I officially launched the site you see today roughly a year and a half ago in July of 2015, but it wasn’t until I got a few friends on board that everything started really taking off. A lot of things happened in this past calendar year. We said goodbye to an early member of the team and friend, Alex, as he started a new chapter in his life across the country out West. And while he may not write or show up on the cast, he helps us with brand awareness on Facebook and Instagram as well as being the sole reason The Division gets updates. For that, I want to say thanks.

Shortly after we staffed up, I decided to start a podcast after seeing how many people at my job would approach us with gaming questions. I figured it’d be a fun project and didn’t think it would be that difficult. Well, to say it’s always been easy would be a lie. Trying to match four different schedules and record over the internet from different locations isn’t easy, especially when I want the best audio quality possible. The early episodes were rough since we didn’t have any experience, intro or outro music, or episode structure. Hell, some of us were recording with EarPods and baking cookies 😉 One thing our early listeners and friends quickly pointed out though is we had the most valuable thing of all—chemistry. Before Pixelrater we were all friends, but I’d go out on a limb and say we were more like work friends than true friends. And with that LAN Party gave me something I wasn’t expecting, which was bringing us all closer together. Throughout this past year, and with every passing episode, I’m reminded why I love these crazy people. We have a Messages thread on my phone that rivals my wife’s thread in length. We also have each other’s backs and support one another as well as our significant other’s small business ventures. We’re a family, and if I had to close the site down today I know LAN Party would live on because we’re four friends who love shooting the shit about games.

And you love listening. This past week we recorded our forty-third episode and have now been listened to over two thousand times. Two thousand. That’s insane to me! So thanks to those of you who’ve stuck with us since the beginning and those who have recently joined our army of Pixelraters. We really do love all of you.

This past year has also afforded us some amazing opportunities as well. In February Tristan and I got to attend a press event for the re-opening of the Nintendo NYC store here in the city. If that wasn’t cool enough, we also had the chance to interview Charles Martinet, the man who voices Mario, Luigi, and other famous Nintendo characters. The two of us were fanboying pretty hard and it’s easily one of the highlights of this past year for me. We also made it on RebateZone’s top fifty gaming websites of the year which is pretty neat. Another goal I’m proud to have hit was landing three interviews for site features. The first with Charles mentioned above, the second with Axiom Verge’s creator Thomas Happ, and the third with Image & Form’s CEO Brjann Sigurgeirsson. Towards the end of the year we hit another goal I had set out for which is more video content. In one weekend we put up three unboxing videos! I unboxed the PS4 Pro, Daney unboxed Dishonored 2 Collector’s Edition, and Tristan unboxed the NES Classic Edition. And if the NES Classic is your thing, Tristan also put up another fantastic video which dives into the user interface of the tiny console while showing off some gameplay footage.

The site also received a massive 2.0 update adding game hubs, push notifications for posts, a new homepage, better sharing capabilities, a more streamlined mobile experience, and more. We also met the wonderfully geeky duo behind The Nintendo Power Couple and plan on collaborating with them on upcoming projects in 2017 and beyond.

It’s been a whirlwind of a first year but we’re just getting started. Heading into the future we want to provide more of the articles and reviews you’ve come to expect while simultaneously delivering significantly more video content. I’m personally going to double down on video reviews, interviews, and collaborations within the gaming community. Have a Happy Holidays and we’ll see you next year!

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