Hello single players and welcome to my bi-monthly address. That’s the “twice a month” one, not every other month, though with as infrequently as I’ve actually been writing things, you could certainly be forgiven for thinking the latter. The truth is, since I’ve started at OnlySP, I’ve gotten a taste of what it’s like to be a games journalist and while I never thought it was all fun and games (some people actually do think that…can you believe it?), it definitely didn’t disappoint in workload. Of course, it doesn’t help that I have a day job.
But you didn’t come here to hear me gripe. These updates will primarily be to deliver a “state of OSP” address twice a month…and I’m happy to say that in the eight-or-so months that I’ve been here – and indeed, from hearing owner Nick Calandra talk, pretty much since the start of the webpage – January was, without a doubt, the best start to a new year for Only Single Player, not only in traffic – though that’s a part of it with almost 170,000 visits – but also in content.
We set a very optimistic goal of 200,000 visits for ourselves in January based on an incredible start to the month and, though we didn’t quite hit it (I was optimistic but realistically I knew it would be tough), I’m very pleased with where we ended up. Another big story or two would have easily pushed us over that threshold and it’s incredibly encouraging to have been a part of that rush of readers (even if it was primarily from behind the scenes). I’m also pleased to see that over 80% of our traffic was from new readers and I’m hoping the excellent content we put out this month will transition them to repeat visitors.
I’m even more emboldened by the content the site has been putting out – and as the editor, I’ve been privy to almost all of it. Not only did we keep up with a lot of the big news of January and even threw out a few reviews (for those of you who don’t know, reviews are easily the most time-consuming parts of our job and a writer generally can’t produce much content for a week or even two while they work on them), but we also had some amazing features, which almost certainly contributed to one of the best months of the site’s history. I’m not so traffic-minded that I want to see “click-bait” articles hike up our numbers. If we’re going to get a lot of viewers, I want it to be because we’re producing content that people want to see…and I think we succeeded with that in January.
If you haven’t had a chance yet, take a look through our What Remains of Edith Finch interview here, a great look at a truly grim upcoming game by our own James Bicliffe. James also started our monthly “Spotlight” with an intriguing look at how a development team researches and incorporates history and realism into a game like Kingdom Come. You can read that article here.
Other notworthy articles this month included Damien Lawadorn‘s great interview with Dr. Mark Riedl, Associate Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology about the future of AI storytelling in games. If you’re at all interested in the future of video game storytelling, I highly recommend you take a look. But by far one of our most popular features of the month – even getting some emboldening praise from Bethesda itself – was our own resident Bostonian Andrea Giagiari’s tour of the real-life setting of Fallout 4, comparing the game’s wasteland take on that historic city. You can (and should!) read that here. I also started my “Boss Tunes” feature where I interview video game cover musicians and feature their unique takes on the video game tunes we know and love. This month I interviewed Jonny Atma of GaMetal and you check that out here.
Pro tip: click on the “features” article at the top of the page (or click here) to look at all of our interviews and other feature articles. We’ll really be pushing to provide you that unique content more in 2016 because we know you can go anywhere to get news and reviews…so we want to do something unique to bring you back to Only Single Player. We want to earn every hit we get.
Speaking of content, we hope to keep the hype train going here at OnlySP with some great material next month too. I can’t give you the skinny on everything we’ve got coming up, but I can say we have another installment of “Spotlight” coming out as well as a Witcher 3 Postmortem and a Battlefleet Gothic: Armada interview. Be sure to keep checking back regularly for more great content from the team.
Finally, I’d like to remind everyone that the OnlySP Forum is open for business! Be sure to head on over and introduce yourself. We have a great community here and we’d love to have you be a part of it. You can also give us a follow on Facebook and Twitter (@Official_OnlySP) to be the first to know when we come out with new and exciting content. As always, be sure to give us feedback on what we’re doing – whether positive or negative – so we can give you more of what you love.
Thanks again for making January a great month, single players!