Christian Svensson

Christian Svensson

On his final day, Christian Svensson reflects upon his time spent at Next Generation.

I must admit, that jumping back into the editorial pool was
not exactly by design.  I had been consulting for some Hollywood
types, some VC funds and a few other one-off projects for various
clients when Colin Campbell approached me about helping with the Next
Generation re-launch.

Having recently declined opportunities to
launch or redirect existing trade publications, feeling that my stint
in editorial was ‘done’ years ago, this was somehow different. It was
Next Generation.

The trade magazine/web site business is a
terribly difficult one. As I looked back at my prior editorial and
publishing efforts I thought that we were on the road to creating a
very unique and useful product with MCV’s online incarnation in the US
before the plug was pulled in 2000.

With Next Gen’s brand,
Future’s support and Colin’s experience, I thought that once again
there might be the opportunity to create something unique that
sidestepped a few of the obstacles faced by other trade pubs. Something
that captured a little of what the original Next Generation was good at
but married to some of my newly acquired insights from my years spent
on the game publishing side of the business at Midway. And so, I agreed.

Jarring

Stepping
back into an editorial role was somewhat jarring. There were many
aspects of the trade that I’d forgotten existed and frankly, my writing
still isn’t what it used to be (or perhaps I’m looking back with rose
tinted glasses thinking that I actually had some ‘skillz’ to begin
with… I’ll leave it to you to determine).

It’s certainly a
different editorial landscape today than it was five or six years ago.
Blogs are as credible and well researched (in some cases better
researched) than the most professional sites. The ‘mega’ gaming sites
have incredible resources to bring to bear on feature creation and even
news reporting. All of them have kept me on my toes and it’s been a
pleasure to compete with most of them.

At the outset I quickly
reconnected with lots of industry contacts that I hadn’t spoken to in
years (the daily grind at a publisher isn’t conducive to maintaining
industry relationships… I’ve promised myself I won’t let my
relationships lapse this time around). Some folks were instantly
supportive of a Next Generation revival; others, less so. As we set
about reestablishing relations with major publishers and hardware
manufacturers we found another set of people that were relatively ‘new’
to the industry that had no idea what Next Generation was or why they
should care about it any more than Dave’s Game Blog.

In all
cases, we had a lot to prove. The site still does, but in just a few
short months, it’s already forging its own identity and growing in
traffic and influence faster than we’d hoped. So we must be doing
something right somewhere.

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