Being a part of the PlayStation Community can mean a number of different things. By and large, most people keep it pretty simple: they game, check out news, game reviews and maybe engage in some heated competition online. Others find it satisfying to flesh out FAQs, or walkthroughs, or contribute to other online references. Then there some who become a go-to source of information about a certain area of PlayStation gaming.
With that in mind, I figured it might be interesting to hear about what it’s like to run your own dedicated PlayStation website. I reached out to Chris Kuspis, editor-in-chief of the community-run website PSNStores.com. We did a quick chat online that I hope you guys find illuminating. Who knows? Maybe one of you will find an opportunity to carve out a niche for covering the PlayStation universe!
PSNStores.com is a PlayStation enthusiast website, started by members of the PlayStation Community. They are not affiliated with SCEA or SNEA.
Chris: PSNStores.com is a place for smaller digital only games to get coverage. When it started it was basically just a place where I posted all the new releases for every PlayStation Store across multiple regions. So if you wanted to know what was out on the Japanese PlayStation Store for the week, we would have it. Now while we still do that, we are now more focused on providing overall coverage of content found on any PlayStation Store.
Morgan: It’s interesting, with a focus on smaller titles, I’m sure back when you first started, you wouldn’t see many disc-based titles, if any, released digitally. It was mainly just bite sized (yet awesome) PSN Games. Nowadays, it’s bit different with things like Day 1 Digital being fairly commonplace on PlayStation. Has this shift changed how you guys cover content on PlayStation Store?
Chris: Not really. Sure big titles like Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception are popping up on the store, and that’s great, but we really want to keep the spotlight on smaller budget games. Most of the time it is just a few people working on them and PSNStores.com gives them an outlet that is always willing to talk about their title.
Morgan: I can see that. So, what inspired you to put a lot of your energy towards building this site? What was the moment where you realized ‘I need to do this’?
Chris: I had been doing (and still do) a weekly PlayStation Store post on a popular internet message board to keep those guys updated and stimulate discussion on PSN content. At the top I would post news about upcoming releases some recent reviews, things like that. I noticed that for some games it was really hard to find information; keep in mind this was back when PlayStation Blog just started. So a few days later I got the idea to make a website and boom PSNStores was born.
Morgan: So, ok, you started your site, things are off and running; but any special challenges or things you didn’t see coming that proved to be a hurdle in the beginning days, or maybe even more recently?
Chris: It is always the things you don’t think of. Like the cost of webhosting, how do you make money on a small site, things like that. It should be noted that most of us have full-time jobs outside of working on the site. It really is something we do because we love talking about games.
Morgan: I can imagine most people in the community, if they chose to take seriously starting up their own site, or being some sort of source for news/opinion on gaming would be in the same shoes where they might need to maintain a full time job. So in this business where news and stories can break at any time, how does PSNStores.com stay on top of this stuff?
Chris: Social media sites are a big help. Most of the time, smaller companies and devs will post news out to their Twitter feed or Facebook page before sending out information to the press. If something pops up, I can post it right away, even if it’s at 3 AM.
Morgan: Well, obviously, social media is going to continue to play a big part in how we all get our gaming news, and of course how we watch our friends play games. How do you see your site, and the content and coverage you guys work on, evolving as we march into a new generation of gaming?
Chris: I think video coverage is going to be the next big thing, especially with what we’ve seen from some of the features discussed on the PlayStation 4. Right now only a few people here at the site have ways to capture video to use when we do a weekly live new release show. But with the social features on the PS4, it seems like we could make videos showing off interesting parts of games rather quickly.
Morgan: Yeah, I’ve been a big fan of events like EVO which really captures the excitement of fighting games so that anyone can have a blast watching it. But it’ll be really interesting to see how this continues to be a part of gaming culture. To close it out; any words of advice you want to give to any aspiring game writers / bloggers who want to make a name for themselves in the field of community-based gaming destinations?
Chris: Go to events, like PAX, and talk to developers. This industry is all about networking. Also just start writing, even if you don’t have a website. There are plenty for-free services out there where you can get your thoughts out online. If anyone has any specific questions I will be hanging around the comments and try to answer them the best I can.
Morgan: Appreciate the insight, thanks Chris.
That’s all for now. Check out PSNStores.com and feel free to follow them on Facebook and Twitter for another lens on PlayStation coverage that you can get in addition to the PlayStation Blog. They also run a regular podcast you can tune in to.
Do you run your own community destination that covers PlayStation content? Or maybe you’ve got a completely different way of interacting with the PlayStation Community that you think we should cover. Reach out to me on the PS Forums (Username: mochuuu) and let’s chat!
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