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Farewell and thank you!

Shawn Schuster

Well, the time has come. After almost five years at Massively and over three and a half at the helm, it's time for me to step down as Editor-in-Chief. On September 30th, I'll be handing the site over to the capable hands of Bree Royce, who has been such an integral part of the behind-the-scenes goings-on at the site already that it should be a seamless transition.

It's certainly been a wild ride, and as much as it pains me to leave everything I've helped build with my blood, sweat, and tears, it's a necessary change at this point in my life. As a guy who has been everything from a graphic designer to a police officer to the Orkin man, I can honestly say this has been the best job I've ever had.

I've made many friends and even lost a few because of this job, but I'm proud to say that I have few regrets. I got into this business by accident, after falling in love with the original Guild Wars and starting a fansite and podcast in 2005 with every ounce of my spare energy that wasn't dedicated to playing the game itself. A fan of that podcast (and fellow guildie) eventually hired me for a brand-new website he helped start in 2007, and I took a giant leap of faith -- leaving a job with health benefits and double the salary -- to focus on doing something I loved. Michael Zenke showed me the ropes, and I'm thankful that he had enough faith in me to give me my chance. I've now outlasted any other Editor-in-Chief in the entire AOL Tech network (which includes Engadget, Joystiq, TUAW, and more) and most of our competitors. That's a feat I'm quite proud of.

Then why am I leaving? Well, there are quite literally a dozen reasons, many of which I feel wouldn't be appropriate for a post on Massively, but let's just say that a lot has changed. Not only has the Joystiq network changed dramatically in the last year, but my home life has changed just as dramatically, and my priorities are much different than they were five years ago. It's my personal opinion that a job like this is not for a married man with three kids (and another on the way). The last 10 months since my youngest daughter was born have been the most challenging, and I believe my focus has shifted quite a bit in that time. I have to consider not only the family aspect but also my dwindling interest level in the topic at hand.

So what will I do from here? First and foremost, I plan to spend more time with my family. It's ironic to work from home but not have the chance to spend enough quality time with your wife or kids because of the constant demands of the job. I'll still be writing about the tech and gaming industry, just not about MMOs as much. I also look forward to playing lots and lots of other games. I'm a general gamer, but I have been spending my precious gaming time locked into MMOs for this job. It's time for me to branch out and get out of the pigeonhole. There are so many single-player and console games that I look forward to finally playing, and I suspect I'll be immersed in those for a good bit. Those who follow me on Twitter know that I recently started an organic farm in July, and that will be my main job come springtime. In addition to all of this, I'm hoping I can finally sit down to write up one of the novel ideas I have floating around in my noggin.

I'd like to think I made at least a tiny dent in this crazy hobby of ours. From the writers I've hired to the ideas I've had for site content, Massively has been an experiment for me that has gone right in every way. I'm excited about the people who left the nest to work in the gaming industry as much as the people who continue to make Massively what it is each day. That certainly includes you.

I thank each and every one of you for reading Massively and contributing to an amazing time in my life. Negative or positive, you've all made me who I am today, and I truly appreciate everything.


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