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Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Au revoir, Reaxxion

I'm disappointed to learn that Roosh is shutting down Reaxxion, as I think there is a real need for a game site like that and I thought the writers were doing some excellent work there.
I’ve decided to close Reaxxion after approximately nine months of operation. Traffic has not grown to a level that allows the site to financially sustain itself. We have not been able to consistently surpass 250,000 page views a month.

I take full blame for the site’s commercial failure. The writers and editor did a great job trying to achieve my vision of what Reaxxion should be, but in spite of that, the growth did not occur. I attribute this failure to creating the site from a spontaneous idea (in response to gamergate) instead of developing it organically based on an actual need. The fact the gamergate continues to be successful and influential in other communities shows that I did not even provide a substantial need to the audience it was intended for.
We're pretty busy with some other projects, but perhaps when things transition to the next phase, we'll be able to take a look at doing something similar. But notice how Roosh has implemented the "fail faster" philosophy. That is one reason he continues to be successful.

Success = Try, Succeed/Fail, Try Something Else.
Failure = Try, Quit, Mope.

My 10-second diagnosis is that there were no game reviews or industry news, which rendered it all opinion, no news. But I salute Roosh and the writers for making the effort. It was a good one.

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33 Comments:

Anonymous VFM 0038 August 05, 2015 3:05 PM  

Agreed. I thought they had some great articles but it was never a site that compelled me to check in more than once a week.

Blogger SirHamster (#201) August 05, 2015 3:22 PM  

I enjoyed the site and checked it daily. It was missing something like the community here where you revisit to read the comments.

The traffic graph was interesting with the 4x traffic spike in March. Anyone know if that was linked to some #GamerGate event? Does the drop in traffic after March reflect a failure by Reaxxion to capitalize on an opportunity to grow its readership?

Blogger JCclimber August 05, 2015 3:35 PM  

Fail faster is an excellent model.
Game in action in the real business world, baby.

Too many are so afraid of failing that they never try anything at all, until someone else comes in and capitalizes on an opportunity.

Blogger AmyJ August 05, 2015 3:36 PM  

I liked their game reviews and opinion pieces, but I had to check other sites for actual game news. Hope they have better luck next time!

Blogger Cataline Sergius August 05, 2015 3:38 PM  

I was sorry about Reaxxion folding myself. I enjoyed it while it lasted.

On the other hand, I knew it lacked focus. It had drifted off games awhile back. A red pill pop culture magazine wasn't a bad notion but Reaxxion was the wrong format for it.

I think it's biggest problem was that there just wasn't enough content for a daily.

Regardless, it was a good first effort. I'm glad Roosh didn't make the amateurs mistake of doubling down on failure.

Blogger ray August 05, 2015 3:43 PM  

Game is lame. You ain't fixing the world with Your Special System. Nupe not even MENSA members! :O)

Roosh is a Doosh. He embarks on his personal World Tour to enlighten the nations According To Roosh, while censoring those whose thoughts he and the gameboys cannot handle. That's not how men do it.

ROK is a diverse and sometimes excellent mag but it's not the Bible. It just thinks it is. The gameboys know far more about Dead Game than about Scripture, and that is vanity, not wisdom, and misleads the younger generations of lost boys.

Anonymous Nathanael August 05, 2015 3:51 PM  

I really liked Reaxxion as well, but I agree with your diagnosis. I understand that they would be a couple days late with their game reviews due to not getting advanced copies like the SJW sites do, but I still think there is a lot of value in doing them anyway. If people value your opinion, then they're not going to care too much about having to wait a couple extra days to get your take on things.

Blogger Cataline Sergius August 05, 2015 3:59 PM  

And the Man-up crowd arrives.

Please stop using emoticons. For your own sake if for no one else. It's embarrassing as hell at your age. Reading this was like seeing Sesame Street drag Roosevelt Franklin out of the Muppet crypt just to say, "LOL IMHO".

Anonymous NorthernHamlet August 05, 2015 4:04 PM  

Failure = Try, Quit, Mope

Nowadays, they don't even do the trying phase, they simply skip right to moping part, having never started.

Anonymous grey enlightenment August 05, 2015 4:14 PM  

There was probably too much of a content overlap with ROK..may as well merge them into one

Blogger Floyd Looney August 05, 2015 4:14 PM  

Never been there but it looks pretty good

Anonymous Sevron August 05, 2015 4:15 PM  

I'm not even sure that gaming press as such is super necessary anymore. Almost all of the gaming news I get by either keeping tabs on developers I like or I hear from friends who keep tabs on developers I'm not aware of, or an LPer I follow does one of their games. I never bother with game reviews, I look for an LP of the game and judge by the first 30 minutes or less. Where does the press fit into this anymore?

Anonymous Harry P. August 05, 2015 4:16 PM  

Damn my coomment wasnt sent. Just shortly.

