Type of site
|Videogame Industry & Culture|
|Created by||James Peter|
The PAL Gaming Network (PALGN) was an Australian-based video game news and reviews website that focused on the videogame industry and culture in PAL territories, particularly Australia and the UK. It was launched in 2003 by a group of PAL forum members on the IGN message boards who were disenfranchised by the American site's move to subscription based boards. In August 2003, The Sydney Morning Herald said the upstart website's "dedication to console gaming in PAL markets is admirable."
PALGN had grown to be one of the largest independent video game websites in Australia, garnering over a million hits from over 300,000 unique users each month.
As of July 2014, the website is now defunct.
PALGN's main page had links to the latest news, reviews and previews for all major videogame platforms, including Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, Wii and PC. Reviews and previews were usually timed to coincide with the launches of the game in PAL territories, and feature and editorial content usually dealt with the local and greater PAL videogame scene. However, the nature of the global industry meant most articles were suitable for international audiences as well.
PALGN covered every major videogame release on every platform, and the site's review archive was over 1,600 games strong. PALGN was recognised as a major source of critical review by metascore sites Metacritic and GameRankings and scores given by PALGN were used to determine the average rating a game receives on those sites.
Australian Release List
One of the most popular features of PALGN had been the comprehensive Australian release list which had been published until 2014. The release list was based on the same data used by retailers and publishers, was updated in real-time, and allowed users to see the scheduled date for a game's release, the status of that date (rumored, tentative, confirmed), the retail price, and even the rating given by the OFLC.
Users could also select to view release dates by individual platform, and a click on a title would link to all PALGN coverage of the game.
After a few intermittent podcasts, PALGN finally launched an ongoing podcast in 2007, co-hosted by Evan Stubbs and Daniel Golding. It has featured industry guests such as Joseph Hewitt, Senior Designer at Auran studios, Tom Crago, Head of the GDAA, and Greg Tannahill, Democrats Candidate for the ACT. The format went weekly in 2008, and has been running for over a year. The format was recently updated into the 'Palcast' hosted by Anthony Capone, Jahanzeb Khan and Jarrod Mawson. A special series of four podcasts recorded live from Los Angeles at E3 2010 were recorded and hosted by editors Adam Ghiggino and Jeremy Jastrzab.
In October 2007 PALGN launched GamerKids, a version of the site designed for younger readers and their parents. Some PALGN content is shared with GamerKids, and there is also unique content specifically designed for the youth market. Popular gaming blog Kotaku described GamerKids' design as "a little crazy on the eyes." Due to the new design, the GamerKids website eventually linked to PALGN itself.
PALGN began as a forum, and maintained a lively community of Australian and UK gamers until 2014. The forum had boards for discussion of videogame related matters for every platform, as well as boards for general chat and entertainment industry discussion.
On 8 July 2008, a new look PALGN was created from a survey earlier in the year. The website update included comments from the Forum at the bottom of a Feature or News item, and an improved navigation system. It also integrated GamerKids into PALGN's main content.
Notes and references
- ICON, Sydney Morning Herald technology section, 15 Feb 2003
- PALGN on GameRankings
- PALGN Podcast Episode 3, featuring Joseph Hewitt from Auran
- PALGN Announces Gaming Site For Kids And Parents, Kotaku
- PALGN Design 08 Launch, PALGN