Shinkansen Retrogaming is No More
Goodbye, Medium. GAME OVER! Thanks for playing!
(For best results, I recommend playing these songs in the background while you read on.)
Shinkansen Retrogaming has been on Medium for three years as it was written by one person (which is me). I somehow got viral about Yo-kai Watch’s failure in North America (including Europe) and the MySims timeline (and even got mentioned on Wikipedia). It has been an incredible retrogaming journey. By the time you read this, I will still be here, but I will not be on Medium anymore. The site itself will remain, but it will no longer be updated.
Allow me to explain.
When I started Shinkansen Retrogaming on Medium in late 2018, The Cube, another Medium publication that covers video games, was taken offline and I needed to create my own video game publication, and hobby writers of retro games barely existed. Back in the days, there were no smartphones or social media, but there were GeoCities sites, Tripod sites, Angelfire sites, CompuServe, and AOL e-mail (and instant messenger). There was also a dial-up connection to the internet, which was all treated as weird backwaters for kids and teenagers. I wanted to avoid cynical hot-takes, stoking fanboyism, capitalizing on the controversy, avoiding finding jobs in an attempt to reduce modern slavery, and racing to meet deadlines.
Shinkansen Retrogaming has covered video games and anime from the past, including the anime that was aired on the now-closed Kids’ WB, the now-closed Fox Kids, and Cartoon Network’s Toonami (which later moved to Adult Swim). It also covered Yo-kai Watch and Level-5, including its failures in the west and Level-5 shutting down its North American operations in October 2020 due to low sales. During Black History Month we had to dig up some of the sitcoms from the mid-to-late 1990s. Disney+ has Smart Guy, HBO Max has The Wayans Bros., The Parent ’Hood, and The Jamie Foxx Show, and Netflix has Sister, Sister. The Steve Harvey Show isn’t on Netflix or HBO Max, but they were all aired on The WB.
Starting a retrogaming publication on Medium alone with no paywalls can be daunting; people want to see what articles about retrogaming on Medium look like as they played video games or watched anime back in the day. Why invest time and money building a retrogaming publication on Medium when a) I write retrogaming as a hobby and b) there’s no audience interested in retrogaming yet?
Given this strategy, Medium was the perfect place for hobby writers of retrogaming as they didn’t want their articles to be paywalled and give birth to Shinkansen Retrogaming as it also covered arcade games since Nintendo started shutting down waves of ROM sites, EmuParadise included.
I will forever remain grateful to Medium as a hobby writer for retro gaming and anime on Shinkansen Retrogaming.
Why I’m leaving Medium
But the times, they are a-changin’. I’m leaving Medium. There are three reasons why:
- The blogging platform now wants everyone to pay 5 USD/month or 50 USD/year and has pressured everyone to put articles behind paywalls and encourage them to join the Medium Partner Program. Medium has shifted to a paywall model where they mainly recommend paywalled articles and has also deprecated the image formatting feature in the Medium editor.
- There are Medium alternatives for hobby bloggers and/or professional comic/manga artists who are producing the upcoming webcomic/web manga themselves for Tapas including their future home for their upcoming webcomic series without having to face paywalled articles since many of us have PayPal and do not have Stripe, and for those who wanted their development blogs to remain free to read.
- Medium has also rapidly shifted away from publications as the platform focuses on building partnerships with individual writers, the platform understandably can no longer focus on the needs of publications.
So, what will happen after Shinkansen Retrogaming on Medium, you ask? Well, that’s what I would transition to after a complete hiatus from art and webcomics.
I’m a freelance shonen manga artist, illustrator, and concept artist who is creating a serious webcomic series Radical Flannel in manga/webtoon form, which will launch in early October. True to its name, the main protagonists are wearing flannel shirts, as the concept was to combine the 1990s and the Y2K clothing and martial arts. It will be on Tapas and GlobalComix, but it will be read from right-to-left (Japanese way) instead of left-to-right (traditional American/Canadian way) and will be colored. There will be no romance or LGBT themes since the series’ theme will be friendship, martial arts (most likely Kyokushin karate), and adventure in an urban fantasy setting, since romance doesn’t have a place in my works or shonen manga unless you’re Rumiko Takahashi or Mitsuru Adachi. I rather spend more time on art (including the upcoming web manga) rather than writing a lot of crap or finding a 9–5 day job or a retail job (since 9–5 day jobs — including retail jobs — will always have a rather unfriendly boss).
I’m going to look for what holds the future of Shinkansen Retrogaming and retrogaming blogs as the follow-up story is now live.
To make matters worse, consistency is key and you will be required to engage with the community and post consistently over time, and also, use the call to action when people will subscribe to your YouTube channel. Genuine interactions and quality over quantity will help you grow your following and it has to take months and only months. Even if it takes time to build a following, there’s a final deadline date, which is set for September 3, 2023, and after that date passes, Final Frontier (along with the Nintendo Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS eShop) terminates its journey and all user data deleted. They also want you to join Facebook groups as you will no longer be able to post sporadically anymore unless you’re on vacation, taking care of a family member/friend, or pet sitting.
Retrogaming communities, too, have a place on the internet when I listened to the now-closed Game Boy Crammer. Retro games deserve better. Small high-quality content creators need to be surfaced so they can receive the attention they deserved, and have them quit their — or avoid — 9-to-5 day jobs (including retail jobs) immediately so they can have freedom before Nintendo shuts down the eShop for the 3DS and the Wii U and the final story ends. I hope all of the countries re-open their borders in late 2022/early 2023 since my mom’s retirement. We are now parents and relatives who want to show Pokémon to our children.
I want to thank everyone in the retrogaming community to help Shinkansen Retrogaming thrive and mature over the last three years, and for supporting hobby writers of retro video games as I did my best to give the video games and anime from the past the respect they deserved. I likewise have huge respect for the work of retrogaming bloggers and podcasters, who consistently punched above their weight. Instead, it’s up to other journalists and podcasters to carry on the retrogaming blogging work.
And one last thing, do me a big favor: please remember to take your loved one (or your older/younger siblings), get out of here, and please end sibling rivalry permanently. That’s what a 3–7 year gap in the relationship between the older and the younger sibling is about: friendship. Remember to hold your older/younger sibling(s) tight, and until we meet again, stay gold.
Where to find me post-Shinkansen Retrogaming
Follow me on Twitter (@Samurai_Cory), Instagram (@MrSamuraiCory), Behance (samuraicory), Twitch (samuraicory), and ArtStation (samuraicory). I also have a Discord server. These are the accounts you can follow my webcomic and art journey on social media, so please watch out for fake accounts. Ko-fi will soon be relaunched (Update: It’s now relaunched).
Thanks for playing!
Chester “Cory” Roberts II (Samurai Cory; heterosexual male, he/him)
American freelance manga artist, illustrator, and character designer, owner/curator of Shinkansen Retrogaming