Matt Sainsbury

is creating Game and Japanese art criticism

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About Matt Sainsbury

Being a little bit different (my background!)

When I started nearly a decade ago, I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do with it. Having worked at some of the largest gaming publications and websites out there, I knew I wanted to do something different, but I wasn't quite sure what it was. 

But then I realised that there were people out there that liked games that sat outside of the mainstream and blockbuster system, or the "Hollywood of games", if you will. People who liked indie games developed by one or two people with a simple passion and a story to tell. They liked playing games developed in Japan at a time when we were all being told that the Japanese games industry was dying because even the mighty Final Fantasy couldn't outsell Call of Duty. And that's when I found what I wanted to focus my on writing on, because I happened to like those things too.

I then dedicated myself to giving that audience the best, in-depth coverage of alternative games and entertainment. I decided to focus primarially on the Asian entertainment markets, but anything genuinely interesting from outside that area worked for me too. I also wanted to provide people with a different approach to games criticism, and to write reviews that got people thinking about games in a different way. I wanted to look at the themes and artistry in games that other critics did not focus on, and I wanted to champion the kinds of games that many others would dismiss. 

And I would like to keep doing that, because I think it is something that fills a gap for plenty of people that share my interest in games. Which is why I'm turning to Patreon; I would love to keep doing this work, but more importantly, I also want to do more.

Why Patreon?

The basic realities are that to do what I am already doing, I need a lot of time every day. I need to play a bunch of games, write in-depth reviews of them, and then manage the website, the YouTube Channel, the Podcast, and more. After a couple of years hard at it, it's become quite tiring to do, given I also need to work full time to pay bills - after all, I'm not going to be able to do much work if I'm living in a box on the street. 

To continue to grow what I'm doing, and transition to make this my full-time job, I really do need to start earning revenue from my games writing, so that I can then focus more of my time on it, and make the investment in video equipment, plane flights and so on. 

What can you pledge?

Anything at all. Or nothing, if you don't think my work is worthwhile enough. I don't want readers to feel like I'm trying to pressure or extort money out of them, so I'm not going to do tiers and rewards and such. 

If you can contribute a dollar each month, I will be absolutely moved that you think my work has value to you. If you can afford a tenner, then l'll tip my cup of coffee to you for your generosity (a cup of coffee that you made happen!). If you're feeling even more generous than that, and you really want a photo of me bowing before a shrine to you or some such, I can probably do that too. Humour aside, the point is that I'm simply inviting people to contribute if they believe in my work and that it has value to them. Whatever it's worth to them.

I'm also not going to set down specific milestones and goals, because there's only really one goal, and that's to make my games writing my sole source of income. Whatever I can plug back into my work I will. If a lot of people like my work I'll be able to do a lot. If not, it would be great if I can at least continue to write about games.
I of course will be completely transparent as we go along, so if at any stage you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask me. I'll turn it into a FAQ and post it on this page, since I have absolutely no idea what questions people might have for me here.

Thank you in advance for your interest and support, and keeping completely independent games writing alive!

What do you get in return?

I believe it's important that, as much as possible, I don't lock what I do behind paywalls. After all, my goal is to get people to engage in the arts, and they're not going to be able to do that if they don't have access to criticism with that focus. As such I'll never make any portion of the website or YouTube channel Patreon-exclusive. That means 3-5 videos and streams and 15+ articles, features, interviews and reviews will never be "paywalled"

At the same time, I do want to give back to my backers, and there are two things that people do get from the Patreon pledge:

1) Firstly, I make visual novels. They're available on (though I'm investing in expanding that out and hopefully the next one will be a Steam release as well). They feature the mascot, Dee Dee, and all her girl friends. Patreon backers get those VNs for "free" as part of their support, with a current release schedule of 1-2 per year. 

2) Secondly, there's a monthly digital magazine. The Dee Dee Zine. This magazine features things that don't really fit on the website - Japanese culture and history, in-depth features on hidden gems and other games that otherwise don't get coverage, book, anime, board game and more reviews. This is a full-length, 48-page magazine, and it is an exclusive benefit to Patreon backers.

Once again, there are no tiers or anything like that. If you think the magazine and visual novels (as well as all the "free" coverage provided on the website and YouTube channel) is only worth $1/month, then that's all you need to pledge to receive it. If, however, you think it's worth $5, $10, or even more, in-line with the "sticker price" of games and magazines, then I'll certainly appreciate it, and it will be plugged right back into making these things even better value for you!
$95.97 of $1,000 per month
Once I get to $1,000/month, I'll be able to do more than visual novels. Dee Dee RPGs? Strip Poker? Rhythm Games? The sky is the limit here!
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 62 exclusive posts
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 62 exclusive posts

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