Exactly three years ago, on January 15th 2012, we published our first post on a brand new Metal Gear website. We started this site with the idea to just try it out, and see what happens, see how it goes. Now, three years later is a good time to look back at the results.
As you might expect, it took a while to get noticed. A new website that no one knows doesn’t attract a lot of visitors by itself. Luckily we were able to get some scoops every now and then, resulting in bigger sites picking up the news. Also, there weren’t really any (English language) websites at the time reporting on Metal Gear news to the extent that we did, not just the big news but small updates as well.
We made sure we updated the website frequently, and it paid off. Slowly the number of visitors grew, and the website became a source of information to more and more people. In October 2013 the name and address changed from www.metalgearsolid.nl to www.metalgearinformer.com. It gave the website an actual name, an identity which it was lacking at first.
Today, Metal Gear Informer gets around a 100.000 page views a month, with about 2000 unique visitors each day, usually more. In total, over 21.000 comments have been posted. Not too long ago, on November 15th, total page views reached a milestone of 3 million.
But perhaps the most important thing that happened is the rise of the website’s community, meaning, you guys. It wasn’t until March of 2013 when the community suddenly started growing, and it got busier in the comment section. Currently it isn’t unusual for a post to get over 50 comments, something that much bigger websites don’t always have. The final post of last year even managed to receive well over 500 comments. So here’s to you!
This diagram shows the average number of comments per post for each month, starting January 2012 and ending December 2014 (as of January 3rd 2015).
Now, for some highlights of the past year:
In March of 2014, a week before the launch of Ground Zeroes, we were invited by Konami UK to fly to London to be among the first to play the game during the British Film and Television Awards. It is strange to walk around a community you normally only see on the internet. Hideo Kojima himself was there as well, along with many Metal Gear fans and cosplayers. It was an awesome experience, and we thank Konami for the opportunity.
Another amazing thing that happened not too long ago, on October 22nd 2014: an article we published analyzing Metal Gear Solid 2’s themes was shared on the official MGS Facebook by Konami. As a result, so many people tried to access the site at the same time, it crashed the servers! It was a big honor Konami chose to feature MGI on their page.
Thirdly, on December 8th 2014 Hideo Kojima paid a visit to the Kojima Productions studio in Los Angeles. As always, he shared a bunch of photos on Twitter, and as always, we posted these pictures on Metal Gear Informer. But there was something quite special about one of the pictures. The one with Community Manager Robert Peeler showed him sitting behind his computer, browsing… Metal Gear Informer! It was so unreal seeing the website on a photo by Kojima himself – even if it was barely visible.
For nearly three years, we had been following Kojima’s Twitter feed, posting his photos on the website. And now, that same website was featured on one of his photos!
In the future, Metal Gear Informer will continue to provide the latest news and exclusive articles on the series as it always had. As much fun as it is to run this website, hopefully people realize that it’s also a lot of work, and to keep it up all these years has required dedication. It’s taken a lot of work and time to get to this point, and it’s a daily job to keep it up to date. But it’s been worth it.
If you have any tips, suggestions or questions about the website, feel free to post them in the comments. There is always room for improvement.
One more thing: hopefully you guys aren’t bothered too much by the ads. We try to keep them as unobtrusive as possible, but please understand that hosting and maintaining a website is costly. For now, the vast majority of the money made from these ads is used for the site, which also means buying Metal Gear items to be featured in articles. Some examples of items paid for by ad revenue are the MGS3 and Rising Premium Packages. So thanks for putting up with these ads. By the way: don’t go clicking on the ads in an attempt to help out! If Google suspects the clicks aren’t legit they can ban a site from the program.
Metal Gear Informer’s Facebook and Twitter pages have been steadily growing as well. Some notable followers include Konami Europe, The Boss actor Lori Alan, a couple of Kojima Productions and Konami staff members (level designer Jordan Amaro, community managers Su – currently European Communications Manger – and Robert) and several other Metal Gear fansites and prominent Metal Gear community members. If you want to keep up with the updates or interact with the site, don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter and / or Facebook!
And don’t forget to vote in the new poll!