Editor’s Letter: The Long Journey – Regret, Success, And Passing The Torch

April 5, 2013Written by Anthony Severino

It’s only weeks out before E3 2009, and excitement was everywhere in the PlayStation community. The PS3 had began to pick up steam after a rocky start, and I couldn’t wait to see what was coming next. Until I saw it. I saw it before anyone else outside of Sony. I knew it wasn’t something I could keep to myself; it was too big a deal. I felt I owed it to the PlayStation fans that were dying to know what Sony had up their sleeve. And then, I was given the full video. Having power like that in my possession proved to be too much, and on May 19th, 2009, I let Project Trico loose into the wild.

It was an instant hit for PSLS. Everyone knew the site’s name. Traffic spiked, and our reputation as a site that had an “in” with PlayStation was solidified. But what goes up, must come down. And my high came crashing down quickly.

Sony cancelled all of my E3 appointments that year immediately after this leak, and rightfully so. Why would they let me see anything they had to show, when I would just leak it all? I stopped getting review copies from them. What good is a PlayStation site with no connections at Sony—at least no legit ones? The Last Guardian was announced officially the following weeks at Sony’s E3 Press Conference using the same—albeit more polished—footage I had leaked. And look what happened to that title. It’s still not released, nor has anyone really heard about it in some time. Fumito Ueda left Sony, and the project is in disarray. I’m sure there’s a lot more to it, but I can’t help but feel partially responsible. I didn’t ruin development of the game, but maybe the game wouldn’t have been announced so early. Fans would never have known there was even game called The Last Guardian, there wouldn’t be any disappointment, and maybe less pressure would have been put on Team ICO.

I was (and still am) filled with regret, and knew that to become a real success with PSLS, I had to denounce all rumors moving forward, and get the site back into good standing. One of the last rumors we had hanging around, was our weekly Rumored PS Store Update with “rumors” about upcoming PlayStation Store content that was literally told to me each week by someone who worked for the PlayStation Store team uploading content to Sony’s PSN servers. Even knowing I was right, and having that temptation of nailing rumors each week, I turned the feature into the PlayStation Store Preview, with only confirmed content, and a coming soon section. It was still a success, and I knew I was on the right path.

Success Is Stumbling From Failure to Failure With No Loss Of Enthusiasm

There has been so much personal success in my story, and even more for PSLS itself. The site is now the #1 unofficial PlayStation site in all of the world, thanks to the hard work and dedication of not only myself, but my wonderful staff over the years—some of who are still with me, while others have moved on, but will always have a place in the site’s history and heritage. And none of any of this would be possible without our loyal readers and fans supporting us through the best of times and the worst of them.

Getting accepted onto Metacritic was a big one for us, as it meant our reviews mattered to a wider scale. Smaller things, like hitting 10K followers on Twitter was really a huge success. Bringing an entire staff of friends—more like family—to E3 was personally gratifying, knowing I facilitated hard-working, passionate writers living their dream. My attendance at the recent PlayStation Meeting where I saw the PS4 announced only two rows back from the stage was certainly the highlight of my career. But the best thing to happen to PSLS, was when I sold it to CraveOnline Media back in 2011.

No one ever once thought of me as a sell out. Everyone, including my friends, family, and staff, all knew why I did it. I had always wanted more for PSLS—more than I could give. Even though I made some money, I never made enough to pay a full staff. Never had enough to send my guys to all the events I wanted covered. And never had the power that having real corporate backing provides. Part of this deal also gave me a permanent job running PSLS, and with it, I took on GameRevolution as the Managing Editor. And even though I didn’t build that site with my own sweat and tears, I love it like it was my own. I still love PSLS just as much, which is why I’ve taken a step back. I’m not what’s right for the site anymore. I just can’t give it the attention and care it deserves and still complete my daily tasks.

Passing The Torch To The New PSLS

Some time ago, I realized that I was no longer fit to be Editor-In-Chief, and that me holding that title was a slap in the face to Sebastian Moss, who had more than proven himself through his dedication, passion, and loyalty. That bastard put me to work this week, but it helped me again see just how important PSLS is to me, and just how hard that guy works to keep this place in tip-top shape. Through his leadership, he’s brought about a new era of PlayStation LifeStyle that’s far better and brighter than what I had built originally. The team assembled are the best we’ve ever had. We’ve got new regular features that compliment my long-standing PlayStation Store Preview. We now have Daily Reaction and Bad Gamers thanks to Seb and Dan Oravasaari. We have Ask PSLS, This Week in PlayStation, and PSLS Playlist from the talented Jason Dunning. Chandler flaunts his Morning Wood each week, and Cameron Teague makes sure that review copies get into the hands of reviewers in a timely manner, and when they don’t turn in their reviews fast enough, he beats them with a PlayStation Move controller (at least it’s getting used, right?).

I read in the comments how much the readers love Sebastian, and it reaffirms my decision to put him in charge. In a way, it makes me sad to know that I can’t do it anymore, and I’m mostly a forgotten face around a site that I built from nothing. But at the same time, nothing makes me more proud than seeing it live on and prosper. The PlayStation LifeStyle wasn’t something I built. It’s something we, as the PlayStation community live each and every day of our lives. That cannot be stopped, and will continue on with or without me. I’m just happy that it’s in the right hands, and I get to sit back and enjoy all the new creativity and excitement that’s brewing.

I’m confident the best has yet to come.


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