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The Big Annoucement
  An announcement from Jeff "CJayC" Veasey, owner/editor/webmaster of GameFAQs...

When I started GameFAQs back in November of 1995, it was a weekend project. Called the "Video Game FAQ Archive", it was around 100 or so FAQs (most of them from Andy Eddy's FTP site on Netcom, along with quite a few I had gleaned from various other sources). By the end of the month, it was getting 75 whole hits a day, which I was just thrilled about.

Three and a half years, four ISPs, several redesigns, and a marriage later, GameFAQs has grown somewhat. With over 15,000 pages of information, over 5,000 FAQs and walkthroughs, and around 10,000 links, it's one of the largest sources of information of its kind on the Internet.

Of course, it's still just me running the site. One person funneling hundreds of submissions and new links a week into the site at an ever-increasing rate. At the same time, I have a "real job" working as a Systems Analyst for a Very Big Company, so GameFAQs is updated in my spare time. Of course, with GameFAQs in my spare time (taking between 3 and 4 hours a day, 7 days a week), I have very little time for anything else (such as eating, sleeping, spending time with my newly-married wife, and so on). As you might imagine, this isn't the best situation in the world for me, and it's time for a major change.

So, what are my choices?
a) Shut down the site
b) Hire one or more people to help maintain the site
c) Just keep working on the site in my spare time
d) Quit my real job and work on GameFAQs full time

Nobody wants a) to happen. Especially not all the other gaming sites that leech their FAQs from GameFAQs.

On the surface, b) sounds like a great idea, except when you consider that well, it's not that easy. GameFAQs is centralized. There's one database, one maintenance program, and only one way to do things. I'd have to find someone who is experienced with Visual Basic, ADO, SQL, Access, NT Server Administration, IIS Administration, HTML, and last but not least, has a huge interest in Video and Computer Gaming (plus, I'd have to take several weeks to train them on how the site works, and I'd have to actually trust them enough to watch over things in my absence). Now, I'm told such people do exist, but they tend to cost more than your average house on a monthly basis.

If I were to pick c), the eventual end would be insanity, divorce, death, or a combination of the three. Not a good idea, at least not in my eyes.

So, I picked d). Starting Monday, July 19, GameFAQs becomes my full time job.

I think that this was the best choice for both myself and the site, and I hope that all of you think so too. GameFAQs will still be owned and operated by me, not some company, and it will still be a labor of love. I put my heart and soul (and hours of my spare time, and carpal tunnel syndrome, and headaches, and hate mail...) into this site, and that won't change. The only difference is that GameFAQs will now have one paid (I've been doing this for free up until now), full-time employee. Me. GameFAQs receives its income only from banner advertising (and only on GameFAQs' owned pages), and the site will never charge a fee or require membership of any type.

So now I get to use almost all of my time to make GameFAQs the biggest and best site I can imagine. This means more and faster updates, better information, more features, message boards, the return of the request system, and much, much more. Hopefully, I'll be able to show off with some major changes in the next 30 days or so, so stay tuned.

If you have questions or concerns about this annoucement, please feel free to e-mail the_announcement@gamefaqs.com.

The Big Annoucement: A Follow-Up

A lot of people have written in with tons of congratulations and tons of questions. Let me see if I can sum up a lot of those questions with the following:

  • Q: Are you sure this is a good idea?
  • A: Yes. I'd been planning it for months, and the timing couldn't have been better for me (and the site). Trust me, I know what I'm doing.
  • Q: How are you going to survive on just banner money? How much money are you making?
  • A: What a lot of people don't seem to realize is that GameFAQs is one of the most popular gaming sites on the Web, and IGN (of which GameFAQs is an affiliate) is the most popular gaming network. Naturally, I can't get into specifics of how much money I make, but I think I'll be perfectly okay. And if something goes horribly wrong, I just go back out and get another "real" job. I've got a highly marketable skill set, so I'll be just fine.
  • Q: Which banners earn you the most money?
  • A: All of them. GameFAQs does not rely on click-through revenue, although advertisers are more likely to keep advertising on the site if there are clicks coming in. That being said, please, please, please, don't just go crazy clicking on every banner you see. Advertisers can tell if you're doing this, and they discard these clicks. Of course, if you're interested in a product or site you see advertised, feel free to click away!
  • Q: Are you going to be sticking a lot more ads on the site now?
  • A: Nope. Nothing is changing. Well, at least not the advertising.
  • Q: What can I do to help the site?
  • A: Keep coming to the site. Tell your friends about GameFAQs. Write and submit FAQs and reviews. Never, ever plagiarize. Did I mention telling your friends?
  • Q: I clicked on a banner, and there was an error. Can you fix it?
  • A: No. There's an e-mail address on the Ad Error page to contact about ad errors.
  • Q: How many hits do you get a day?
  • A: Oodles and oodles.
  • Q: What does your wife think about all this?
  • A: She's thrilled and yet insanely jealous at the same time.
  • Q: What are you going to be doing with all this extra time?
  • A: You mean, aside from working on the site several more hours a day? Well, I've always wanted to learn Japanese...
 

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