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Vita Player Website Growth

£135 of £1,820 goal

Raised by 3 people in 39 months
Established in 2012, Vita Player is a fan website dedicated to Sony's PlayStation Vita handheld console. The offers unbiased news, reviews, information, features and interviews and aims to cover all aspects of the console and it's software. In addition, we have a presence on all the main social media sites.

The PlayStation Vita is unique amongst handheld consoles. As well as it's own native games released both as digital downloads and at retail on cartridge, it can also run games released on four other formats - PlayStation Portable (PSP), PS One, PlayStation Minis in addition to the cross-platform PlayStation Mobile system. Because of this, it provides the console with access to a vast library of games to rival any handheld system, despite it's relatively recent release back in February 2012 and as such the console has built up a dedicated and passionate following and it's because of this that Vita Player was born.

Launched by freelance writer Simon Plumbe, the site now has a total of four unpaid writers working on the site in their spare time creating articles and reference works, reviews, compiling news items and maintaining the site.

While some of the games covered on the site have been provided for review by publishers, over 90% of the products reviewed have been purchased by the team members themselves unlike the "mainstream" physical and professional media.

The site has no regular income but still has running costs associated with running a website with continuous traffic and repeat visitors but as a team we want to expand the work we are doing and enhance our coverage while still ensuring that we can maintain the standards we have done to date which is why we have launched this campaign.

We're sure that you will have questions about this campaign so we've tried to cover these below so you will know why we are seeking your help...

Who are we?

Our team all work on Vita Player out of a love and passion for the PlayStation Vita console and are dedicated, enthusiastic gamers. The team comprises of:

Simon Plumbe: Site Editor (Simon has worked as a Freelance Writer in the computing industry and has been involved in software development in the 16-bit era and currently runs sci-fi events)
Ben Gove: Writer (a long time gamer and PlayStation enthusiast)
Sven Harvey: Writer (Freelance writer in the computing field, former games retail manager, and owners of a sci-fi mail order company)
David Jarman: Writer (our latest team member)

The Vita Player Difference

One thing that makes Vita Player stand out from most PS Vita fan sites is our coverage of the PlayStation Mobile format. While there are other sites out there that do support PSM, there are sites that ignore it completely and others that give the platform basic coverage, providing short reviews for games and limited news and feature coverage.

This is where Vita Player is different. We are active supporters of PlayStation Mobile and treat all games for this platform as if they are "normal" PS Vita releases. They get regular full-length reviews, we actively campaign online on behalf of the format, run preview features and news coverage, interview developers and have frequent guest blogs and run several guides dedicated to the platform including buyers guides.

However, we want to expand our coverage further still. With the advent of PlayStation TV (released as the Vita TV in Japan) this opens up a completely new physical platform that supports PSM meaning that each product we review will need to be tested on further devices. While we have aimed to test games on PSM Certified mobile phones, to ensure that we give the format the best coverage we can, we will need to ensure that our team have access to PlayStation TVs as well (which would also mean in the long term that we can improve our regular PS Vita coverage also).

One final benefit of having access to PlayStation TVs could also allow us to offer video streaming of game footage or video reviews of PSM / PS Vita titles to compliment the site which has been requested of us by many of our readers.

We also want to expand our site in other areas - obtain additional software for review, raise funds to send our team members to gaming shows throughout the UK where all our writers are based) and obtain additional hardware and software to improve other aspects of the site wherever possible.

So How Much Do We Need and how will your donations be used?

Ultimately, this question is like asking "how long is a piece of string?". To run a site like Vita Player, no money will ever be enough to allow us to do everything that we want. There will always be new software that we want to review and give coverage to, shows and events that we want to cover, new hardware and accessories that will make our work easier... but we want to be realistic.

Our initial priority is to add PlayStation TV support and coverage to the website and to do this we are looking at a base figure of approximately £750 to fully equip our team with PlayStation TV systems. This would enable us to get four PlayStation TV units, each with a 32Gb Memory Card and DualShock 4 controller.

This will enable us to not only check every PlayStation Mobile title for PlayStation TV compatibility and update our guides accordingly, but add details of compatibility and support to all our reviews - both future and retrospectively to the website.

Following requests from our readers, we also want to add a Youtube Channel to the website with video reviews. While Sony Computer Entertainment stated that video streaming would not be possible from the PlayStation TV, it has been found that this CAN be done and we want to add this facility to the fundraiser. While providing this to our entire team would be desirable, our initial target would be to do this for just one console to start off with. When we did our 24-hour gaming marathon in aid of GamesAid earlier in 2014 we weren't able to do a live stream and we believe that this impacted on our fundraising efforts so additional hardware could benefit here as well. After researching costs we expect this to add approximately £140 to the total.

Finally, as part of our primary fundraising goals, we would hope to attend as many gaming shows as possible per year and we would ideally like to raise £1,000 per year to send some of our team along to at least some of the biggest UK shows to do this including EGX and EGX Rezzed. We assume that this would be enough to cover transport, accommodation and to kit the team out in "branded" Vita Player t-shirts.

The actual breakdown of what we are looking for is:

£340 - purchase of four PlayStation TV systems
£160 - purchase of four 32Gb memory cards
£180 - purchase of four DualShock 4 controllers
£140 - video capture equipment
£1,000 - game show reporting ("stretch goal")

We haven't made allowances for the 10% fee taken by GoFundMe / PayPal but we hope that the campaign will be successful enough to compensate for this.

Anything we raise above these goals would be used to enhance the website further or invested in sourcing additional software for review.

Will I remain anyonymous?

