Editor’s Letter is a series of ongoing articles on the state of PSLS, its future and the future of the industry as a whole.
No, I’m not the Editor-in-Chief at PSLS anymore, that honor is now in the hands of the extremely competent Sebastian Moss. He’s the one who started these Editor’s Letters, and with him being away for the week and me stepping back onto the throne for a bit, I thought I’d try my hand at this. I’m going to tell you some of the trials and tribulations of PlayStation LifeStyle, how it got to where it is today, and what lies ahead in the future.
From Meager Beginnings To Masterful Ends
PlayStation LifeStyle was an accident. In the same way two teenagers fresh out of high school and foolishly in love get pregnant. But like most accidents, they turn out alright, despite the parents’ immaturity, and general inexperience. You live and you learn from mistakes.
You may have wondered why we’re called PlayStation LifeStyle. The PlayStation part is a given, but why the word “lifestyle”? It always occurred to me that living and breathing the PlayStation brand and products, and being a gamer was more than just a hobby. At times, it required passion and dedication. No example is great than this short story.
23-years-old, a younger me was anticipating the launch of the PlayStation 3 like any gamer who had previously owned the PSOne, PS2, and PSP. It was October 8th, my wedding day. I found out later that night as I went home with my new wife, that pre-orders were going to begin at my local GameStop on the 10th. We were leaving on our Honeymoon on the afternoon on the 10th. I had time. I didn’t even have to ask my wife, she knew me well enough—she married me after all—she just told me to go. So there I was, sleeping on the ground in front of a GameStop, first in line, at 10PM the night before, with a loaded cooler full of drinks, snacks, and more. All while barely being able to walk from a spine injury I was recovering from. Sleeping on the cold ground was not fun. I woke up that morning, put my money down, and then left for my Honeymoon to paradise with my new wife. That’s dedication. That’s passion. That’s on the stupid and crazy side, but that’s what PlayStation LifeStyle is all about.
Fast forward two years later. Tough times hit. The economy crashed hard, and my current job as an Union Carpenter for Boston Local 33 wasn’t going so well. I worked building high-end hotels and condos in high-rises by the waterfront. But no one had money for that anymore. Projects halted, and I was laid off. Unemployment wasn’t cutting it, and I had a baby on the way. Stress was building, and I needed an outlet. I opened a small WordPress blog, and it took my mind off things. Quickly, it found a following, mainly due to my regular posting of spot-on PlayStation rumors. I had a couple friends in high places at Sony, and I was pretty much never wrong (except for one time when I let someone else post their rumor, killing the site’s rep). From this, PlayStation LifeStyle was born.
I found myself investing more and more time into it, as I had more and more time free without a job. As this happened, I realized what I truly wanted to do with my life, and I had to take a risk to make sure it worked out. I invested every last dollar I had in my savings—a meager $2500—to have Nate Yungkans from Heroic Dreams Graphic Design create a custom WordPress theme for PSLS, and to turn it into a site that generated revenue through advertising—a must if I wanted to do this for a living, and further build the site.
It worked. But not without many stumbles along the way.
I’d Rather Regret The Things I’ve Done, Then Regret The Things I Haven’t
Yes, my risk paid off. The site began taking in a little money, but it wasn’t enough to support me, let alone a family, or a staff, for that matter. Growth seemed impossible. Until another site owner had suggested to me that I sign an exclusive contract with an advertising company called Media Mayhem. This person claimed to be making thousands a month using their services. I reached out, and it all sounded good to me. And it was, at first. I made some decent money, the site had it’s first quality advertising, and even a site skin—something I had only really seen on IGN at the time.
But slowly, the payments stopped coming. This company was ran by a bunch of shysters, and they made a habit out of neglecting their publishers. Their ads still ran, as my contract required, but I wasn’t being paid for it. There was a clause in the contract saying that if they weren’t getting paid, then we (the publishers) weren’t getting paid, either. Scumbags, but it was on me for not hiring a lawyer before signing a contract that was way over my head. I learned a hard lesson here. PSLS almost closed its doors… twice. I very much regretted that decision, but not nearly as much as the next one, which I still regret to this day… Continued on Next Page>>