E3 is done, but USgamer is just getting started

Hey everyone, it’s-a me and stuff.

An hour ago I put the wraps on the strangest E3 I’ve ever attended. The show itself was fine — probably the most interesting it’s been since the ESA wimped out and did that ridiculous Santa Monica show in… 2007, I guess? The strangeness came from the fact that at the beginning of the show the website I’m working for existed only as a password-protected object, and with us being out of the game and effectively off the world’s radar for the duration of the event, we didn’t even bother taking the standard E3 shotgun blast of news coverage and perfunctory previews approach. And that felt strange… but awesome.

The fact is, this reflects our general editorial philosophy. The market on video game news coverage has been cornered by the giants; they have more people than us and a bigger audience than us. We’d be fighting over scraps and burning all our time on a losing game. Likewise, you can read explanatory hands-on previews anywhere. They’re a commodity. That’s why our news largely consists of a left-hand column that links to things reported by other sites — it’s not an aggregator, exactly, just a list of things we find interesting and noteworthy. And it’s why our previews largely consist of more evaluative or editorial pieces, like Brendan Sinclair’s Dragon’s Crown preview that says, effectively, “I played this and thought it seemed really dated, but then I compared it to its inspiration Dungeons & Dragons Chronicles and realized how far the genre has come.” And really, the lines between preview, editorial, feature, and blog post are pretty blurry for us.

If you’re thinking this sounds a lot like the latter days of 1UP, well, there’s a reason I joined on. USgamer isn’t an exact analog for 1UP, but certainly it taps into the same vibe of what we were trying to do there… but it’s free of 10 years of legacy technology, design, and purpose that no longer fit. Eurogamer’s tech and design teams built USgamer from the ground up for the express purpose of being the exact site we want it to be. It’s lean, simple, and extremely usable… and its emphasis on art means it looks pretty nice, too, especially beyond the bare-bones front page.

And yes, per your requests, they’ve added an RSS feed.

I’m going to point you stuff I’ve written for the site, but honestly you should go read everything. We’ve just launched, so it’s literally possible to read the entirety of the site in just a couple of hours. That won’t be true for long.


And I still have probably 15 or 20 more articles to file from the show on a variety of topics — Knack, Tearaway, 1001 Spikes, Lost Planet 3, Destiny, and more. We haven’t concentrated on any particular games (the heavy amount of Nintendo and Square content I’ve posted so far is simply the result of those appointments being first; I’m working my way through things in order), instead covering what we find interesting regardless of budget or scope of PR. (I know there are a ton of indie and blockbuster-related pieces alike coming from the rest of the staff in the coming days.) Hopefully our writing about the things we are excited about (or opinionated about, anyway) comes through in the text.

Also, I’m a super huge fan of the commenting system. Go on, annotate some paragraphs. It’s really fun.

20 thoughts on “E3 is done, but USgamer is just getting started

  1. I’m really excited about USGamer. I honestly didn’t know what to do with my game reading time without 1up. And honestly, annotating paragraphs is a great idea that I can’t believe hasn’t happened on other sites yet. (Or has it?) Hope the comments remain civil.

  2. Just brought my Google Reader feeds over to Feedly today. USG is my first add there.

    • The 1983 retrospective series I’m doing is the first attempt to create something along those lines — not a week-long theme per se but a multi-part series tackling a single topic (not just retrospectives) from many different angles.

  3. Enjoying the site already. Also digging the annotated paragraphs. It’s a bare-bones site, but that’s fine with me – easy to navigate, easy to read, easy to look at. No complaints yet, but I’m sure the rest of the internet will help me out in that regard. It could probably use some color, but hey – I’m just there for the written content and the pretty screenshots.

  4. I don’t know if I’m really sold on the per-paragraph comment system. I suppose it’s nice if you want to actually engage the person who wrote an article in some serious point by point discussion, but.. really that’s a weird thing to facilitate isn’t it?

    • It’s pretty handy if you want to talk about one particular game in one of the best-10 type articles, among other things.

  5. I have VERY limited time to devote to hobbyist sites. Not trying to be an elitist jerk; it’s just that dem’s the breaks of adult life. Ya’ll know what I’m talking about. But it only took one visit to USgamer to add it to a very shortlist of sites I’ll frequent. Love the direction the team is taking things and I hope USgame finds the audience it deserves.

  6. Lookin’ good. Aside from the layout, it really does feel like 1UP all over again.

  7. Judging solely by the titles of the articles you’ve linked to here, I’m definitely setting aside a couple of hours this weekend. Can’t wait to enjoy it all, and I’m very impressed with USGamer so far. I love the approach you’re all taking with it. Best of luck.

  8. Thanks so much to the USGamer team for implementing that RSS feed! As a relatively older gamer (at least, one that’s been around since the days of Coleco and Atari), and a loyal reader/listener to your stuff for years, I’m really liking the thoughtful and interesting content that’s been on USG so far. That’s exactly the kind of stuff I’d rather read, as opposed to more “breaking news” about the latest multiplayer military shooter where I’d only wind up teabagged by a 14 year old anyway.

    Keep up the great work here and on USG! Thanks for all of your work over the years.

  9. The content seems really good, a nice counterpoint to RPS in my feed.

    But oh holy god, the article title snapping to the top of my browser past a certain point is TERRIBLE.

    Look, I wanna scroll down to start reading, get as much text on the page before I start. But there’s this magic point, where if I scroll down any further, the article title starts cutting off that first paragraph, so I have to scroll back up, try to find that magic point, and position myself juuuust before it. It’s pretty awkward.

    That wouldn’t be so bad in and of itself, but add the height of the absolutely-positioned article title to the absolute-positioned site header, and suddenly I have only a third of the web browser vertically to read in!

    Pretty-please let me scroll without taking up nearly half my page with your titles!

      • Evidently the trick is to browse with a slightly out of date copy of Safari. I’m not seeing this headline-snapping behavior at all.

  10. News is everywhere. I loved 1up near the end because of the cover stories. I loved the focus on specific topics for the week. That is the kind of stuff I love to read. If those are the types of articles an write-ups that you will have over at usgamer, i will most likely frequent the website.

  11. I enjoy USgamer so far, it is much more digestible than larger gaming sites. But, I can’t find any contact info on the site to provide feedback. I would like to comment on (relatively minor) user experience things that I think could help improve the site.

  12. Already I am in love. A class of heroes 2 review? It feels good to actually read a review instead of message boards/fanboys shouting. I hope you guys continue to go the route of 1up and give reviews to a bit more of the portable stuff, it’s a good the big boys don’t bother with because all of their reviews are for generic shooter 19 and madden money grab 46.

    Thanks for being awesome.

  13. Digging the new site but for one thing. The way that the header image sticks to the top and the words scroll up behind it makes it actually pretty hard to read the first few lines without pulling my browser all the way to the top of my screen.

    Otherwise, the content is great =)

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