I was a little nervous going into this year. How could we possibly top 2017, which included the launch of the Nintendo Switch and Breath of the Wild? As usual, though, we did just fine for ourselves, and we of course have all of you to thank.
It was once again a year of transition for USG. We welcomed aboard guides writer Jake Green, and we joined the ReedPop family, who also happen to run PAX. That new partnership has already started to pay dividends: We got the entire editorial team together at PAX West for a round of golf, and we got to host a packed panel about Mass Effect.
That should be just the beginning. In 2019 we're going to be at PAX South as well, and we've got a lot of other potentially interesting projects on the docket as well. This is a remarkable opportunity for USG and I'm looking forward to making the most of it.
In the meantime, we were very busy on the editorial side as well. Here are some of the highlights:
- Caty went deep with a Nier: Automata postmortem featuring Yoko Taro at GDC, where we learned how close the project came to being canceled. Thankfully that didn't happen.
- When Red Dead Redemption 2 came out, Matt asked a handful of real cowboys about what they thought of the game. That led to the wonderful story of how the Nintendo Switch can be really amazing for keeping you busy during calving season.
- Nadia got to meet Yuji Horii for the first time, and she celebrated Mario 3's 30th anniversary by digging up some of her classic fanfiction. Honest to god, she's a treasure.
- We went deep on the biggest games of the year. I compared God of War to GalaxyQuest; Mike explained why Arthur Morgan is the wokest cowboy, and Nadia absolutely crushed our Dragon Quest XI and Octopath Traveler coverage. I'm legitimately excited to go even further with this type of follow-up coverage in the new year.
- We had a bunch of amazing retrospectives, including a 14,000 word deep dive into the history of World of WarCraft by Mike Williams. Wow.
- We hosted Pokemon Week, which included me remembering the RBY generation of Pokemon battling and producer Junichi Masuda sharing his initial fears for the franchise's launch in America. It was a lot of fun and hopefully we can do more weeks like it in 2019.
- And finally, we kicked off a couple rad ongoing series: The Top 25 RPG Countdown and Jeremy Parish's History of RPGs. Both are the kind of features that I love to see on this site: thoughtful deep dives that delve well beyond the retrospectives you'll find elsewhere.
It's been a great year all around for USG; but this time, I'm not nervous about what comes next. That's because 2019 is gonna be absolutely huge for this site. We've got a massive redesign inbound, big plans for PAX, and new hires planned, which should make next year the biggest one yet. But even as we grow, I promise we'll keep striving for the same mix of genuine passion and intelligent commentary that has been USG's calling card over the years.
Thanks as always to Nadia, who continues to be the funniest member of the staff; Caty, who kept us all in line with her editing and wrote some great articles to boot; Mike, who killed it with his deep dives, and Matt, who keeps growing our news coverage year by year. And of course, a tip of the cap to Jake, Hirun, and Tom in the UK, who keep the lights on while we're all sleeping and work harder than anyone to make our guides great (and Hirun wrote some fantastic reviews, too).
Finally, thanks to our amazing community, who continue to be welcoming, passionate, and verbose. I'm always excited to see a large number of comments on an article, because I know I'm going to see massive but respectful discussions among long-time pillars like NiceGuyNeon. We're lucky to have you all.
Thank you again for your support. Happy holidays to you and yours, and we'll see you all in 2019.