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From the Editor

Gameinformer.com Roadmap: Dark Mode, Merch, and More

by Andy McNamara on Apr 09, 2019 at 09:45 AM

When we announced the changes to gameinformer.com back in May 2018, we had to walk away from some features we loved, and more importantly, features our readers loved. We shut down user blogs, we lost the forums, switched to a new comment system, and removed the ability to view the site in dark mode. We had to take a step back, to take a step forward.

Hopefully, the new site (can I still call it new now?) has proven itself to be worth the losses. But as I said at the launch, we weren't done there, the new site was just a beginning. Over the last 10 months, we have been working on numerous projects, many that involve streamlining the back end, security, and site maintenance (thrilling we know), but also other projects that would improve the user experience.

The loudest request we got at the relaunch was that readers wanted dark mode/lights out. As gamers who live in the glow from our monitors, this feature shot quickly to the top of our list, and I am happy to announce the feature is finally up and running. (Editor's Note: At the bottom of this story, I will walk you through how to engage this mode). Because we wanted the experience to work across your devices and we didn't want it attached to a cookie, you are required to be logged in to use this feature. We are thrilled with the result and hope you are too.

Now for a bit of bad news. I said earlier that we would try to get user blogs back up on a community version of gameinformer.com so any content that was created here before wasn't lost forever. I warned people to pull down any content they wanted as I couldn't promise that we would be able to execute this plan. We put a lot of time into this, probably more than we should have, but sadly I had to shut down its development. 

Basically, we still have all the information, but we encountered many problems based around the number of users and dealing with the images associated with them. So while we have not given up entirely, I doubt we will return to finish this. Perhaps if we solve another issue and it opens the door for us to complete it we can venture down that path again, but I wouldn't get my hopes up. I can't thank people enough who took part in our user blogs program (not you, evil bots, who basically made it impossible to maintain). There were some amazing stories told there, but sadly it is time to move on.

The good news is, with that development shelved, we can put more of our development effort to create things that we feel are more relevant. Next up is a merchandise store. People have asked for cover posters and Game Informer fashion for literally decades. Whenever I wore my custom GI shirts there were plenty of comments asking where they could find them. I don't have a date yet for when this will launch, but we are well on our way and I don't expect the wait to be too long. 

Beyond that I would love to hear your thoughts on what you want next. We don't have an official plan yet, but we were thinking about more ways to incorporate video on the site (and a rebuild of our video page) to make getting to our shows and streams easier in the future. That's our idea. What are yours?

Once again, I am sorry that the user blogs didn't work out but sometimes you have to make hard choices and working on that feature had basically slowed innovation and improvement on the site, and I couldn't let it continue. 

Thanks to everyone for your support. We always strive to be the best we can be, and we aren't Game Informer without our readers so from me and the entire staff, we thank you.

Dark mode should help those tired eyes read more gameinformer.com