The best way to describe WikiGameGuides is that we are a “community driven super-wiki”. This site was designed to give contributors all the tools they need to create the best gaming stuff possible; whether it’s our Community Blog filled with reviews and editorials, our world class wikis for Battlefield 3, Skyrim and every other game on our site, or one of many full length walkthroughs by our distinguished guide makers (14 guides for Dead Space 2, more than GameFAQs, IGN, and every other gaming site on the internet), we aim to provide a platform that allows anybody to easily contribute to our rapidly growing database of gaming info.
WikiGameGuides.com is spearheaded by two chimps who started this business back in 2006 with a website originally called NextGenWalkthroughs.com. We create video guides on the hardest difficulty for all major game releases with our voiceovers to guide you through the toughest parts of the game and hopefully make you laugh a bit.
Proudly dropped out of the University of Colorado Engineering School in Spring 2007.
Graduated from the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business with a degree in Business Administration and a Certificate in Entrepreneurship in Fall 2008.
Contact Us Form or email wikigameguides (at) gmail.com
The story of this website, community and business goes way back to December 2005, shortly after the Xbox 360 came out. I (John Tarr) was playing a lot of Halo 2 at the time, and I was inspired to use the same video capturing hardware that Red vs. Blue and Halo 2 sniping montage creators were using to record walkthroughs for video games, instead of machinima. I knew that a video tutorial of how to complete a FFX Cloister puzzle would be infinitely more helpful and easier to use than a text guide from GameFAQs.
I kept the idea to myself for a few months, until one day my roommate and friend since middle school, Dan Broadbent, was ranting about being bored with school and how he wanted to start another business. Dan had started a t-shirt printing business in high school and was in the business school at CU Boulder at the time, and obviously had a knack for entrepreneurship. He liked my idea, but neither of us had any idea how to make a website, record video, edit video, or make money through a website. All minor obstacles compared to the many that would come.
We had very humble goals initially; Dan remembers me saying that while we were planning how to run our site and business that “If we make enough money off this to pay for our games, I’ll be happy”.
We were slowly teaching ourselves how to do everything we needed to to execute our plan, but I felt I was putting in a lot more time and effort than Dan, so I decided to kick him off the project and move on without him (while he was out of town, so he couldn't do anything about it). I remember how difficult that conversation was to this day, which is probably why I haven’t tried to kick him out a second time.
After I kicked him out, I refunded Dan’s initial investment, which was less than $60. Then he made me sign a partnership agreement.
I continued on, but not by myself. I started working with another old friend named Josh, teaching him how to use Dreamweaver and edit videos of a Wind Waker guide he had started.
The first iteration of NextGenWalkthroughs.com first went online June 1st, 2006. Unfortunately, that first version of NGW has been lost to the ages, and isn’t even available on the Wayback Machine, which is a blessing in disguise because it was even uglier than the oldest version of the site that is still saved.
Within a month of the site going online, it was clear to me that Josh was no replacement for Dan. I don’t remember any specific details about how I convinced Dan to come back, but I know that one of the reasons we have been able to work together so well over these many years is because neither of us can hold a grudge.
Shortly after Dan came back, we launched a much prettier (but still reprehensibly ugly in retrospect) version of NextGenWalkthroughs, NGW 2.0.
With Dan back on the team, we got back to work making guides. Did I mention that our first walkthroughs, Perfect Dark Zero, Splinter Cell: Double Agent, and Twilight Princess were available for download only and couldn’t be streamed? Streaming video was pretty awful at the time, with things like RealPlayer still in existence, until a fan suggested I upload my videos to YouTube. Then on August 12th, 2006, I created our NextGenWalkthroughs YouTube account and started uploading Dead Rising cutscenes. Who cares about copyrights? YouTube’s Content ID system wouldn’t be coming out for another year anyway.
We started getting lots of views and comments on our YouTube videos, but despite early YouTube success, it took 5 years for us to get a Partner Account. More on that later.
One thing we never anticipated, and are still constantly in awe of, is the willingness of our community and fans to contribute to our site. Every major site redesign I have ever done has been to make it easier for guide makers to contribute. I don’t remember the exact dates for NGW 2.0 & 3.0, but on November 19th 2008, we finally upgraded to NGW 4.0 with an open source content management system called Drupal that would allow us to add more pages to the site much more quickly, and also allowed visitors to comment on our posts. How Web 2.0.
