2008 was an interesting year for OCModShop. We were affected with all the highs and lows that others experienced this year, which was primarially due to the sucky economy in 2008 (thank you for the hard work, Mr. Bush). We’ve managed to hang in there, but believe me when I tell you that all technology websites earned their keep this year. Sponsors aren’t so willing to supply products when they have a limited marketing budget.
We published over 300 reviews this year alone, which well exceeded our personal goals… we almost published one article a day. We also tried to deliver tons of great technology and gaming news, and this year we published our 42,000th news item. Some of these are from other sites, others are press releases from companies, some from our news inbox, and some we just thought was cool and you should know.
We brought on more staff this year, which helped diversify our content. Nerds and geeks are interested in more than just computer hardware, so we brought you reviews on popular movies that us geeks are interested in. We also published several game walkthroughs of the hottest Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 video games.
This year, several companies unleashed new products. Bawls created a new root beer energy drink, dubbed G33K B33R on April 1st, and everyone thought that it would be an April Fool’s Joke. We brought a few cases to a local LAN party and let them check it out. Telltale Games turned the Homestar Runner franchise into episodic adventure games with StrongBad’s Cool Game for Attractive People, and even announced a new Wallace & Grommit series of games. As was announced several years ago, Bill Gates left as CEO of Microsoft to concentrate on his charity work.
Events and Interviews
We once again attended the Penny Arcade Expo, and made lots of great friends and contacts within the industry. One of the personal highlights for me was interviewing Freezepop, which many of you know from the Guitar Hero and Rock Band games. I have been a fan of Freezepop even before I knew we could meet with them, so it was really hard not to gush like a wide-eyed starstruck teenager. Some people may not know this, but the Duke of Pannekoeken is none other than Harmonix’s Kasson Krooker, who is the producer of Rock Band. Interviewing Freezepop is one of my personal highlights of 2008, and probably will be one of my best professional experiences ever.
We also have been able to meet with and interview industry celebrities, and through our connections one of our staff members, Gareth is actually in the Far Cry movie! We’ve also been able to meet and interview some great industry figures like Bungie’s Ken Legine, Alone in the Dark’s composer: Olivier Deriviere, Uwe Boll (whom I also had a chance to meet at PAX 2007), Dreamwork’s Jeffrey Katzenberg, Left 4 Dead’s Chet Faliszek, American McGee, and we got within arm’s reach of G4′s Adam Sessler.
We also were able to go behind the scenes of Microsoft’s Gears of War 2 Launch Party in Bellevue, Washington. Lots of dedicated gamers came out to meet the creators of the game, as well as get their hands on the first copies, and get some autographs. Josh Ortega (the writer of the game, and is a successful writer in other areas) made an appearance, and was signing copies for all the fans. The release parties are always fun, and I can’t wait for the ones next year!