Leveling Up

I started working for Kombo.com, then known as Advanced Media Network, in October of 2003 as an editorial columnist.  I’d long had a passion for the video game industry, and leaped at the opportunity to share my thoughts on this dynamic industry with the site’s readership.

About a year after I began writing for the site, its Editorial Director stepped down, and I filled the position as Editorial Content Director, a role that later evolved into Editorial & Features Director. I hired and led a team of editorialists, which fluctuated between six and ten members over the course of time, located across the world. I handled all editing duties, created imagery and other assets to support the written work of my team, managed content scheduling and publication and generally handled all other tasks related to the editorials and features division in conjunction with the Editor-in-Chief.

I continued in my writing role for Kombo while leading the team, and often wrote top-line, “cover” stories for Kombo.  My articles were often responsible for large increases in readership and for sparking conversation from Kombo’s loyal readers, as well.

Impactful Analysis

My features often focused on the nexus of business and gaming.  For example, in October 2004, prior to the launch of the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP, I made the point that the DS’s more affordable price point and the fact that the PSP’s launch library required longer investments of gamers’ time than the DS’s more bite-size fare made it certain the DS would win.

I similarly predicted the long-term success of the Nintendo Wii in the forthcoming console generation in December 2006, explained why Sony was unable to lower the price of the PlayStation 3 in April 2009 due to currency fluctuations and warned in April 2008, months before the App Store launched to consumers, that the potential for gaming on iOS devices like iPod Touch and iPhone could spell disaster for established players in the portable market.

I also developed a number of podcast series for Kombo while with the site, including “The Inside Track with Casey Ayers” and “FTW!”, an effort co-hosted with Kombo Reviews Director Sascha Lichenstein.

Meeting The Industry

Aside from writing, I also served as a key correspondent for Kombo at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Game Developers Conference, Cellular Technology Industry Association and other major industry events.

I’ve interviewed industry luminaries including Takashi Tezuka, Joseph Olin, Cliff Blezinski, Jade Raymond, Charles Martinet, Will Wright, George Harrison of Nintendo and many others, and was privileged to cover the introduction of the Nintendo Wii from the third row of the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, California.

After a parting of its founders, Kombo closed shop in September 2010 and its assets were sold to Gamezone, which has made some Kombo content sporadically available in its archives, though much is no longer available online.  It’s regrettably difficult to link to my pieces for this reason, but they continue life in hundreds of online communities and forums where they were discussed.  I’m happy to provide copies of any articles I’ve saved locally upon request.