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Leaving Adventure Gamers… and introducing its new owner announcement

AG new logo
AG new logo

Marek Bronstring says goodbye...

It’s been nearly 18 years (gulp!) since I founded Adventure Gamers and so, without being overly dramatic, it feels weird to be stepping down from my role after all this time.

As you may have read back in July, I’ve been looking to leave Adventure Gamers as its owner and manager, though not without also leaving the site in good hands. After a number of discussions prompted by the announcement, I’m happy to say that we’ve now found the ideal new owner.

Ivo Teel prefers to be mostly behind-the-scenes, and so I’m probably embarrassing him just by introducing him here, but I’ve got to put him in the spotlight at least this once! Ivo has recently taken over the reins as owner of Adventure Gamers, and I’m genuinely excited to see where he’ll take things from here. He’s a big fan of adventure games and brings some unique qualities that align exactly with what the site currently needs.

I was hoping to find a replacement who understands the value of the AG community and its genre focus, and with Ivo this is definitely no concern. We happen to have known each other online for a long time; we both used to hang out in the #monkey-island IRC chatroom back in the ‘90s (oof, I’m feeling old now…) and were part of some of the primordial adventure communities it spawned. After talking about our visions for the site, it was clear that Ivo wants to honor the site’s history, while improving the site in exciting ways.

What does this mean for Adventure Gamers? Well, mostly, it’s business-as-usual.

Jack Allin will continue to handle the day-to-day editorial aspects of the site, while Ivo will be taking care of the commercial aspects, technical development and setting the future vision/aspiration. Adventure Gamers will stay independent and community-driven, and totally focused on the adventure genre.

I’ll leave other questions for Ivo or Jack to answer, but let me just close by saying I haven’t felt so excited about Adventure Gamers for a long time—especially now that my limited time for making structural improvements is no longer holding it back.

I know that not everyone still recognizes my name around here—I’ve long been behind-the-scenes and not as active in the community as I used to be. But AG has been ridiculously meaningful to me, and now that I’m stepping aside I can’t help but feel hugely nostalgic about my time with the site.

I wrote my first reviews on AG back when I was 16—and it was hugely empowering to see the internet take my opinions at all seriously. Later seeing one of my reviews quoted on a game box for the first time was one of the most surreal things (it was for my breathless review of The Longest Journey, written during a time the genre seemed well and truly dead). I got to meet and work with some awesome people, got to attend E3 and GDC, survived a hacking attempt and lengthy legal dispute over a domain name (anyone remember our old domain without the trailing 's', adventuregamer.com?), had a dumb ongoing rivalry with Just Adventure+, redesigned the site four times (but never to my satisfaction), migrated 10 years’ worth of content to a whole new system, and now finally I get to say goodbye and enjoy Adventure Gamers simply as a reader and follower.

I’m still going to lurk here and offer assistance whenever I can, but right now I’ll be skooching over into the passenger seat. I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Ivo and I look forward to all the great things to come!

Over to you, Ivo...


Ivo Teel says hello...

Hi everyone!

Is that an appropriate way to start this conversation? Ugh. This spotlight is hurting my eyes; can you turn it slightly to the right? Ah better. Thanks for that!

As mentioned by Marek, I’m the new owner of Adventure Gamers. I definitively want to ensure that Marek gets the attention that he deserves as well though, so now that we’re fiddling with that spotlight anyhow, let’s turn it back on Marek for creating AG 18 years ago and making it into the site it is today! Big respect! *bows*

But it wouldn’t be entirely right to just put the spotlight on Marek, as I feel that Jack deserves some of this spotlight as well. If it wasn’t for Jack’s dedication over the years, backed by a very enthusiastic and passionate community and its volunteers, AG certainly wouldn’t be in the shape it is today.

Now that we’re done with all the spotlights shining around the room, I guess people are curious to know more about me. I'm a Dutchman living in Ireland with my family (wife and 4-month old son). As Marek mentioned, we’ve known each other for many years. My online journey started back in ‘96 and lead me to the #monkey-island chatroom, under the nickname CaliMonk, where I made many friends for life! It’s what fueled my passion for technology and kept my gaming flame burning brightly. There are so many fond memories of all those years there, it’s amazing to see many from that original community still active in the gaming scene, sometimes in quite spectacular companies or even running their own. I've actually worked in the gaming industry myself for a long time and still do (although there's no relation between my work and my personal interest/focus on Adventure Gamers).

Games have been a profound part of my life. Ever since I got a chance to play on an Atari ST I was hooked on the potential, and as someone that has an overflow of imagination at times, it was jawdropping to see what was possible. Over the years I played many games on both the Amiga and PC, from platformers to fighting games to adventure games. It’s really this last genre that stuck with me the most, although I’ve played and enjoyed my share of games in many genres that I occasionally vlog about.

I didn’t start playing adventure games in a really particular order; it was a bit random at the time, my first experience being Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. I saw it at the home of a friend when I was eight, and I just loved the entire idea of being able to explore and crawl into the skin of the ‘hero’.

