Due to the influx of traffic over the last couple of days I thought I would put together a bit of an article about Economical Gamer as the site's creator and main contributor.
Let me know what you think, but I believe the most interesting topic is going to be the new beta system that will be previewed live on Saturday night! I hope you come by to check it out.
Back in 2007 Economical Gamer was launched into a world very different to today. It may not seem too long ago but back then it was a different era before HDTV, before anyone wanted to use Steam and back when retailers were late to put up catalogues if they even bothered to do it at all.
We launched with content ranging from sale prices, catalogues, reviews, features, price roundups, competitions and coupons. We grew rapidly in an environment where reliable sources of information were scarce. Exclusive price lists were common, drawing in visitors and driving this growth and built the reputation the site has today.
As time went on we added new features, bargain chat, a podcast and even considered a comic.
The Great Dick Smith Sale of '08 and some opinions
The landscape of our industry and even the economy has changed dramatically. We are still feeling the effects of a worldwide market crash and the amazing strength of the Australian Dollar has made importing common place for gamers. There is also the fact that the staff and myself have manged to get busier with life outside the internet.
There is so much more content to follow today even just in the niche of video game bargains. So much so that features have been removed to allow the focus on bargains to continue. Retailers now know the value of an online precence with all sorts of daily deals, newsletters, coupons and social media engagement. We have digital stores, CD key websites, import sites and every major release has to have at least one collector edition attached that gamers should know the contents of. Its really no wonder things are starting to buckle.
Every day we still endevour to cover all these details with links in the random roundups that go up. You still won't find a website on the internet with as much coverage, but unfortunately these lists are not as comprehensive in the details of individual news items as what can be found from other sources.
While addressing the issue of the quantity of content it unfortunately created two new problems: content discovery and waiting until the end of the day to post. Too often people ask questions for answers already given in content and competing sites manage to drop news before it hits our front page. Its not ideal and as the creator of Econimical Gamer I have actually found it quite painful knowing the site has not been meeting its full potential. Which is why in the background I have been developing something new.
The Future and Upcoming BETA Preview
Enter our new system. Economical Gamer should be your one stop source for aquiring video games, whether you're looking for bargains, coupon codes, broken street dates, game roundups or collector edition details. An all new Economical Gamer is coming which is going to enable everyone to discuss all these things within a timely and easy to navigate fashion.
Ideas for the new Economical have been inspired by (or stolen if you will) from the likes of OzBargain, Facebook, GameCafe and our very own bargain chat. Each game will have its own unique page with all the posts that relate to it and then on the home page will be an index of the most recent and popular posts from across the site. Similar to Facebook each page will have a submission form at the top which can be toggled between posting a discussion, coupon, trade or review (with more to come). Each post can be voted on and replied to.
I don't want to speculate for a tentantive release date, it's been planned for two years and it still isn't ready. Although due to the recent influx of traffic from around Australia I thought I would invite everyone to an open preview to get as much feedback as possible. All critisisms are welcome, if you intend to use a site like Economical Gamer for a particular purpose or in a certain way I want to hear about it!
At 6pm on Saturday March 31st I will be opening up my developer machine to the world wide web. The address of the preview and how to chat with me will go up Saturday, until then here are some screens.