Over the last few months, you’ve likely been seeing a number of tweets from the Can I Play That? (CIPT) team, some sounding hopeful, others a bit more concerning and morose. Well, we want to clear up some things now that we have nothing outstanding and explain what’s happening at Can I Play That?
Acquisition Attempts and Grants
Running Can I Play That? has probably looked like a fun and rewarding job on the outside, but internally the team has been running the site practically full-time and unpaid. Courtney has carried the site for years and seen the website grow from a blog to a respected outlet, something they never fully anticipated. When the team grew in 2019–2020 the website took a stronger editorial approach, bringing it to the status it has today, we’re being sourced by huge outlets and being recognized by industry leaders, it’s great!
The issue we had was that the more we were being recognized, the more was expected of us. This was also without any financial support behind us except those who have been supporting us on Patreon. Even then, the funds went toward the cost of running the site or commissioning freelancers. So between us all, we juggled full-time, part-time, and even freelance jobs to ensure we were still able to live and then dedicate the remaining time to the content on CIPT.
Behind the scenes, we approached a number of organizations asking for grants. All of them highlighted the importance of the site but turned us down. Then we started talking with other outlets and networks seeking some form of partnership, maybe to be taken under their umbrella. Again, our importance was noted, but we were not seen as an opportunity for a business venture.
In the tail end of 2021 and the start of 2022 Ben and Courtney had been in talks with a number of potential acquisitions. The goal was to sell the site on the condition that we retain editorial freedom and Ben remains at the helm and Courtney focuses on the Workshops. Essentially, we were hoping to become a sister site and have full-time jobs. None of the acquisition talks felt right, and others would have been a good fit but didn’t see the site as a good investment despite, as always, highlighting our importance.
The Plan Now
With all of these failed business ventures behind us and nothing left outstanding, we can now talk about our plan, and it’s good news!
Courtney will now focus on their new full-time role and [UPDATE: the Workshops are currently in a transitional stage]. They’ll also be hosting panel discussions on important topics related to game accessibility and the community with the first coming shortly, focused on inclusion, and representation, or lack thereof, in the a11y community.
Ben and Marijn are to continue running CIPT as a journalistic outlet. The journalistic side of CIPT will continue to operate as you’re used to, with regular news, reviews, and features. We’ve also started expanding to tech! While Ben and Marijn are currently juggling CIPT with other jobs, their jobs allow for that flexibility required to provide quality content and manage and grow the website in tandem.
However, there are monetary efforts that we’ll be looking into, but nothing that ruins the user experience and keeps the spirit of CIPT intact. A note: while we’re working on restructuring things, we’ve temporarily put a hold on accepting freelance pitches with the view to bring this back.
You’ll probably start seeing CIPT utilize affiliate links once we’ve signed up with companies as affiliate partners, and we’ll use possible earnings for site costs. We’ll probably be looking into providing heavily controlled adverts as well to get some revenue from our increasing site views without ruining the site with intrusive adverts.
We’re already increasing our Patreon efforts to bring more regular Patreon posts giving a look behind the scenes. We’re actually on the verge of announcing something we’re pretty excited about and Patreons will get the first look. There’s also the possibility that we’ll look into a fundraiser to help keep the site operating at a functional level.
How Can You Support Us Going Forward?
We don’t want CIPT to cease to exist. Before we came up with this plan we were on the coattails of just shutting the site down and saving it as an archived site for people to see. The team at CIPT thinks the website is far too important and valuable to let it fade into the ether and so we’re incredibly passionate about making this work.
If you’re already supporting us through Patreon and other methods, THANK YOU! Your continued support has allowed us to continue running through our rough times behind the scenes.
If you’re looking to support us, you can do so in a number of ways. First off, if you’re a reader you can simply share our content through socials, if you’re in the industry you can share our content internally, if you’re an outlet, source us if we break news, or share interesting developments that disabled players in your audience would benefit from knowing.
You can support us financially by making a recurring payment or one-off payments on our Patreon. You can also support us on Twitter on iOS using the monetization feature. We’re also in the process of setting up a Ko-Fi account for those who want to support us that way.
While small donations through the above can help us remain efficient and somewhat stable, to remain sustainable a larger influx is something that we’d need. Should you wish to reach out to discuss anything more substantial, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s important to note that if our efforts pay off and we are able to start generating revenue, the funds will be split between costs of operating the site, commissioning freelancers, and paying our team. It’s also important to note that while our output might be frequent, we’re still an incredibly small team running this whole operation, as such please respect that we may need breaks and that we can’t cover everything.
Thank you though, for reading this post, for reading the website, for sharing our content, and for sticking with us! We hope you’re going to stick around for our new journey as we show what we’re capable of. And that’s what’s happening at Can I Play That?