As John carefully detailed before his departure, RPS was founded by four freelance writers who were frustrated by the falling rates they were being paid. Though those founders are gone, almost all those of us left behind (abandoned, dirty, grieving) were freelance ourselves at one point or another and have dealt with the same frustrations.
So here's a thing: we're increasing our freelance rates. If you've ever wanted to write for RPS, now is the time to pitch to us.
Our base rate for five years has been £150 per article, which we've then adjusted up and down as demanded by the effort involved in any particular article. Our new base rate is £200. We'll still sometimes adjust that up and down as feels fair, but we're making a commitment to pay more.
I think this is important whether you're a writer in the games industry or not. The reality is that most freelancers don't start a successful website when they become frustrated with bad pay; instead, they either leave the industry entirely, or they find a paying job within it even if it doesn't allow them to do the writing they're best at. Good freelance rates help the best writers to keep writing.
Does this solve everything involved with being a freelance writer? No - obviously not. As an increase, it's a drop in an ocean upon which RPS is just one small dinghy. We're doing what we can and I believe it makes our freelance rates better than most of the UK industry.
(And if I'm wrong about that, that's great news and we'll work to increase them again. Being public about numbers like these means we can be held accountable and that's a good thing.)
That's the meat of this post. The post-script is: if you write about games on the internet - as a regular freelancer, as a community member, as a particularly verbose commenter - you should think about pitching to RPS. We're always looking for new writers, we have editors who can help guide you through the process if your idea is good, and we're interested in new perspectives. Even if you don't intend to make it your career, it's possible you have one great story in you. We've even prepared an article on how to pitch an article to RPS to help you get started. Have a read and get in touch!