After Dan graduated from CU, we moved to our current office/house in the summer of 2009 and both made running NextGenWalkthroughs our full time jobs.
NGW 4.0 worked well...for a while. The contributions kept coming in and were completely overwhelming Dan and myself, leaving us little time to make guides ourselves. Despite the fact that this version was built primarily for the purpose to make it easier to contribute, it was still extremely time consuming for us to post a playlist of videos that one of our contributors created. Despite the headaches involved in keeping the site updated, we continued to grow and developed partnerships with IGN.com, Machinima.com, 5min.com, OneScreen, Blinkx, Blastro and more.
We're partners with the largest gaming website on the internet. How amazing is that?
Sometime during winter 2009/10, inspired by the Fallout 3 wiki The Vault, I decided that NGW needed another major makeover. The new site would have to be a wiki (i.e. anybody can edit pages at any time without going through me), and it would also have to accommodate ‘authored’ guides for guidemakers who didn’t want other people editing their work. I decided that the new site would also benefit greatly from having a page hierarchy, so that unlike The Vault and all other wikis that lack a structured navigation, our site would be much easier to browse.
And while I’m completely redesigning NGW, why not change the name to something that doesn’t suck?
After developing NGW 5.0 for over a year, on March 29th 2011, NextGenWalkthroughs.com was turned off and every page 401'ed to our new home at WikiGameGuides.com. With our new SEO friendly name and growing community, the guide submissions started flowing in. Our record so far is 14 different guide submissions for Dead Space 2.
We knew that to continue to run WGG/NGW as a full time job, we had to grow a lot faster than we could through just organic growth, and that meant ranking high on Google SERPs. During the year I spent developing the new site, I also spent a lot of time learning about SEO. As you can see from the traffic spikes in the image below, we managed to get a ton of new traffic from Google when a few major games came out during 2011, which guaranteed that we will be running WikiGameGuides.com for at least a while longer.
During 2011, we also FINALLY got a YouTube Partner Account through a deal with IGN. On August 19th 2011, IGN claimed our YouTube channel and has been selling ads on our videos, which has turned our company from Ramen profitable to looking to expand into new gaming media ventures. Since August 19th, we’ve had a 100% increase in monthly video views on YouTube. It’s incredible what a little financial incentive can do.
The years have absolutely flown by since starting NextGenWalkthroughs. I’ve got a lot of ideas for the future that I believe can help us continue to grow and complete my ultimate goal of becoming one of the top gaming websites in the world.
Building this site from nothing has been an extremely rewarding process. I can’t thank you all enough for helping keep me motivated to work hard on this site every day; the many people who visit this site daily, our superfans who donated money to get a beer coozie or to help keep us afloat during more dire financial times, our podcast listeners who comment on every episode, and our contributors who make pages on our wikis or create their own guides, you all have made this site what it is.
I don’t know if this is being caused by the deep reflection I’ve done during the last 3 hours writing and researching this post, the fact that I just realized that I have spent a quarter of my life running this site, the pain in my back from sitting at my desk for yet another 14 hour day, the booze or my allergies, but I’m starting to tear up a bit.
Our site will bring you the latest in videogame walkthroughs, and we will try our best to keep up with the most sought after and popular games. One unique feature is we will try to present all videos in the hardest difficulty. That way for even the most difficult games you can have an idea on how to beat it. Along with subtitles guiding you through each level we will try to give you an excellent idea on how to beat any level or game you are stuck on. Don't forget to register for the forums so you can discuss the latest games and request any guide you would like.
Nextgenwalkthroughs.com was created way back in 2006 by Beer Baron and Explicit D. We've been doing walkthroughs all this time and are not planning on stopping anytime soon.
We make all of our guides on the hardest difficulty, and do voiceovers to make sure to help you through the toughest parts of the game.
We upgraded to this new site to make it easier for you to find the guide you're looking for and easier for us post new content. We will be constantly adding new content and user functionality to the site.
We also are happy to post user submitted guides. However, we requst that you don't just beat the game on the easiest difficulty. If you have the equipment and are comfortable speaking English we strongly encourage voiceovers.
Don't forget to register for the forums so you can discuss the latest games and request any guide you would like.