Connect with us

News

Freelance video game news writers wanted

We’re always looking for new blood at Thumbsticks. Right now, we need some freelance video game news writers.

Published

on

spider-man reading newspaper
Insomniac Games

We’re always looking for new blood at Thumbsticks. Right now, we need some freelance video game news writers.

At Thumbsticks, we’re (almost) always looking for new writers. It’s just a thing we do. One of our key goals is to provide opportunities for new talent and different voices.

But every now and then, we’re looking for something in particular. We might be looking for a new group of reviewers or some new feature perspectives, for instance. Right now, though, we’re looking for new freelance video game news writers.

So have a read of this, and if it sounds like something you might be interested in? Get in touch.

What we’re looking for

People who can write short news stories, to a high standard and in keeping with the house style, with minimal supervision. Ideally, this will be within UK business hours.

These stories will be very light reporting and will typically cover things like new game announcements, trailers, releases and updates, sales and discounts, and general industry news. (That’s not to say that longer, more heavily reported work isn’t available, but those pieces are commissioned on a case-by-case basis.)

Who we’re looking for

We’re looking for people who want to be writers, first and foremost. Yes, most people who want to write about video games also tend to love playing them, but that is not, in itself, a qualification.

You don’t have to be experienced, have any journalism qualifications or a background in professional writing, but that desire to be a writer first and foremost is key. As a result, this would be ideal for journalism students or graduates, or for anyone looking to get into freelance games writing as a main career or side hustle.

Other than that? We don’t really care who you are! We would, however, love to receive applications from people from diverse backgrounds. This industry needs some new voices and we would like to help with that where we can, thank you very much.

You can be based anywhere in the world, as long as your written English is to a high standard and you can produce news during UK business hours. We do need you to be at least 18 years old, though, so we’re not accidentally exploiting child labour.

What the process looks like

You’ll apply by email, including a little bit of information about who you are and why you’d like to write for us, and include any clips of relevant published work. (Don’t have any clips? That’s fine! Write a short sample to show off your skills.)

If you’re successful you will receive your first couple of assignments by email from one of our commissioning editors. Once you’ve got a couple of pieces under your belt and we’re all happy working together, we’ll create you an account on our CMS so you can prep your own articles, and also invite you to the Thumbsticks Slack. (If you’re not familiar with Slack, it’s like Discord, but for work.)

We use Slack as an informal way of pitching stories. This is so you can be sure we’re interested in the piece you’re planning to write, but also so you don’t end up clashing or doubling up with another writer who might have had the same idea.

An informal pitch is usually a writer asking if we’re looking for coverage of something they’ve seen, perhaps with a summary of the angle they’d like to approach it from, or it might be the Thumbsticks editorial team asking if anyone is available to cover something. Once you’ve got the nod from one of the editors you will prepare your piece then submit it for review. We’ll take a look over it and, assuming there are no major changes required, add the finishing touches and publish it.

That’s it. That’s the process. The whole thing is really simple and straightforward. An experienced writer can easily bash out a short, 250-word news story in 15 minutes and, depending on content schedules and editor availability, you’ll often see it live on the site within an hour or two.

How much we pay

At the time of writing (updated September 2020) Thumbsticks pays £0.02 GBP per commissioned word. You can always check the main “write for us” page to see if we’ve updated our rates since this advert was first written.

We typically commission articles based on four standard lengths:

  • 250 words – news story, short guide – £5 GBP
  • 500 words – guide, op-ed – £10 GBP
  • 750 words – review, round-up – £15 GBP
  • 1000 words – feature, interview – £20 GBP

The majority* of news stories we commission will be 250 words long. This means at our current rate – £0.02 GBP, as of July 2020 – you will earn a flat rate of £5 GBP for every news story you write for Thumbsticks. (We wish we could pay more! But that’s honestly all we can afford. It’s probably more than we can afford, but we’re an independent site and we’re doing our best.)

