Permadeath (Game Over)

Fact: everything ends eventually. There is no beginning without an end. For Instakilled, the end has unfortunately come. I’ll try to explain why I’ve decided not to respawn.

But before I get to that, making you understand how Instakilled got to be might be beneficial. Long story short, Instakilled saw the light of day because I’m a notorious impulse buyer. The thought of running my own blog lingered in my brain for a while before I launched Instakilled, mainly because writing for established websites was a limitation of my creative process. I’m in this field of work for over a decade now and often I’ve bumped heads with several editors-in-chief over my writing. Being hella sarcastic usually doesn’t sit well with site owners who’re trying to keep devs/publishers on their good side.

So there I was, feeling the urge to do my own thing and cash to burn. During my time as an editor for multiple Dutch websites, I’ve gotten acquainted with WordPress and the way it operates, giving me the necessary skills needed for Instakilled’s birth. The only thing missing was an identity that fit the bill. Since I’m somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to visual representation, I kept the idea off until I found a theme that worked for me.

That theme was soon found. Utilizing the Zeen theme, I started building Instakilled from the ground up, something I had no issue with. I had the drive to do so and a few business insiders backing me up in the background. By posting on a daily basis, Instakilled soon grew out to be what it is today; a damn fine-looking website that doesn’t give two shits about the opinion of devs/publishers. I’m on nobody’s payroll, so fuck it.

But as time goes by, situations change. Things happen. Life happens. And in life, people make choices that define them. Unfortunately, I’ve also made poor choices as the owner of Instakilled which defined the course of the brand. Those choices have put a stain on the name, causing some of the aforementioned insiders to back out of the deal. No biggie to most, but it weighs heavy on my shoulders. Ever since that day, I’ve been feeling a burden that has caused me to lose some of my drive. But I kept going because the urge to do my own thing outweighed the feeling of guilt.

And then, Gameliner happened (again). During Gamescom 2022 – ironically the event where I burned my most vital bridge – old collaborations got rekindled as we started to talk about a possible return. It was merely a few weeks later that certain developments led to more serious negotiations. I’d consider rejoining them but only on the condition that I wouldn’t get restricted in my creativity. Not much later, I signed on.

And that, dear readers, formed the basis of my retirement from Instakilled. I have to make a choice: divide my attention between two websites or commit to one of them. Any other sane person would choose the latter and stick with his/her own project. And if Instakilled were absolutely thriving, I probably would have done the same. But the truth is that it isn’t and that stain that I’ve caused isn’t going to help me either. Plus, life is making sure that time is becoming a precious luxury, so choices need to be made.

Therefore, I’ve chosen to commit to Gameliner. The team there has been nothing but welcoming and supportive, making my decision to focus on them a lot easier. I know it won’t guarantee me anything and I’ll probably regret closing this website down eventually, but I ain’t getting any younger either. As an old sap pushing 40, I have to start getting my game journo retirement plan in order. So hey, I might as well do that surrounded by like-minded editors who can pick me up in case I break a hip one day.

Nevertheless, it kinda hurts to say goodbye to a project that I’ve nurtured for as long as I have. It’s never easy to pull the plug on anything you’ve sunk time and money into. But as I said earlier, all things come to an end. The end for Instakilled is now and I’ll always be proud of what I built, even if (stupid) choices have led to its closure.

To you, dear reader, I’d like to extend my gratitude for sticking with me while it lasted. Without you, Instakilled wouldn’t have been here in the first place. I sincerely hope to see you at Gameliner someday, even if that means you’ll have to deal with my Dutch jibberish. But hey, Google Translate ain’t that bad nowadays. So yeah, thank you. Your support has made me a happy old gamer.

That’s it. This is the end.

Game Over.

[Disconnect in 3…2…1…]