1 Year of WinBreak: Our stats!

In the New Year, everyone likes to give the obligatory stats article. Well, for us, it’s a little different. January 3rd 2008 was the day I launched the Repurposed WinBreak.com. Therefore, sharing my stats with you is sort of a testament to our rookie year as a new community on the web.

From the picture above, it’s clear to see we’re still one of the best kept secrets on the web. Something else also jumps out: the week of July 27th, 2008 was our biggest in the last year. So what was it that drew 14,564hits and 3,610 page views? It was one of my favorite moments in the last year. I didn’t do it for the hits, but it was the kind of article that gives everyone the warm and fuzzy feeling!

Back in 2007, the site was about computer security and didn’t have any kind of dedicated following – I was just able to generate some unique content from time to time and people would pass by the site. The site was running on a completely customized framework, using massive CSS and HTML files. It was taxing on my server, not that it mattered, that the hits were so few and far between. Still, switching to Word Press was fantastic for the server, and this was proved when we nearly quadrupled traffic between 2007 and 2008.

2007 showed 243,417 server requests with an actual 24,732 page views. 2008 garnered 260,586 hits and a satisfactory 86,725 page views. A good number of those hits came from images which were hotlinked from my site. I might have to do something about that in the future, but I don’t mind for now. This is very evident in search queries relating to articles that didn’t bring me much actual traffic.

We can see very clearly one of the articles I must have gotten an early jump on! The top 9 search queries of 2009 were:

1. soul calibur 4 limited edition, 742
2. soul calibur 4 special edition, 331
3. winbreak, 217
4. soul calibur 4 limited, 137
5. soul calibur 4, 106
6. soul caliber 4 limited edition, 88
7. soul caliber 4 special edition, 57
8. limited edition soul calibur 4, 44
9. keep it clean halo, 38

This year has been a completely insane experience, leaving for a new job right when I launched the new website – moving back and getting a different job right around the holiday season in 2008 – and overall just learning about all of the great things that bring the Xbox Live community closer together. Yeah, I tried to go multi console, but I realized today I have sold off almost all of my PS3 games and the Wii hasn’t been hooked up for over a month. I feel at home on the Xbox 360, and have even more news to come in the future to reaffirm that. Stay tuned, and let’s hope we can quadruple the traffic again this year!

EMEA Getting Prince of Persia + 360 Bundle

I have finally received this picture. Prince of Persia will be bundled with Xbox 360 throughout EMEA very soon (Europe, the Middle East and Africa). Unfortunately, I was not able to discern when this bundle will launch, probably as soon as the Holiday Bundles are off of shelves.

Word of this comes from directly inside Microsoft, so at least it is confirmed, but I have no article I can link to at this time, other than a few older “rumor” type blog posts.

WinBreak.com's best of 2008

It’s the last day of 2008. This coming Saturday marks 1 years since I rebranded, reinvigorated, and relaunched WinBreak.com. Coming up on our first full year, I thought it would be interesting to look back at some of my favorite moments thus far in the short history of WinBreak.com.

 Our Ultra Early Confirmation of a Stormbringer Video Game (yet to be confirmed or denied by anyone).
January confirmation of 2 Xbox Originals that were a long way off
Our “Star Light” interview with Trixie 360
Going multi-console
The fantastic success of Better Know a Gamer
The Heroes Autographed Xbox 360
What I did with the Heroes Autographed Xbox 360
Starting Forums
Joining Twitter
NuAngel becoming an Xbox Ambassador
See you next year, everyone.

Here's Lookin' at you, Franchises

So I’m catching up on Twitter yesterday when I notice that Total Gaming Network had linked to an article on Yahoo! Games. The article talks about five video game franchises we might be better off without. While I may agree that this is a problem for the video game industry, I often can’t believe it’s still a topic people care to read about.

The entertainment industry as a whole (as well as the fans) has never gotten past their lust for specific characters and plots. We have our favorites. Even if an actor is portraying a different character, we often see bits of the reason we love that actor shine through, bridging the gab between the characters.

The medium doesn’t matter. Movies? Six Star Wars films, a new Indiana Jones, almost a dozen Batman movies in under twenty years. And let’s not forget turning a classic like Ocean’s 11 into a freaking trilogy. Are you a reader? How about seven Harry Potter books, or four Twilight books in under four years? Music fan? Have you seen Britney spears making a 10-year comeback?

Now that you’ve grown up, have you watched children’s TV shows? Replace any set of characters, they all share the same plots. And I’m not even talking good guys vs. bad guys. I’m talking Prince and the Pauper spin offs, Jack and the Beanstalk references, etc… from Bugs Bunny, to Barbie, to Broadway – stories have been retold so many times, that even if the characters and backdrop are new, you should recognize the plot.

The abuse of a franchise, going back to a well we think would be dry is nothing new. Between 1931 and 1941 no less than 3 film adaptations of the book The Maltese Falcon were released. People think that the video game industry has gotten stale. But believe me, flooding the market with video game sequels is nothing new, and every other form of entertainment is has been going through it a lot longer than ours. The peoplpe complaining about the Halo trilogy had nothing to say back when Super Mario Brothers 3 launched. I’m really shocked that a few pretentious editors from around the internet come back year after year and complain that there isn’t enough new intellectual property. We are far from the first to experience this, and the games industry won’t be the last.