Former editor of PC PowerPlay, Daniel Hindes has been appointed the new Australian Editor of Gamespot.
Hindes left the Nextmedia publication on Friday after five years on the magazine, including the past twelve months as Editor, during which time he oversaw a 22% increase in readership according to Roy Morgan.
Hindes joins Gamespot’s Australian team, replacing former Editor Dan Chiappini, and will work alongside Jess McDonell, Zorine Te and Ed Tran. He will report to Randolph Ramsay, Gamespot’s Managing Editor in the US.
“It’s generally accepted that Dan is one of the smartest and most talented games journalists in the country, so it’s exciting to have him on board with Gamespot,” Ramsay told MCV. “It’s great to have a full team back in our Sydney office, and I’m looking forward to see what Dan can come up with alongside Jess, Zorine and Ed.”
In the wake of Hindes’ departure, former editor Anthony Fordham will fill in on PC PowerPlay while Nextmedia searches for a permanent replacement.
When I felt like I had done everything with the magazine that I wanted to do. Mainly, that was to refocus the magazine on the “hardcore” niche that is PC gaming – and PC gamers. I started this with a “Simulator Special” March issue, covering all kinds of in-depth technical racing sims, flying sims and all their associated peripherals. It even featured a fighter plane on the cover – not a man with a gun. It was the best selling issue of the year. To me, that showed what I wanted to do was possible, and we could be forward and unashamed about it. So I took great effort to make the magazine’s cover symbolic of that approach, featuring games you’d never see anywhere else – Torment: Tides of Numenera, Wasteland 2, War of the Vikings, and even Dreamfall Chapters for our “Indie Special”.
Where do you feel you’ve left PCPP in the market?
I feel the magazine has reasserted its identity and distinguished itself even further from the other print offerings on the market. There was a danger that sacrificing more of a mass appeal would shrink the audience, but the opposite has happened; appealing to the PC gaming niche as strongly and genuinely as possible has kept the magazine healthy.
What’s the appeal of Gamespot?
New challenges! Once I felt like I had done what I wanted to do at PCPP, there was no challenge left. Because of that, my enthusiasm was waning, and I think the magazine deserves someone who is fully committed to it. I was finding myself paying more attention to, and being more invigorated by, my side projects like Sneaky Bastards than my day job.
Moving from print to online, how will that affect the way you approach games coverage?
For one, it means I’ll be writing fewer reviews, as all US game journalists usually receive code far in advance of anyone over here. That’s refreshing, but I won’t be leaving a critical role behind entirely; Gamespot provides avenues for more reflective, extended looks after the fact, which is secretly how every critic actually wants to write. Other than that, I’ll be looking more at the industry itself in an active capacity.
However, I’m really excited about video. It’s not so much that I’m moving from print to online, but moving from print to video, and that is what is going to provide me with new challenges. It’s so much easier to show a game in motion than write about it, but creating a critical and informative commentary around that format is something I think everyone is still figuring out how to do.
You’re going to have to cover console games now, too, yeah?
Ewww, I know! But that’s fine. People are probably unaware that I grew up with consoles and handhelds being as much a part of my gaming palate as PCs were – and some of the most important games to me personally are console titles. One thing I will miss is how much PC gaming is about to change, with technology like the Oculus Rift and Valve’s Steam Machines already feeling more ‘next-gen’ than the rather modest, lacklustre launch of the actual next-gen consoles. But I’ll still be covering everything possible.
You realise that PCPP editors tend to return. When will you be back?
Never! If I only shift a single paradigm in my career in games criticism, let it be this one.