Two Amazing Years of Square Portal
These two years with Square Portal have been such an amazing journey for me! I can’t believe it has already been two years since I launched this page! I have to admit it was quite a challenge to focus on all Square Enix titles after Final Fantasy XIII-2 News. This meant gaining a lot of new knowledge about gaming series I wasn’t familiar with before. I have no regrets at all, this has been one of the best decisions of my life because it lead to finding new friends and favorite games from genres I thought I would never care about. I hope this has been the same for you guys, since we have been providing quite a wide range of news these past years. There isn’t really a better feeling than learning about new games and falling in love with them, right!? In this birthday post, I will tell you about about the upcoming experiences in my own life, what Square Portal will be providing in the future, and I will even answer some fan questions!
Dreams ~ The Future of Square Portal
When I first started Square Portal back in 2012, my dream was to bring something new, fresh and positive to our community. During these years, I have been doing some experiments – some of them were successful and other didn’t work that well. However, these two years have been very busy and taught me so much. With all these things I have learnt, I have started to feel that I will finally be able to create the new community that I have always dreamt of for us. But the change won’t come overnight, as it demands lots of hard work and investment. All these newly planned updates will be coming live in the early 2015. Did I say 2015? Let me explain the delay. This will be rough.
Johnny Joins in the Guardian Corps
Here is a thing. Next Monday, I will be joining the Finnish Defense Forces and become a professional soldier. (Tried to apply to the Lightning Defense Forces but they were too booked!) At first, I will be spending at least six months there – or more, if I choose the leader side education. This is something I can’t avoid because it’s compulsory here in Finland. But hey, it’s a brand new experience after all! I hope I will be enjoying my time there and learn new stuff, I might be able to use to improve Square Portal.
This means I won’t be able to update the site for a while but the amazing freelancer Amicitias will be covering most of the stuff at the beginning. More writers will be joining us soon, once I have time to go through all the application. By saying that I want to make it clear our site isn’t going anywhere. For me, this pause will be quite refreshing and perhaps something I really need. Still, with these plans, I couldn’t be more excited to show you how Square Portal will be reborn in 2015. To make it clear one more time, I will continue posting stuff but not as frequently. Don’t be sad, though. I will be back when the epic journey with new Square Enix games is about to start!
Some Thoughts on Gaming Communities
When running my own gaming news site, I carefully follow what’s happening in the game industry. This also means following people’s thoughts and visiting different kinds of forums and communities. Recently, I’ve been quite annoyed to read certain forums where the real thing is too often overshadowed by continuous joke posts and people complaining about how they couldn’t care less about this title. Even worse, these posts are repeating the same thing all over again. It’s great to share your thoughts and criticisms with other people, but I would prefer seeing fans talk about the real thing more often, and have deep conversations about the new games or updates. The freedom of speech is awesome but why use it to ruin a good conversation among others who really care about the game/music/movie etc.? I never understood this.
“Johnny, why do you love the Final Fantasy series?”
This is a question I have received from many readers. Alongside all Square Enix titles such as Kingdom Hearts, Tomb Raider, Hitman, Deus Ex, Dragon Quest and many others, I have to admit that the Final Fantasy series has always been the closest to my heart. The main reason why I love this series so much is because it brings so many different people together. I think we can thank the variety of the series for that. One of my friend became a fan of the series by playing the very first Final Fantasy game on SNES, another thanks to Dissidia, another one thanks to Final Fantasy VII and so on. We all are very different people in general – at times completely opposite – but we get along well because, at the end of the day we come together talking about the one thing we all love so much – Final Fantasy.
When people are so different and come from different communities, our opinions about how the Final Fantasy series should continue in the future often differ. Arguments might be quite heated but we can live with that since we respect each other a lot and we value differing opinions. Life could be easier if people thought the same way as I do, but at the same time, it would be rather boring. These conversations are always great if both sides appreciate each other and accept the fact others think differently but we can still be friend. That’s something many people still need to learn – There is nothing that I dislike more than people who judge and attack you just because just you think differently and prefer other things. Even worse is when they can’t even use proper arguments when having a discussion.
When I think more carefully about this thing, this may be a thing with many other Square Enix titles as well. They all have differences and people like one title more than another. Still, at the end of the day, we love the same thing but a bit differently. There’s only one wish I had for Square Enix fanbase: I hope that we could become closer and more united someday not because we think the same way and agree with everything but because we share the same love for games and have fun by enjoying the amazing new experiences these titles have to offer. I don’t think you can really ever change someone else’s opinion, since we people are quite stubborn, especially with things we love and care about. The change will start from ourselves.
