esports [xplayn]ed

I’ve just re-acquired the Xplayn.com domain (13 years after selling out, I now have the same email again). As I was updating domain/Gsuite settings, I discovered something I’ve never seen before:

Xplayn.com data on Google Analytics
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[xplayn] 2001 - 2002 - 2004 - 2005/13

It’s a bit of a mindfuck for me to find access to historical performance metrics for Xplayn. It’s been 19 years since v1.0 launched, I never had any kind of numerical value to help me define Xplayn’s success. Websites in 2001 cared a lot less about KPIs than today, my only Northstar was really the number of users online in the evenings.

Because <community>.

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Traffic over time
Visitors from 2006 and onwards
(2001-2006 lost in time)

Such clear visualization of how Counter-Strike 1.6 slowly bled out. Hats off for how resilient the Danish community was, even during the time of darkness, with no game updates and tournaments dropping support of the game.

Remarkably consistent traffic, considering how social media took off in 2008.

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Stats
  • In aggregate the Danish community has spent more than 115,000+ days online on Xplayn. That’s 2,7 million hours. 317 years. No idea what similar sites would clock in at, but I find those numbers humbling and inspiring.
  • Factoring in traffic from the early years of [x] a a steady ramp from 0 to baseline traffic (2001 to 2006), Xplayn served an estimated 160 million pages to the community.
  • Not bad for a website that was hosted on my old Pentium 4 gaming pc, cost efficiently distributed to the world from a shared 2mbit office line. True Story.

When I retired from [x] in 2005 I found the best scene contributors in Denmark to further serve the community. Seeing these consistent traffic numbers, I really want to praise the outstanding job they did.

For years they kept showing up to deliver for the community, the daily grind really doesn’t get any easier year 3 or 4.

Most people have no idea how relentless it is to run a community site: you are never off. Never done. There’s always a story you can post, there’s always a thing you could write, something to fix, to do. Always. Or at least for 10-12 hours a day (personally I can’t wait to feel that way about work again).

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This really surprised me: 45.85% women

I am guessing more women started visiting the website in later years, as the blogs and forums kept attracting mainstream tweens. It for sure wasn’t 45% in the first few years of Counter-Strike. :) I conclude that even more people got laid by using Xplayn, again I feel humbled and a little proud.

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The first generation of Counter-Strike players, the core visitors on Xplayn.com.

They grow up so fast. As I’ve been telling people that I am working on Xplayn again, I've been contacted by quite a few old users offer to help out. X-teens who now 10-15 years older, with careers, work experience and skills.

It’s been one of the most awesome things about the project so far.

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The tools of the trade

We all need a mouse to click ass. And we all need a keyboard... to be Qwer? That’s why gear is a native part of the next Xplayn experience, #brainWASD will make a lot more sense when our closed beta begins later this quarter.

Again. Soon. Ish.

After 20 years in esports doing all sorts of things, serving the Xplayn community as Chief Janitor, still stands as the least profitable and personally most fulfilling work I’ve done. When I got it wrong, feedback was instant and brutally honest. When I got it right, it was magical.

May the meta be with you, always.

Kim Rom
[x] Founder. Again.

* 2,45 million minutes