Nothing of value was lost. Reaxxion wasn't very good site. Although originally meant as oppostion to SJW gaming medias, it took it too far. It was too ideological, just instead of SJW articles it had anti-SJW articles. When I read gaming site, I don't want to be fed propaganda regardless of its origin and neither do other gamers. Similarly to other gaming sites it had too big percentage of filler text and not enough stuff relevant to serious(somebody would say hardcore) gamers. Writers were average at best, and from their articles it seemed that they weren't much of serious gamers themselves. Looking at frontpage less than one quarter of articles is clickworthy.

Blogger D. Lane (#0067) August 05, 2015 4:27 PM  

@13 Harry P.

Exactly.

Blogger Leandro Novaes August 05, 2015 4:32 PM  

There were game reviews. But it was the minority of content, a lot of it was political opinions, also movies and books, even. And nearly to no game news whatsoever, outside of political opinions on stuff like Gamergate.

I think the site failed because it intended to fulfill a needed niche, but it simply didn't. The site was everywhere, except where it said it would be, that is, an alternative to the likes of Kotaku.

Anonymous BGS August 05, 2015 4:33 PM  

It was a good site, & it would have been nice if it took off. Leftists sites can afford to eat losses because they can find ways to socialize failure. Since he has another site he can just do gaming articles on it, I think he should have given it a year just to see a full business cycle, but he is the only one that knows the actual numbers.

Blogger Corvinus August 05, 2015 4:55 PM  

Leftists sites can afford to eat losses because they can find ways to socialize failure.

Not to mention the progs have deep pockets (like the Ford Foundation).

Blogger Didact August 05, 2015 5:24 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Didact August 05, 2015 5:25 PM  

@2,

The traffic graph was interesting with the 4x traffic spike in March. Anyone know if that was linked to some #GamerGate event? Does the drop in traffic after March reflect a failure by Reaxxion to capitalize on an opportunity to grow its readership?

The reason for that is because we had an article go viral that month. Specifically, it was Reggie James's article about booth babes, which generated over 1,300 comments and a hell of a lot of pageviews.

But that was a one-off. We probably needed one of those every other month, at bare minimum, not one every 9 months.

Blogger Didact August 05, 2015 5:32 PM  

@VD,

My 10-second diagnosis is that there were no game reviews or industry news, which rendered it all opinion, no news.

Sort of. We did have game reviews there. I wrote a fair few of them, in fact. But as I pointed out in my commentary on the final post, our reviews were mostly of older games and what reviews we wrote of newer games never really generated much by way of pageviews. So we largely stopped doing them.

Our biggest handicap when reviewing games always came down to the fact that we aren't professional game journalists (that I know of- I certainly am not), so we don't have access to the same level or degree of information about the games that gamers want to hear about that the pros do. So whatever information we could provide about current industry news was always a few days old.

Our competitive edge, such as it was, consisted of our ability to provide a different point of view about that news. But that wasn't enough, since we couldn't generate pageviews through news, only analysis. And the market for that analysis seems to have been fairly limited. The pageview numbers show that while our readership was loyal and stable, it wasn't growing.

Blogger Didact August 05, 2015 5:41 PM  

@5,

On the other hand, I knew it lacked focus. It had drifted off games awhile back.

True. We experimented with a shift from focusing on GamerGate and game reviews, to focusing on industry news and views. It was successful in generating new traffic and commentary. But over time it became clear that GamerGate was winning, and winning well, against the relentless onslaught of SJW attempts to stifle it.

At some point, writing about GamerGate became kind of stale. I know I found it tough to keep writing articles about GG after a while.

And beyond that, since- as I and others have already pointed out- we aren't game journalists with professional levels of access to developers, producers, and marketers, we couldn't keep generating traffic and therefore revenue through news posts. So that didn't leave a whole lot of room for expansion.

I think it's biggest problem was that there just wasn't enough content for a daily.

I think that's fair. It certainly became a challenge toward the end for me. I was just a weekly columnist, and even then I found it damned hard to keep coming up with new ideas and new articles every week that I thought were worth a reader spending the time and attention required to read through a 1,500-word piece.

Anonymous Anonymous August 05, 2015 5:46 PM  

Fnd: Reaxxion made me play Escape Velocity: Nova so i'm thankful for that.

Anonymous Takin' a look August 05, 2015 6:00 PM  

Not a gamer, (arcades and atari and tetris and simearth here) but can appreciate the culture.

Anonymous BGS August 05, 2015 7:02 PM  

Not to mention the progs have deep pockets (like the Ford Foundation).

To think even Hennery Ford couldn't prevent entryists from taking over.

