By Jeff Bond on March 10, 2014 at 11:53am
For those who aren't aware, I'm Jeff, Owner and Founder of Player Theory. Normally we don't do these meta type posts, but I felt this was something that deserved sharing that shows our commitment to our ideals here at Player Theory.
I love video games, and I wanted to write about them, as someone who really enjoys gaming and not just as a journalist or a random observer. That's why I started this site. We are gamers who are talking about things and trying to inject our own perspectives as fellow nerds, not just repeating industry news.
Our mission statement has been the same since the beginning, and it's fairly simple and to the point:
Provide gaming news and reviews without any bias or outside influence.
I'll keep the specifics of the conversation out of this for the sake of brevity, but it boils down to me being approached by an advertising agency who wanted us to do what amounted to sponsored news articles that were full of links to their client’s web pages. We would have even been rewarded quite handsomely! We could have made a year’s worth of revenue in a matter of a few weeks!
However, this type of content goes against our very culture, fiber, and being. We're not that kind of news site. The decision to turn them down was easy. We may not make huge buckets of money, and I would love it if we continued to grow and earn more and hire more staff! Selling our content is not the way we want to achieve this goal. To me, this is selling out. We will not be some advertiser’s puppet.
If Microsoft approached us and wanted to run banner ads for “Halo 18,” fantastic! I'd be happy to. But that does not mean we would give them any special treatment in our content. If it turned out that the game sucked, I can guarantee that we would be honest with you, the reader. On the exact same page as those “Halo 18” ads, you would probably see a write up from one of us telling you that it was a terrible game. On the flip side, if you see an ad for a game and it gets praise from us, you can rest assured knowing that our opinion was not swayed by advertising dollars.
Our advertising policy is also simple, just like our mission statement:
Provide advertising that is relevant. Do not be deceiving, and reduce annoyance as much as possible.
I personally go into our advertising back end and review every single advertisement that is shown on our site, and if I see something that doesn't fit that policy, I block it. I can't tell you the number of shady fake download button ads I have removed so far. If an ad is super flashy and distracting, that gets the boot, too. Does it hurt our bottom line? Yes, but it also makes a better experience for our readers, and that's what is most important.
Advertising is one of those necessary evils that keeps the site running, but if I have the opportunity to improve upon that experience, I'll do everything I can to make that happen. If you see an advertisement for a product, service, or site that you're interested in, click it! If you enjoy our content, please consider turning off your ad blocker. Our ads keep the lights on!