Sometimes they come out a little under 250 words. Sometimes they’re a little over. It tends to even out over time and we’re not precious about it being exactly 250 words. (But if you go well over a commission length that’s on you, and if something is really short we might ask you to flesh it out.)

*If you’re planning something that’s longer than a standard news story – like a piece with an interview component, or a round-up report on an event – then we will, of course, pay you a rate commensurate with the longer word counts listed above. Just make sure you agree this with us in advance before you start writing it!

How much you can earn

We don’t have a dodgy pay-per-view model or pay you in tokens or chits. We don’t make you write a minimum number of pieces before you can start earning. We don’t set a monthly quota that you need to stay above in order to keep earning.

You will be paid, properly and promptly, for everything you write for Thumbsticks.

We don’t set a minimum quota on writers because we know circumstances can change. The flexibility on offer is one of the things our writers tell us they love about working for Thumbsticks. You can write as little or as much as you have time and availability for, up to a budget ceiling that is agreed at the start of each month.

We will agree with you an upper limit on the number of news stories for the coming month. This is so we can assess our revenue from the previous month, then carve up the freelance budget accordingly amongst news, reviews, features and guides.

All we ask is that you don’t go over your limit without asking first, and that you try and space the work out evenly through the month as best you can. (Submitting 20 news articles on the final day of the month to hit the agreed-upon ceiling isn’t particularly useful to us!)

How we pay

For an individual, one-off commission, we’re happy for writers to invoice us immediately once the commission has been completed. We’ll pay promptly via bank transfer or PayPal, whichever is most suitable at the time. (We might use bank transfer for writers in the UK but PayPal for writers overseas to minimise currency conversion charges, for example.)

If you’re doing a body of work, like a month of news coverage, we ask that you hold off on invoicing until the end of the month. This saves us paying any associated charges more than once, and it also saves everyone a bit of admin, too. (This is a freelance gig, so you’re responsible for your own admin, taxes, and everything else that comes with it.)

But once we receive your invoice for the month’s news work – and anything else you’ve written in the period, if appropriate – we’ll turn it around very promptly. We’ve got editors who have done a lot of freelance work over the years. We know how frustrating it can be!

Anything else?

We’re always open for feature pitches, though our budget is limited, and there’s always room for new voices on our reviews. Guides are also in demand. The pitching process for those is fairly informal and similar to the news process described above.

Ready to get started?

Fire an email over to [email protected] with something sensible about news writing in the subject line. Make sure you tell us a little about yourself, why you think you’d make a good freelance news writer and would be a good fit for the Thumbsticks team, and don’t forget to include links to your clips or writing samples.

We look forward to hearing from you.


If you want to support Thumbsticks – every penny we earn goes into our freelance budget – then please consider buying us a coffee or becoming a patron. (Patrons also get access to a speedy, ad-free version of the site.)

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

This wasn't written by any one individual. This was written by the Thumbsticks hive mind. Resistance is futile.

News

Release date revealed for Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139…

The remaster of the prequel to Nier: Automata is the Japanese version unseen in the West.

Published

on

NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139

The remaster of the prequel to Nier: Automata is the Japanese version unseen in the West. (And yes, that is its full title.)

2017’s wildly popular and critically lauded Nier: Automata is getting its prequel remastered for PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One on April 23, 2021. No word on next-gen consoles for the moment.

Complete with a risible subtitle, Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139… is the “modern re-telling” of one of the Japanese versions of Nier, which originally released on the PlayStation 3 in 2010 and was never released in the West.

You might be more familiar with Nier, which was the Xbox 360 version of Nier in Japan – called Nier Gestalt – and featured entirely different protagonists. Nier is itself a spin-off and sequel of the Drakengard series. Confused yet?

Whilst Nier Gestalt featured a father in his 40s and his daughter, Yonah, Replicant has Yonah repositioned as the sister to a teenage Nier. Apparently, despite some dialogue accommodations, the versions were more or less entirely the same. A baffling example of game localisation and console platform distinctions for sure.

Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139… is due to be a significant overhaul with visuals and designs from Nier: Automata character designer, Akihiko Yoshida, gameplay, and even the plot due a remaster treatment. Or as the studio itself refers to it, “more than a remaster,” but not quite a remake. More of a “version up,” apparently.

You can also expect a newly recorded soundtrack from the original composer, Keiichi Okabe. It fits my definition of a remake.

Although the action perfectionist studio PlatinumGames – known for the Bayonetta series, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and Astral Chain among others – isn’t fully involved this time, a senior game designer at Platinum will be “overseeing the action sequences,” at least.

Square Enix also confirmed Nier Reincarnation, a mobile game for both Android and Apple iOS devices, is coming to North America and Europe. No release date has been announced yet.

NieR Replicant White Snow Edition

If you’re mad for everything Nier, you can also invest in the White Snow Edition, which sells for a mighty £149.99. Along with a pin set, two-disc collection of the soundtrack, steelbook case and a collectors box, you also get seven books of the complete spoken script of the game complete with cover art. That might just clinch it for you, eh?


Follow Thumbsticks on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard for more video game news.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

Continue Reading

News

Mafia and Mario dominate the UK video games chart

Two Mafia titles debut in the UK video games chart top ten, but Super Mario 3D All-Stars on to the top spot.

Published

on

Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Two Mafia titles debut in the UK video games chart top ten, but Super Mario 3D All-Stars holds on to No.1.

The Mafia franchise’s spirited attempt to bring down Super Mario might have failed, but publisher 2K Games will surely be pleased with two top ten entries. The well-received Mafia: Definitive Edition enters the chart at No.3, and Mafia Trilogy lands at No.6. Super Mario 3D All-Stars and Marvel’s Avengers remain in first and second place.

Elsewhere in the top ten, Mario Kart 8: Deluxe continues its impressive run by holding steady at No.5, but the excellent Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 remake slips four places to No.8.

Further down the chart, WWK 2K Battlegrounds tumbles from No.6 to No.11 and the eFootball PES 2021 season update drops from ninth to No.34.

Next week should bring some significant changes at the top with new releases including Star Wars Squadrons and Crash Bandicoot 4 expected to do well.

Here’s this week’s full GfK video games chart top ten.

GfK Entertainment Software Charts – WE Sept 26, 2020

  1. Super Mario 3D All-Stars
  2. Marvel’s Avengers
  3. Mafia: Definitive Edition (NE)
  4. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  5. Mario Kart 8: Deluxe
  6. Mafia Trilogy (NE)
  7. Minecraft Dungeons
  8. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2
  9. Minecraft (Switch)
  10. Grand Theft Auto V

Visit the Thumbsticks new releases page for more on the latest video games coming to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. You can also follow us on Facebook, Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard for daily gaming news updates.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

Continue Reading

News

New Xbox One releases (September 28-October 2, 2020)

Crash Bandicoot, Star Wars and FIFA (sort of) headline this week’s list of upcoming Xbox One releases.

Published

on

New Xbox One game releases
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Crash Bandicoot, Star Wars and FIFA (sort of) headline this week’s list of upcoming Xbox One releases.

Do you know which Star Wars games are the absolute best? No, it’s not that new one with Archie Andrews off Riverdale as a Jedi, nor is it Episode I: Racer, or even Knights of the Old Republic. It’s the classic PC flight sims, the ones that came on half a dozen floppy disks: X-Wing, Tie Fighter, and X-Wing vs Tie Fighter.

With that in mind, we are perhaps most excited about Star Wars: Squadrons, a Star Wars space combat flight sim with all the pew! pew! you’d expect. Squadrons has pedigree, too; it’s developed by EA’s Motive Studios, the crew behind the brilliant Star Wars Battlefront II. (That’s the modern, multiplayer Battlefront II with lots of cool ships to fly, not the middling shooter from 2005.)

