RPGamer began life in 1995 as the UnOfficial SquareSoft HomePage, a fan site for games from Square, founded by Andrew Vestal. In mid-1997 it become Square.net but later in that year Andrew closed the site due to large amounts of spam and legal issues with Square and the website’s hosting situation.
The site was resurrected as RPGamer on March 11, 1998. The resurrection marked a change in focus as the site became devoted to RPGs from all developers and publishers, at the same time removing focus on non-RPGs from Square. Since then the site has gone through many changes, though many staff members have stuck around for significant amounts of time.
In late 2017, RPGamer finally got round to updating its long-running backend, launching the new website in celebration of its 20th anniversary in late April 2018. This has necessitated a clean start in terms of content, as the effort required to maintain or transfer over the old content was deemed far too great, especially for a volunteer site; however, we have managed to include all of our 2018 written content on the new site. The old site and all of its content lives on at archive.rpgamer.com (please note that some links and image paths may not copy over to the archive address).
Ethos, Policies, and Coverage
RPGamer is renowned for its policy of requiring reviewers complete games before reviewing them and assigning a score. The site has also endeavored to ensure that it uses the full scale in it’s nine-point 1.0-5.0 scoring system. For more details on the scoring system please consult the Review Score Definitions page. RPGamer has also made accuracy of reporting a priority when it comes to news. To that end we have operated a policy of not reporting unsubstantiated rumors or leaks for a number of years.
A number of people have correctly noted that we cover many games that would not be considered to be RPGs, particularly the Legend of Zelda series. Early in the site history the Zelda series was “grandfathered” in to our coverage and it has remained a fixture of the site since. As an extension of that, we have often operated a very lenient approach to determining whether something is an “RPG” and if it falls under our coverage, which has been guided by our status as a volunteer-run site doing this primarily for the enjoyment of it.
As such, any games deemed peripheral to the RPG genre, such as many action adventure titles, including the Zelda series, can be covered provided there are staff members willing to do so. We may also still cover games that are much more clearly not RPGs, such as visual novels, though these are more likely to come under our “Adventure Corner” column rather than being granted full coverage.
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Volunteering at RPGamer
Positions at RPGamer are currently unpaid, but this isn’t to say that working here is without other rewards. Those writing for the site are encouraged to go about it as professional a manner as possible, letting its writers have their content be read by a wide audience and the most renowned video game companies in the industry. We are always on the lookout for new volunteers to join us, either as a hobby or a potential stepping stone to a career in the industry; many of our former staff have gone on to work with development houses and news outlets both in the US and abroad. For more information on volunteering at the site, some of benefits that doing so brings, and the applications process please see our dedicated job openings page.