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Goodbye, Medium

SUPERJUMP is moving — here’s why

SUPERJUMP has been on Medium for about six years. In that time, we have featured the works of more than 200 writers and grown to become the largest dedicated gaming publication on the platform. We even picked up an Australian I.T. Journalism Award in 2020 (for Best Independent Media). It has been an incredible journey. As the founder of SUPERJUMP, words can’t begin to express my deep gratitude and appreciation for everyone who has contributed to this publication since its inception.

Whether it’s breaking down the first level of Donkey Kong Country with its original designers, or chatting with Doom creator John Romero about the legacy of Dangerous Dave, we have consistently punched well above our weight, often delivering some of the richest and most insightful features across all of gaming media.

Medium has been our home for the last six years, and it has been instrumental to our growth. But we have reached an inflection point; the time has come to find a new home, and to chart our own course.

Allow me to explain.

The “why”

When I started SUPERJUMP in 2016, there were no writers — just me. I had already been working in video game media on-and-off since around 2003, but I hadn’t done any writing about games for a good few years. I needed to scratch the itch. I was determined to try something new. Would it be possible to build a gaming publication built entirely around celebration of the medium? I wanted to avoid cynical hot-takes, stoking fanboyism, capitalising on controversy, and racing to meet embargo deadlines. I was also insistent on producing content without relying on advertising. Would it be possible to build a successful publication while actively steering away from all the fundamental pillars of modern games journalism?

Our success is an emphatic yes. However, if it hadn’t been for Medium, I doubt we’d be here at all.

Medium magic

Starting a new publication can be daunting; I needed to focus on finding writers to collaborate with, start building outstanding content (with a consistent publishing schedule), and develop an audience. I decided to take a lean startup approach, which effectively means that I narrowed my focus around getting content out there as quickly as possible. Why invest months (and thousands of dollars) building a brand new web site when a) I’m the only writer and b) there’s no audience yet? My strategy was to see if this SUPERJUMP thing would work as a concept, and if I could build something self-sustaining with consistent quality, I could then invest in a longer-term approach.

Given this strategy, Medium was the perfect place to give birth to SUPERJUMP. It gave us all of the key publishing and collaboration tools out of the box, did not require upfront financial investment, and was focused on cultivating a wide range of outstanding publications. For some years, Medium spun up and supported its own in-house publications and it directly fostered “partner” publications as well — SUPERJUMP was one of these partners. Medium worked closely with me on a number of initiatives aimed at both expanding SUPERJUMP and further developing the gaming topic on the platform.

I will forever remain grateful to Medium for giving us such a great start in life. In particular, I must acknowledge Davi Miller and Shaq Cheris — Medium Partnership Managers — who worked closely with me and who continue to take great interest in SUPERJUMP. Davi and Shaq were always generous with their time and expertise; that they also happen to be truly great humans is a wonderful bonus.

Why we’re saying goodbye

But the times, they are a-changin’. SUPERJUMP is leaving Medium. There are two reasons why:

  1. We are outgrowing the Medium platform itself. As our team expands, our needs around tooling and platform capabilities are also growing. We need more powerful collaboration tools, better analytics, and most importantly, full control over how we monetise content and distribute earnings.
  2. We believe that Medium’s strategy is rapidly shifting away from publications. As Medium focuses on building partnerships with individual writers, it understandably cannot focus on the needs of publications. We believe publications have less options for self determination in 2022, not more.

These two factors are the main contributors to our decision. I think that Medium is one of the few platforms on the internet that truly wants to build a constructive space that places value on great writing. This is why I hope Medium succeeds, and why I will continue to eagerly watch developments here into the future.

So, what will happen to SUPERJUMP? Well, friends, that’s where things get exciting.

Our future

We have been hard at work building the next-generation SUPERJUMP. Changing platforms is never easy, and we searched long and hard to find a solution that would enable us to take SUPERJUMP further than ever before. After an exhaustive search, we chose Ghost as our new home. What’s great about Ghost is that it gives our writers super elegant creation tools (that are every bit as intuitive as Medium, but with far more power), while providing an open platform on which we can build the publication of our dreams.

In the coming weeks, I will share specific information about:

  • How you can continue to work with us post-Medium (the story is now live)
  • How we will transition from Medium to Ghost

But for now, I’d like to end this story with a couple of thoughts about our future:

Firstly, although we are technically a publication, I’ve always thought of SUPERJUMP as more of a writers’ collective. We have editors, but we don’t have a top-down structure. Every single writer who works with us decides what they write, and when they write it. Our editors are the biggest fans and champions of our writers. This is one element of our secret sauce: it means writers are only ever creating works that they feel passionate about. That’s why our content is both highly diverse and super high quality.

Secondly, as a writers’ collective, I’d like to see more equitable remuneration among writers than is currently possible on Medium. I believe that as SUPERJUMP grows and experiments with multiple revenue streams and models, all of that money should be flowing directly back to our writers. After all, we are nothing without them.

Thank you for reading, and for your continued support of SUPERJUMP. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to pop them in the comments on this story. I will respond to every single one.



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