The Mittani is a polarizing figure in the gaming industry and for good reason.
On one hand, he’s historically the most visible player in the EVE Online community who stood as a Council of Stellar Management chairman and helped to revolutionize the relationship that is possible between engaged customers and game development companies. On the other, he’s the stark visage of a griefing villain who leads the largest coalition of EVE Online players whose primary goals include raining on outsiders’ parades and perpetuating a vocabulary that could be described as slur-filled and early-2000s-era politically incorrect.
One moment he can suggest to a crowded room that they could encourage a down-on-his-luck player to commit suicide and the next he can spearhead a massive donation drive for a key alliance diplomat killed in the Benghazi embassy mob attack. Controversial and legendary at the same time.
Lending his persona to brand a niche game journalism blog doesn’t seem like a bright idea, but that’s exactly what he did just over a year ago. Regardless, TheMittani.com is the fastest growing and probably the most popular EVE Online information source available to the public.
In a scene where intelligence is a meta that is both controlled and valuable, private forums and messaging services continue to become simpler to implement, and subversion is a legitimate tactic, a public news site shouldn’t have as much gravitas as TMC controls.
In the past year, the news organization has broken milestone after milestone that other news sites in the gaming genre could only wish to achieve. It attracts quality writing talent even though it only compensates its staff with a game-based currency. It’s one of the only organizations that filed for press credentials to E3 for its first time when it was less than a year old and received access. It was able to enter into a Twitch partnership program with one of the lowest average viewerships per game on the service. It doesn’t offer premium access and it hasn’t Kickstarted itself because the operation is self-sufficient. Even though it owes its namesake to an EVE Online personality, it covers five other online titles as well as the ever-more-relevant commercial space race and notable science fiction novels.
If you needed an example of how an esports news site could succeed, here it is. And it doesn’t claim to be anything more than a gaming news site. It doesn’t even touch the term esports.
I would love to contribute to a place like that. Sure the comment section can be toxic and spin to its own meta most of the time, but to be included in a group of folks like that would be a dream come true in a way. I’ve worked with dedicated news folks in a genuine setting and I’m still jealous of the participants in an experiment turned authority like TMC.
I’ve never applied to become a writer there, but I’m strongly considering it because I want to help grow something like TMC. But finding something to contribute is the challenge. I want to bring more general news to the site. Perhaps I can start there.