Reaffirming my fansite semi-retirement…

So, most people who know me obviously know I was the senior editor and webmaster for Mortal Kombat Online. I worked for the site from December of 2001 (right about when Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance was announced) to October 2010 (during the run-up for Mortal Kombat), acting as the system administrator, live chat administrator, on-site reporter, webmaster, and news editor. It was a wild ride; I got to go to five E3 trade shows, several Midway Gamers Day media events, and ran live chats with the Mortal Kombat development team on several occasions. I truly enjoyed the time I spent serving the community.

However, near the end of my run, I admittedly was getting pretty tired of running the site, and doing work on it was becoming more and more of a chore. I told myself that a good chunk of it was due to my paying job and because I was getting tired of MKO’s primitive news editor system. The truth of the matter, though, was that I just felt I was getting older and having less to show for all I was doing. After all, it wasn’t a paid job, so it was a hobby done during my free time. As much as I enjoyed talking to my friends in the staff and was willing to provide a guiding hand for ~Crow~ (who was picking up my actual work slack), I simply was burning out. So, I finally decided to semi-retire. I still handle sysadmin duties for MKO (as there really isn’t anyone else who can do it) and stay in the chatroom, but I handed off my remaining job responsibilities to others, both new and old. (Admittedly, some of my replacement choices weren’t the best. C’est la vie…)

Recently I’d been having minor thoughts about coming back and doing reporting. They were only some urges, especially when I saw no one online in the morning to cover new Mortal Kombat-related stories. However, those slight urges were put to one side.

… that is, until NetherRealm announced Injustice: Gods Among Us, a new fighting game based on DC Comics characters.

I have to admit that I was tempted to come out of retirement for that, but not necessarily to MKO. There was some uncertainty as to whether Mortal Kombat-based sites should cover the game, so I figured it would be a new niche. The fact that it was based on DC interested me as well, as it was different from what I had done before and I am an admitted DC fanboy. What I had planned on doing was to create a brand new site, even going as far as to base it on WordPress (for the content and news system) and bbPress (for the forums). I was even considering hosting it on my own servers as opposed to the MKO one. As it was a new site covering a new game, it would have been a nice new step.

However, I was still very hesitant, and rightly so. While Injustice was a brand-new game, DC Comics-based sites are a dime a dozen. On the flip side of that coin, with it being a new property, there was no guarantee a series would come out of it. If there weren’t going to be any sequels, then the site would end up being abandoned after the game’s first few months after release. I would also be causing conflict with MKO, as they are covering the game, and some would wonder why I wasn’t covering the game for MKO instead.

Most of all, I saw problems with myself. I don’t have the drive that I once did for such projects. It’s one thing to do something for yourself, but when all you’re doing is covering someone else’s work with little payoff coming out of it, that’s something else entirely. I enjoyed doing it in the past, but now I want to do things that are mine. That leads to another problem: I don’t even spend the time I would like to on my own site. I’ve gotten better about it, moving longer posts off of Twitter/Facebook/Google+ to here, but it still isn’t as active as it used to be a few years back. I also haven’t done any of the writing I wanted to do, other than a Mortal Kombat fan fiction piece I posted a year ago.

In the end, I decided not to go ahead with it, and keep to my semi-retirement.

To be honest, stepping back from MKO and dedicated game reporting as a whole has taken a whole lot of pressure off me, and I feel more relaxed about being part of the MK community as a result. I still keep in contact with several in the community and on the development team, but mainly as a friend or acquaintance as opposed to a fansite reporter. :-) Overall, I’m happy, and what urges I have to jump in and try to help with MKO outside of sysadmin stuff or advice are easily quashed.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get to any of my writing projects. I know my site will never have the readership that MKO enjoys. I’m okay with that, because in the end, they’re mine, borne of a desire to write what I want to write, not an obligation to cover everything someone else does. I’m definitely looking forward to Injustice, though, and look forward to seeing what the younger crowd has to say about it without me. :-)

One thought on “Reaffirming my fansite semi-retirement…”

  1. Good for you man. :) It’s a shame all is usually quiet on the western front. MKO has seem to have been lax with news and rumors (for good and ill) in the last couple of years. While being first is fun, it’s not always best.

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