Gillen Bows Out Of Games Journalism

Legendary games journo, Kieron Gillen has packed up his keyboard and walked away into the sunset, leaving gaming journalism behind and, perhaps, a little emptier.  After turning 35 yesterday, he posted his last hurrah on Rock, Paper, Shotgun, and announced that he was stepping down from his full time staff position.  With RPS representing his ‘last regular commitment’ as a ‘real games journalist’ Gillen is moving on to focus full time on his other passion – writing for comics.  He has signed a new contract with Marvel, to which he wants to give his full and undivided attention, though he has promised to pop up and chime in from time to time on RPS, whenever he feels the urge to rant.

Following on from his last RPS piece, he posted an altogether more emotive entry on his personal blog, veering at times from inspirational to almost melancholy, with an undercurrent of frustration and, perhaps, measured cynicism  which comes from his fifteen years experience in the business.

“You don’t matter. People are dying to be games journalists, which is why we pay so badly. We could replace you in seconds.” Says Gillen, going on to urge fellow games writers to have pride and remember their talent.  “Do not listen to your bosses. They will infect and ruin your brain. They don’t have your best interests in heart. Who profits from making you hate yourself? They do. The less you realise how good you are, the more they can profit from you. And they do and they will.”

After writing for Future Publishing’s PC Gamer magazine for five years, Gillen left in 2003 to go freelance and, in 2007, got together with three fellow journos to form, now legendary, Rock, Paper, Shotgun which would be (and has been) built and run on their own terms.  Since those early days, the site has grown and become a staple in the pantheon of online gaming sites, with over three quarters of a million unique visitors per month.

For those of us here at GLHQ who remember Gillen’s days at PC Gamer and have idly followed his career with one eye ever since, it is a sad day. However, given the disclosure in his personal blog, it would appear that he is moving on and following in the footsteps of other, ex-journos, to direct his passion towards brighter and ultimately more rewarding things.  For that, we wish him all the best, but it is a fair wager that the door will never be entirely closed…not until Gillen’s mouth is anyway and that, we can confidently say, will likely never happen.  We’ll leave you with these words of wisdom from one of gaming writing’s ‘characters’:

“Be aware that you’re almost certainly pretty talented and could have done anything with this ball of nerves and words in your head. Instead, you’re wasting years of your life because you’re stupid enough to care about something no-one else does.”

In a nutshell? Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be games writers.

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