If you turned round to me in 2015 and told me my brother’s crazed dream of launching his very own Nintendo site, would still be a thing 5 years down the line, I honestly would not have believed you and even now, I still don’t believe it.
You’d think, 5 years on, we might have it all figured out by now, but we don’t. Every time we think we’re close to sussing it, or things are going great, with no issues in sight, the rules of the game are swiftly changed and it’s back to the beginning with us.
With nearly 12 years of freelance journalism under my belt and everything I have learned in that time, it seems there are still plenty of lessons to learn and the resolve I have now, is not the same as it once was.
When Miketendo64 first begun, we just wanted it to be a fun place to go to that offered straight to the point news for those in a hurry. Then as we began to get popular and have more follower engagement, I became driven to do better, be better, and spent a few of the following years (2016-2019,) trying to make our Miketendo64, Your Miketendo64.
Then in 2019, time just wasn’t on my side. Having moved country, got a new day job, and working every hour I possibly could, I just couldn’t give to Miketendo64 like I used to. I was around to answer any questions our team had of me and made myself available to visit events such as EGX, Gamescom, and even a couple of Nintendo’s very own events for media, but my contributions were less so.
In that year of on and off activity, however, there have been things that I have seen and notice and there were plenty of good moments. In the span of five years, some of the contacts I have made had become good friends that I got to meet after years of talking to them online. I’ve seen the site I know and love rise and fall and I’ve also met some disappointments as well.
Know the expression, “Never meet your Heroes?” Well, it’s not true every time. Sometimes the very people we idolize can turn out to be exactly what they appear to be. Sure, we can all have a bad day every now and again and shouldn’t be a factor when judging someone’s character. In truth, sometimes, people really are what they seem to be.
Talking of some of the friends I’ve made over the years, I want to give a shoutout to the one, the only, and the rather brilliant Brian Cooper. As the wordsmith behind Japanese Nintendo, I have followed his work before Miketendo64 was even a thing and meeting him in person, was an absolute highlight.
The guy radiates energy and passion and he works tirelessly around the clock to maintain a consistent stream of content that seems never-ending, but it seems the all good things come to an end as it is no longer viable for Brian to continue with Japanese Nintendo and as such, the site will no longer be getting the regular content fans can expect to depend upon.
In fact, the domain is up for sale and the site will remain active, to act as an archive of Brian’s work. Having done 5 years in the same trade as him, and know full well the ins and outs that can be expected and suffered many of the same hardships, I can perfectly understand why he would want to close the door on this chapter of his life, I’d be lying if I said the thought has never crossed my mind, but I will miss him and his site.
Brian is an inspiration, who’s work and discoveries has been covered by countless of sites the world over, from Nintendo Life, Nintendo Everything, Go Nintendo, My Nintendo News and even us, Brian is a true legend and I hope in his time away, he’ll finally get the time to catch up on all the sleep he has missed out on and play the games he just can’t get enough.
With his departure though, I can’t help but want to say a few things. For anyone reading this who wants to follow in our footsteps, there are a few things I would like to say to you. Follow your heart and stay true to your passions. Video game journalism isn’t easy, there are plenty of hardships you’ll endure and it will seem like everyone is trying to do the same thing.
I have seen new sites begin and get everything from the get-go and seen old sites continue to suffer, regardless of everything they try and do. A lot of the time, things can feel very unfair, you can do everything right, you can literally spend years talking non-stop about one particular series and when you try to get a review key of the latest game in the series, the publisher can turn round and refuse you and say nothing else on the matter.
At the end of the day though, reviewers, no matter how big or how small your outlet is, no one is entitled to review codes and copies. Yes, marketing-wise, it is better for publishers and developers to entrust codes to outlets with a bigger audience, as a means of mass promotion, but at the same time, bigger is not always better.
Time and time again, we have seen large outlets, which normally avoid covering certain games, get the very same games other outlets have chased after and they get it in an instant, whereas the dedicated site to all things indie, Switch and Nintendo for example, are left empty-handed.
Other times, brand new outlets that no one has ever heard of, are the ones who end up getting codes and you’re left sitting there scratching your head, wondering what the hell is going on. It isn’t their fault, of course. They are just as deserving to get a code and everyone is entitled to get a break.
Still, though it is a good idea to pay attention to what everyone else is doing. You should still try to do your own thing. Don’t try to be like everyone else and try to do it better than them. Just be yourself and one day, you’ll get your break too.
The second you start worrying about everything, concerning yourself with what everyone is up to, is the second you lose sight of what really matters, the games you’re writing about. At the end of the day, video game journalism is about video games and as important as it is to write and post all relevant gaming news, honestly, it’s more important you take the time to play them.
Do not sit in a room writing countless articles all day. Write the things that you want to write about, share the news that you’re most excited about and take the time to play the games you want to play. Keep the passion alive. Keep it about the games and enjoy yourself. Failure can only occur as a negative result, if you set upon a path of turning a passion into a goal.
Do what you love. Embrace it and if you find success, if you land on your feet and have it all, then good on you. You deserve all of it and more and above all, be yourself. Be you. Forget everyone else. Forget how they do things. Do it your way. Please yourself and let your passion be the only thing you need. You’ll survive this a lot better than the rest of us if you do and hopefully, this is the attitude you’ll be seeing from us in the next year of Miketendo64.
Happy anniversary bro!