Kris Graft is publisher of Gamasutra
Gamasutra is becoming Game Developer.
The time has come to respectfully lay to rest the name Gamasutra, a title that's been around for nearly 25 years and has become known as a leading resource and reference for game development and industry knowledge.
I joined Gamasutra as a part-time reporter in 2009, coming from the rival industry news site Next-Gen.biz. I was familiar with the site as the gold standard for industry reporting and insight of the craft. It didn't matter that it was some kind of weird, brownish-beige color, accented with low-res gradient green, tiny fonts, and a name that was clearly a pun on the ancient Indian text of love and sexual fulfillment. We took ownership of this publication, which on the outside looked weird, old, broken, and had a tacky name, but it was the substance and quality of the editorial that brought people in.
That said, even with Gamasutra's reputation and editorial vision, the name was always cringey, and alienated people outside or adjacent to the game industry. The name was (and is) typically met with a "what'd you say?" or impressive side-eye. I don't blame people who reacted that way, because as much pride as I have working on Gamasutra, I've felt the same way. I and the people who work on the site have for a long time.
And the stories of sheer cringe that I've experienced or heard have made me laugh, but equally made me shudder: A developer having to cite Gamasutra in front of government representatives to obtain funding; a teacher awkwardly telling new design students to check out this article on Gamasutra; a game industry reporter spelling out Gamasutra for an inquisitive Indian-American middle-schooler, pencil and notepad in hand. (That last example was of me.) On a more serious note, reporting on rampant industry sexism when our brand clings to a late-90s "LOL SEX" connotation is beyond the pale.
Maybe this all doesn't sound so bad here, but trust me, after years of cringe and awkwardness you realize just how overdue we are for a name change, and judging by Twitter responses from game devs, you're all ready for the change too.
What to expect
So on Thursday this week, barring any unforeseen hurdles, we're updating our name to Game Developer and will be located at gamedeveloper.com. It makes sense--we've always been a sibling site to the revered paper-based Game Developer magazine. It's a publication that, even though out of print, still gives us inspiration and a vision of what we can be, and how we can serve game developers.
Aside from a new name, this means that you'll be visiting an all-new website. You can expect a complete design overhaul and a more functional, modern website where editors have much greater flexibility to curate and organize content, and where readers can hopefully find the editorial they're looking for more easily. Our team's goal is to migrate 100% of Gamasutra's editorial content to Game Developer, implementing permanent redirects so old links still work. This will be a continuous effort until complete.
At launch we'll be introducing the new homepage and new article pages, but keep in mind that this is just the first step of a continuous evolution of the site. In the near-term post-relaunch you can expect a much better search engine to arrive, a new CMS for our bloggers along with snazzier author pages, and more upgrades. Initially there may still be some remnants of Gamasutra haunting these halls (such as our job board) that will eventually be updated to the new brand, so your patience there is appreciated.
This update isn't only aesthetic or functional. We're continuing to develop new ways to empower and inform our audience. Editorially, on top of our industry news coverage, we're able to renew our commitment to specialized game developer-centric pieces and starting day one you can expect world-class articles written by game developers, talented contributors, and Game Developer staff. Speaking of, here's an update on Game Developer's lean, mean (actually pretty nice) staff:
Alissa McAloon, Editor-in-Chief: Alissa started with us as a freelancer in 2016 and not only has incredible attention to detail but also drafts a mean spreadsheet. Also, she'll be the only person to ever be editor-in-chief of Gamasutra and Game Developer.
Bryant Francis, Senior Editor: Bryant had been splitting his time with Game Developers Conference and Gamasutra. Now we've got him fully on Game Developer.
Chris Kerr, News Editor: Chris was with us on a part-time basis and now we're able to bring him on full-time. He's award-winning. He's British. We take his "u"s out of his "colour."
Kris Graft, Publisher: After many years as Editor-in-Chief of Gamasutra, I'm pleased to hand the EIC duties over to Alissa. I'll still be around working on new Game Developer initiatives that hopefully I'll be able to talk about in the near future.
Someone else?: More on this soon.
There's plenty more to come and we'll definitely be talking about that when the time is right. While the Gamasutra brand will sincerely hold a special place in our hearts, we're beyond excited for this new chapter in the life of this publication that we love dearly, and look forward to sharing with you, learning from you, and hopefully, helping you make better games.