Posted on April 30 2017 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
This is the hardest post I’ve ever had to write. Emotions are running through me like someone who has taken cocain for the first time and experiences the extreme highs of that and some of the immediate crashing, except it’s a roller coaster that changes almost as quickly as I can type (No, I’ve never taken cocain, but I have seen what it can do to people). I know, that’s a really weird analogy to make for what is going to be the final time you see my name next to a post at Zelda Informer.
It feels fitting though, because for the past 9 years Zelda Informer has mostly been about doing whatever I want. I mean that quite literally, for better or worse. Over 9 years I took Zelda Informer from a place that had under 100 viewers a day and no social media following to speak of to almost 1 million total followers across all the various Zelda Informer branded places. A site that 9 years ago got under 100 viewers a day on average now gets over 40,000+ a day and serves literally millions of avid Zelda fans every single year.
I did that. I created that. I’m leaving that behind. Before I get into why I am moving on, I need to clarify a lot of things. Earlier I noted that Zelda Informer has been mostly about what I wanted to do. This is true, and for that I do need to apologize to many. I won’t name specific names because most of these people have moved on to better places and don’t need any attention this may draw, but I didn’t listen very well to those around me. Oh, you think Zelda Informer Plus (a now defunct idea to take ZI into being a general Nintendo site with a Zelda focus) is a bad idea? I don’t, I see traffic figures skyrocket and potential profits landing in my pockets! I was blinded by greed in these moments, thinking mostly of myself.
Sure, I told myself lies. This is what is best for Zelda Informer! This will benefit everyone! Did it? Maybe, but not likely. It didn’t really even benefit me as I had hoped (we’re back to being just about Zelda, as it should have been all along). I know, I sound like a terrible person. I was a terrible person.
So for every action and decision made surrounding my own greed, I deeply apologize. Thankfully for you folks the viewers, it likely didn’t impact your experience, but I did sincerely hurt some former staff members who had deep ties to this place. They may never forgive me, but I likely can’t forgive myself either. It weighs on my mind heavily.
However, as Darrin Harr can attest over these past few years, that just isn’t me anymore. I learned so much from those many mistakes and Zelda Informer is probably the best it has ever been due largely to what I learned from those mistakes. Still, a lot of talk about me. What exactly is going on?
As of May 1st, 2017, I am no longer Editor-in-Chief of Zelda Informer. As of June 1st, 2017, I will no longer be associated to Zelda Informer in any manner, as my Facebook duties wrap up around that time. I am not stepping away from this out of choice. I don’t want to leave. In fact, one time I thought I would run this place until I die.
That mostly changed 1 year ago. Long time owner and co-founder, Dennis Wymann, sold Zelda Informer to dungeon enterprises as he was looking to get out of the Zelda community. He lost his passion, and it was largely a good move for everyone. For ZI, for Dennis, for you folks. It may not have been, in hindsight, a good move for me, but it’s almost fitting. As if my past, my own greed, finally got paid back to me in full. Once Dennis sold the place, I no longer controlled my future here. That leads to today.
My contract has not been renewed. An exit contracted has been signed. My future at Zelda Informer sealed away, my future in the Zelda community left uncertain. I can’t work at any other Zelda site or start my own – part of a non compete clause. Who would have thought I’d ever need to worry about such a thing? I was running (IMHO) the greatest Zelda fansite to ever exist.
But here I am.
For starters, I didn’t get here alone. Zelda Informer is as great as it is because of the staff who worked on it and for it. Those that worked under me, those that worked above me, those that worked with me. Zelda Informer is what it is today because the blood, sweat, and tears everyone who ever worked for it put into it. It will remain that way as life moves on at this place without me.
Who’s replacing me? Why, Darrin Harr, the aforementioned person I said you can probably talk to if you have doubts about my character. He’s a youngin’ (18, oh my), but well suited to the task and he has a great team of people he’s assembled the past few months to make everything tick as it needs too.
Zelda Informer will never be the same without me, but it doesn’t need to be the same. It shouldn’t be the same. It strives to be even better. With the little I know of these plans, I have no doubt the future of ZI is brighter than it’s ever been.
I’ve been running Zelda sites since I was 12. I’m 30 now, three kids in tow, bills out the arse, and life kicking my butt as it does for so many. I didn’t want to leave Zelda Informer. But I have. I’m going to miss it. I’m going to miss you folks. This was always my escape from everything in life, even moreso than video games. Zelda Informer was home. Every single day for 9 years, I worked on this site. I never had a true day off. I still don’t.
I took a mini one night stay at a hotel vacation Friday night with my girlfriend, kid free thanks to my parents. It was wonderful enjoying time with her. Yet, for half the day friday I spent time working on Zelda Informer. Saturday evening when I returned, first thing I did after putting the kids to bed is get back to work on Zelda Informer, as this is going to continue in some regards until June 1st, as I run Zelda Informer’s Facebook page all on my lonesome. That has been my life. Even when I take a vacation or a “day to myself”, it’s never truly a vacation or a day to my lonesome. Zelda Informer needed me. Maybe I just needed it. Imagine having a job, even one you love, that long without any vacation time. Without a single day off. It’s exhausting.
But here I stand.
