I'm usually not one for long goodbyes, but I think I owe you an explanation, since we've known each other all these years. Recently I made the decision to resign from my post as editor-in-chief of GameSpot to pursue my ambition of becoming a game developer--a gamemaker, as the head of the studio I'm joining calls it. My friends, family, and close colleagues have known that making games has always been my goal. But breaking into that business is hard, and I wasn't going to do it until I was ready. At last, when faced with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get my foot in the door and contribute to one of my favorite gaming franchises, I still didn't have an easy time making the choice. That's because, in case it hasn't been abundantly clear, I love this job.
Some of the guys here I've been working with for a long time, and we've been through a lot together. I know I'll miss seeing them every day. But my decision is made more comfortable knowing that I leave you in their very capable hands. My longtime comrades like Jeff Gerstmann, Ricardo Torres, Andrew Park, and Ryan Mac Donald have an extraordinary understanding of the history of games as well as how to make great, innovative gaming Web sites. I've been working closely with them on a plan that will take GameSpot into a new era in 2007 and beyond. I feel less sad to part ways with them at this time, knowing that our paths will surely cross again, because we're in this business for the long haul.
I've also been lucky to work with a great, very talented and dedicated editorial team--the best in the world at what it does. I have utmost faith in the people on this team, as well as many others here at GameSpot, whose names you don't know and faces you haven't seen but who've worked every bit as hard as the rest of us, behind the scenes, trying to make the best of every situation and always supporting our coverage efforts.
What's always driven me while working at GameSpot is the knowledge that there are many other people out there who'd practically kill to do what we do. It's people like you, whom I've been writing to all this time. I've been in the fortunate position to hire people like you, and I know all that separates me from you is that I got here first. In turn, I urge you, if you have the ambition to do this type of work for a living, to keep pushing yourself to make it become a reality. There's no reason that a guy like me, who's always intended to wind up doing something else (even if it's something in the same vein), should get to do this instead of you.
I joined GameSpot in 1996 as an intern who'd just stumbled through his first year of college. I've been working here for more than a third of my life and writing about games professionally for closer to half my life. I believe I got here because I was able to manage getting a good education while gaining practical experience by playing and writing about a lot of games. Essentially, this is what I chose to do with my life, and it's taken up most of my time ever since. On some level I feel like I could happily do this till the day I die. But I've wanted to make games since I was eight, and writing about them was always meant to be an intermediate step in a longer-term plan. Then I fell in love with this stuff and the years flew by. Yet the intent to work on games never faded and I expect and hope it never will. I need to give that a shot, see how it goes.
My thanks to you for believing in what we do here at GameSpot. Know that we've always valued your criticism much more than your praise; you've kept us honest, kept us up late, and kept us motivated all along. My thanks also to all my colleagues here, whom I've always considered my brothers in arms, not just coworkers. And special thanks to my predecessors at GameSpot: Vince Broady, who founded this site and whose ideals remain at the heart of it; Joe Fielder, Elliott Chin, and Trent Ward, former heads of GameSpot editorial whose great influence and ultimate decisions to move on paved the way for people like me to step up and try to live up to their reputations; and Ron Dulin, who not only taught me most of what I know, but took a chance on hiring a kid like me in the first place. I'm also very grateful to my wife Jenna, who's always been patient and understanding about my work and my attachment to games, even after the birth of our daughter.
I've been lucky to have this job. As an immigrant to this country, I'm not cynical about the American dream, and have tried to work hard in exchange for a life that's had no hardship in it. The hardest thing I've ever had to do is gather up the guts to ask out this one girl I had a terrible crush on in college. In the moments leading up to my inviting her to a cup of coffee ("I don't drink coffee, and I have a boyfriend"), I was terrified. But I also knew I'd always regret it if I didn't take the chance. Afterwards, I felt that any other difficult decision I'd ever have to make wouldn't be as frightening and nerve-wracking as that one. The thought process about leaving GameSpot is similar for me, though I'm quite a bit more optimistic about the likely outcome. After all, games have always been a big part of my life and had a positive, enlightening influence on me, so I feel there's a lot I need to give back to them. If you feel the same way about games as I do, thanks for keeping the faith and knowing both how important and unimportant gaming really is. Thank you for letting me do this job.
Now then: With all that sentimental stuff out of the way, I leave you with The Real Top 10 Reasons Why I'm Leaving GameSpot:
10. Gamerscore won't catch up to Jeff Gerstmann's by itself.
9. Lost a bet about the Nintendo DS.
8. Editors-in-chief don't score with chicks.
7. Ran out of shelf space for more games.
6. Heard all the cool kids are doing it.
5. Arcades are dead.
4. Caved to pressure from online petition about Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell review score.
3. Thinking about getting back into World of Warcraft.
2. Getting free games felt like cheating.
1. Wants to earn one of those Editors' Choice awards.
Goodbye for now. Until next time.