For those that don’t know, PALGN.com.au is one of the oldest Australian community gaming websites, going online in 2003 back before there were localised versions of IGN, GameSpot, or Kotaku. In 2005 when I started up AustralianGamer.com, they were one of the few sites I regularly visited that produced regular Australian based content.
I used to email James Gay, the founder and original CEO of the site, when AustralianGamer was just getting off the ground. He was hugely supportive, and over the years we ran many cross promotional events and often cross linked stories. A few of the AustralianGamer writers wouldn’t be a part of the site if it wasn’t for PALGN in fact.
It takes a lot of committment to keep a community website going, often with little to no reward, so the latest chain of events does indeed make me sad – not just for all involved, but what it means to PALGN’s reputation as well.
Leigh and I worked to get the facts straight in an article that was posted on MCV Pacific early this morning, including quotes from Jeremy Jastrzab (Executive editor) and Adam Ghiggino (Managing editor). The gist of it is a leaked internal forum conversation between the writers and Roland Kulen, the current owner of the site. The staff cite a lack of communication as well as issues with server loading times making it difficult to contribute and frustrating for users to read, with Roland being distanced and vague in his responses. The result of this coming to light is that all the editorial staff have now made it public that they will no longer be contributing to PALGN, with some of them even collaborating on starting up their own seperate games website.
I’ll be honest, this isn’t news to me – I know some of the writers, and I know they’ve been unhappy for awhile. I just thought, you know, Roland would have done something by now. It’s a website where the contributors are volenteers, all they want is to have fun writing about what they’re passionate about and get a little bit of industry recognition.