The other big name on the Xbox One Releases this week is Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. Developed by Toys for Bob, the company behind the excellent remasters, publisher Activision hopes that the return of its mascot platformer will emulate the successful return of its other late-90s icon, Tony Hawk.

There’s one other big game this week, but it’s not for everyone. Literally. If you don’t have EA Play, you won’t get to play FIFA 21 on October 2; you’ll have to wait until October 9 like everyone else. But if you do have EA Play – and remember, it’s now included with Xbox Game Pass – you’ll get to try out EA’s big footie sim, FIFA 21, a week before your mates.

Other games of note include Feather, a zen exploration game with beautiful flight, Commander ’85, an intriguing cold war mystery, and Inertial Drift, a racing game with an innovative twin-stick control scheme.

Each new game can be purchased from the Xbox One digital games store or the Microsoft web store. We’ll update this post throughout the week with any late additions to the lineup.

New Xbox One releases: September 28-October 2, 2020

Monday, September 28, 2020

  • No games for you!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

  • Bartlow’s Dread Machine
  • Projection: First Light
  • Re:Turn – One Way Trip

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

  • Birthday of Midnight
  • Commander ’85
  • Feather
  • Inertial Drift
  • Swordbreaker

Thursday, October 1, 2020

  • FIFA 21 (EA Play First Trial)
  • Orangeblood

Friday, October 2, 2020

  • Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
  • Star Wars: Squadrons
  • Dragon Lapis
  • Warsaw

Visit the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest games. You can also follow us on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

Continue Reading

News

New Nintendo Switch releases (Sept 28-Oct 3, 2020)

Super Mario Bros. 35 headlines a jam-packed week of new games released on the Nintendo Switch eShop.

Published

on

New Nintendo Switch eShop releases
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

Super Mario Bros. 35 headlines a jam-packed week of new games released on the Nintendo Switch eShop.

Super Mario’s 35th Anniversary hasn’t been quite as celebratory as the Nintendo might have hoped. Much of the criticism has been directed at Super Mario 3D All-Stars, but the three-game collection has still sold like hotcakes and is an excellent – albeit bonus light – package.

Next up is Super Mario Bros. 35, a new battle-royale twist on the 1985 platforming classic. If it can match the pleasures of Tetris 99, we’re in for a treat. The game is free to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, but only until March next year.

Also coming to Nintendo Switch this week is cult classic action RPG, Ys Origin. Nihon Falcom’s 2006 adventure is the ultimate dungeon crawl and blends a galloping story with excellent combat mechanics. As the game’s PS Vita release proved, its structure makes it the perfect handheld experience.

Of the 30-plus other titles release on the eShop, we recommend taking a look at MindSeize, the ambitious Metroidvania from Kamina Dimension, and Orangeblood, a frenetic hot mess of an RPG from Grayfax Software.

Here’s the full lineup of confirmed new Nintendo Switch releases. We’ll keep this post updated throughout the week with any late additions.

New Nintendo Switch releases: Sept 28-Oct 3, 2020

Monday, September 28, 2020

  • Undead Darlings ~no cure for love~

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

  • Alwa’s Legacy
  • Bacon Man: An Adventure
  • Projection: First Light
  • Re:Turn – One Way Trip
  • Umihara Kawase BaZooKa!

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

  • Detective Case and Clown Bot in: Murder in The Hotel Lisbon
  • Mindseize
  • Murder in The Hotel Lisbon

Thursday, October 1, 2020

  • Candy Raid: The Factory
  • Electronic Super Joy 2
  • Farm Builder
  • Filament
  • Hot Shot Burn
  • The Last Days
  • Liege Dragon
  • Little Big Workshop
  • Macbat 64
  • Nubarron: The adventure of an unlucky gnome
  • Orangeblood
  • Powertris
  • Shmubedi Boo
  • Smoots World Cup Tennis
  • Super Mario Bros. 35 [Switch Online]
  • Warsaw
  • Ys Origin

