The end of 2016 is upon us, and with it comes reflection upon what transpired throughout the year. TechRaptor has done some amazing things over the last 365 days, and we're looking forward to doing more heading into 2017! Let's take a look back at 2016 together, shall we?
As of May 2016, TechRaptor is now a Limited Liability Company under the name "TechRaptor LLC", and we have a P.O. Box listed on our Contact Us page for anything you may want to send us!
New Site Design
Hands down, and without a doubt, our new site design is the biggest thing that happened this year - hand in hand with our awesome Kickstarter! While we'd been planning for a site redesign since mid 2014, and had all the plans and ideas in place, we didn't find a designer and developer that we could work with until the beginning of 2016. In January we began planning, surveying, interviewing, and mocking up the new site, until development started and finished in September.
So here we are. A great new site, with some awesome new features:
- New Layout - Homepages and Category Pages are easy to sort through recent content!
- Membership (Free and Paid - Pack Hunters get Discount Codes to Green Man Gaming, Direct2Drive, PlayAsia, Nutaku, and OnePlay thanks to the awesome partnerships we have in place with them)
- New Forums - fully integrated with our membership. Just create an account, and you can comment and post away!
- Game Pages - Find out the latest details on your favorite games! (Example: FFXV)
- Genre and Platform Pages - easily sort through our content by type!
- Daily Recap Newsletter
Plus, we have even more things planned:
- Improved Game Pages - Screenshots + Videos, in a way that looks great on our design, and curated by us! We're also working on a better way to sort through them.
- Improved Archive Pages - Date/Author/More Information
- The Raptor Shop - integrated with our site!
- Podcast Network - Enjoy our upcoming audio content on our site!
- Addition of Community Manager(s) to bring our community together for events and discussion like never before!
- Many more smaller changes, to improve your reading experience.
One of the big parts of the site redesign was the Kickstarter, which helped us fully fund the launch of the new site, as well as add some really great new bells as whistles to our backend to help us grow faster. We can't thank our backers enough, because without their support, we'd likely be in a much different place right now. With that said, here's where the Kickstarter stands:
- I'm working with our shipping fulfillment partners to get fully setup with our SKU's and lists for shipping items out to all of our backers.
- Once that's done, we'll place the full order of what we need + extras to start off the shop that will launch after all items have been sent and received by backers.
I'd personally like to apologize for the time it's taken us to get through this. It was a much bigger endeavor than anticipated, especially with everything else we're working on, and now I understand the delays that can come from fulfillment and management of a Kickstarter post-campaign much more intimately!
A Year of Growth and Building
Building a website, without a massive advertising budget or backing, takes time. I started TechRaptor in early 2013, and we're approaching 4 years of posting content for you to enjoy, but our growth every year has been phenomenal. Over the last 3 years, we've grown by over 1,000,000 page views each year! In the grand scheme of the web, that isn't a lot, but it constitutes some solid growth that is consistent year after year. 2016 has been no different, with nearly 1.1 Million page views in growth (30%!) over 2015, and some major growth in our revenue as we began working with some better ad partners that both generate more money and improve the reading experience without intrusion.
In 2016, we attended E3, Gen Con, PAX East/Prime/Aus, Indy PopCon, C2E2, and a number of other great events around the world - meeting with developers and talking about games and our wonderful industry. We've made some great connections, and built rapport with so many amazing companies and brands. We're excited to go into 2017 with these connections as we seek to bring you more quality news, reviews, interviews, and videos.
We brought on a few content partners as well in 2016! Dealzon, who provides regular deal articles for our readers to enjoy (with affiliated links that help TechRaptor pay for staff and servers), has been publishing articles on TechRaptor for over 6 months! We've also worked with Censored Gaming on regular censorship in gaming news, and recently brought on a new content partner that will be bringing regular articles titled "State of the Game", which analyze previous weeks of PC Gaming!
The biggest partnerships we've made this year, however, have been with our membership. If you haven't checked it out, we have some really awesome perks for "Pack Hunter" members that pay for a monthly membership to TechRaptor. That membership includes these monthly perks:
- Direct2Drive - two 10% off codes for anything on the D2D Store
- Green Man Gaming - one 5% off code for anything on the GMG store
- Nutaku - 30% off one item in the Nutaku Store
- OnePlay - [Quarterly] Code for 3 months of the OnePlay VIP service
- PlayAsia - Discount on a certain area of the PlayAsia store each month + the 3% off any item over $19.99 with code "RAPTORS" for all readers!
Getting the opportunity to work closely each month with these companies and their teams has been incredibly exciting for us at TechRaptor, and we want to continue to foster these relationships going into 2017 as we seek to grow our membership and give more readers some great monthly discounts! We want people who pay for TechRaptor's membership to get some really great perks for supporting us, which is why we've partnered with these companies.
If you're interested in supporting TechRaptor, but also getting ad-free browsing and some perks for yourself, consider joining the "Pack Hunter" ranks!