Talking about Square Enix games, I am looking forward to see what other fansites have to offer us all in 2014. Hopefully some new sites will be born during the time I am at the army. They may be our “rivals” but I think it bring more diversity and health to our community when there is more than a few big sites dominating “the marketplace.” I just hope everyone will focus on things they love and do whatever they want without worrying about getting judged. I’m also looking forward to see what our new writers have to bring to this site and community. We are living exciting times, people!
I would like to thank all of you who have been supporting us all these years. Thanks to the new readers who have joined our small community, you are always more welcome. You don’t know how much it means to me when I see you guys enjoying my work and following the news and other crazy and not-so-crazy stuff I am publishing on the site. I wanna give special thanks to FFWorld who has been an amazing support for me, and has helped me learn so much more than I could have done alone! Thank you, Square Enix, for continuously providing us with new experiences and giving overwhelming support to our amazing “The Thirteenth Farewell” project. I also would like to thank the great people at Bandai Namco Nordic Partners! Thanks to PlayStation Finland for providing us with review copies and other cool first looks!
But above all, an incredibly big thank you to all the people who frequently visit this site and read this post. You will always have a place in my heart. This is an Endless Fantasy.
It’s been a pleasure to get the latest news from your site Johnny and as I’ve told you before I have followed it since the beginning back when it was only about FF-XIII 2 haha!
Good luck in your adventure and I hope you will come back to us as soon as possible with even more interesting news and improving the site even more!
Have fun and I will be waiting for you man!
Thank you for creating such a great website. I’ve always used it to keep up to date to details about the company that i religiously follow [Which is made possible by this website]. While things are relatively slow right now, there are great games on the far horizon. I’ll shall continue to use this website for it is always diligent and persistent. Even if i was nearly tricked that nicki minaj was singing the theme song for LR XIII.
Thanks for the comment! Hahah, never trust us on April Fools day :D
I certainly never will again.
Sad to hear you will be away for a while but it understandable since we all have to deal with real life events! Hopefully you really enjoy your time there and it won’t feel like it’s not worth it. And don’t stress too much about writing stuff for us, it’s not your the main mission in your life!
Looking forward to your return and please make some new videos :’D <3
Hah! I have to admit I have been a bit stressed what will happen when I can’t be as active but I will try to post news when I really have time but at first I will be focusing on socializing at the army and getting new friends there. And yes… Videos are coming back! XD
Thanks for the nice comments!
I don’t post comments to this site that often even though I visit it daily but I wanna say: Thank you for your hard effort you are putting on this site!!! I don’t know where do you get all this time and passion to search all the new stuff and write about them for us. You, are truly a superfan, who helps others to become fans and know what’s happening with Square Enix and their games.
Please enjoy your time at the army but remember to come back as soon as possible!
Awws! I don’t really know where this all comes, I just get excited about these games and want to share everything with others and it’s quite rewarding when hearing comments like yours from other people and it just keeps me going on! :)
Thank you for supporting Square Portal!
Wow! I didn’t know you were Finnish. So am I.
Hah! We Finns tend to be a bit everywhere ;)
I really have to agree with what you said about posts in forums by people who are only making fun of a title or downright insult you if you say that you like a title or something, that was always very frustrating and it feels like you are actually talking about an annoying site I have in mind as well but that could only be a coincedence :D
Anyways, funny thing is that I spotted squareportal by the time every forum became increasingly annoying, and I am super satisfied with the amount and quality of the news and the obvious passion behind it, it’s really exciting again when a game is coming up and I feel anticipation, and that’s also largely because of squareportal, so thank you for that, good luck to all your future endeavors and I hope you return soon ^^
Actually, I’m not referring to any specific site but to people’s internet behavior in general. This can be seen in news sites’ comments, social media and forums.
I’m very happy to hear you have found a home from Square Portal and enjoying the content! Let’s hope “Johnny Returns” will be an amazing event here in 2015. :-)
Have and always will enjoy visiting this site – reading your articles and having a good chat with the people on here – there is always something i take from this site that brings a smile to my face
Although its a ways off – look forward to your return.
Wish all the best and luck in your endeavors! :)
Thank you for always commenting so actively here! It always pleases my heart to see and read your comments! :)