there anymore.

Same reason I've sworn off The Shack.

I don't think I'm alone.
#34 by "crash"
2001-09-19 10:05:17

crash (#24), before shai has to say it, might I point out that he is not the official GSI spokesperson, nor does he actively shove the GSI position on things down our throats when he posts here.

you know, i was gonna let this one go, but i'm cranky.

"might you point out..." you might point any number of things out, but to do so you'd have to assume i was fucking stupid or something. or you'd have to be clueless yourself. here are some clues for you, m0nty. take notes, because i won't be repeating it.

i been sparrin with shaithis about this and all things GSI for, shit, three years now. maybe four. i'm pretty sure he knows just exactly what i meant by that, and since i wasn't worried about what the fuck you personally thought of it--and, in fact, i really still don't--i could really do without the "you know shai doesn't do this that and the other" bullshit.

and i don't know if you remember much about the past crappers, but you're admonishing a guy who nearly lost his fucking job over the bullshit on this fucking board, so if anyone knows what the fuck being a company representative does and does not mean, it would be me. so thanks, dad, but tell you what--why don't you let shai respond before you wanna play Ward Cleaver next time.

if i wanted an official GSI stance, i'd have asked for one--i do have the proper addresses and phone numbers, y'know. i got fucking Warrior on my ICQ if I want to talk to a GSI rep about GSI stuff, but you know what? planetcrap is hardly the time or the place for the official GSI stance.

thus, if i'm posting here about it, logic would dictate that, gee whiz, Beav, nobody here's a fucking company representative spouting the company line. QED.

so, taking the original comment in that context, and knowing what we all know now, let me point it out for the humor-impaired, which i'm damned sure shaithis is not:

i'm yanking his fucking chain.

you all set now, m0nty? i trust we won't be having a snide little condescending "might point out" bullshit episode again? we all clear on who's who and what's what?

#35 by "crash"
2001-09-19 10:09:37

It's a shame you don't 'get' EvilAvatar.

it's a shame this is incorrect. but keep guessing at what you think i deleted.

this could be more fun than actually posting stuff.
#36 by "Flamethrower"
2001-09-19 10:19:41
it's a shame this is incorrect. but keep guessing at what you think i deleted.

Sorry crash, I was talking more generically and to the crowd. I have no care or hint as to what you didn't write.

I mean, guess what I didn't write here --) "" (--

Was it cunt, or sko, or nigger, or rapist, or drugs, or "sweet picture, God0, thx".
#37 by "m0nty"
2001-09-19 10:34:03
crash (#35), you may not understand what I am about to say because I don't use the word "fuck" enough, but here it is. No one cares about what you think either. Especially if you're trying to set up shaithis as a straw man to kick about your petty little whines about GSI. You posted 20 times in the GSI thread already, get over it.

Speaking of which, I couldn't agree with you more when you posted this in #465 in the GSI thread (given that shaithis has no influence over GSI management):
for me, it all comes down to how much say they have over the things they speak of, and in what context. for instance, if Scott Miller wants to talk about (say) Serious Sam strategies and game design issues, he's on the same playing field as anyone else, because he's got no say in how to do it, what was done, or whatever--like anyone else not in Croteam, pretty much. but should he start discussing projects he has influence over--say, DN4whenever--then yes, he can and should be held accountable for those, because he can directly affect the outcome. does that make any sense?

another example: if Warren (to use our favorite corporate shill and whipping boy) were to talk about anything on the project he's involved in outside his duties and responsibilities (which, itself, would be incredibly stupid--but that's another discussion), i wouldn't expect his word to be law or accountable or whatnot. now, he starts talkin about level design, flow, scripts, entities, what he's doing, and what you can expect from the levels in the final product, sure--i'll hang him for those if there's a hangin offense in there somewhere. sorry, Warren, but we both know it's true. ;-p

not sure i'm explaining this right, but that's the general gist. thus, since higher-ups have more access and a greater ability to decide/direct/determine the end result and/or future of the product, there are more things they can say that can be accountable. but in the larger scheme of things, 99%+ of msgboard discussions are with the person, not the company representative.

and, as noted above by Steve, companies don't generally think the same way as most people. :)


When you're worthy of being quoted, i.e. people care what you say because of what you've done or who you work for, you do need to consider what you say. That's not to say you need to spout corporatespeak or be excessively PC, but you have to be willing to take the heat in a very public way.

this is exactly what my excessive verbiage above was tryin to say. you shouldn't be held accountable company- and employment-wise if you're not talking about your work, but you can. it's really a shame, too, but there it is.
#38 by "Apache"
2001-09-19 10:37:29
>>In the independent community, popular MMOG ranting site Lum's is closing down at the end of the month,<<

Lum's is not closing down, it is changing names.
#39 by "Steve Gibson"
2001-09-19 10:40:45
Donations is not the business model we use. It was promised to be a one time deal, and it was. I apologize to anyone who was lead to believe otherwise.

