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RPS is probably 11 today. Happy birthday to us

We don't look a day over 9

In quite the break with tradition, RPS is remembering its birthday on the date RPS thinks its birthday might actually be! Happy birthday to us. We are 11. Probably!

The ambiguity arises because it was in fact July 13th that we first posted to the rickety pre-made Wordpress template - we being Jim Rossignol, Kieron Gillen, Alec Meer, and me, John Walker. We posted in secret for just over a month, creating a backlog so the site wasn't just an empty white space when we officially revealed it to the world. Just exactly when we revealed it remains a matter of absolute confusion for all.

So, like the Queen and Google, we've just picked the 20th. Jim half remembers something about its aligning with the BioShock demo being released, and Kieron posting thousands of words of leftover interview he did with Ken Levine. Ah, how times have changed. Demos. And Ken Levine talking to us.

But frankly we've no idea because we sort of reviewed BioShock the day before, when Kieron rather abstractly explained what was nearly wrong with it having finished it on 360. And there's no sign of any sort of "Welcome!" post that you'd think any functioning adults would have thought to post. Functioning adults we never were.

EDIT: Thanks to commenter extraordinaire AWS260, we now know that, yes, our birthday is the 20th August! Here's the proof!

As we noted last year, when RPS launched there really were no other PC-focused gaming websites. You had your multi-platforms, and you had your far more niche sites for stuff like strategy games. But we were the canny group who recognised the bloodied remains of the PC was about to rear back up from the floor, and kill all the heroes.

And I'll tell you what I'll boast of this time out: we never cheated. We know the dirty tricks our rivals use. We never did. We knew that there were ways and means to get to the front of lines for access. We never used them. As a result, RPS grew more slowly than others who followed us, and the four of us made a lot less money than we otherwise might have. But we cared about doing this properly, about proving that just caring about games - never pulling our punches when it came to pissing off big names (hi Rockstar/Bethesda/etc!), not bowing to the pressures of malignant campaign groups and trolls, and writing what was in our silly heads - could and would work. Over the years we've lost tens of thousands of pounds of advertising money in single swoops because we were never interested in compromise. It always worked out. We've done very well.

Many were worried when the four of us sold RPS last year to Gamer Network, fearing terrible change was inevitable. We only sold because we knew it wouldn't be. Terrible, that is. Change we wanted. The site is vastly improved with actual grown ups running it, not just including our (far too white) redesign, but the number of full time staff working for the site having blossomed. On top of the amazing team we already had, we've now got Noa and Matthew doing video, Dave doing guides, and Katharine doing hardware, and we're still recruiting! The Slack is ridiculously full these days, but we've space for more.

Alec and I are just kept around as dusty old trophies, the team just smiling and nodding as we complain about these kids and their ludicrous desire not to burn everything down. We're essentially perfunctory to our creation, which is really bloody weird, and also rather marvellous.

Not knowing when we launched is about as RPS as RPS gets. I hope that no matter how many Evil Megacorps may own the site, that spirit is always part of us. So, very possibly happy birthday us!

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About the Author
John Walker avatar

John Walker


Once one of the original co-founders of Rock Paper Shotgun, we killed John out of jealousy. He now runs buried-treasure.org