Over the last four years Shogun Gamer has grown over leaps and bounds to become one of Canada’s top destinations for video game news, reviews, editorials, and exclusive interviews. As a result of this we’ve decided had to make several changes to the site. Now, entering into our fifth year of providing the internet with original video game-focused content, we’ve decided that we’re going to shake things up a little in a transition we’re calling “Shogun Gamer 2.0.”
I’ll get into the details on what exactly is changing with Shogun as a site, its tone, and its staff in a moment, but before we dive head-long into the meat I want to give a little bit of back-ground on what brought us to this decision:
From my personal point of view the reason I got into writing about video games originally was because I was fascinated by an E3 podcast back in 2003 where a group of journalists got together, pool-side, in LA during the conference to have a candid discussion (and a few drinks) about the video games they had seen. The idea of casually talking about video games, and people who were really passionate about the industry, was an exciting and new concept for me at the time. The majority of the writing I’d seen from the major outlets at the time was stale, clinical, and boring. I got into writing to try to create the type of content that I heard that day on a free-form podcast. I wanted to start casual conversations with “hardcore” gamers and provide that level of enthusiasm and passion for the industry and its products that I heard from these journalists “off the record.”
Alternatively, Ian was spurred into writing about video games after reading GamePro magazine and other now sadly defunct gaming publications as he grew up. It was these magazines, which boasted unique writing personalities, and his desire to see the medium of video games be shown in a different perspective that made him want to leap into writing; not just so he could wax poetic about indie games or praise Suda 51 and Sony whenever he could get the chance, but so people could perhaps look at games in a different light and actually think about things upon reading a news post, interview, or an editorial.
Fans of the site, the people that have helped us bring up our site and become something note-worthy in the industry, are likely already aware of the tone of writing that Ian and I produce, but it’s always been something that’s kind of background for us. We knew what we wanted to do, and we did our best to show that through the writing itself, but it’s never been publicly stated, and it’s never been the official focus of the site. That is about to change.
Ian and I have had lengthy talks about what Shogun is for us, what we think the draw of the site is to our readers, and what needs to change (or at least be stated) to make sure that everyone understands who we are, where we’re coming from, and what we’re about. The following is the result of those discussions:
The Staff of Shogun Gamer
Corey Rollins has been heart, soul, brain, and mechanic behind Shogun Gamer since its inception; he’s been someone that has provided our site all the tech-knowledge and maintenance that’s kept us afloat since the site first launched. He’s the original creator and he has, for many years, operated as it’s guiding light as our co-owner and Editor-in-Chief.
However, seeing as he is now working for Klei Entertainment his schedule, as well as the conflict of interest, means that he needs to step down from this vital role.
Moving forwards Ian and I will be manning the site in the following roles:
Casey White – Editor-in-Chief
Over the years I’ve worked my way up in the site, starting as a contributing writer, then moving over to an editorial position, eventually becoming the Reviews Manager/Editor, Events Coordinator, and finally our Managing Editor. Moving forwards I’m going to head-up the maintenance of the site, management of its features, and redesign alongside of Ian Fisher; as well I will be the guy that represents our Canadian interests from the Shogun Gamer head offices in Vancouver B.C.
I also hope that, as we move forwards, the site adopts an “open door” policy for our friends and readers. If you have any questions at any time, feel free to reach out to us via the site (in our comments), Twitter, Facebook, or you can feel free to email me directly at: Casey@ShogunGamer.com
Ian Fisher – Managing Editor
For years Ian has been a dominate force for the site. The man pumps out content like no-one’s business and when we initially started he was doing it all part-time in his off-hours while running a full-time job. No one in this industry works as hard as he does to find information and provide in-depth, detailed articles while hunting down people for his exclusive interview series to be able to ask the questions of our favorite gaming celebrities that we’ve always wanted to address. As such, he’ll be heading up the role of Managing Editor moving forwards, taking care of the day-to-day on the frontend of the site as well as working directly with myself to create new concepts for new content on the site, new features, and new media as well as managing our internal schedule to make sure the site has a consistent flow of articles.
We also hope to interject new blood into the site in the hopes of dividing our (massive) work load in the creation of Shogun 2.0, which we will begin by introducing three new players to the site:
Michael-Sean Morgan – Marketing and PR
Few know Michael-Sean at this point, other than those that remember the short-lived gear-guide “S#!T YOU WANT.” He operated, for a time, on the back-end of the site managing our interactions with various agencies and helping us to establish new points of contact with various media outlets. He was instrumental in our partnerships with the guys over at (what has now become) MegaSteakMan during the release of their Pokémon Apokécalypse video and helped us to partner up with the creators of TOROcast (which lead to all manner of awesome cross promotion and content-sharing). Moving forwards he’ll resume his role, creating opportunities for new partnerships for the site, as well as heading up our ad-sales division (so we can get ourselves funded for things like our convention coverage and wages).
JJ Webb – Staff Writer/Creative Producer
JJ has provided the site with content in the past, primarily acting as a reviewer for the site under my tutelage. Moving forwards he’s going to come onto the site in a larger role, assisting with the creation of new content types, as well as supplying his own unique take on the video game industry through his personal editorials and opinion pieces (as well as reviews of course).
Charles Nicholson – Staff Writer
Charles is joining us for the first time as we move into Shogun Gamer 2.0. We’ll be starting him off with a bi-weekly editorial series, and hopefully you can look forward to more from him down the line!
