On July 18th, 2012, I took over as editor of the very site you're reading. Back then, of course, it was a Kinect-focused publication by the name of KINECTaku. Within a relatively short space of time, it was obvious that we needed to refocus on the bigger picture. There's only so many times we can write articles about the different voice commands you can use to navigate the dashboard, after all…
So, Pure Xbox was born just a few months later, with the goal being to serve the wider Xbox community. We've done many good things since then. We've broken some big news stories, provided honest reviews and – as was my want – have attempted to provide coverage of games of every size, refusing to look down on any game simply because it was made by a smaller studio. From Action Henk to Gears of War to Zoo Tycoon and back again, we saw it as our responsibility to make sure that people were informed about ALL of the games that were available to buy. We ran two successful and memorable GameBlast marathon events to raise money for Special Effect, pulling in a nice couple of grand in donations for a great cause. It's no exaggeration to say that we've given away thousands upon thousands of pounds of games and hardware, both during those events and via regular contests.
We've stuck with the Xbox platform through ups and downs and even when it was "on the ropes" in some people's eyes, my intention was that we would never resort to playground barbs or blind fanboy dedication to the brand in order to get hits. We didn't disrespect PlayStation 4 owners or their favourite games, even though – given the sad state of things – taking that approach would probably have doubled our traffic. Still, we resisted. When Microsoft screwed up, we told you that they screwed up. When they did well, we told you about that, too.
It's no joke to say that as a part of our daily news coverage, on average, we provided exclusive news about brand new and never-before-announced games about six or seven times a month. I'm not claiming that we were uncovering AAA-sized titles of course - though we did from time to time - but we were still exclusively revealing new games to Xbox One owners, providing information ahead of time so that when new products randomly turned up on the Xbox Game Store (as they often do) our readers weren't left thinking "What the heck is this, now?"
I know that we have regular and dedicated visitors. Genuinely good people that retweet our articles, turn up to watch livestreams, comment on stories that are relevant to them every day and get involved in lively discussions. I'd list them, but I'd end up missing someone out, so I won't. I may not have always agreed with each and every one of your points myself, but you folks have helped carry the site along without the comment system here ever coming close to collapsing into fanboy hell. For that, and for every piece of support you've shown us, we all thank you.
But, even with Microsoft set to usher in new consoles that will change the landscape more than a little bit, we can't go on.
Our staff was dedicated to the cause of building a site that informed and therefore empowered the Xbox community, but we could all only be expected to contribute so much in the face of almost complete apathy from the Xbox fanbase. We've tried as much as we can and as many things as we can, but there's little more that we can do. Without readers, there's no advertising. Without advertising, there's no money. Without money, writers and staff are continuing to contribute in their free time, working all day to earn their living and then coming home to write articles that encourage readers to get involved and play great games, when they could indeed just be settling in to decompress and play a few themselves.
I don't feel comfortable in asking them to do that anymore.
The comments system and forum will stay open for a while, but there will be no new articles.
While I am sad that something I've worked on more or less every day of my life for four years is being shut down, I'm proud that despite our limitations, we as a team were able to live up to my own expectations and to create a site that I would want to read. On a personal note, I'd like to offer my thanks to Dave, Anthony, Emma, Josie, Red, Lucie, Tyler, Wayne, Adam, Des, Justin T., and everyone else who worked to contribute to the site. Also, to Damien, Ant, and Daz from Nlife for giving us the chance to at least try to build something great. You guys all rule.
I'm also proud that - given that I swear like a truck driver in real life - I managed to write nearly 2,800 articles here without once dropping an f-bomb. Go me!
Of course, Tom and the team at Nintendo Life and Sammy and the team at Push Square will – as they always have – continue to provide great content for Nintendo and Sony fans and we encourage you to check them out if you haven't already!
You'll still be able to reach myself and the team via [email protected] if you need to for a good while yet and I may actually have time to reply. Once I've had a day off and finally finished that second run through of Jet Set Radio Future, of course…
For now though, enjoy what you play and play what you enjoy. Peace!