Monday, 2 December 2013

End of Week Stats - 1st December 2013 - and my thoughts on charging for reviews

  • 284 Followers on Twitter (up 29 from last week)
  • 469 have us in circles on Google+ (up 1 from last week)
  • Total Page Views according to Blogger stats: 358K
  • Weekly visits according to Google Analytics: 318
  • Weekly unique visitors according to Google Analytics: 236
  • Average Time On Site according to Google Analytics: 2m10s

1 more visit than last week, but unique visitors up and page views at 952 are the highest for absolutely ages.

A big thank you as always to anyone who's help us in any way to slowly increase our traffic - hopefully as we get more popular, we'll be able to help out indie devs more with their fundraisers etc.

A little opinion on the recent furore over a popular indie website starting to charge for reviews - I'm not passing comment on that as I'm not saying this either to attack or defend their stance, but just to say that Indie Game News will never do this.  While I would like the site to make a little money - at the very least cover the domain name registration and give me a little something for the many hours I spend updating it - my main purpose for setting up this blog in the first place was to help out indie devs when I could.  Whilst I have not been able to do this as much as I would have liked, this certainly remains the driving force behind Indie Game News, and making some decent money would just be a nice side-effect if it happened.  If I was actually running this as a business, my stance may be different, I don't know - but there it is.

Partly as a result of that - and also having struggled to find reliable reviewers in the past (perhaps because I can't pay them?) - I may sometimes have to say no to a review request.  I try to get as many games covered as I can, but I also like to be able to spend enough time on each game to go them justice if at all possible.

Also, since I want to help indie devs out, it can sometimes be difficult to criticise a game that doesn't come up to scratch.  In most cases even if I really didn't like it, I've tried to be gentle with my negative comments and encourage people whose tastes in games are different to mine and who might be more inclined to like it, to give it a try anyway.  When I was reviewing years ago and slating a game that had been released by a faceless publisher I never had any problem with it - but when it's an individual, possibly an individual I've come to know via email exchanges, it's suddenly really difficult to say "well actually, this game totally sucks".  

I really can't imagine how difficult it would be to combine this difficulty (which I try to overcome with objectivity tempered with mild phrasing!) with someone actually having paid me to write it.  "Thanks for your $50 - by the way I'm going to tell everyone to avoid your game like the plague because it's terrible."  So I'm definitely not going down that path.


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Does your fundraiser need help?  Check out these suggestions.  I can't promise they'll make you successful, but maybe they'll give you some useful ideas.
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