Were you surprised by your win?
I genuinely don’t remember because I was exhausted from jumping around in the Electric Ballroom all day playing Guitar Hero, and I was still congratulating Ellie about her win. I was pleased though. I do think we deserved it, because we all worked very hard this year, but I know we will have to keep improving if we’re to hold onto that kind of accolade.
What’s the secret to Eurogamer’s continued success?
The stock answer is that we employ the best consumer games journalists, which is true. Ellie has her award to prove the point, but we also have Oli Welsh, Rob Purchese and Kristan Reed, and a contributor list that reads like a Who’s Who of British Games Journalism – Christian Donlan, Dan Whitehead, Jon Blyth, Kieron Gillen, Rob Fahey.
I think Eurogamer holds people’s attention and has a personality that our readers can identify and relate to.
How do you plan to develop the website moving forward?
That would probably be telling! But obviously we plan to continue expanding in Europe – Eurogamer is now published in six languages by local teams in each region, and we will be in eight by the end of the year.
What new developments this year have been a particular hit?
This year we tried to stay on top of the biggest games, which keep people streaming to the site, and use the bumper traffic to justify going off and writing about whatever else took our fancy – crystallising that blend of necessity and personal interest at the heart of our editorial.
We also launched Eurogamer MMO, edited by Oli Welsh, which is a channel dedicated to massively multiplayer games. And, if I do say so myself, promoting me to editor in January seems to have gone okay.
How would you like to see the games media evolve?
I’d like to see games journos given free mansions and inflation-busting wages.
As for what might actually happen, I think the magazine market will continue to shrink, with websites – conveniently for me – attracting readers in larger quantities.
I also think we’ll have to grow thicker skin.
There was a cessation of hostilities between PR and editors following Jeff Gerstmann’s ousting from GameSpot, but that’s practically ancient history now. And with Metacritic such an integral part of every publishing executive’s plans – and critical to their companies’ reputations – I expect more publisher interference at every level.