I tend not to talk about my personal life much but this news seems pertinent. I've decided to leave my day job and try my hand at this video stuff full time. I figure this is the kind of thing you should know beforehand so I’ve taken some time to lay it out.
First of all we're nearing the point where youtube earnings + patreon donations = enough for me to subsist on. Also if I’m not tied to my current job I might be able to move somewhere else, it seems pretty much anywhere would be less expensive than living in Dublin. We're not quite at the point where I could sustain myself indefinitely yet but I'd say we're close enough and I won't be leaving my job for a few months. There's still some stuff I want to finish up there and I want to make the transition nice and smooth for them. It's probably best not to burn any bridges when you're heading into the unstable economy of video game analysis videos.
Secondly I've been getting a bit frustrated recently. By day I'm a software developer, it's a cushy enough job but when I get home from work I'm usually pretty tired mentally. On a weekday I'm lucky if I can get a few good hours of work done on videos, most of the works happens on weekends. This isn't so bad in and of itself but it leaves me with very little free time which has started to become a problem, even just when it comes to videos. I like to be thorough and part of that is exploring games other than the ones I hope to review. For example should I review a game in a certain genre if I have no idea what state the genre is currently in? Should I review something by a certain developer if I haven't played at least some of their earlier titles? Should I review a game if it's inspired by a game I've never played? For me, the answer to all these questions is no. I think it’s easy to be overly critical or overly positive about a game if you haven't done your research on other relevant games and I hope not to fall into that trap. My point is it takes a lot of time to be thorough and it's frustrating to me that I don't seem to have that time. I can't shake the feeling that I'm falling further behind as time goes by and I want to rectify that by spending more time just sitting down and playing some games. I still have a lot of old titles to catch up on and a lot to learn. I only just started playing GTAV the other week and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Lastly this is just the direction I’d like my life to go and it seems now it’ll be possible to make it work. I’ve always wanted to make a living doing something games related. As long as it keeps a roof over my head I’ll choose games over whatever other alternatives I have.
What happens now?
Nothing really. I’m assuming most of you are pretty happy with the way I do things at the moment so I plan to keep things the same as they ever have been. I’m hopeful with the extra time I have I’ll be able to produce more videos but I’m not going to take any shortcuts. I know that one of the main draws of my videos is quality over quantity and I’d like to preserve that.
For the sake of clarity I’ll lay it all out.
All of my content will continue to be available for everyone without any paywalls.
I won’t give preferential treatment to any of my supporters.
I’ll continue to reject free copies of games from developers/publishers.
I won’t accept any other freebies or invitations to events either.
I won’t produce an excessive amount of videos just because this is my livelihood now.
I won’t do any sponsored content of any kind.
I plan to continue sitting aside from the games industry rather than trying to be a part of it for as long as I’m making videos. Since I tend to review games long after their release I’ve never had to make nice with publishers/developers anyway.
I want to take this opportunity to say thanks to those of you who have donated to me over the last couple of years. It’s because of you that I’ve been able to make this decision. This is something I’ve wanted ever since I was about 4 years old staring at those massive pixels on a tiny TV so I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that you’ve made a dream come true.
Even if this all comes crashing back to reality a year from now and I have to go ask for my old job back I’m happy just to have had the chance.
If you have any questions or concerns about this just let me know here or on Twitter. It's not too late for me to reverse this decision should enough of you yell at me about it.