Go Fund Me will let us know who has donated to the campaign and it is our intention - as part of the section on the website providing a detailed breakdown of where the donations are used on the website - to thank all our donors personally - but if you want to keep your donation private just let us know.

What will I get in return?

This depends on how you support us with this fundraiser. We can't provide any goodies or gifts in return for any donations that you may be able to make towards the costs of running Vita Player as this will take money away from what we need to use it for meaning that we would have to increase our target figure. However, we do want to use all the donations to make the website bigger and better so you'll know that your contribution will play an important part in this.

All donors will be publicly acknowledged on the website, and we want to make the website as interactive as possible and depending on the level of your donations, we want to give YOU a direct say in the type of content that will appear online. If there are games that you would like to see reviewed on the site that we have not currently covered, we'll let you guide the content on the site as one of our funders and ensure that these are given priority.

Reward Levels

However, for those of you making larger donations, we are offering several "reward levels" allowing you to place permanent adverts on  the website for your company / your own website in prominent positions and in many cases, these can also involve sponsoring entire sections of the website covering potentially hundreds of pages.

Sponsored Reviews

A new option we are offering for a fixed fee, you can sponsor individual reviews on the Vita Player site. For £8 you can have your details added to ANY review on the website of your choice featuring "Sponsored by" following by either a text or banner link to any website you wish (as long as it is not promoting adult or illegal content) and we are offering discounts for bulk bookings of these.

If you wish to sponsor a review of a game that we have not covered, you can also request this and we will endeavour to review the game as quickly as possible. Please have alternative options available incase we don't have access to the game you want.

Please note that by sponsoring a review you will not be able to influence or alter the rating given by one of our team members.

Sponsored Features

Regular site visitors will know that we have a series of high profile articles and features on the site that do draw a lot of traffic and attention to Vita Player and we want to offer you the chance to be permanently associated with these. While these are higher cost that sponsoring an individual review, the prices here reflect the popularity (and Google rankings) of the pieces.

The biggest of these is our Remote Play Guide. While this may seem like a high asking price, over 50% of the hits on the website are to this feature making it our most valuable content item on Vita Player.

What if you don't raise anything or meet your target?

This won't stop us from covering the type of content that we want to on the site nor expanding our PlayStation TV coverage, but it will mean that we won't be able to offer as much detail in our reviews and guides as we would like until we can obtain the hardware and software we want ourselves. This will happen eventually but as the site has no income and none of our team are in work at present, this won't happen overnight! Regardless, we are still committed to the website and bringing you the best news and review coverage that we possibly can for the PlayStation Vita but we will just have to work within the boundaries of what we can afford to do as individuals within our own personal budgets.

What if you exceed your targets?

We will look at investing the funds further into the website. As I mentioned earlier, if we have surplus money available after essential running costs are covered, we'll use funds to obtain further software and hardware on a regular basis, assist new team members, cover more events and should the opportunity arise, travel to conduct developer interviews.

Finally...

Closing, I'd like to thank you for your time for reading this and we hope that you'll be able to help us. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to get in touch with me at contact@vitaplayer.co.uk and if you haven't already, check out the website at www.vitaplayer.co.uk

Thanks again,

Simon Plumbe
Site Editor, Vita Player
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Update 7
Posted by Simon Plumbe
29 months ago
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We've made some big updates to our fundraising campaign for the Vita Player site, revising our targets, what the fundraiser is all about and how you can help us as well as adding more sponsorship / advertising opportunities for anyone interested in getting involved.
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Update 6
Posted by Simon Plumbe
29 months ago
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Thanks to some direct donations we've managed to raise enough funding to buy our first PlayStation TV system which we've now ordered!

We've only been able to order a basic unit so far so initially we'll be using it with an old DualShock 3 controller and one of our old spare memory cards just so we can things up and running so we can support the platform on the website and hopefully we'll be taking delivery of the console a few days after it's launched here in the UK.

We want to thank everyone for their support so far and we'll keep you updated as we are able to expand the site further and naturally we'll feature the console as we do a full review when it arrives.
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Update 5
Posted by Simon Plumbe
30 months ago
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Following the release of key information on the PlayStation TV from Sony earlier this week, we've looked at our goals with the fundraiser and we've made a few revisions.

Although we'd love to be able to have a Youtube Channel for the website and be able to offer live streaming via Twitch, with the PSTV in its current form this simply won't be possible, even with the HDMI capture card that we were hoping to get so we've removed this from the campaign. In the long term, we may look at purchasing a modified PS Vita to be able to offer video recording but for now we're going to focus more on our primary goal of the PlayStation TV systems themselves.

Thankyou for your support.
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Update 4
Posted by Simon Plumbe
30 months ago
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We've expanded our site team this week bringing in a new team member who is working on news coverage (and reviews in the near future) and we felt that it wasn't fair that he was left out of this campaign so we've updated our fundraising goals.

If any of you can help it will make a massive difference to the work we're doing here on the site. We have already had people asking us about PlayStation TV support as well as us running a Youtube Channel and we were asked about a live video stream on Twitch for our recent GamesAid fundraiser a few months back and all of this would be possible with your help and support.

Thanks again for your time and support.
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£135 of £1,820 goal

Raised by 3 people in 39 months
Created December 31, 2013
£85
Anonymous
29 months ago(Offline Donation)
£30
Anonymous
30 months ago
TB
£20
Tiziano Bizzini
30 months ago

Thank you very much for all you're doing for us small developers! Self-promotion is really hard, so any little help is for me a big help. Cheers, Tiziano

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