RPS is 15 years old today!

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On this day, in the year of our Horace 2007, Rock Paper Shotgun was born. Yes, previous birthday posts will tell you the site’s official birthday is August 20th – the day RPS was fully unveiled to the world – but those same posts will also tell you the four RPS founders were mucking about with the site in secret for well over a month before that. It’s also the date that’s been etched into our Wikipedia page, which we all know is the true source of all knowledge. So here I am, demanding showers of cake and confetti, because I’m now the one to blame for all this. Happy Birthday to us.

Of course, technically it’s our 149th birthday, us having been PC gamers since 1873 and all that – the eternal, ineffable conumdrum sitting at the heart of RPS that’s been baffling occasional passers-by for well over a decade. I’ve only been with the site for just under a third of that time (the 15 years, I hasten to add, not the full 149), having joined the site in the autumn of 2017 as RPS’ first hardware editor. The site’s changed quite a bit since then, both in terms of its design and its amazing hivemind of writers. To illustrate just how far we’ve come, here’s what the site looked like on October 26th 2017, the day my very first post got published.


A screenshot of the RPS homepage from October 2017
Thanks Wayback Machine!

D’aww, look at us being all edgy with that splatter effect across the Shotgun and our red, white and black gamer colours! Weren’t we just adorable?

Quite different to today’s version of the site, that’s for sure, which we introduced just a few months later in July the following year. As you can see below, we still had our old Latest blog-roll-style format in place back then, crowned by a trio of hand-selected highlights from the editorial bigwigs. However, last year in 2021, we decided that three editorial highlight boxes just wasn’t enough, so we asked our lovely tech wizards for an even shinier new homepage, adding an enormous spotlight to the top of the site as well as lots of lovely big shelves to house the ever-expanding hallways of all our different sections. And yes, that dark mode is still coming, folks. Our tech team are on it, I promise.


The RPS homepage as it appeared in July 2018
Goodbye red, black and grey, hello purple, green and pink!

It’s not just the look of the site that’s changed in the last five years either. Indeed, aside from Alice0 and myself, the rest of the entire current RPS team is all brand-spanking new, as even our esteemed deputy editor Alice Bee only joined the site in June 2018. Graham (RPS in peace) is also still knocking around in our news cupboard, of course, helping us to cover some of our evening shifts, but his proper job now lies in our great big corporate mothership in the sky.

Graham isn’t the only big name we’ve said goodbye to since we turned ten. We’ve also bid a full-time farewell to Pip Warr, Adam Smith, Alec Meer, John Walker, Brendan Caldwell, Matt Cox, Nate Crowley, Matthew Castle, Noa Smith, Astrid Johnson, Alice Liguori, Dave Irwin, Sin Vega, James Law, Jake Green, Colm Ahern, Imogen Beckhelling, and just last week, one of our first official comments moderators, Felisha Dela Cruz. And that’s not forgetting all our amazing freelancers who have also gone on to bigger and better things as well. We love each and every one of you, and you’ve all played a critical part in making RPS what it is today.

And what RPS is today is an incredible team of eleven of the UK’s best games writers. I may be wrong on this, but I think this is the first time we’ve ever truly been at full strength. With Alice Bee, Alice O’Connor, Rachel Watts, James Archer, Ollie Toms, Ed Thorn, CJ Wheeler, Liam Richardson, Rebecca Jones, Hayden Hefford and our ever faithful comments mod Paolo Balmes at our side, we finally have a fully-rounded roster of news, reviews, features, hardware, guides and video buds now, and I cannot tell you how lucky I feel to be the person leading them all each and every day. I’m so, so excited about what the future holds for RPS, and I hope you are, too.

As well as continuing to cover all the latest and greatest games from AAA blockbusters to the next big (and unknown) indie hits, we’ve got big plans for Year 2 of our recently relaunched supporter program coming up, the second iteration of The RPS 100 happening very soon, our ongoing Time Capsules and GOTY Revisited series to look forward to (and yes, this month’s Time Capsule will indeed be 2007, in honour of our birthday), new columns, new video shows and so much more waiting in the wings – and I can’t wait to tell you more about them all in the coming months.

So here’s to you, loyal RPS reader. As we raise our Horace champagne glasses and tuck into a big slice of endless Horace cake, I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who’s read us over the last 15 years. We wouldn’t be here without you, so thank you again for helping us keep the lights on. Here’s to the next decade and a half!

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