This is goodbye for now
Closing up shop in Naughty List News #98
Hey there, naughty news fans.
This has been an incredibly difficult post to write, and I’ve pondered what to do for a long while now. After almost three years, 98 numbered issues, and 138 published posts in total, this will be the last Naughty List News post. I know this may come as a surprise to you, but it’s been a long time coming for me, and it’s time to face the music.
Here are the reasons I’m quitting the newsletter, from what I think ar the least to most convincing arguments.
I’m in a different place
Both physically and mentally, I’m in a different place than I was three years ago. I was feeling quite unhappy at my job as a middle manager in a AAA gaming company, and it was causing a lot of stress. Starting this newsletter was a way to channel that energy into something positive and to try something entirely different from my day job.
I met many cool people doing this newsletter, and I’ve learned a lot about how to write compelling non-fiction. Writing for you has proven to be an extremely valuable experience, even in my regular work. But I’ve since changed jobs twice, moved countries, and bought a house. It feels like the moment has shifted for me.
It’s a huge timesink
I work full-time as a programmer in the AAA video games industry. My regular job is from 9 AM to 6 PM, and then I also try to work on the newsletter. That often means scrambling to put something together on the weekend, as it is often almost impossible to pull myself away from my duties at work.
But writing this newsletter is a huge timesink. It’s writing the words, editing the words, finding the links, summarizing the links, putting together the graphics, and promoting the newsletter. On and on it goes. It’s why I never do game reviews, and I’ve stopped posting summary images on Reddit; I had to make time somewhere.
And yet, I already have not just a job but a successful career. Is this really what I want to keep spending my limited free time on?
Journalism is hard
I never intended to become a journalist. I studied game development in college, not journalism. I was never interested in the profession, yet all of a sudden, I was doing journalism for this newsletter every other week. And what I found is that it’s really, really hard work.
It’s not enough to just find an interesting story, which is hard all on its own. You then have to build up a case around it with facts that are backed up (publicly available) evidence. You might have to interview multiple people with their own agenda and try to gauge what’s real and what’s just PR. And you’ll never get the full story, so you’ll catch a lot of flak regardless.
Even after almost three years of doing this newsletter, I’m still unsure if I have the stomach for actual journalism. I’ve had multiple offers over the years to either buy out the newsletter or become a contributing member on another website, and I’ve always had to turn them down.
I just don’t think journalism is a career I want to pursue actively.
My game isn’t getting done
Although one of the main reasons I started writing this newsletter was to build up an audience for my game Up There They Love, I’ve never actually shown you the game. That’s because progress has stalled, partly due to spending most of my limited free time on the newsletter, ironically enough.
Although I’ve been making games for almost twenty years (I shipped my first title when I was just fourteen), I still underestimated this project's required time and effort. UTTL is an incredibly ambitious game, and because it is my first adult game, I’ve had to redesign it from scratch several times. But I’ve been working on it for close to seven years, and I don’t feel like I have much to show for it.
I have an incredible amount of respect for the people making adult games, and I hope that comes across in my writing. Just imagine making a game that isn’t only fun to play, but makes your players horny as well. I’ve dabbled in other types of game design, made a combat mechanic here and there, but there’s truly nothing like the impossible complexity of adult game design. That’s why I want to ensure I get my own game right, and I’ll admit I’m a perfectionist.
The money was never there
First things first, every sponsor I’ve worked with on the newsletter has been fantastic. It takes a lot of guts to trust some guy with a glorified blog with your brand and your public image, and every one of the companies and individuals that I’ve approached for sponsorships has been fantastic.
But at the same time, there are 1127 (lovely, wonderful!) subscribers to this newsletter right now. That’s an amazing number of subscribers for the incredibly niche topic of adult gaming, but it’s not nearly enough eyeballs to fill up sponsorship slots every week. And that’s after me pushing hard on Twitter, Reddit, Discord, and wherever else I’m not banned yet.
You might be thinking, but what about direct member contributions on sites like Patreon, SubscribeStar, or even Substack directly? The problem with that approach is I’m barely able to push out just the newsletter as it is. I can’t make time to offer any kind of premium content on top of that. It’s not a good deal for you, and doing it properly would be another huge timesink for me.
But without a consistent income, I can’t treat this venture like a business. I can’t hire actual journalists to do the reporting, or an actual community manager to take care of places like Reddit and Discord. There is a huge opportunity cost to providing a free newsletter every week.
What’s next for me
I’m taking a two-week break from everything, including my day job. I’m not one to sit still, so I will still write my weird little think-pieces on Cohost, but they won’t be as consistent as this weekly newsletter.
Besides that, I’m working with a client on the marketing for their adult game. I have several ideas for advertising on a zero dollar budget I’m keen to try out. Whether those ideas pan out or not, I want to compile my thoughts into a resource to help people bring their own adult games to market. Because I still believe in adult games as a medium, and I want to try a slightly different approach to talking about them. If that resource ever comes to fruition, I will be sharing that with you as well.
The site itself isn’t going anywhere. I will continue to pay for the domain out of pocket, and all the hosting is taken care of by Substack. And if you’re still hankering for adult gaming news, I can recommend my competitors LewdGamer, SpicyGaming, the blogs BlerdyOtome, NookGaming, Otome Kitten, and adult industry news sites SexTechGuide and XBIZ.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the newsletter over the years. I sure as hell had fun writing it. ❤