Friday, October 2, 2020

  • 103
  • Birthday of Midnight
  • Grim Legends 2: Song of the Dark Swan
  • Logic Puzzle Collection: Sudoku – Permudoku – Nonodoku
  • Let’s Sing presents Queen
  • Make a Killing

Saturday, October 3, 2020

  • Quell

More Nintendo from Thumbsticks

For more Nintendo content, read about the new Final Fantasy eShop sale, the incoming Switch port of Doom Eternal, and our review of RPG Maker MV. You can also bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page and follow us on Google News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

Continue Reading

News

Classic Final Fantasy games up to 50% off in a Nintendo Switch sale

You’ll find big discounts on classic Final Fantasy games – including 7 through 10 – in a sale on the Nintendo Switch.

Published

on

Final Fantasy Nintendo Switch sale
Nintendo / Square Enix / Thumbsticks

You’ll find big discounts on classic Final Fantasy games – including 7 through 10 – in a sale on the Nintendo Switch.

The Nintendo Switch does feature new games – every week! Bookmark our new releases page to stay up to date on that front – but it’s the console’s credibility as a retro machine that gets people excited.

Everything is getting ported to Nintendo Switch. Everything. Even PC games at both ends of the joke – Doom at the low-end, to Crysis at the high – are getting a run-out on Nintendo’s little handheld that could.

It’s a combination of that lovely form factor and the ease of portability, with a little help from a lovely 720p screen, that makes the Switch feel so good as a remaster-wielding retro machine. (And of course, Nintendo’s stellar back catalogue, from a raft of NES and SNES games with Nintendo Switch Online to the recently-released Super Mario 3D All-Stars.)

At the top of my list of things I wanted to see on the Nintendo Switch was “every Final Fantasy game ever, please,” and, sure enough, Square Enix and Nintendo are obliging. But they’re rarely cheap. You’d think for all the times I’ve bought and re-bought Final Fantasy VI, VII or IX over the years, I might get some sort of loyalty discount. Maybe a Final Fantasy equivalent of Nectar points? But no. They cost quite a lot, even if Square’s ports aren’t always that hot.

Which is why a Square Enix sale on the Nintendo eShop – featuring a bunch of Final Fantasy games, but also, more! – at discounted prices is so exciting. There’s up to 50% off, as well, which is a cracking discount.

Here’s everything included in the Square Enix Nintendo Switch publisher sale.

Square Enix Nintendo Switch publisher sale

  • Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon EVERY BUDDY!
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Final Fantasy VIII Remastered
  • Final Fantasy IX
  • Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD
  • Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
  • Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD
  • Final Fantasy Explorers (Nintendo 3DS)
  • I Am Setsuna
  • Lost Sphear
  • Oninaki
  • Romancing SaGa 2
  • SaGa Scarlet Grace: Ambitions
  • Spelunker Party!
  • Star Ocean: First Departure R
  • Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call (Nintendo 3DS)
  • World of Final Fantasy Maxima

The picks of the litter are obviously the mainline Final Fantasy games. Final Fantasy VII is obviously brilliant; the remaster of Final Fantasy VIII is splendid; Final Fantasy IX is secretly the best one; Final Fantasy X/X-2 is another excellent remaster; Final Fantasy XII isn’t great (but the Zodiac Age remaster makes it much more bearable); and Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is… also on sale. There’s a reason the Final Fantasy VII Remake is so great, and it’s because it steals its best ideas from these earlier iterations.

The recent remake of Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon – subtitled EVERY BUDDY!, their emphasis, not ours – is also well worth checking out, even if it is a bit of a peculiar curio. Romancing SaGa 2 is also well worth checking out, while I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear are modern-developed indie games published by Square Enix.

These deals are only available until September 30, so you’d better get on that.


Bookmark our sales and freebies pages for the latest video game promotions. You can also follow Thumbsticks on FlipboardFacebookGoogle News, and Twitter for daily news updates.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.

Continue Reading