So, what’s next? Well, since days of Zelda only are behind me, I look towards a brighter future. You see, one regret (of many) over my past 9 years here is I never truly had definitive control over what Zelda Informer is. Sure I molded it and bent it to my will, but remember when I said Dennis sold the site last year? He sold it, not me. Zelda Informer was never truly mine. It wasn’t my baby. I wasn’t part of this place nearly 10 years ago when it started, only joining on the 1 year anniversary. I needed a place to call my own that is just as, if not more, ambitious. Enter Nintendo Prime.
Wait, what’s Nintendo Prime?
I debated on if I should even talk about Nintendo Prime, but this is probably the last time you’ll ever see the site talked about on Zelda Informer, so I think it’s important for those that wish to follow me to know exactly where I am.
Nintendo Prime is a entity I wholly founded and own that is really parts of everything I have done over the years. Zelda Informer, MetroidWiki, Gamnesia, Shogun Total Gaming, Zelda Domain, Absolute Zelda… the Zelda Universe Podcast, the Zelda Informer Podcast, Top 10’s, &… so much more. Taking advantage of my 18+ years of experiences running video game oriented stuff that catered to Nintendo fans (like myself), I now have a new entity that takes all of it a step further.
At NintendoPrime.net, we cover the latest Nintendo news just like Zelda Informer does for just Zelda. We also have unique editorials and such there, hopefully that are of a quality standard you folks will enjoy. We have a new but interesting Nintendo Podcast, aimed at bringing entertaining and thought provoking original discussion to the world of Nintendo. We have a growing YouTube channel that has almost daily video content that deals with news, discussion, theories, and so much more. We have a new forum (I know, forums feel like a thing of the past) that hopes to bring together our most dedicated fans.
In many ways, Nintendo Prime is really what I wanted Zelda Informer to become many years back. It’s everything Zelda Informer does, except for all of Nintendo. Of course much of the responsibility for content creation falls squarely on me and yeah, I’ll probably add more people to the staff on a volunteer basis over time, but part of me really enjoys having that pressure on me. You see, the success of Nintendo Prime is dependent on what I do. What I create. And it’s thrilling starting at ground zero and seeing what I can create without having to worry about the politics of not being a founding member of the team.
Nintendo Prime gives me an outlet to express myself fully. To explore my deep love for Nintendo products and hopefully inform and entertain many with the kind of content I like to create. Of course, if you’re interested in this content you can follow Nintendo Prime on Facebook, Twitter, or subscribe to us on YouTube. (Shameless plugs, activate!).
Nintendo Prime is Nate unshackled. I am fully committed to the project, 40, 60, 100, or more hours a week. Whatever it takes. Because I am deeply passionate about Nintendo and I think I have something to offer still, this time to a broader audience than the one I helped create at Zelda Informer.
That doesn’t mean I hate Zelda. Breath of the Wild is amazing, as you can see in my review of the game at Nintendo Prime. I still have Zelda ranked as my favorite series (and currently boasting my all time favorite game).
I honestly don’t know where to take this post from here. It’s the last one I will ever write at Zelda Informer. With this published, I’ll have 6,766 published pieces of individual content created at Zelda Informer. That’s over a third of all content ever created in Zelda Informer history. Sorry, I’m just letting this sink in personally. I achieved the only goal we had for Zelda Informer 9 years ago, and that was to attend E3. We’ve sent dozens of staff members to E3, and I personally got to go on behalf of Zelda Informer last year. Mission accomplished. For 6 years I didn’t make 1 cent working at ZI. ZI became a livable wage for me. Working a job I love for a living – Mission accomplished. But now, this is all in the past. Zelda Informer is no longer my punch card to events like E3. It’s no longer a job I make liveable wage as.
It is now part of my past, like all the other entities before it.
I really want to thank everyone involved. Dennis, for putting up with my shit. Mases, for not throwing me aside when he purchased Zelda Informer. Darrin, for reminding me exactly why I started Zelda Domain 12 years ago, helping me rediscover, without realizing it, my true passion for Nintendo. Alex, for being among the first to truly help me realize my own faults and show me inadvertently how a professional “video game journalist” should be. Damir, for just being himself. Lem, for just telling it like it is. Dathan, for buying into everything ZI ever was and could be. Jeff, for being my right hand man, putting up with shit, and leaving on his own terms for greener pastures. Ben, for reminding me there are just some things you can’t take back. Colin, who showed a lot of the same fire I once did. These are just a handful of the 100’s of people I have worked with and owe thanks to.
Seriously, Nintendo Prime may not even exist if it wasn’t for any of you. It is a culmination of my experiences that you all were part of. I am a better person today for having known all of you. A better father. A better lover (aka, a better person to be in love with, you sick pervs you). A better journalist. I’m just better because of you.
Lastly, I have to thank the fans. You guys made this all possible. You folks will be what makes Nintendo Prime possible too. The endless debates to the wee hours in the morning, the constant battle over where the line should be drawn on trolling (oh yes Bullshit Brigade, I didn’t forget about you!), the theorizing… and more importantly the passion of just being a Zelda fan. You made life worth living for me during the darker times in my life, and made Zelda Informer the place to be for Zelda fans across the world.
Thank you. You can catch me on twitter for those that like that sort of thing, otherwise just look up Nintendo Prime sometime if you’re ever curious where exactly that “Nate” guy went.