“The NXT of games media”- A reflection on Overlode’s debut

There’s literally a Jeff Gerstmann Fidget Spinner on my desk

When we launched Overlode at 12pm on Monday, we had high hopes. Not unrealistic hopes, not offers to be bought out within the hour, but we were sure that we had something special and we backed ourselves. 

What has happened since blew our expectations out of the water. The response has been overwhelming from not only our friends, but peers within the industry. That’s reflected in the fact that our Patreon page has already reached a stage where we’ve commissioned five articles in our first week, all from young, hungry and diverse writers. 

If you’ve pitched, thank you for your time and I promise I will respond to each and every one of you.

My opening letter was fairly blunt. It vocalised a thought that I know has been growing in my games press circles for some time. But to be honest, I did wonder if it was simply an echo-chamber and my thoughts weren’t reflective of the wider scope. The sheer number of writers that have gotten in touch with me since not only agreeing, but sharing their own horror stories of this industry has strengthened our message ten-fold. It’s telling that some peers have reached out entirely sure they know who the story is about, only for them to be wrong. It certainly seems like my experiences are not isolated. 

In my opening message, I mentioned that my initial pitch for Overlode was “Giant Bomb, but Scottish”, something that I was glad to see resonated with so many. However, I’d be lying and frankly acting far cooler than I actually am to not acknowledge that one of the co-founders of Giant Bomb himself, Jeff Gerstmann shared our announcement. I’m pretty sure he read the site as well.

For reasons I’m mostly unsure of, acknowledging when heroes interact with your work seems a bit taboo, but without Giant Bomb none of this happens, so I’ll never apologise for how special that moment felt. I’ll tell him about it when I go on the Bombcast, since these letters seem to have powers of manifestation. 

Not only that, the incredibly generous Mike Bithell shared our interview with him, not only on the day we launched and posted it, but also just because he fancied being nice. That was nice. So many people were nice. It’s been pretty overwhelming. 

What comes next will inform what Overlode will become. Next week will be our first “normal” week as a publication. We’re going to make sure everyone that will listen will have Overlode shoved in their face but I’m keenly aware that we’re going to have to earn every single visit without the shine of being new. I think we have the content, the staff and the contributors to muscle our way in.

A friend of Danielle’s referred to Overlode as “The NXT of Games Media”. For those unaware, NXT is a developmental brand of WWE that focused on their new, rising stars in an environment that stripped away the glitz and glamour of the main roster and focused on the wrestling itself. 

I’m going to be annoyed forever that I didn’t come up with that myself because it sums up what I see for Overlode so well. We don’t expect our contributors to write for us forever. We simply don’t have that budget, they deserve to pursue the bag, however I think we’re going to quickly amass alumni that will one day dominate the industry. 

To anyone that has visited the site, thank you. We have so much more to show you.

To our Patrons, thank you. You’ve already allowed us to ensure that great writers get their start and get paid. 

To Harry and Danielle, thank you. Without you two, the site would be an article about FIFA with broken formatting and misspellings. You are invaluable co-founders and friends. 

Now, I suppose we’ve got to run a website. 

Jordan Middler


February 26th, 2021

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