is a website created by Matt Burgess and Guy Blomberg, focusing on the Video Game Industry, and it's activities primarily in Australia.
It contains one of Australia’s longest running Video Game based podcasts, entertaining comic strips, insightful reviews on gaming titles, both old and new, and interviews with professional Australian game developers and publishers.
History The Beginning
Matt Burgess and Guy (Yug) Blomberg were two friends living together in a small townhouse in the northern suburbs of Brisbane, Australia.
Matt Burgess being a web programmer and Guy Blomberg a web designer, having already collaborated on a few projects together already, decided to go about making an independent website that could be used to voice their concerns, uncensored, in the hope of finding some answers.
Blomberg found and registered the domain name AustralianGamer.com, an interesting achievement considering that Burgess had actually worked on an unsuccessful gaming website of the same name many years earlier.
In order to stand out from the many other gaming websites on the market at the time, they decided to create a website that was totally Australian in content and tone, and had a layout that focused on their personalities through a weekly comic and update.
Combining what they felt was the best parts of other gaming websites, such as Penny Arcade and IGN; they set to designing and coding the website from scratch.
In March 2005, the site was launched to very little fanfare, without very many visits apart from a few friends and family, although the system is in place and the challenge has been set.
At the end of the month, Burgess added a 'comments' system to the site, which allowed people to leave comments on the updates or game reviews.
This was a big step towards getting readers and the community involved with the site, and giving the kind of feedback that pushed the site in a certain direction.
Blomberg issue himself and Burgess, a caricature of themselves, that was also posted on the site.
These images would become a permanent addition to the website banner.A Bump In The Road
On August 29 of 2005, after 22 successful site updates, and a growing amount of website visitors, the Australian Gamer server crashed.
Burgess and Blomberg had no backup system in place and the hosted hard drive was completely corrupted.
As a result, half of the new updates and content were lost forever, never to be salvaged.
This marked a do-or-die turning point for the project, as they found maintaining the site to be a huge strain on their time and finances.
Burgess and Blomberg decided that they had worked too hard for this disaster to stop them and look to starting again.A New Beginning
In September of 2005, Burgess and Blomberg set out to recreate the site, but this time made a distinct effort to enhance the content and make greater connection to the industry.
Through a chain of peoples, they gained access to a gaming event in Sydney, Australia, run by Electronic Arts called 'EA Imagine', an event where Electronic Arts showcased all of their upcoming games.
They caught a flight from Brisbane to Sydney to their first industry event, meeting people from other media outlets, networking with professionals in the gaming industry and got exclusive coverage of upcoming EA Games.
After losing half of their original content due to the server crash, this gave the pair added incentive to soldier on.The Site Grows
Three news staff were added the Australian Gamer on the 20th of April, 2006: Rowan 'Oracle' Beard of Sydney, Alan 'AJ' Downie of Melbourne, and Jessica 'Jess' Andersen of Brisbane.
Now with staff for AustralianGamer.com in three states, they become truly Australian.Five Enter - One Leaves
Jess Andersen left the Australian Gamer team in December 2006, leaving a void that needed to be filled.
Burgess and Blomberg had originally set out to employ a further three reviewers, but after reviewing the last couple of months and realising that covering live events was such a large task, they upped that number to five.
The new recruits included Sam and Anna from Melbourne, Romi from Brisbane, Brett from Perth and Jessi from Adelaide.
Now with two more states of Australia covered, AustralianGamer.com could only improve from there.2007 - Major Stars - Major Events - Even More Staff
2007 has seen some great happenings at Australian Gamer.
Movie Director Uwe Boll, famous for taking video games and turning them into films, was interviewed exclusively by Blomberg and Burgess, in February.
The interview reveals exclusives about Uwe Boll's upcoming projects, including a potential video game project based on one an upcoming movie.
Australian gamer attended the official Australian launch of Sony's Playstation 3.
During the presentation, the AustralianGamer.com podcast is used to showcase the Playstation 3's podcasting capabilities.
Sony Australia's PR Manager Adrian Christie describes the AustralianGamer.com podcast as: "influential" - as printed in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Blomberg and Burgess travelled to Perth in March, to attend the GO3 Gaming Expo and meet staff member Brett Fitzgerald.
They are there to assist Australian Game developer Auran to promote their product Fury.
April saw Burgess and Blomberg host three Game Industry panels on the main stage at the Brisbane Pop Culture Expo SuperNova.
In July, 2007, Australian Gamer attracted some interesting exposure.
Melbourne Correspondent AJ Downie questioned the ethics of a competition run by Telstra BigPond, named Project Joystick.
This attracted varied attention by both Hyper Magazine and PalGN.com.
On a friendlier front, Australian Game Industry News and Resource website Sumea.com.au interviewed Blomberg and Burgess about their podcast and had the following to say: they're the Roy and H.G of Australian gaming, and produce not only the best local gaming podcast around, but is up there with the best the rest of the world has to offer
Australian Gamer, once again, found themselves advertising for more staff in August of 2007.
The daunting task of choosing between fifty applicants saw the employ of Carl (Sydney), Cav (Melbourne), Jae (Sydney), Starks (Sydney), and Phil (Brisbane).
These new staff members were introduced with a whole new site layout which included include advanced RSS feeds, search features, web 2.0 CSS design.
Australian Gamer made its first podcast on the 6th of September, 2005.
The aired discussion was exclusively talking about the previous EA Imagine event.
A catchy tune used for an introduction was originally written and performed by an associate Ben Maynard.
Strapped for time and in a hurry the podcast itself was fairly basic and simple.
This set a precedent for all podcasts to come, as positive reactions were received not just from readers, but from other gaming sites and people in the gaming industry as well.
The podcast is now one of the most popular video game podcasts in Australia, often featuring in the top 15 video game podcasts on Australian iTunes and has been selected many times as an iTunes staff favourite.
AustralianGamer.com is invited to be the Official Media Partner of the gaming event GAME1, in November of 2003.
The Sydney and Melbourne shows are combined with the popular AutoSalon car show, to ensure maximum attendance.
Burgess and Blomberg fly to Melbourne to attend GAME1.
This includes meeting up with Melbourne correspondent Alan Downie and setting up a booth at the event.
The booth consists of numerous Australian Gamer posters, 4 bean bags, an old TV, milk crate, bowl of lollies, a Super Nintendo and Mega Drive.
They get exclusive coverage and hands on experience with the Nintendo Wii, they network with game industry and game website operators, and hand out over 500 AustralianGamer.com flyers.
Our booth is hailed by online media PALGN.com.au as the highlight of the afternoon.
Later in November, 2006, Burgess and Blomberg attend the Electronic Games & Entertainment Expo.
A booth similar to the one setup at GAME1 is setup.
Matt and Yug become the MC's on the main stage on the Saturday and Sunday, introducing keynote presentations by Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft, as well as providing entertainment between stage events.
They also do a podcast live on stage, as well as handle the charity auction on the last day of the event, raising over $5000.
Burgess and Blomberg's performance is described as: providing moments of comic genius on stage and setting the tone for the presentations that followed
by Atomic magazine.
Blomberg and Burgess attended GAME1 is Sydney in early, December, teaming with Rowan Beard, setting up in the same respects to their Melbourne ventures.
In the Media
Matt Burgess and Guy Blomberg make an appearence
on the network TEN
production Cybershack TV
, where they give their opinions on the Sony Playstation 3