By Al Giovetti
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Alfred C. Giovetti (AG): Thanks for being with us and sharing with us this great information on a brand new web page
AG: Tell us about Mac Gamer's Ledge (www.macledge.com)?
Mike Dixon (MD): MGL is one of the largest and most respected Mac-only game info web sites on the Internet. We've been in existance since 1995, starting only as a Mac game review column on a dominated PC games site called, Gamer's Ledge. When the moderator of Gamer's Ledge decided to call it quits, he gave me the name, and I converted the site to all-Mac content and re-named it "Macintosh Gamer's Ledge". After jumping around various servers and avoiding a few hostile takeovers, we finally found a Internet service provider in Washington State who have graciously housed us since 1996. Since then, we've grown to accomodate over 280,000 visitors per month to our site, and that number is growing as word-of-mouth is spreading the good news!
AG: What will people see when they come to Gamer's Ledge? What do you have to offer Macintosh gamers?
MD: I have tried to make the site as easy to navigate as possible, as well as make it as fast-loading as possible. So while it may not be as "pretty" as other sites, its content makes up for it. On the front page, there are four sections that gamers can choose from: Daily News, Reviews, Downloads, Inside MGL, as well as links to our weekly game giveaway, weekly top ten lists, and exclusive deals on games that only MGL readers can get (thanks to various retail, mailorder, and online store alliances). Our reviews are considered by many as the most comprehensive in the business, and we'd like to think that we've got some pretty good writers as well. We all volunteer our efforts here, as the site's expenses usually outweigh any profit made from a few ad banners; banners which generate just enough revenue to keep the site up and running! I write the daily news, based on researching, contacting industry folks, press releases, as well as editorializing on occasion.
Recently, we were chosen to become one of the hand-picked web sites of the MacAddict Network. MacAddict is an award-winning magazine dedicated to Mac-only coverage. It's an extremely popular magazine for Mac users. A few days ago, we worked out an arrangement to be the content provider for a Mac section in GameWEEK, the game industry's major periodical. They will now have decent Mac game information, including reviews, previews, recaps of news, and editorials. I just hope I can find the time to sleep while maintaining all of these interests! AG: Dont you know we are not allowed to sleep in this industry? What do you see as the most exciting games in the single player and online variety out there today? MD: Ah sleep, that precious commodity! Anyways, Unreal, which released recently for the Mac from GT Interactive's MacSoft division, is definitely the hottest title for single player gaming. It's multiplayer abilities are okay, but a patch is coming to clean things up a bit (the patch will fix PC and Mac networking problems). Quake (via QuakeWorld) seems to still be a hot ticket with network Mac gamers out there, if only the PC QuakeWorld would stop messing with their version. Everytime QuakeWorld for PC is updated or patched, Mac gamers can't play PC gamers until the Mac version is updated. That's usually a 2-3 week delay. There are many games out there that are quite popular, but they are too numerous to list. This 4th quarter will be incredible, regarding the number of Mac game releases. AG:With all those hits, how does your site make money? MD: We do collect revenue from the banner ads that rotate on our site, as well as from the ads that the MacAddict Network rotate on our site, but our bandwidth costs are somewhat high, so it balances out. I am able to save up enough to cover expenses for me to travel to E3 once a year. Running MGL is not about making money, it's about serving the Mac gaming community. While it sure would be nice to make a few extra bucks that I don't have to directly send off to our ISP, it's not what drives me to keep the site going. However, without the sponsors that we do have, the MGL would not exist without them. So it is very important. AG: Yes I have noticed that your site is for the MacAddict and for the user and not so commercial as some of the others. What got you into doing this sort of thing?