Blogger JAY WILL August 05, 2015 7:16 PM  

A site that draws attention to all SJW motivated characters/plots would be good. So you know what to avoid or whether its changeable when you play. I don't want to be lectured to in games with inclusiveness and various progressive propaganda. It would be the equivalent of a film passing the anti-Bechdel Test. It gets an SJW rating something like that.

Anonymous Godfrey August 05, 2015 8:11 PM  

Too bad. I just started visiting it on daily basis. I really enjoyed the writers.

Good luck to all of them.

Blogger The King's Man (0007) August 05, 2015 8:30 PM  

Years ago Kotaku was the only site I needed to keep up to speed with the latest in gaming, but eventually I came to find it so frequently infuriating that I gave it up. I don't miss being infuriated frequently, but I have missed the gaming news and some other aspects of what Kotaku offered ever since. I just haven't been able to find a site with all of its benefits and none of the insufferable moralising.

As Vox said, Reaxxion was too light on the news. Didact has attributed this to not having access to developers, but even reporting on press releases from developers would have helped to satisfy people like me who want a single place for gaming news and don't want to have to follow individual developers etc.

Blogger Wayne Earl August 05, 2015 11:30 PM  

Coming from a generalized behaviorial analysis, modeling, and targeting perspective, ive a very different opinion here then ive yet to read, but i do realize that i am an outlier in the model - i Should be a gamer, ive programmed sense age 7, used to be an ANSI Standard fat beared BOFH, but its just not interesting.

Put it this way - my last compwny hosted, among other things, WoW as one of the apps in our server farms, the total set of our server deployment is origin for.approximately 20% of all Internet traffic worldwide (no, not google, they are.customers of ours). Ive seen the game played twice, and have never even once played it myself.

In all seriousness, can the folks here more into gaming then I come up with definitions.that clearly segement game reviews, game industry news, and all of that? I dont have a firm grasp of the segmentation in market, and want to check my understanding of things before displaying an ill informed opinion.

Blogger Wayne Earl August 05, 2015 11:33 PM  

Coming from a generalized behaviorial analysis, modeling, and targeting perspective, ive a very different opinion here then ive yet to read, but i do realize that i am an outlier in the model - i Should be a gamer, ive programmed sense age 7, used to be an ANSI Standard fat beared BOFH, but its just not interesting.

Put it this way - my last compwny hosted, among other things, WoW as one of the apps in our server farms, the total set of our server deployment is origin for.approximately 20% of all Internet traffic worldwide (no, not google, they are.customers of ours). Ive seen the game played twice, and have never even once played it myself.

In all seriousness, can the folks here more into gaming then I come up with definitions.that clearly segement game reviews, game industry news, and all of that? I dont have a firm grasp of the segmentation in market, and want to check my understanding of things before displaying an ill informed opinion.

OpenID eidolon1109 August 06, 2015 1:58 AM  

@27

My sentiments exactly. I enjoyed the articles at Reaxxion a lot, and I want to replace Kotaku for the same reasons. The two or three sites I now use don't really produce the same quantity of content and are more dry, and don't branch out into the "things gamers might find interesting that are tangentially related" space which I enjoyed from Kotaku in the past.

I didn't mind the strong ideological bent -- in fact, a site that was more about discussing gaming from a right-wing/libertarian perspective in general would've been great to me -- but as others have said I would've loved to get all my news there, even just repeated info that's available elsewhere with a bit of commentary. I wouldn't have minded if the info was a little late, honestly, as long as I could get it all in one place.

OpenID simplytimothy August 06, 2015 4:43 PM  

But notice how Roosh has implemented the "fail faster" philosophy. That is one reason he continues to be successful.

Success = Try, Succeed/Fail, Try Something Else.
Failure = Try, Quit, Mope.



That is the first time I have heard of that and it makes sense. Once it is obvious there is no profit to be had, fail the thing to free up mind share for the next project.

Thanks, I needed that.

Anonymous IndecisiveEvidence August 06, 2015 11:23 PM  

I didn't want to knock Reaxxion while it was running (In part because I could not and was not doing better so I shut my damn mouth. They weren't even close to bad enough to badmouth.) but I didn't enjoy it all that much. I still went there every day because it was the only site in that niche and certainly was not bad, but a lot of the articles felt like listy clickbaity filler. There just was not much interesting put out, and not for lack of trying by the staff. But there was no current news. There were precious few current reviews. We did not get any good SJW meltdowns. The staff's collective geekery did not really overlap my interests either but I doubt a website scooped directly from my brain would move clicks.

I appreciate being turned on to Demon's Crest though and am sad to see the site go. It was still and would have remained a daily visit for me.

Anonymous IndecisiveEvidence August 06, 2015 11:33 PM  

That's not to say I needed news, current reviews, or SJW meltdowns... But I just needed a little more than what was on offer.

Still, nothing but respect for Roosh and the team. They did more than I have.

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