Archive

The Second Anniversary of Square Portal

bluelogo Today we’re celebrating our second anniversary of news writing about Square Enix games. This year we wanted to do something different than just a basic thank you card or video. By telling you the good and hard side of working news write we want to show you how awesome, problematic and unrewarding it could be at same time. This article is about very personal experience and of course not all fansites have experienced things the same way but we want to share our experiences with new and veteran readers.

THE BEGINNING…

At first we want to thank you all for these two years we have been spending together. For the newcomers, we first started to write news back in January 19, 2011 on a new fansite for Final Fantasy XIII-2, simply called “Final Fantasy XIII-2 News”. It all started because we loved Final Fantasy XIII so much and wanted to create something very own for things we love. After writing tons of news, articles and interviews the site started to grow bigger and bigger and in the end became (one of the) biggest Final Fantasy XIII-2 fansite in the world. We’re still very proud of this success.

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Following the development of the game since the very beginning was an interesting experience for us because this time we’re the person who tells the new stuff for others. It sure was very challenging at first because the lack of English writing skills but by continuing it greatly and quickly improved due to lots of translating and writing in English. That has helped us with real life things like school. Seeing lots of positive comments and exciting people was very rewarding and kept us going on.

THE NEW BEGINNING AND THE DIFFERENT TIMES…

After the release of Final Fantasy XIII-2 and its last downloadable content, we started to wonder what to do in the future and what’s the fate of our site. While having a break, we came up with the idea of “Square Portal” – a big news site providing information about every Square Enix game. Crazy, big and demanding challenge, isn’t it? Especially when only one person is doing this site. (Yes, only one person even if I talk in “we” form but it’s just a grammatical thing when presenting a site)

NEWS WRITING FACES THE REAL LIFE CHALLENGES & PROBLEMS

It was a new and refreshing beginning to write news about all Square Enix games. To be honest it was much more than just that. We loved to learn about their other games like Sleeping Dogs, Tomb Raider, Hitman: Absolution… We had all the time in the world, energy and passion to follow and write and translate news about everything daily. Then everything started to slowly change – the weekday started after a long holiday. People went back to the work and school – back to their normal routines. That took lots of time from writing and following news – especially this time when we have more things to write about. When facing the challenges of life, school and own identity problems, it really isn’t easy to deal with everything when building yourself and the future you want to have. To be honest news writing  has became stressful and feels like rushing and quickly pushing the information out without feeling excited about it. It just feels empty and unrewarding nowadays – not as good as back in the” old good days.” But something keeps us continuing… You and great games.

WHERE YOU LIVE IS VERY IMPORTANT

When located to Finland, the northern part of Europe, our location is making things harder than for people who live in countries where Square Enix has their offices (Japan, UK, US, China, France & Germany) or where big gaming events are held. Those really are the best areas for living and having your own fansites because it is more likely that you will get invited to community event and see new stuff to write about and making interview with developers. Those are the experiences which make you more passionate about your own site in the end because translating and writing about others stuff  will turn out to be boring and unrewarding – especially if you are creative person like me who wants to make his own stuff and do something different. The fact you won’t ever attend events like these makes you feel outsider of the company’s main community and ignored. This problem isn’t just with Square Enix – it’s with every game company.

THE AWESOME & GOOD MOMENTS

So far it may sound like everything have been awful but that’s not the case – at all! While writing news and talking about games, we have met so many great people from game industry and different fanbases. With them we have had tons of fun and learning to see things from different sides.  These kind of experiences have taught new things about the world and ourselves. It has helped us to write and understand things in English. Surprisingly, Final Fantasy has also taught us appreciate more art and music and the artistic freedom. Seeing all your positive, excited, passionate and happy comments makes us happy and it’s the thing which makes this  so rewarding. Also cooperating with Square Enix in Fall 2011 with community project for new exclusive screenshots & information about Final Fantasy XIII-2 was a great experience as well!

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FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO START THEIR OWN FANSITE

When starting a new fansite we recommend you to start with game you are dedicate and passionate with. Too big challenge like writing about everything of everything quick gets tiring and make you lose the interest about them. Also think do you want make your own interviews and attend in community events. Then take a note to the location where the offices of company and gaming events are normally located, nearer you live them more possible it is to get involved in such things. You also need to think, what will make your site different and more special than others. It will be rewarding. It will be funny. It will be everything you create as long as you keep passionate about it. The future of your site and yourself are in your own hands. Everything is possible when working hard and by doing that you will reach awesome stuff. They say you need luck to become successful. That’s true but the thing is that luck follows those people who keep trying and working hard. Good luck with your own projects!
Ffta2-chocobo-ride1THANK YOU

Once again, thank you all for these amazing and instructive two years, let’s see together what the future is holding to us. We try to keep updating site as much as time allows us. We also want to thank Namco Bandai Nordic Partners for doing such amazing work for helping us with press stuff and Square Enix for making amazing games we all want to play. Thank for all people who have encouraged to us to continue this long project. Let’s have another awesome year with Lightning Returns, Tomb Raider, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, PS4, Xbox 720 and with other upcoming titles!

SPECIAL THANKS

Sacha Ramtohul
Niklas Arnell
Jem Alexander
FFWORLD
…and our readers

Regards,
SQPR_John
Contact Us: finalfantasyxiii-2(at)hotmail.com

Categories: Archive

6 replies »

  1. Happy birthday Square Portal! I have been a fan of Square Enix since FFX (and have played many of the earlier titles). It’s always great to read your updates (and witness your improvements in English). Here’s to future success! I’m @dakotamartin5 on twitter :)

  2. @audunryeng-My best memory must be the time when i got to discuss with people who share the same interests as me :) I really enjoy talking with you guys! Being able to share this amazing site with so many incredible people from all across the world has been great :) i hope we can continue doing this! You are kind of like friends to me! Thank you so much to our amazing writer!

  3. I’ve been a fan since 13-2 site. Great job keep up the great work and happy birth day!!! Now I’m enjoying the news on lrffxiii. =)

  4. Happy Birthday Square Portal!
    Great job thus far on keeping the fans up to date! Appreciate (and amazed by) the effort that you put into this fansite. Didn’t know it was manned by a single person.

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