Featured on Dec 01, 2010
"Stay hungry. Stay foolish."
Patrick is the guy who runs PopuGamer day-to-day. He plays mostly FPS (loves the Halo and COD series), but is always down for some Rock Band. Patrick graduated from Stanford in 2004 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and now lives in NYC attending grad school at NYU. You can catch him hanging around campus, downing beers at the Half Pint, or tweeting up a storm.
- Title: Co-founder & Master Chief at PopuGamer, MBA Candidate at NYU Stern School of Business
- Age: 27
- Location: Greenwich Village
- Contact: @patkchen
Where did the idea for PopuGamer come from and how long did it take to build?
It was pretty random, I was just talking with my friends over dinner one night about gaming and how a lot of game reviews are bullshit. Actual work on the site started this past summer and it took a few months for us to finally get something up and running.
How did you come up with the name? Did you sit around with your friends and a domain checker or was it divine inspiration?
We definitely went around and tried to think of names with a domain checker, but all the names we wanted were taken. PopuGamer came from a site my friends and I started in 2004/5 called PopuBlog. It’s a play on "popular" and "gamer" which makes sense since a goal of the site is to surface the most popular games and also to recognize the most bad-ass reviewers.
What is your strategy on how to to draw traffic to the site and get visitors to post reviews?
That's definitely something we're dealing with right now since you're not really incentivized to post reviews if nobody else is posting. We're trying to get younger kids in on it through some incentives, like providing a free subscription to GameFly if they write a few reviews. We're also hoping to do something similar to what Yelp! has done with their elite program, provide rewards to our most loyal and active users. Finally, we’re going to try and reach out to more indie developers to get them more exposure while at the same time promoting PopuGamer so it's kind of a grassroots effort, small guys helping each other out.
I like your site’s clean design and that it doesn’t have the crazy clutter of ads that other gaming sites have. Do you know how you will cover your expenses as server costs increase and you need to hire employees?
Money is really tight right now since I'm in school, but luckily I worked about 5 years before I came to school so I've got some cash saved up and my two partners also have some personal savings to share. We're trying to think of ways to make money that aren't intrusive, lame and annoying.
Any progress on that front currently?
Well, there is the typical affiliate model path which I think for our site is particularly interesting since people do discuss older games that would only really be available on a site like eBay or Amazon. But other ways we considered were similar to foursquare badge sponsorships, so if a game company really wants you to buy their game, they can offer a unique badge for that game if you review it.