Chris

Closing TGTAP's network sites

14 posts in this topic

I've been thinking about making this post for a while now, I kept putting it off, making myself believe it would be worthwhile to keep all TGTAP's network sites open, telling myself I could make them popular some day.

First off, I should say that The GTA Place will NOT be closing down, don't worry about that.

What is likely to happen, though, is the closing down of our network sites: AlanWake.co.uk, Red Dead Place, and Payne Killers. I'm making this post to explain my viewpoint on it all. You're all welcome to add your comments on the matter.

The truth is, I simply don't have the time to put into these sites anymore. As you've all no doubt seen, my time spent on TGTAP has decreased a lot over the last year, and while I've maintained my presence here, I can't say the same for the other sites I created. While some of you have helped out with moderating, and in some cases posting news and content too (rockstarrem and Evo in particular), for which I've been grateful for, it's clear that a solid team is needed for each website, rather than just one of us attempting to keep it active every so often.

I've left the 3 sites open until now, the forums on each of them died and were flooded with spam, and I've in fact turned the forums offline now since they weren't being used.

AlanWake.co.uk

This was the first site I decided to launch outside of the GTA series. Launched in October 2005 as AlanWakeCentral, the site was renamed to AlanWake.co.uk in January 2006. It had a promising start, with many members from TGTAP helping to populate the forums, and recognition from other fansites, Remedy Games, and the community as whole.

Unfortunately, Remedy decided to take over AlanWake.net (at the time the biggest fansite) and turn it into the official community. When a company does this during a game's development cycle, it generally kills most fansites, particularly smaller ones. Competing with an "official" community is near impossible unless you have a lot of unique content to offer, something that actually is impossible when you're covering a game that hasn't even been released. This is the reason for the death of this website, it was simply impossible to maintain a popular following. Other fansites had an advantage of piggybacking on the success of their Max Payne fansites (Remedy's previous games), we didn't.

Payne Killers

Due to recent news, this website will stay online.

Red Dead Place

After returning from getting a hands-on preview of RDR with other GTA webmasters in New York, I immediately got to work on a Red Dead fansite, having loved what I saw of the game. With news of other webmasters also starting up Red Dead sites, it seemed like this would be one site that would actually do well.

And it did alright for a while. Once again we had a decent start with many TGTAP members joining the forums, frequent news updates and exclusive updates from Rockstar meant that we, and other fansites, could all build up a pretty decent following. While the forums growth slowed down greatly, readers to the website stayed fairly consistent. Unfortunately, on returning to university to start my final year, I lacked the time to put any more effort into the website, and since then, any readers have since moved on to other fansites.

The way I see it is that there are better fansites out there for these games. Since I, and others, don't have the time to put into the sites to provide unique and interesting content and a decent place for discussion, it seems pointless to compete with them. I'd rather spend my spare time concentrating on making The GTA Place better, with the majority of my time spent on unrelated apps / web projects where I can hopefully make decent money from.

So right now I don't have a date in mind for switching these sites off so to speak, could be tomorrow, could be in a month, I don't know. I suppose I'll wait and see what you guys say about it. So, feel free to leave any comments. :)

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To be honest I always wondered why they were still up, it was clear that they were lacking the activity to remain a big enough competitor to other sites (if there is any, don't know). The main focus should really be on making sure that this one doesn't die out too. Activity is starting to come back despite it being small, but it still doesn't put TGTAP out of the race for one of the best GTA websites. Sooner or later news from Rockstar itself will start to come out and will help rebuild the old community as well as bring in a lot of new members, that is if we don't die out before then.

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Definitely the right thing to do, I registered on Red Dead Place but the forums there never really got popular enough for me to want to stay, which is unfortunate. Can't say I visited the other sites because I'm not interested in those series. I hope that GTAP can get back to how it was 3 years ago, when loads of members were active and posting topics all over the place. Going to be difficult with the small amount of current members and total lack of info on GTAV though.

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What for?

For constantly updating with news about Max Payne and GTA to keep the communities alive... NOT. -.-

Edited by TUN3R

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You could merge all/Selected network sites with the TGTAP forums. Different domains for the front page/home but the articles,etc are posted from here? Centralize the forums so Chris doesn't have to develop/manage 5 different communities.

More games = more news = more active members?

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That was an idea I toyed with before opening each site but I thought it would be better to keep them as entirely separate entities. i.e. I thought it would be weird going to The GTA Place for forums/info etc. on games that aren't GTA.

In hindsight, it probably would have been more beneficial for us to have created a Rockstar fansite, but at the time I had first thought of doing this, the only franchise they had that wasn't GTA was Midnight Club - I'd never played those games, so for me Rockstar Games was just Grand Theft Auto.

Now we've got a ton of other awesome games, and the sheer number of Rockstar fansites popping up is testament to that. I personally think it's too late to join that game now. Unless we could put in hundreds/thousands of hours into the site and have a lot of unique content, I can't see many people choosing us over others. It would pretty much just be people from here.

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