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Hey I'm in San Francisco this week. I'm at GDC! I'm also at the FlashGameSummit. I'm here to learn how to make video games. Before I attend a bunch of lectures on designing a storefront for cosmetic and non-essential in-app-purchases, I've bin wanting to lay out why Newgrounds is still my favourite site for a while. So here it is!
If you're in deep on stuff like review scores, and who gets scouted in the art portal, and who has the most fans: you probably hate this site. I read news posts, and there's a load of people who paint Newgrounds as the Big Bad because Sonic Goes To The Store gets on the front page. It's fine to hate that, because that does fucking suck. Mods are ego-wanking creeps, and your thing will get ten times as many hits if it has boobs in the thumbnail; we all use the Internet,you guys know what's up.
That's kind of the same everywhere, and it's more of a problem with the democratic voting system than it is with this site. Nudes and furry art is always more popular on deviantart and the biggest thing on YouTube is gangnam style and Let's Plays- So let's zoom out from that and look at what Newgrounds is doing that nobody else is.
Web games are stone cold fucking business. Stuff like Alien Hominid or Madness Interactive aren't relevant to the guys on FGL every day. Endless upgrade games designed around a shop screen, 30,000 gold coins in one hand, 50 Gems in the other, this is how you run a business like Newgrounds.
You shop around for a huge investment, hire people to run marketing and development, start doing video ads, optimise the home page to get more ads on eyeballs, get people in and to a new page as quickly as possible, sell NG COINS to use in games, put online poker and free MMOs on the front page... Newgrounds is a fucking laughing stock for NOT catching up on this stuff.
To people like Ebaumsworld, who sold for 17million, or Mochi, or Kong who sold to Gamstop for ten times more; it's crazy that the NG guys are holding onto this giant site that has nowhere near the money it could. Newgrounds fucking INVENTED the flash portal, newgrounds had user-generated content like 5 or 6 years before YouTube, but they've declined offers in the tens of millions over and over again!
WHY don't these guys get onboard?
It's cos they don't want video ads in every game. If newgrounds expanded to be a contender in this kind of market, they'd have to make that investment money back. D'you think hosting Let's Plays in the movies section would earn some money?
D'you think not having to host all that audio in the music section nobody uses would help? They could make the visual aesthetic of the site a LITTLE more welcoming, right? Websites aren't dark grey any more, guys, and developers are only like 0.001% of the traffic, so I don't see why they have to be on the front page... We could be using that space to let people connect with Facebook, really.
Anyway the point is that Newgrounds could be so much insanely bigger-- they have less staff than JUST Deviantart's community team right now- but they WANT to be the only people who let developers post news updates on the front page. They wanna be the only one of these sites to host games, movies, music and art, have a place for animators to meet voice actors and coders to meet artists; they wanna give Swivel out for free, they wanna have no unskippable ads, and wanna have THE BEST, most UNCOMPROMISED section of the Internet they can.
It's truly one in a million how many sites like this don't sell off and quit the next day to go make another start-up in Android games or social apps. Tom Fulp reading blogs like mine, and checking out some fuckin nobody's first flash movie every day is something that just doesn't happen. These guys GOT THERE FIRST to this giant disgusting gold rush, and Cathode Raybots is nothing more sinister than just a sweet game.
So that's in a nutshell my response to any of these weird trolls who still see Newgrounds as like a corrupt ruinner of everything. To me it feels like they're the only guys left. If you still feel like Newgrounds not having the audience of all these other sites is some hilarious pwnage thing, then hey man: Clash of Clans is free to download on iOS, it was a huge success, you should check it out.
Candy Crush Saga is a massive deal for King.com right now, Earn2Die has done great for notDoppler, I can recommend you a whole bunch of places to go for the next big thing.
I missed the Create A Newgrounds Ad Contest. I had a video compilation of stuff people post on their user blogs, like Jazza's tutorials or Evil-Dog's office tour, or ricepirate's monthly video update but it just felt so corny I didn't wanna work on it. I'd post what I had, but I'm in a hotel in San Fran waiting for some meeting to end, so all I can do is type words.
There are SO MANY homeless people here and it's very unsettling.