Content of the Site in Shogun 2.0
The main thing that long-term followers of the site will notice on Shogun 2.0 is that we are dropping out of the regular news cycle. Ian and I are both big fans of old school journalism, meatier pieces with depth and passion behind them that dive deeper into a concept surrounding the games that we are interested in. Ian’s in-depth and exclusive interview series are a prime example of the kind of work we would like to be doing regularly, instead of spending our time trying to keep up with every bit of gaming news as it is released (IGN/Joystiq/Kotaku already have that on lock-down and it’s pointless for us to provide our readers a repost of a repost).
Our site is now going to feature original content specifically. We will continue to produce high-quality big-picture and in-depth articles in the form of Opinion Pieces, Editorials, Exclusive Interviews, and Original/Reoccurring Article series.
Social Media Feed Restructure and Use
Obviously we don’t want to appear out of the loop, but we do want to focus. So to that end we’re officially changing the tone of our social media streams.
As we move forwards with our transition to Shogun Gamer 2.0 you will see that our Twitter account will be the best source for quick hits of new information. News is generally short enough that it’ll fit in our Twitter feed as it primarily focuses on the release of new media (trailers, images, release dates, pricing information, etc.)
Facebook has already undergone the majority of our changes so far. As you’ve seen of late, we primarily use our Facebook feed for convention coverage. Our galleries are always posted there so anyone that was in attendance have the option of tagging themselves and their friends, as well as liking, sharing, and commenting (all that social interaction good stuff that the kids today like to take advantage of that wouldn’t be an option on our site itself!).
While it’s not an immediate change, we do have some long-term ideas for changes to the site which include more multi-media, eventually we would love to be producing original video content for the site (in the vein of our own ‘TV Shows’) and this is the perfect place to post this type of content. For now, expect to see our original game-play videos posted on YouTube as well as archives of live-streams and our community updates.
Twitch is something that I’ve had a lot of fun playing with in the past for things like The Mega Marathon live-stream and charity event that a few friends and I put on annually. In the future Ian and I would like to produce more live content and ‘TV’ type shows. We’re looking at bringing weekly and bi-weekly video content to the site via the power of Twitch and live-streaming (video podcast style) and are hoping to also use this to give you ‘backstage’ access to Shogun Gamer 2.0 as we work to restructure and improve the site for 2.0. If you’re not already following us on Twitch, consider it!
You’ll get to sneak peeks at what’s next for Shogun Gamer as Ian and broadcast our “team meetings” and take place in the discussion for what’s to become the new vision of the site, as well as backstage look at our convention coverage.
Last, but certainly not least, is our partner sites. Shogun Gamer has had several long-standing relationships with groups like MegaSteakMan and TOROcast (and its spiritual successor Twonkhammer). As we move forwards we hope to take greater advantage of those partnerships to provide cross-content. We’re also working with a number of new partners which will provide even greater opportunities for cross promotion, as well as new and original content for the site!
Look forward to more announcements about this as we finalize the details with these individual groups in our Community Updates.
Tone and Personality of Shogun in 2.0
I started this announcement of 2.0 with anecdotes from both Ian and I about what drew us into the industry originally and the tone that we’ve tried to instill into our writing with the site over the last couple of years that we worked together. Moving forwards we want to make this a front-facing mentality.
Shogun Gamer, in our eyes, is a site that has become big enough that we have a ‘brand’ that we can use to get our readers exclusive information and details about the games that we’re all interested in via our editorials, op-ed pieces, and primarily our exclusive interviews.
However, we are also still small enough that we can continue to be the site that is passionate and honest with our opinions. We are gamers, first and foremost, and we have always done our best to be 100% honest with our point of view for every single piece of product that we have represented on the site.
Moving forwards we want to make this more public. We are outright stating that when you come to Shogun Gamer you can be guaranteed three things from each and every piece of content that is posted to our site (and our social media streams):
Honesty – We will be completely honest with our personal opinions on each subject that we tackle. We refuse to censor ourselves for any reason (other than the fact that we do, in general, try to keep our profanity to a minimum).
Transparency – In the past we’ve made a point to let you know where our materials come from for our reviews. As we started to receive review materials from the developers and publishes of the various products that we reviewed we began integrating a statement at the end of each of our reviews about where that product came from (whether it was provided, or purchased by us ourselves). Moving forwards we will continue this trend and expand upon it by providing more ‘backstage’ content for our site in the form of live-streams of our “team meetings,” video/podcast features from conventions that we attend and those frank “after-hours” conversations that originally got me into writing about video games.
Personality – There’s literally hundreds of thousands of people running media outlets in this industry today. Whether it’s Facebook groups and discussions, YouTube channels of reviews/previews/gameplay, or other video game journalism/blog sites there’s no shortage of options for people to get what they want in industry. What we promise to provide in everything we write is our personalities. Support for our community, and that open-discussion mentality. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you have in the comments for our articles. We want our pieces to be the start of a broader conversation. So whether you agree or disagree, let us know and let’s get the conversation started!
Look of Shogun Gamer 2.0
The last of the updates that I wanted to discuss is the over-all look of the site. We’ve been fantasizing about making modifications to the site for some time, but it’s always been left to the back burner. While the site will not be undergoing a complete overhaul over-night, we will be working to modernize the site piece by piece with new visuals and features that highlight the site’s new mentality and tone.
That all begins today with the introduction of our new logo! Eagle-eyed viewers of the site might have already noticed him, replacing the old Nintendo controller-wielding Ninja in the top left of all our pages, and you can look forward to seeing a lot more of him on everything we produce!
We hope that our vision of the next generation of Shogun Gamer is something that the people who have helped us create one of Canada’s most popular gaming sites can be as excited about as we are! If you have any thoughts, comments, words of support, or questions please feel free to contact us via the comments below, or directly through email, Twitter, Facebook, or carrier-pidgeon!