Hell I've even been refunding a few guys donations.

A word for all you webmasters out there... If you shop around enough it IS possible to make money. I do know that quite a few guys are struggling, and quite a few guys handled their dispute with UGO poorly. But not everyone is sputtering out and dying.

Donations however is not something I would frown upon as a business model as a whole, I have a great deal of respect for things like PBS etc. Then again I wouldnt dare make a direct comparison of any of the websites in question to PBS... :P

Btw... I saw some comment on VE that Apache got shafted out of money and is no longer at VE? Probably just some guy trolling but these are crazy times...
#40 by "Flamethrower"
2001-09-19 10:42:27
Lum left a long time ago. He want to remove his name from the successors to his site as he now works for a company that could be criticized by it. He people running Lum the Mad, i.e., not Lum, are going to their own place.

But Lum the Mad without Lum is like Kylie Minogue porn but with a cross-dressing Johnny Depp playing the part of Kylie: interesting in it's own right but not quite the same as the real thing.
#41 by "HoseWater"
2001-09-19 10:46:37
It's changing nearly everything except it's subject matter. New connection, new server, new management, new name, new site.

Might as well agree the site is dead, and someone who used to work there, is going to try and snag the old readership for a new site.
#42 by "Apache"
2001-09-19 11:29:43
heh, it's just a crazy world.

btw - Dave Georgeson has officially joined Verant to produce planetside.

Howdy all,

I'm Dave Georgeson. Some of you first-person gamers out there may know my name because I was part of the team that released "Tribes 2." I'm coming on board the PlanetSide team as its Producer in order to help the team focus and refine the game in a timely fashion, and to ensure that we're getting the most bang for the buck out of our development efforts.

I'm still learning a lot about the game and it will be some time still before I can go into detail here on what we're working on. I will say, however, that I'm very happy to be on board, as I honestly think that this type of game is the inevitable evolution of first-person gaming and that PlanetSide has the potential to be one of the best games ever made. That, coupled with the fact that the talent of the team members here is definitively superb and that they are motivated to create excellence in gaming, made the decision to come to Sony Online Entertainment an easy one to make.

It will be a very busy time here as we focus on getting the project completed, but we're looking forward to making a game that folks will be remembering for years to come. Watch this space. We'll update you as we go along.

See ya next time,

Dave Georgeson.

Wacky, wild stuff...
#43 by "Steve Gibson"
2001-09-19 11:40:52
Jeeze Apache, no more VE? So where to? It's not like the market is hopping and jobs are growing on trees right now or anything.

I do wonder just how many pages out there really are making any money.

Sadly, I am pretty impressed with the Fileplanet guys from a business perspective. I know quite a few people who coughed up the cash to pay for that personal server stuff.
#44 by "Apache"
2001-09-19 11:45:40
I'd love to comment on your comment, but I'm afraid that it's my policy not to comment on comments like that. Whoa, I sound like some PR monkey. Spooky... ;)
#45 by "Anonymous"
2001-09-19 13:57:33
Someone asked about a gaming news site that is fun to read:
#46 by "enyak"
2001-09-19 13:58:03
#47 by "Gunp01nt"
2001-09-19 14:14:34
The question is, what does a successful revenue model for independent gaming sites look like in the current economic climate?

My guess to the answer is:
There is none.

An independent gaming site has several means of staying in business, but because many webmasters are trying to make a living out of running that website, and therefore require the site to be quite profitable, they push it too far.
Some sites open up with 10 popups and devote 60% of the page space to banner ads, while it should be known that noone reading gamessites is interested in those banners. Nobody clicks the banners, and therefore the webmasters don't get paid.

Donations are also kind of a bad idea cause people will only pay a donation ONCE and that even when they  have a remarkably noble character. That doesn't generate enough dough to feed a man either.

A successfull business model would be if webmasters would actually get a job and stop relying on their sites.
#48 by "Morn"
2001-09-19 14:27:19
I wonder how many people would still pay $7/month for FilePlanet if they knew they could be downloading full versions of all games, all the world's MP3s, movies, TV series and heaps and heaps of hardcore porn videos for only $9.95/month.

Yeah, it's not as legal as downloading the latest demos, patches, maps... but that usually doesn't stop anyone, does it?

- Morn
#49 by "My Cock in Your Arse"
2001-09-19 15:15:52
Evil Avatar is a fuckwit.  If he is supposedly a "good guy", than the Computer Games Industry's website following, must be full of fucken sad cunts.
#50 by "Sgt Hulka"
2001-09-19 16:37:04
#44 Apache
I'd love to comment on your comment, but I'm afraid that it's my policy not to comment on comments like that. Whoa, I sound like some PR monkey. Spooky... ;)

Don't worry, has now been gone for 7 days and nobody has noticed.  I'm thinking about switching my energy to an Olsen Twins fan site.  Anyone want to cut & paste Ashley and Mary Kate news for me?
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