A farewell from Martin Robinson
Thanks for indulging me these past 12 years.
Well this is a surprisingly tough thing to write: after what's fast coming up to 12 years knocking around these parts, today is my last at Eurogamer. I hope you don't mind a self indulgent pick for my final crack at Game of the Week (Bertie and Donlan will be taking over from next week, from whence a higher quality level of posting shall commence).
Shenmue is a personal favourite for so many reasons. Shenmue is a mad folly of a thing, a multimillion dollar blueprint for a brand of hyper-detailed open world games that would sadly never come to pass - a strangely mournful spin on Yu Suzuki's trademark spectacle and a project that would hasten Sega's departure from the hardware race. It might not be the greatest game ever made, but it's a sure way to illustrate how fascinating this medium can be.
It's special to me too, because it's enabled some of my greatest adventures over the years at Eurogamer. I sneaked over to Yokosuka to see the streets of Dobuita for myself, and a short while after that somehow found myself on the frontlines as Yu Suzuki made his return with Shenmue 3. Over the years I've even been able to indulge my love of the parts of Sega that have always fascinated me, meeting the man who made the OutRun soundtrack or getting to walk the streets of Tokyo with Tetsuya Mizuguchi, and later trying to explain why Rez might be the greatest game ever made. I even got to play it in a special prototype space suit.
Before I get carried away I should just stop and say that as a fair and balanced professional I have done more throughout my time here than write about my beloved Sega, but I just wanted to provide a small snapshot to help illustrate what a privilege it's been for me, a starry-eyed kid at heart who still gets giddy with excitement about games past, present and future. I hope I've been able to impart some of the love and passion I have for these brilliantly silly, crazily smart things. They can be truly amazing.
The greatest privilege of all has been doing that for Eurogamer. I was a fan of this incredible place built by Rupert Loman and with its strong foundations laid by Kristan Reed and Tom Bramwell long before I joined. It's been humbling to work alongside so many amazing people, and to play a small part in a site that can be so special. I remember my first day in Eurogamer's London bureau, which was basically Ellie Gibson's living room where I crowded in with Oli Welsh drinking copious amounts of tea and not quite believing my luck that I was working alongside such legends. I'm in the Brighton office today where I can't quite believe I'm about to say goodbye to people who've become lifelong friends, and who I reckon are the best in the business at what they do.
Insatiable newshounds like Wes, Tom and the wonderful team they have around them in Ed, Victoria, Matt and Liv; Lottie and her brilliant guides team in Jessica and Libbi; Aoife, Zoe and Ian and the remarkable community they've all built together on the YouTube team; Chris Tapsell, one of the smartest critics around, and Bertie who's the beating heart of the site. As a Sega fanboy raised on the bible of Mean Machines Sega I still pinch myself that I got to work alongside Rich Leadbetter and his team at Digital Foundry. And then there's dear Donlan who'll only get embarrassed if I mention him by name but screw it: you're one of the best to ever do this, and it's an honour to call you a friend. Sorry.
I'm going to go back to being a Eurogamer fan, grateful that I got to play a small part in its story and looking forward to seeing what's next for a site that's as strong as it's ever been, and whose brightest days I'm sure are ahead of it. I've got one final piece hitting the site this Sunday, and I'm sure you'll see me lingering in the comments with you all well beyond that, but for now it's farewell, and thank you. It's been a pleasure and an honour.