We've published a TON of great content
Any given month, you can generally expect a few hundred articles to come from our team, covering news from all over the tech and gaming industries. We published over 205 articles during E3 this year, including a number of interviews and videos direct from the show floor! We're proud of our always-improving content, so check out some of the highlights below:
Brenda and John Romero Talk Blackroom, VR, and Gunman Taco Truck
Understanding Forza Horizon 3’s Encryption with Atari1337
Steam Spy’s Sergey Galyonkin On Returning Removed Games
E3 2016 – Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Interview
E3 2016 Interview – CD Projekt Red Talks About Gwent
E3 2016 – Interview with Witcher 3 Director Konrad Tomaszkiewicz
Deaf Destiny Player Highlights Subtitle Issue
Rhianna Pratchett on Tomb Raider, Rise, and Donald Trump
Exclusive Interview: Dungeon Souls Development Changes
What G2A Is and Why You Should Care
Review Copies and What They Mean for the Consumer
Developers Should be Inspired by the Voice Actor Strike, Not Angry
What Gaming Gets Wrong About Lovecraft
Understanding Skill in Competitive Games
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past – Creating the Zelda Blueprint
Character Select: Confronting Truth and Ideals – N
Bullet Points – Conquest of the Longbow’s Player Accountability
Bullet Points – John Woo’s Stranglehold’s Heroic Bloodshed
How Much Would a Round of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Actually Cost?
Fact or Fiction – Psychonauts 2 and FIG
Brown v EMA: The Case for Video Games as Free Speech
Gaming Industry Reacts To Steam’s Review Overhaul
Phantoml0rd CSGOShuffle Skype Logs Analysis
An Ode to Majesco – A Look at Some of Their Best (And Worst)
Biggest News Pieces from 2016
Solbrain Knight of Darkness Launches on PSN With Stolen Assets
Digital Homicide’s Games Removed From Steam (Follow Up Article Here)
Everything We Know About the SAG-AFTRA Strike
Washington State Gambling Commission Orders Valve to Stop Skin Trading
Valve to Respond to Washington Gambling Commission After Given Deadline
Players Unable to See Each Other In No Man’s Sky
Duke Nukem Dust-Up: Gearbox vs Gobeille
No, Steam is Not Automatically Refunding No Man’s Sky
PsiSyndicate Admits to Receiving Rigged SteamLoto Boxes
SkyUI Not In The Works for Skyrim Special Edition
Nebula Realms to be Taken off of PlayStation Store After Not Working
Dead Rising 4 Review – Coal Miner’s Glove
The Division Review – Uncommon, Not Epic
The Witness Review – A Matter of Perspective
VA-11 Hall-A Review – Heavenly
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun Review – Brilliance in Motion
Tyranny Review- Sic Semper Tyrannis
[Exclusive] Magic: The Gathering – TechRaptor Kaladesh Preview Cards
Kingdom Death Monster Review: Unparalleled
Gen Con 2016: Dark Souls Board Game Interview and Gameplay Demo
Gen Con 2016 – Nephilim: Final Judgement
Developer Interview – Grant Rodiek of Hyperbole Games and Maxis
Mechs Vs Minions Review: How to Make a First Impression
Playing Roles: The Conflict with Combat
YouTube is Burning, and Google Isn’t Lifting a Finger To Stop It
Just Because it’s “Legally Allowed” Doesn’t Mean It’s Right
YouTube Changes YouTube Heroes Video Stealthily
Senators Feinstein and Burr Still Working on Encryption Backdoors
Steelseries Arctis 3 Review – Entry Level Audio Done Right
WOAH - that's a ton of content, right? It's just the tip of the iceberg too, we post so much throughout the year!
Not just site growth, but social and video too!
Our main focus is on TechRaptor.net, the main site itself, and the goal is to move more and more of our stuff here as we grow - but in order to grow we have to get our name out there! Because of that, we're on a ton of different social media sites, so that you can follow us on your favorite sites, and watch our videos and streams! Check out our growth below:
- Twitter - 9.5% Growth
- Facebook - 40% Growth
- YouTube - 24% Growth
- Twitch - 45% Growth
- Tumblr - 15% Growth
- Newsletter - 7% growth
It's awesome to see continued growth on all fronts, and our goal to to expand upon this growth in 2017 and increase it even higher! Make sure to follow us on all of our channels!
Onward and Upward
For a lot of us on the TechRaptor team, this is something we do as a part-time endeavor, because it doesn't make enough to pay our bills (yet). Seeing the growth continue the way it has year after year brings such immense pride to all of us, and proves to both ourselves and our readers that we'll be sticking around and growing to the point that it does become a full time job for us. We want to get to the point that you don't have to go anywhere else for news on Tech, Gaming, Tabletop, and eventually other areas too. One step at a time, that dream is becoming a reality, and we're so excited!
We can't thank our readers, Kickstarter Backers, Patreon Patrons, anonymous donors, friends, and families enough for the love and support we get from you every day of the month. Knowing that we have people who care enough about us to keep on supporting what we do is what keeps us driving forward harder each year.
Thank you, and we hope that your 2017 will be as amazing as we plan for ours to be!