This here post marks the 5,000th story published on Cliqist. To the casual reader that’s not necessarily a big deal, but to me it’s mind blowing.

Since launching in August 2013 Cliqist has gone through countless design changes, nearly a hundred staff writers, and more than a few coverage pivots. Through all of that we’ve always strived to support independent developers and the games they make.

To mark this occasion please indulge me with a walk down memory lane, as well as a look to the future.


Between 2002 and 2006 I ran a site called DIY Games that covered the then nascent world of indie games. While it never got a ton of traffic, it paid some bills, received moderate attention from folks, and even led to some magazine writing gigs. Several years after shutting down DIY I found myself still missing the creative outlet.

Enter a buddy of mine named Jason McMaster. In 2012 Jason launched a Kickstarter campaign for a passion project of his called Cap’n Patch: Curse of the Peg-Legged Spider. Unfortunately the Kickstarter failed and the game disappeared. A year later Jason posted on Facebook about the continued emotional impact of the games’ failure. It was sad to see someone so talented and passionate still shaken after so many months.

Gaming sites of the day covered Kickstarter games, but it was shallow. Major campaign launches, the occasional interview, and wild-eyed torch-bearing over failures. There were — and still are — a lot of stories being ignored.

And thus, Cliqist launched in all its glory!

Well, it launched

I won’t bore you with the countless lessons the team and I have learned over the years (shoot me a message for that), but there were many. It hasn’t even been fun the whole time, but I’ve been lucky enough to work with some great people and interact with some amazing developers.

The Team

After 6 months of writing everything myself I decided to take on some additional staff to help keep things more consistent. Hiring writers could be its own series of articles, but there’s two points that are noteworthy. The first is that Cliqist has always paid its writers, which is something most sites of our size can’t say. In fact, our pay structure has always been very straightforward and not tied to traffic. Write words, get paid when you want. Simple. Sure, the pay sucks, but it’s better than “writing for exposure.”

The second point of pride is Cliqist’s diversity. The lack of diversity among the gaming press has always been shameful, and it continues to hamper the industry. But I’m proud that our staff through the years has always been a melting pot of writers of varying backgrounds, opinions, and perspectives; beyond simple tokenism.

At the end of this article is a list of everyone that’s been a Cliqist staffer over the years, with the more prolific contributors up top. While my relationships with some of them haven’t been as productive as I would have liked, I’m thankful for having worked with every one of them. Of particular note are Marcus Estrada, Serena Nelson, Joanna Mueller, Julie Morley, Josh Griffiths, and Nathaniel Liles; without them we would not have survived as long as we have.

The Future

2018 has been a rough year for Cliqist. Traffic is mostly flat, costs continue to rise, and I’ve personally struggled to keep up with things, relying heavily on Joanna to keep things running. The perfect storm of cost, time, and traffic have caused me to take some drastic steps. While we still pay our writers, we’ve scaled back dramatically on how loosely we manage things. In the past I’ve had a laissez faire approach to things, allowing most writers to write what they want.

When you’re paying per word that adds up.

In fact, Cliqist costs anywhere from $5,000 – $8,000+ per year to run, most all of which is staff salaries. Could we push ads more? Sure. Could I not be a jackass and actually do something with the Patreon? Most definitely. But as I’m sure you’ve heard in the past; gaming websites aren’t great for making money. Our YouTube channel has been remarkably successful this year, with the amazing Josh Griffiths even getting it to the point that it turns a profit! Now that he’s moved on though, it’s tough to say what will happen next.

Does all of this whining on my part mean Cliqist is done? Not at all! While it may take us a lot longer to get the next 5,000 articles posted, we’ll get there. We’ve started pushing for developers to self-publish stories so that readers can be exposed to games we’ve never had the writing bandwidth to cover. We’re encouraging neophyte writers to contribute articles as part of our Community Corner. Work is underway to continue the YouTube channel’s success. And, finally, we’re going to continue paying staff to produce great content, albeit at a slower pace.

Here’s to the writers, developers, and readers that have gotten us this far, and cheers to the next 5,000 posts!

Greg Micek – Editor

Marcus Estrada


Serena Nelson


Greg Micek


Joanna Mueller


Julie Morley


Josh Griffiths


Nathaniel Liles


Gary Alexander Stott


Dan Miller

Articles – 114

Stephanie Smith

Articles – 104

20+ Articles

Felix Wong – 87 articles
Georgi Trenev – 78 articles
Nic Reuben – 57 articles
David Lins – 56 articles
Amanda French – 51 articles
Keenan McCall – 48 articles
Jay Castello – 38 articles
Ahmad Khan – 34 articles
Megan Myrick – 33 articles
Zack Keosaian – 32 articles
Conrad Crisman – 31 articles
Mitchell Long – 29 articles
Laguna Levine – 23 articles
Dylan Cunningham – 21 articles
Kyle Rogacion – 21 articles
Abel G.C. – 20 articles
Arturo Bory – 20 articles

10+ Articles

Suzanne Verras – 18 articles
Arthur Frawley – 17 articles
Bryan Rumsey – 16 articles
Taylor Woolstenhulme – 16 articles
Andy Bodinger – 15 articles
Carston Anderson – 15 articles
Geron Graham – 15 articles
Lucia Taylor M – 15 articles
Vincent Baker – 14 articles
Nick Calandra – 13 articles
Phil Ings – 12 articles
Brad Jones – 11 articles
George Ash – 11 articles
Charlotte Humphries – 10 articles
Gabrielle Steudle – 10 articles

10- Articles

Megan Hanbey – 8 articles
Martin Toney – 7 articles
Peter Nolan-Smith – 7 articles
Stephen East – 7 articles
Andrew Esposito – 6 articles
Caraline Nelson – 6 articles
Jordan Marciniak – 6 articles
Sheldon Perry – 6 articles
Claire Sharkey – 5 articles
James Schumacher – 5 articles
Jordan Jennings – 5 articles
Paul Drankiewicz – 5 articles
Stephen LaGioia – 5 articles

John Klingle – 4 articles
Keyo S – 4 articles
Laura Kemmerer – 4 articles
Lobster Sundew – 4 articles
Lucy Viggers – 4 articles
Samuel Carmody – 4 articles
Shannah Tighe – 4 articles
Bronsen Earl – 3 articles
Jasmine Henry – 3 articles
Jeremy Peeples – 3 articles
Luke Luby – 3 articles
Rachel Watts – 3 articles
Ashley Kemp – 2 articles
Bret Zawilski – 2 articles
Bryan Cebulski – 2 articles
Corey Atwood – 2 articles
Emily Tofanelli – 2 articles
James McQuillan – 2 articles
john John Seeger – 2 articles
Joseph Burns – 2 articles
Sean Appleby – 2 articles
Trevor Anderson – 2 articles
Victor Spence – 2 articles
Ben Snyder – 1 article
Dan Sorensen – 1 article
Evan Symon – 1 article
Jason McMaster – 1 article
Joe Bush – 1 article
John Ehrett – 1 article
Michael Soriano – 1 article
Rhain Radford-Burns – 1 article
Sonny Go – 1 article
Stephanie Watson – 1 article
Tyler Colp – 1 article
Zachary Jarocki – 1 article

Tagged in:

, ,

About the Author

Greg Micek

Greg Micek has been writing on and off about games since the late nineties, always with a focus on indie games. He started in 2000, which was one of the earliest gaming sites to focus exclusively on indie games.

View All Articles