Over twenty years of Nintendo coverage.
NINTENDO WORLD REPORT, LLC's beginning was twenty years ago on March 7, 1999. This was the day Billy Berghammer decided to use his free webspace on NConnect Internet Services and whip something up with Microsoft Front Page 98. Back in the early days of the Nintendo 64, Billy had worked on the N64HQ, one of the earliest and most legendary N64 sites on the Internet. The site closed, and he decided to take some time off from video game journalism. At this time, Billy had plenty of free time on his hands because he had been let go from his job a month prior. Unemployment can sometimes be a beautiful thing. Thus, N2000HQ was born.
The plan was for N2000HQ to be a news site that could be updated easily and cover absolutely everything that had to do with Nintendo's Dolphin (GameCube) and Atlantis (Game Boy Advance) projects. However, Billy soon discovered that the N2000HQ.com domain was already taken, so he had to come up with a new name and get a new domain to match it. The main goal was to be the first next-generation Nintendo news site on the Internet to cover these systems from beginning to end, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, worldwide. With that in mind, PlanetN2000 was created in the spring of 1999.
A month or so later, OperatioN2000 closed up shop. This by far was the best Dolphin site on the Internet, which had been started by Justin Nation about the same time as the N2000HQ began. Billy had also worked there, and he asked Justin if he could move the OPN2000's content over to PlanetN2000. Justin obliged and became a member of the staff, as did a few other people from the closing site. Yet, most of the staff was rather skeptical that PlanetN2000 would go anywhere. In the following months, the site built up a solid readership. When other major Dolphin fansites like Dolphin Cove and NintendoNation shut down, traffic increased even more. After attending our first E3 in 2000, and later that year, Spaceworld in Japan to witness first-hand the unveiling of the Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance, hits and bandwidth consumption went through the roof. At that time, our free webserver host decided it was time we found a new home.
On March 7th, 2001, (our two year birthday) we closed up shop at PlanetN2000. In anticipation of Nintendo's new home console, we rechristened the site Planet GameCube. During the early years of the GameCube and Game Boy Advance era, PGC grew to become the largest independent Nintendo news and information website on the Internet, with over 20 staff members on four continents. As other multiplatform sites began charging for premium editorial content and forums access, we bucked the trend and insisted on providing all of our content free of charge, while funding the site through advertising, merchandise sales, and even out of our own pockets.
In April 2003, not long after the site's fourth birthday, Billy Berghammer accepted a job with Game Informer Magazine and had to say goodbye to PGC. He handed the site over to Jonathan Metts, who had joined the staff in the summer of 2000 after meeting Billy at the E3 Expo. Jonny got his start in the industry by creating his own Nintendo site, The Nformant, in early 1999. After joining the staff of PlanetN2000, he quickly rose through the ranks, going from Staff Writer to Previews Editor to Senior Editor to Managing Editor, before eventually being awarded the Director's chair.
When Nintendo first hinted at their next new console at E3 2004, later to be codenamed Revolution, we had come to realize that we couldn't call ourselves Planet GameCube forever. One thing was for sure, we knew we wanted a name that was not tied to any specific platform. We quietly applauded this decision when Nintendo revealed the Wii name to a dumbfounded Nintendo community the week before E3 2006. By then, the staff was toiling over candidates, and with the release of the console looming, we settled on a new name.
In November of 2006, PGC became Nintendo World Report. Just in time for the release of the Nintendo Wii, we recommitted ourselves to bring readers everything there is to know about Nintendo games. The experienced Nintendo World Report staff members have written for many publications, including N64HQ, 64 Source, NintendoNation, Next-Generation Magazine, Nintendo Gamer Australia, America Online, Fusion's Intelligent Gamer, Prima's N64 Guide, AOL Critics Choice, GamePro, IGN, EGM, 1up, and many others. We have also been featured in major publications such as USA Today, MSNBC, CNN, CNN Asia, Famitsu, 64 Dream, and BBC Online. Staffers have also gone on to careers in the gaming industry for companies like Capcom, Namco Bandai, THQ, LucasArts, Telltale Games, G4, Game Informer, and GameTrailers, just to name a few.
In the months leading up to the Nintendo World Report launch, Jonathan Metts decided to cut back on his workload in order to continue his college studies. About the same time as the launch, he passed the torch to Steven Rodriguez, who had been a part of the NWR staff since 2002. Steven had been a part of the Nintendo website scene since 1999, when he made a name for himself by updating the NintendoNation mailbag every day for an entire year. He brought this tradition with him to PGC/NWR, where he answered reader questions in the NWR Mailbag every week until taking over as Director. In addition to his postal duties, Steven was News Editor of the site before becoming Director.
After more than three years at the helm, Steven stepped down to devote more time to his personal life in January 2009. This allowed long-time staffer and former Reviews Editor Jon Lindemann to assume the role of Director. Like Steven before him, Jon is also a veteran of the Nintendo enthusiast website scene, starting out as Release Dates Editor for The 64 Source in 1998. He later moved on to write for TendoBox and Nintendojo, before finally landing at Planet GameCube in 2004 after a prolonged hiatus. Following several years as a Staff Writer, he took over for Jonathan Metts as Reviews Editor in January 2008 as Metts continued his transition away from day-to-day site duties. During this time Nintendo World Report hosted their first Charity Livestream in 2010. A tradition that continues to this day with a stream earlier this year raising over $5000. In fact over the past nine years Nintendo World Report has raised over $47,000 in support of charity thanks entirely to generous fans.
In early 2011, Jon had to step back from his role as Director, and former Senior Editor Neal Ronaghan assumed the helm, after three years of extreme dedication to the site. Neal is chasing down Jonathan Metts' site record for most reviews, and has also had some of his work featured on 1UP, IGN, and GamePro (R.I.P.). Under Neal's watch, the NWR staff handled the launch of the 3DS and also put together a very important GameCube 10th anniversary feature, because after all, this site would have never existed if it weren't the purple lunchbox. Neal also ushered the site through rough patch that was the Wii U. It was during this time that the site had to get creative in order to survive a waning interest in Nintendo. In 2014 Neal, along with video producer Jared Rosenberg launch a new YouTube channel called NWRTV.
NWRTV served as a new discovery outlet and revenue stream for NWR which to this day is still operated entirely by volunteers. But in the age of ad blockers NWR put the site’s finances directly into the hands of readers by launching an official Patreon in April of 2016. Alongside the Patreon NWR also launched a Discord server which at the time of writing this has grown to over 700 active members.
In February of 2018, with a child on the way, Neal stepped back into a Reviews Editor role and passed the role of Director to John Rairdin. John started in games journalism by founding a Nintendo eShop focused site called 8-Worlds News in 2012. Prior to that John studied film working on a variety of award winning independent projects before he shifted to games journalism. Shortly before the official launch of the NWRTV channel, John Rairdin was brought on board to help produce video content for the site. While he can’t hope to compete with some previous director’s review numbers, John does hold the record for most Star Fox related content produced by a single individual.
The GameCube and GBA coverage that carried the site for more than seven years lives on alongside the many generations that have come since. NWR contains all of the archived content from the OperatioN2000, PlanetN2000, and Planet GameCube incarnations of the site, giving readers the opportunity to re-live the moments of our past, as well as the news of the future! At Nintendo World Report we’re very proud of our long history of dedicated coverage of all things Nintendo. Because of your unending support we’ve been able to do this for twenty years, here’s to twenty more.