After that I played as many adventure games as I could, loving the ones from Lucasfilm/LucasArts the most, with Monkey Island 2 being my all-time favorite. I did enjoy the Sierra adventures a lot as well; it’s what helped me learn English, sitting behind my computer with a dictionary playing King’s Quest to ‘open cupboard’ (to me it was a cabinet!). I enjoyed many others too, from Discworld, to Simon the Sorcerer, to Rex Nebular and Broken Sword.

When Marek mentioned he was going to step away from the site, something triggered within me directly. Still remembering the moment he announced the founding of “Adventure Gamer” in #monkey-island, to closely watching it evolve over the years (just as Mixnmojo did) was amazing. It’s something that I feel shouldn’t be lost in time, it should be treasured in its current form and then pushed beyond. Not just for ‘our’ generation but also for the generation after us that don’t know all these great games or have the fond memories we have (yet).

Adventure games as a whole have evolved a bit, and despite now being a niche genre, in terms of sheer number of gamers they are probably more popular now than ever. Great developments in the scene are happening, from the highly anticipated upcoming release of Thimbleweed Park and the new life of the King’s Quest series, to recent releases of remastered editions of Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle by Double Fine and their upcoming remaster of Full Throttle.

Also exciting are the smaller budget releases like Duke Grabowski, Kelvin and the Infamous Machine and Her Majesty’s SPIFFING, to name just a few. Entirely new groups/generations of people are now experiencing adventure games, partially due to the work Telltale is doing with their interpretation of the genre as ‘interactive storytelling’. It’s amazing how far the genre has come, and although it has different sub-divisions nowadays, it’s still going strong. Even if I’m not personally a fan of every sub-division, it’s rewarding to be able to see people passionate about games and building fond memories playing them alone or with friends.

This is a community I feel strongly a part of; it aligns with my passions as a gamer and I enjoy putting my heart and soul into it. So there you have it: my motivations for doing this. In the future you’ll see AG get a rejuvenated injection of energy, fueling the awesome group of people that are already running it daily. Together, we’ll try to get it to the next level. A redesign will follow at some point (bringing it more into this era’s tech), we’ll explore other formats (e.g. more video?) and find the right ways to give the community the platform they deserve and feel comfortable with. Obviously our writers and game creators need to get the support they deserve as well, so finding the right way to combine this all will be the challenge we face. I’m excited though!

If anyone wants to reach me, feel free to e-mail me on [email protected] or through Twitter on @calimonk. Comments are open for this article as well, so feel free to ask more questions below!



