Wanna feel old?
It looks like today is the 10th anniversary of the very first Retronauts I ever hosted, all about the Super Nintendo's 20th anniversary. (And if you're curious, you can listen to it on archive.org, along with all of our other 1UP-era episodes.) It's an honor to be associated with a podcast that's become such an institution, and time has flown by so fast that it feels like just moments ago I was thinking, "Wow, I can't believe Retronauts is 10 years old!" Now, Retronauts itself is about to hit its 15th anniversary in October, and I've been with the show twice as long as the five years it existed when I joined back in 2011.
Before I sat down to write this post, I completely forgot that I wrote another one in 2016 to celebrate five years of working on the show. That piece covers my thoughts on those years, so I don't need to rehash them here; but obviously I'm incredibly thankful to Jeremy for seeing promise in another young man who wouldn't (and more importantly, couldn't) shut up about old video games. Now, I don't plan on writing one of these every half-decade, so you'll have to wait until 2031 for my 20th anniversary thoughts, and by then you'll be able to run the Retronauts program on your Holodeck and personally debate me about Sonic the Hedgehog 3 or something. But even in the passing of five short years, so much has changed for the better, both for myself, and for the show.
Less than a year after writing that fifth anniversary post, I left traditional games media to become a full-time podcaster. A massive risk, but after moving to the most expensive part of America on my own dime to write about video games, I'd become either very brave, or very reckless—but either way, it worked out in the end. After a decade or working in a field with no ladder to climb, constant layoffs and closures, few benefits, and years of your work disappearing on a whim, nothing has been more rewarding than these past four years of getting to decide what I do, and being allowed to work without distractions and compromises to make the best podcasts I possibly can. Having entered the games press full-time in the cursed "pivot to video" era, there's nothing more satisfying than thinking "What if I made a two-hour podcast about Garfield games?" And then looking around and realizing no one can stop me.
The past five years have been very good to Retronauts, too. After working for a few years with my pal Henry Gilbert to get the Talking Simpsons Network up and running, I teamed up with Jeremy to plan a massive Patreon relaunch at the start of 2020. We didn't foresee a historic pandemic coming a few months later, but despite that, we've more than doubled the revenue our podcast brings in. Because of this, Jeremy and I have been able to delegate many responsibilities that were previously ours, and give some talented people new opportunities as an added bonus. Outsourcing tasks like podcast editing, cover art, blog posts, and other duties means that doing Retronauts on top of a full-time job has been so much easier, but it's not just about our comfort. I stand by all of my old podcasting work, but I sincerely believe the show is better than it's ever been since the hosts have been able to focus primarily on hosting. Plus, we've been able to introduce some great new voices to our audience, and you'll definitely be hearing more from them soon.
Without Retronauts, I wouldn't have the incredibly good fortune to do what I do for a living, and I'm very much looking forward to what the future of the show will bring. In the passing years, it's become our job to punish you with the knowledge that something seemingly new becomes retro every day, and I look forward to doing this for countless more episodes until I retire and the only way to hear new Retronauts is to visit me in The Old Podcasters' Home in Redondo Beach, California. Just promise you'll sneak some booze in for old Bob, okay?
Design and concept for this blog post's artwork by Nina Matsumoto.