Today marks the first anniversary of my flyin’ solo. On November 14, 2014, I officially left the world of traditional games media to launch The Jimquisition as an independent brand.
Happy Jimdependence Day.
To mark the occasion, you can expect bonus content from your ol’ pal Jim Sterling. An all-new episode of Podquisition will be arriving this morning, followed later in the day by an episode of The Jimquisition. These are bonus episodes, which means you’ll still get your usual fix of video on Monday and audio on Thursday. Hooray!
It’s been an incredible year, and these bonus installments are the very least I could do to show gratitude. If I’d not just come off the back of an explosive Halloween special – a special that was only possible thanks to your patronage and my independence – I’d have had time to do more.
Maybe next year, eh? I’m confident there will be a next year.
This wild ride was the biggest gamble of my career, and I still put myself in panic mode when I imagine how disastrously it could have failed. After hitting “publish” on the Patreon page for the first time and opening it up to the cynicism of the Internet, I had the closest thing to a traditional panic attack I’ve had.
My anxiety wasn’t help by a certain contingent of gatekeepers who were determined to see me fail. Almost immediately, a small part of the indie dev community who saw crowdfunding as “their” territory started digging up my past shit behavior that I’ve earnestly addressed multiple times as if I’d tried to hide it, including people to whom I’d apologized in the past and who had pretended to be over it. Their followers started adding that I was homophobic too, which I guess sounds pretty catchy in a Tweet.
I was called “morally reprehensible” for using Patreon while being a “straight” white male, but the other side of the coin was no better, with people celebrating that I’d been “fired” from The Escapist and assuming this “hipster welfare” plan was the beginning of the end for me.
Well, I’m so very sorry to disappoint those people, be they crowdfunding gatekeepers or plain ol’ pissboys.
Because I’m still here.
It’s important to note that the support far outweighed those who did their best to sabotage my endeavors. Be they indie developers, major publishers, other games media outlets, or the hundreds and thousands of viewers who tune into The Jimquisition, I am overwhelmed and humbled by the sheer volume of it all.
In fact, I expected to have to rebuild a lot more than I did. My predictions included a 50% drop in Jimquisition viewers, but there was literally no drop at all, with my debut indie episode pulling in far more than the 100,000 views I used to get at The Escapist. Soon after, that viewcount doubled.
I also believed my role as a critic would receive far less support than it has, and I was prepared for game publishers to take the opportunity to sever ties with that troublesome Jim Sterling. Again, results are far more generous than I believed.
Ubisoft is a bit weird with me, Microsoft seems careful about what I get and when I get it, and I’m 99% sure Square Enix has blacklisted me and won’t admit it, but aside from that – and the obvious Konami stuff – companies have been treating me as they always have.
Well, aside from Nintendo being confused as to whether I’m a reviewer or a YouTuber. That’s a year-long story in itself!
Anyway, the fact is that independence is working out so much better than I’d planned. Apparently it doesn’t hurt too much to have a reputation for brutal honesty in critique.
This past year, I’ve worked hard to make my content more enjoyable, interesting, and better produced. Your funding went into a new and better camera, improved audio equipment, and sound treatment to at least deal with some of the ridiculous reverb this office of mine gets. Thanks to you, I have more time to work on my show, leading to longer and better episodes, ambitious – albeit stupid – projects like the Jimsaw Halloween saga, and even dumb nonsense like Pog Fucker.
I’ve been able to commission work from musicians like Ben Rama and costume makers like Kerry Dyer. Knowing I have the budget to pay other talented people and have them create things I simply couldn’t do has been a damn revelation.
You’ve allowed me to take care of my family, too. This is so important. The security I have working directly for you feels tighter than it ever has at an established media outlet. I can provide for my family, keep a roof over my head, and lead a comfortable life that I just… I just have never had before.
More is coming soon. I’ve been working with Justin McDaniel, a talented local designer who will soon see this entire site revamped and become less “WordPressy.” He’s also working on new thumbnails for my YouTube channel, and a fresh intro sequence for The Jimquisition. His work is damn good – he produced the last #FucKonami news segment intro we ran.
I aim for this coming year to be even better than the last. I still can’t believe this gamble paid off, and I intend to make sure I don’t squander it. I can’t fathom what I did to deserve having such a dream career and such an amazing audience, but I’ll keep working hard to make sure I’m earning it every day.
You are fantastic, and I cannot be more thankful that you’ve given me what has been an all-new lease of life this past twelve months.
Thank God for me.
And there are no strings on me.