A Two Year Reflection of B.A.T.G.R. by Dustin Murphy


Before I begin let us consider this a letter first and foremost. Two years ago Blast Away the Game Review started out as a mere Facebook Page, one that slowly reached 2-3 thousand reviews within its first year, but with some struggle, and even hardship, but also money none of the writers had to spend for us to get the views so we did it anyway. Unlike most places I don’t find myself on things like LinkedIn or even other places to find myself wherever I can be for professional purposes. Why? I guess I never got around to it, but that’s neither here nor there. It didn’t strike me till I got out of bed that Blast Away the Game Review will be a year old in less than 9 hours. In many ways it has just now begun to hit me in the chest with happiness, but in ways, resentment for what I’ve begun and what I continue to do. You may ask why that is, and it’s because being a writer is hard, it’s time consuming, you get to do a lot of unique things, write things you’d never thought would gain traction, but also the intoxicating satisfaction you get from just doing what you do.

Over the course of the past two years, it’s been surprising when I get to see the stats roll up on our Facebook, Google+, Twitter and even our website showing me how many readers that Devon, Sarah, and Myself have pulled in this year alone. Can you believe we’re averaging around 1-2k readers a month? That means this month alone, by August we will have averaged roughly 8.5k-9k readers in our second year, which is a lot when you are facing off against big names such as IGN, GameInformer, GameSpot, Yahoo! Entertainment, and others out there that are very well established, but also that there are small companies like ours popping up left and right as gaming begins to gain a lot of traction. The downside of this? For us it’s like walking on a thin layer of ice that is only covering a bed of blades for us to fall on, and that’s one Hell of a scary thought, but we do it anyways. No one started big, everyone started small, and some are like us – our bank accounts don’t benefit in anyway. We pay for almost everything we do, every convention we go to, every day we take off work and lose money from not having worked, but we do it simply because we love it, we love what we do, and we will continue to do so. The issue to some? You become absorbed in your work, self-centered, and even hard to be around because your work has become your hobby, your life, and everything you do; that’s not to say the team here and I don’t love what we do, but we do – it’s those around us that want stability, they want us to not think about games, deadlines, articles to be written, emails to be sent, the names we remember, the things we have queued into our heads so that we know exactly what’s coming up next versus what needs to be done now. But there is something darker in there, darker inside of us all as writers.

I can’t say that there isn’t a secret that we have slowed down from time to time, but there was sometimes something more sinister crawling inside of our skin. We wanted to quit, throw in the towel, send out the emails, and walk away to find a normal life outside of being writers. To become what we were before two years ago so that we can be watching our checkbook balances go up and down in a fluctuating dance to match our spending habits, but also the fact we grow tired, we grow irritable, we grow annoyed at times that we make no money doing what we love to do since there just isn’t a sponsor there to help bring in a paycheck for us, but there is something that brings us back every time; You. You have become one of the most important factors in why we do what we do. Not just you the reader, but you the companies we work with, the developers we have, and still have yet to meet. The games, hardware, accessories, and the individuals behind them that we want to show that their hard work has been well earned because of. The men, women, and families of those men and women that have sacrificed their time away from those individuals so that we as a community and an industry can have what we want or what we need in order to keep growing in this age of technology.

Most importantly there are a few things that need to be said before I continue on with what can be considered a rant. There are thank yous that need to be served out, while many may or may not see it, they are there, they deserve it. I can’t say my parents, my brothers, or even my closest of friends didn’t play and don’t play a huge role into this, but I have to thank someone special for their speech; Cecil Paul Metcalf. Much like an uncle to me, he gave me the encouragement, wisdom, and pep-talk I needed in order to start Blast Away the Game Review; he gave me the final nudge I needed to start chasing my dreams instead of just letting them sit there and wither away. I also want to thank our former co-founder Jesse Olvera, former founding member, Josh Turner, Aaron Johnson, Jonny Walker Red, Angie Morrison, Casey Neal Todd, Shannon Cusick, Kennard Daniel Prim, Chris Barsoum, Devon Day, and Sarah Gibson.

But I want to give one very big special thank you to someone who has been there for me to keep me motivated, trying, and more goal driven than ever in the recent months; my dad, David Murphy. Had it not been for his patience, understanding, and curiosity about gaming we wouldn’t find ourselves where we are now. Where we can go from here; the sky’s the limit.

But even with all the hard-work I put in, the website, our work, our partnerships that allow us to review games also deserve a huge thank you so I want to recognize the following companies that are helping us shape our future and continue to do so everyday. I want to thank Nintendo of America, Ubisoft, Spellbind Studios, Final Boss Entertainment, OnePR Studio, Capcom, Comcept USA, Atlus, Inc., NIS America, Mr. Tired Media, Bandai Namco, Sega and the many other and wonderful companies we have worked with and will continue to work with in the future. I also want to give a major thank you to Bethesda Zenimax, XSeed Games, Koei Tecmo, and OnePR Studios for helping us get started as our first press contacts ever. Because of you, we wouldn’t have started off as we did, and we owe you a major handshake for that. Again, thank you, and we look forward to our future works with you.

With the thank yous in order, I want to discuss what the future of Blast Away the Game Review may look like in the upcoming weeks and even months ahead.

As many of you know, we are unpaid, which in ways sucks for us, but it gives us an insight that many don’t have. In the upcoming months, we’ll be working on a new design for our logo, which means we also might look at branding T-Shirts, Hoodies, or even patches once the time comes around for it. We also look at doing more giveaways based upon reader interaction, commentary, and the likes when it comes to our Facebook page, Google+, Twitter, and even our website as this helps us get an idea of what you – our reader wants, which means we have a chance to possibly partner with the companies we work with to do a few unique giveaways. The idea of a PS4 + a game in the future sound lovely? Your help is what can make this possibility, a reality, and one that we look forward to doing in the future. However, we will cont

But in the words of my friend Stu Hrovarth of Unwinabble, “I’ll keep walking with you, as long as you want the company.”

If you want to wish us a happy birthday as a company? Feel free to contact us through our Contact Us here on our website!

About the Writer:

DustinBATGRPhoto1Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter @GamingAnomalyGoogle+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.

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