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Community Comments

Just happened to stumble over this when visiting the site (happens way to seldom these days). It must be more than ten years since I was an active site visitor, forum poster and a brief stint as a site contributor. Having said that, Adventure Gamers played a really big part in my life during the early 2000s when I was in my late teens, and for that I am eternally grateful. A big thank you, Marek, for all the amazing work you've put into AG during all these years and good luck in your future endeavours! AG was and is a really unique place. And good luck to Ivo! You seem like just the right guy to continue developing the site and the community for the future. All the best.
Jan 27, 2017
Oh man! I haven't really visited Adventure Gamers in like eight years I think? Sad to see Marek go, but I understand that these decisions are done to make the site live for a longer time to the future. I've been reading Adventure Gamer(s) ever since the 90's and I do remember Marek's TLJ review and the quote in the marvellous TLJ big box from 1999. Life kind of got in the way and I became a distant lurker back in 2009 and haven't visited the site much. Good luck for the new owner and good luck to Bronstring Marek Bronstring!
Jan 5, 2017
Thank you Marek! Been reading your website since 2006!
Nov 28, 2016
From vlogs Calimonk looks like a really nice guy! Will sub your channel too Congrats
Nov 24, 2016
Thank you Marek for the time you put into keeping Adventure games alive and thriving, to Ivo for what you will bring to the table and to all my fellow adventure gamers for sharing in this wonderful and ongoing journey!
Nov 20, 2016
Good luck taking over and running the site Ivo! I been using the site for many years, and look forward to it continuing. I've been playing adventure games since The Hobbit on the ZX Spectrum, and it's exciting to see where it's going next. Cheers!
Nov 18, 2016
Thank you Marek for setting up this wonderful site - I've only been here for a few years but wish you all the best & would like to thank you for leaving it in such good hands! Welcome Ivo!
Nov 18, 2016
Goodbye Marek and thanks for all the fish! Welcome Ivo and good luck! I hope this new era will transition smoothly and we will see plenty of interesting changes, improvements and the return of the much wanted comment section!
Nov 17, 2016
Thank you Marek! Good luck Ivo! hope this enabling of comments will be back again in the future articles. cheers!
Nov 17, 2016
I've been a long time lurker, since the beginning. Many years of reviews read and games discovered. Greatly appreciate all the work and dedication you've put into this site. I never realized how much this site meant to me until you announced you were looking to pass the reigns and then it hit me: O.M.G there's no place out there like this that focuses specifically on the "adventure" genre, whatever will I do, where will we go, has it really been that long, how will I know what and when new games are released or other game specific details, what did we do before???? All the racing thoughts of what would become of the site or if it ever shut down. Gaming is a big part of my life and in like manner so is this site. It's weird, I've never met you and rarely post here yet this news, when originally broke, had substantial impact. Craaaaazy. Anyway - Godspeed and grand wishes on your present and future endeavors. Ivo, welcome aboard :)
Nov 16, 2016
Marek: So long and thanks for all the fish :) Ivo: Welcome and take over the reins!
Nov 16, 2016
Marek -- I've spent many gladsome hours here reading and learning about my favorite genre. Not to mention meeting other gamers, debating and laughing. How many people have a legacy like this site, started when they were a teenager? It's amazing. Ivo -- It's great to know that AG is in such experienced hands. I'm looking forward to what the future brings.
Nov 16, 2016
Let me also add my thanks to Marek for creating this lighthouse in an otherwise dark sea for adventure games and their fans. Especially during the dark years when adventure games where considered dead, it was a joy to discover a whole site dedicated to the genre. Let me also welcome our new overlord :P .. ehmn .. I mean our new owner ... I mean the new owner of this site, and wish you good luck moving forward.
Nov 16, 2016
Thanks for the wonderful comments everyone. There is a ton of history here and AG is clearly very meaningful to many of you (as it is to me). Thanks for being such an awesome community. I'm excited for the future of AG and I'll keep hanging around here for as long as they let me! ;)
Nov 16, 2016
I was visiting Adventure-gamers (actually adventuregamer.com) from the very beginning. Was still in high school when the site just started and I'm 34 now :) I was much more active here when I was younger (though never too active) and I almost didn't participate at all in the last 10 years or so but still lurking and enjoying the articles and review, and this website had tremendous influence on me. Marek, very sad to see you leave, but good luck in your next endeavor! Thank you for your amazing work all these years!
Nov 16, 2016
PS: Would you (Marek) mind posting a picture of you so we can see for once the man behind all this?
Nov 15, 2016
Thank you Marek!! I really hope this site honors its founder and remains the true home of adventure gamers for many, many decades. And welcome Ivo!
Nov 15, 2016
Haha Jaap, ik durfde het niet te zeggen :)
Nov 15, 2016
Thanks marek, I've been around since 2001 i believe, and keep checking it on a daily base, thanks to you and the crew for all the good work!!! And Ivo: good luck. Waar zouden we zijn zonder die malle Nederlanders? ;)
Nov 15, 2016
Thank you Marek for all the years you have devoted to this site, it is my favorite game site. And a welcome to Ivo, I'm sure this site will continue in good hands under your management.
Nov 15, 2016
Thank you Marek (and team) for keeping this treasure alive for so many years. I know it's not easy. I remember the #monkey-island days fondly and so I'm especially delighted to see Ivo taking over the reigns. Congrats and good luck! The future of Adventure Gamers is looking bright!
Nov 15, 2016
Cheers to Marek and good luck Ivo!
Nov 15, 2016
My, I have a real talent for showing up for big changes, do I? Farewell Marek, and I hope you'll still be hanging about in the Forums. I am also glad that Adventuregamers is in good hands with Ivo. Welcome Ivo! To another wonderful 18 years, and more!
Nov 15, 2016
Marek: "What does this mean for Adventure Gamers? Well, mostly, it’s business-as-usual." ^^^ That's all I really needed to hear. Thank you Marek for an unforgettable 18 year ride, for creating this wonderful home for us adventure hungry fans and wish you nothing but the best. Also I wholeheartedly welcome Ivo to his new position and all I can say is good luck and looking forward to the new era.
Nov 15, 2016
Marek - props to you and Jack for being the backbone of what made/makes Adventuregamers a great experience and community over the years. Plenty of thanks to go around for all the volunteers as well. It is just a great community. Ivo - good luck to you (and Jack) in moving the website portal and community forwards. I look forward to the future with you at the helm. All the best, Chris
Nov 15, 2016
I have been crazy since i read this news, i didnt notice that the comments were open here nor did i notice Kuru's thread ..but anyways, what the heck, i needed to post my farewell right here, right again. i can’t really say enough about how this site been the major (and maybe only) venue which was/is always hitting the core of the genre for the past 18 years, even for me before i join i ve been taking all my doses of adventure gaming news and reviews only from here… i can’t thank Marek enough for this.. for making this site happen.. Farewell
Nov 14, 2016
Marek, a heartfelt thanks. I have found countless hours of joy thanks to this website and it's wonderful community. Ivo, take it away! Good luck!
Nov 14, 2016
Thank you Marek, for all your neat work! I've been lurking on this website since almost its beginning (I found it in 2000 or 1999). I still like this place and I'm sure Ivo can pick up your work where you left off. I'm curious to the developments of the site!
Nov 14, 2016
Thank you Marek for 18 years of adventure. Can`t wait to see what the site will look like now that Ivo is at the wheel :)
Nov 14, 2016
Welcome I'm a 70 year old gamer....love to see young guys succeed...
Nov 14, 2016
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