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Editorial: The future of DSOGaming, Gaming Coverage, Patreon & More

Hello there, everyone. It’s been a while since our last Editorial so I thought I should write one today to give you an update of what’s been happening. Now before continuing, DSOGaming is not closing or going anywhere. I’m throwing this right away so that I can save you the trouble of reading it. So, with this out of the way, let’s talk.

What really prompted me to write this Editorial was the layoffs I’ve seen on some other gaming media websites. No no, I’m not talking about what happened to The Escapist (the layoffs there happened for a completely different reason). I’m mostly talking about Kotaku and some other gaming media. These layoffs were most likely caused by a Google f’ck up. Yes, Google has been a mess for a while, and all gaming media saw a tremendous traffic hit. We might have an article to explain what has gone wrong with it in the past few months. To give you an idea, some websites got a 40% traffic hit, which is HUGE (we “only” got a 9% hit).

Now contrary to other websites, DSOGaming has not relied much on its Google traffic. So while we were also hit, that hit wasn’t as big as the one we saw in other gaming websites. Not only that but I’ve run DSOGaming with the worst-case scenario in mind. And this has paid off. That’s one of the reasons I haven’t expanded the team. So, even with this hit, we are still doing fine. We are not making a lot of money, but the site can at least maintain me and cover its expenses.

And I know, most of you would love to see more writers. Here is the thing though. If we had new writers, they’d be volunteers/freelancers. And I really hate this “freelancing” thing. In my opinion, writers should be paid. That, or they shouldn’t have any deadlines (or a minimum amount of daily articles to write). And that’s exactly what we’ve done with our reviewers. We’ve been buying them the games they want to review and paid a small contribution for their work, and we never set a deadline for their reviews. But that’s not enough to cover their bills so most of them stopped. And I get it. Spencer, Nick and Stephen still write reviews from time to time. And I’m really grateful for their work. But since we already tried to expand the team and it didn’t work out, I don’t believe it makes sense to hire new people. At least not until we’re able to pay them.

I also hoped that our Patreon would help us expand the team. Unfortunately, our Patreon was a colossal failure. And, to be honest, deep inside me, I always knew it would fail miserably. For those unaware, we launched our Patreon when we had some pop-up ads. The goal was to hit a milestone so that we could completely remove the ads from the website. A noble goal, right? Well, that’s not how things work in the real world. Why become a Patreon when you can use an ad blocker? And I have nothing against those using ad blockers. We’ll NEVER block our content to those using ad blockers. However, this is another reason why the team remains so small. Otherwise, we’d be also laying off some writers. I also don’t believe we have any intrusion ads. I’m not personally using a blocker and I don’t receive any pop-up or video ads. So, you should be safe without an ad blocker. Still, if you want to use one, you are free to do so.

Before closing, I should also note that we buy all of our hardware. Whenever we want to upgrade our PC system, we go ahead and purchase the hardware parts. If a RAM fails, we purchase a new one. And, since some publishers have blacklisted us, we also purchase a lot of PC games ourselves. This is another thing to keep in mind that differentiates us from everyone else. We don’t rely on partnerships. This is what being independent feels like.

The only company that currently provides us with free hardware is NVIDIA. To its credit, NVIDIA has never demanded “specific” articles. The main reason they got in touch with us was because we were already covering DLSS and Ray Tracing. That was in the RTX2080Ti days. And, if you’ve been a regular, you’d know that we’ve been talking about Ray Tracing since 2006. We’re also doing a good job at spotting graphical issues, which is why they’ve been asking for our feedback (regarding both DLSS and RT). So, this partnership started due to our passion for these techs. Hell, they even offered to send us a free video capture card. Our response? “No thanks, we don’t rely much on video content.” This should give you an idea of our principles. We’re not after free stuff just for the sake of it. And again, NVIDIA got in touch with us, not the other way around. We didn’t send them any email to get a free GPU or anything like that. So, if AMD one day contacts us, we’ll be more than happy to provide them with benchmarks or impressions about their tech.

In summary, we’re not going anywhere. Right now, DSOGaming is in an acceptable state. Unfortunately, though, with what has been happening lately, we won’t be expanding our team anytime soon. We also have no plans to change our gaming coverage. DSOGaming will remain a PC-only gaming website with benchmarks for all the latest triple-A games, and with a heavy focus on mods and fan remakes. So, if you didn’t like our content, why are you still here? 😛