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PlanetPhillip Is Back Online!

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A surprise, sure – but a very pleasant one indeed!

PlanetPhillip Is Back Online!

4 days after it was unexpectedly taken down after 9 years of activity, PlanetPhillip has returned! Everything is as it was before, and all the site content has been fully restored. All the site features work, although Phillip is apparently contemplating disabling the on-site comments system entirely.

He has released a full statement post, titled “So Long And Thanks For All The Fish, in which he sheds a little light on the reasons he had for the temporary shut-down, and discusses the future of PlanetPhillip. He thanks all those who left messages of support, but also clarifies that he doesn’t owe the readers anymore than his conscience tells him (adding, however, that the fact that he’s been running the site for as long as he has, should probably tell you something about that).

He also states that the closure had nothing to do with a reduced site readership – and states that, in fact, visit numbers for PlanetPhillip have never been higher:

From Jun 7th to Jul 7th:

Visits: 34,321
Unique Visitors: 15,961
Pageviews: 91,689

Which makes sense. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves – just because Valve hasn’t released a Half-Life game in five years doesn’t mean that suddenly, everyone’s going away. Just because there’s some overall inactivity doesn’t mean the entire fanbase has left us all. And our own site analytics support this: we’ve actually been seeing a very steady increase in the LambdaGen readership, since about last year. As Doctor Kleiner once said: “So you see, it’s not all hopeless.”

Phillip says that he may continue with The Replay Experience Experiment event, which aims to take PP readers through a complete re-play of the entire Half-Life franchise (and as an active participant of the event, I really hope he does continue with it, as it was an excellent idea which is working out really, really great).

However, he will not continue with the 6×10 mapping competition (and possibly any mapping competition at all), which is a shame, but I suppose those competitions really took too much effort to properly organize. Still, if you were working on a ChaseVille map, let Phillip know, because he’s going to continue that in some form.

He ends by saying that as it stands, he will keep the site online until March 2013, or for as long as site advertising can cover the hosting costs. I certainly hope the latter proves to be the case, because I honestly can’t picture a Half-Life modding community with no PlanetPhillip.

But if it’s not to be? Then that’s a huge, huge shame – but let’s keep in mind that Phillip already has given the community far more than we could have ever asked for. So try walking in his shoes And as they say, all great things must come to an end some day.

In any case, I’m extremely glad to see that Phillip is back, and I invite you all to become a part of PlanetPhillip. Download and review a couple of maps or mods, or participate in the excellent TREE event. If you need an introduction to what PP is all about, and what you’ll find on there, check out this YouTube video:

Check out Daz’s YouTube channel for loads of other in-depth gameplay videos, featuring maps and mods hosted on PlanetPhillip.

6 Comments

  1. Just a note which is borderline off topic:
    “And our own site analytics support this: we’ve actually been seeing a very steady increase in the LambdaGen readership, since about last year. As Doctor Kleiner once said: “So you see, it’s not all hopeless.”

    This does not support any analysis on the fanbase, rather it means you’re slowly bur steadily getting more and more people to know about your (very interesting and informative) website. A larger proportion of the fanbase is discovering you but wether the fanbase itself is shrinking you can’t tell by your website alone :)

    I think it’s quite simple: no new games means very few potential new fans have been attracted by HL in the past 5 years or so; and for anagraphic reasons the first hour fans (such as myself) that where 20 by the time HL1 came out are naturally playing less and less. I’m pretty much just waiting for Episode 3/HL3 now, for closure, and praying it comes out BEFORE I have a kid or two ^_^’. So, I think it’s very safe to say the interested fanbase is shrinking. Which is just an issue for fan sites, not for Valve itself.

    • You make a good point, yes. But if the community really is shrinking, then that would inherently mean there are fewer fans in it. So in that case, I think we would be seeing a steady decrease, since people are actively leaving the fanbase, no matter how many new readers begin actively visiting the site. You even say it yourself: such a shrink effect would be an issue for fansites.
      I don’t think the community is shrinking at all. In fact, more people are being introduced to Half-Life every day, especially through Steam sales. If anything, the community is growing larger and larger.

      • Maybe it is and they are simply less vocal than “old” fans, I agree. And I’m sure the moment HL3 comes out many will return just to know how the story end. Still, I maintain that the the case could be:
        active fanbase (playing mods, actively re-playing old games etc) = 100 yesterday, and 10 of them know your website;
        active fanbase = 90 today, and 20 of them know your website.
        Still, this is pretty off topic. I’m guessing the only way to settle that would be to get some statistics from Steam itself, i.e. mean time played in the last year, percentage of that time in HL-related games or mods, age distribution of those guys etc.
        Actually, I’d love to do that! GIMME ACCESS TO YOUR DB, VALVE!!!

  2. Any word on whether or not he plans to transfer ownership and hosting to someone else? I haven’t read his full statement yet, apologies if he said anything to that effect.

  3. Nice! :D

    Now we have time to download all the maps.

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