The GamesIndustry.biz registration process is now live.
There are a few reasons why we're doing this, which are outlined in more detail below, but essentially we see it as an important step in becoming the most worthwhile and respected videogames business community there is.
Obviously, we realise that registering for yet another website won't be at the top of most people's to-do lists for 2010, but we believe you'll find it beneficial to make sure you're staying informed about what's happening in the industry.
Registration will be free and open to all, with additional benefits - including contact lists and event planners - available to those that currently work in some part of the business food chain, from developers and publishers to retailers, publishers and students... but if you don't work in the industry you'll still be welcome.
The FAQs below should answer most questions in a bit more detail, but if you have specific questions please feel free to email us.
What is registration?
In January 2010 GamesIndustry.biz will require anybody wishing to read our content to register with the site. That includes news, interviews and editorials, as well as our education and directory content.
Registration will be a quick and straightforward process which should take no longer than 1 minute, and once users are logged in they won't need to re-register at any point in the future. It's a one-step procedure - and it's free.
Why ask people to register?
There are a couple of reasons for this. Whenever we speak to people in the industry there's normally a strong level of support for what we're trying to do in promoting serious and ethical journalism.
But while we know we have strong and consistent traffic numbers, which puts us in an industry-leading position, we don't believe numbers alone are sufficient. As a trade site we want to appeal to and support the videogames industry, but with standard traffic analysis it's impossible to know to what extent we're doing that.
We launched the GamesIndustry.biz Network in 2008 to start bringing industry people together, and with a membership of almost 10,000 at the end of 2009 it's grown to encompass a strong cross-section of the business community worldwide.
Now is the right time to expand that idea, and we're aiming to evolve from a leading industry news website into the biggest trade community in the videogames business. Not only will existing tools, such as the event scheduler and meeting planner become much more valuable as the site's membership grows, but we'll also be able to look at the highest quality traffic data to see just how we're serving the community - and more importantly, if we're under-serving anybody.
How will it work?
Anybody who is currently a member of the GamesIndustry.biz Network won’t have to do anything, with your existing account details remaining the same - although you may need to update your location information if that's not on your profile already.
Meanwhile, anybody who is working in the industry but not in the Network will be able to join - free of charge - and will then have access to the various member benefits, such as contact privileges, event schedules, preferential access for certain events and so on.
To access full Network functionality you'll need to register with your business email address. This is because it's the only feasible way to automatically verify that a person works in the games industry.
Joining the Network won't be compulsory for industry professionals, but we believe that for a few more data fields it'll be well worth it. We'll also continue to welcome freelance and student members into the community, and students will be able to graduate to full Network status as they leave higher education and take their first steps on the ladder.
Finally, anybody not attached to the industry will also be able to read all of our content with a very basic Consumer registration, so we won't be turning anybody away.
When will it happen?
Registration is currently scheduled to take place in mid-January. Once the switch-over takes place, non-Network users will be asked to register. It will only take a few minutes, and full access will be available once users have logged-in.
We will communicate more details on the website as the changes take place, but any inquiries may be addressed to us directly.
Will your content offering change post-registration?
We believe that the content we currently publish passes a certain value test and adheres to our strict values on ethical journalism, so we don't plan to make any significant editorial changes in the foreseeable future.
However, with a greater knowledge of our readership we will be able to identify any areas that we're under-serving, so we hope that if there are sections of the business we're currently neglecting, we'll be able to rectify that as soon as possible.
Won't you lose lots of traffic by doing this?
Yes, it's very likely we'll see our overall unique user numbers fall from their current levels. But as explained above, we don't believe that unqualified traffic is of any benefit for a trade-focused website. Anybody can write headlines to grab the attention of hardcore gaming communities, but we don't feel that's the best way to serve the industry itself.
But isn't that bad news for advertisers?
We believe that trade advertisers are much better served by accountability of audience, as opposed to vague unique user or page impression numbers alone.
We could easily continue with our current number of anonymous uniques per month - making us a leading trade site by traffic - but we feel it's of much greater benefit to our clients that they be able to talk only to those people that can benefit their business.
The result is a far more targeted approach, and a service that no other trade media organisation can come close to offering.
What else is lined up for 2010?
As ever, we've got a long list of improvements, additions and new services that we'll developing throughout the year - here is a taster of what's on the slate for 2010:
- A GamesIndustry.biz iPhone app
- Evolution of the new mobile site (now live)
- A new Resources page
- More events in association with BAFTA
- Increasingly involved event partnerships
- Continued improvements to GamesRetail.biz
- And a number of things we're keeping under our hats for now...
We'll be attending all of the key events this year, including DICE and GDC in the next couple of months, so we look forward to seeing you there!