On May 10, 2008, at the inexperienced age of 15, I started a PlayStation 3-focused news blog called ScrawlFX. “Scrawl,” to my immature mind, was a word that I thought I made up. Realizing years later that I should have probably Googled the name, ScrawlFX became Gematsu in 2011. And that’s the story of how we came to be.
OK, there’s a little more to it. Before ScrawlFX became Gematsu, I ran a Blogger-hosted website called onAXIS. When ScrawlFX launched, onAXIS shut down, but still remains accessible to this day. It’s actually pretty amusing to browse through the old posts on there to get an idea of how much has changed in terms of our position today. In a way, Gematsu matured as I did.
Shortly after ScrawlFX launched in 2008, we added Xbox 360 coverage to our agenda, and eventually expanded to covering everything like we do today. When it came time for a name change in 2011, I was very indecisive about what it would be. If you were around back then, you may remember I changed the logo to literal question marks for the time being because I was so unhappy with the name ScrawlFX. I became a bit obsessed with the brandable, web 2.0-style names as they were (are still?) called. Eventually I came up with Gematsu, but the domain name was taken.
Doing some research, I found that it was owned by a man who makes millions selling domain names. When I reached out to his brokers, they wanted $20,000 for the name. I was a 17 year-old kid with little spending money to his name, but I was set on getting that domain. His brokers refused to put me through to him directly, but after a bit of research, I found a personal e-mail listed on the website for a side venture he ran. I still remember his initial response to my e-mail. “I know you. You’re the guy who keeps bothering my brokers.” Or something like that. After repeated exchanges, we were able to work out a deal, and Gematsu.com became mine for little to nothing. On May 26, 2011, ScrawlFX officially became Gematsu.
The focus of Gematsu wasn’t always Japanese video games. But I started learning the language during the early years of the website, which eventually shifted our coverage priorities. Today, with 39,016 posts on Gematsu to my name (that’s a world record, I think—if only Guinness’ verification methods weren’t so tedious), I like to consider Gematsu the premiere source for Japanese video game news.
I work quite a bit—likely more than I should. Running Gematsu can get very stressful at times. Like on Wednesday nights (EST), when Japanese publishers tend to drop huge walls of text altogether. (Yesterday, for example, there were big updates on God Eater 3 and The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV.) But I love doing it. I enjoy being there to provide the information that no one else does. And I plan to continue doing that for the foreseeable future.
I didn’t plan to type out the history of Gematsu, or anything specific for that matter, so I’m not really sure where to go from here. But I just want to thank all of our readers, from those who’ve been with Gematsu since it started to those who joined along the way, for visiting the website and giving me a reason to keep it going. I’m very humbled and grateful for your support. I kindly ask that you continue to visit Gematsu each day and continue to give me that support.
Oh, and in the coming weeks or so I’ll be setting up an online store where you can purchase a couple of Gematsu-themed illustrations, including the 10th anniversary illustration above, on T-shirts and the like, with additional illustrations to be added over the course of our 10th anniversary year. So look out for that!
Thank you all again. I love you all.