2020 might have been a bit of an odd year in terms of life on this spinning chunk of rock we call Earth, but it was an astonishing 12 months in the world of Nintendo – and, by extension, the world of Nintendo Life. We posted the best traffic numbers in the site's 15-year history, spurred on by the increased popularity of the Switch and (we like to think) our amazing editorial coverage.
During 2020, visits to Nintendo Life rose by a staggering 49% year-on-year – not too shabby when you consider that 2019 had been our best year ever up to that point. Page views rose by 30% year-on-year, too. Meanwhile, our YouTube channel burst past the 500K subs marker and currently sits at just over 570K subs. Congratulations all around – we couldn't have done it without you (quite literally, in fact).
You might assume, then, that with such an incredible year behind us we'd be content to simply rest on our laurels and ease off the gas – but that's not how we do things here at Nlife Media. We know that to keep the site where we want it to be – at the absolute forefront of all things Nintendo – we need to invest in the best talent available and evolve the team to ensure we're firing on all cylinders, and that's exactly what's happening in 2021.
You've already met the award-winning Kate Gray, who marked her return to games journalism by joining us full-time staff writer a few weeks back. Kate began her career at Official Nintendo Magazine in the UK and also worked on Official Xbox Magazine (but don't hold that against her), and it was during her time with Future Publishing that she won the prestigious "Rising Star" award at the 2015 GMAs. She worked as a writer, producer and presenter at Xbox On (the official Xbox UK YouTube channel) and then performed a similar role at GameSpot.
After relocating from the UK to Canada, Kate jumped into the world of game design, working as Narrative Director at KO_OP – in fact, one of the games she worked on, Winding Worlds, has just been nominated for "Best Mobile Game" at the Unity Awards. So she's kind of a big deal. We're incredibly fortunate to have her, and we hope you've been enjoying her content as much as we have over the past month or so.
Joining Kate is someone you might have heard of before: a gentleman by the name of Thomas Whitehead. Tom joined the site way back in 2011, initially helping out with reviews before coming on full-time to steer HMS Nintendo Life through one of its roughest patches: the dreaded Wii U era. He left us back in 2017 to join publisher Circle Entertainment and, since then, has relished working on the other side of the video game PR divide.
Tom's now ready for a fresh challenge, and we obviously did something right during his long and prosperous tenure on Nintendo Life, because we've managed to convince him to return – which means that all those "It was better when Tom was here!" comments are sadly going to have to be retired, we're afraid. Tom will be bringing his indisputable writing talents to the role of Deputy Editor, and we honestly couldn't be happier to have him back.
The next big change relates to someone who has been part of the furniture for some time now. Gavin – who was, until today, doing an utterly marvellous job in the role of Features Editor – will be stepping into the position of Nintendo Life Site Editor with immediate effect. Gavin's work on features over the past few years has been nothing short of exemplary, and we feel that the time is right for him to take the step up to a more challenging (and hopefully rewarding) role as he guides Nintendo Life onto even bigger and better things.
Filling out the core team are News Editor Ryan and News Reporter Liam, both of whom are responsible for the stellar reporting which has done so much to propel Nintendo Life forward in the past few years. News remains one of the most important elements of the site, and Ryan and Liam are doing a fantastic job when it comes to providing exhaustive coverage of everything that happens in the world of Nintendo. We'd also like to thank Henry, who has been helping us with our UK-based news coverage over the past few months while we work on assembling the new team. Henry's going to remain part of the site for a while yet thanks to his insightful features, so we won't be saying goodbye to him yet.
With this new "dream team" of staff, we're confident that Nintendo Life will be the best possible shape to tackle an exciting future. The Nintendo Switch may be now four years old, but it shows no signs of losing momentum and has many exciting titles in the pipeline – including Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Bayonetta 3, Metroid Prime 4 and (of course) Breath of the Wild 2. Not to mention the seemingly endless supply of amazing indie games which have turned Switch into the platform of choice for millions of players.
Our new core team of Gav, Tom, Ryan, Kate and Liam – not to mention our three-strong YouTube team of Alex, Zion and Jon – will be guiding the site as we move into the second phase of the Switch's lifespan and towards its inevitable successor (imagine that).
As for me, I'll still be around in the capacity of network-wide Editorial Director (sadly, you haven't gotten rid of me yet). I'll be working with fellow site owners Ant and Daz to ensure Nintendo Life (and its sister sites, Push Square and Pure Xbox, which also posted their best-ever years in 2020) are as good as they possibly can be, and that Nlife Media as a business continues to head in the right direction. We've also got some exciting developments happening within the wider network which we can't wait to share with you later this year.
So there you have it – a stronger, better, harder and faster Nintendo Life for 2021 and beyond. Enjoy!