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It's hard to believe that I am writing this article right now, but here I am! 2 years ago on this day, SteamDeckHQ went live, and it has been busy. Thanks to the incredible community and those who support us, we have been able to do things we have only dreamed about. We all appreciate it, and as for myself, I am completely blown away by what we have achieved in such a short time. We have been able to achieve things it could take years and years for others to get the chance to do, especially if you are starting fresh in the video game industry like we are, and in the end, it is all thanks to you guys.

And make sure to follow us on Twitter/X, as we will be giving away some games, including Kingdom Hearts and possibly the upcoming Elden Ring expansion: Shadow of the Erdtree.

How SteamDeckHQ Began

On June 18, 2022, SteamDeckHQ first went live. It was an idea I came up with after seeing YouTubers and other sites like Sharedeck and ProtonDB handle Steam Deck setting recommendations. I was dissatisfied that some YouTubers and outlets claim the "Best Settings" for a game when the framerates wouldn't stabilize and the battery would drain too fast. Sharedeck and ProtonDB, on the other hand, could have groups of different settings that might achieve the desired results I wanted, but there was no proper vetting. Many of the settings I found, in the beginning, were showcased with results that weren't achievable.

I wanted to see a place that combined these two ideas but did it all transparently, giving all the information someone would want to see, and that's what SteamDeckHQ did. I created a website that would give multiple different settings focusing on things like battery life, framerate, and visual quality while all having it tested under one trusted person. On top of that, we would show screenshots with the MangoHUD statistics so we can show exactly the kind of performance you can expect with each of the settings.

I started off trying to create my website using Squarespace, and compared to how the site looks now, it is very barebones. I posted about the site on r/SteamDeck, and a web developer, Shelby, took an interest. We started talking, and he decided to help us out! The current version of the website is built in WordPress, and thanks to him, we have such a gorgeous-looking website that is easy to navigate. Shelby is still with us, too, which is amazing because he is extremely talented, and we will be able to expand the website further with his help.

My old Squarespace website. Definitely nowhere near what we have today!

As we grew, I brought in a friend of mine, AJ, to help with business. This allowed me to continue focusing on reviewing and expanding our operations to not only review new games but also cover Steam Deck-related news.

And from there, we had all the pieces to begin our journey. I had no idea where it would take us, but I definitely couldn't have expected what we achieved in such a short time.

What We Have Achieved So Far

I started SteamDeckHQ hoping that like-minded people could find some use for it, but it expanded way more than I expected. Regarding website traffic, we went from 10,000-30,000 monthly views in the beginning to over 1 million monthly views in 5 months. This blew my mind and made me realize just how much we were helping people (or those who just really wanted Steam Deck info). We also jumped from around 8,000 monthly users to over 500,000 currently, which is nuts!

In July of 2023, I also had the incredible opportunity to go full-time with SteamDeckHQ, which is completely nuts. We have also grown from just 1 writer (me) to 2 others joining us (Oliver and TheThousandScar). This allows us to cover more content, do more game reviews, and pump out intriguing pieces we can't wait to unveil.

On the social media side, I started the Twitter/X account, hoping to get 3 followers a day. That was my goal, and for the most part, I hit it. Then, the ball continued, and now we have over 26,000 followers! If you include all of our social media, we have over 40,000 followers/subscribers, blowing my mind even further.

We have been lucky enough to work with amazing companies as well, and being able to review their games has been a dream come true. In 2023, we started working more with companies and getting some of their games on release day, while in 2024, we started to get pre-release copies to more accurately review and optimize games to provide accurate information on the day they are released. I don't think anyone can claim to know the best/optimized settings for a game ON release day unless they have received a pre-release copy since you can't play through the entire game that quickly.

Kingdom Hearts 3 is a good example of this. The early parts of the game run much better than some of the later areas. Specifically, the Kingdom of Corona and the Pirates of the Caribbean world are harder to run than the rest of the game, and they take a bit of time to reach.

Thank you to all the PR people who have helped us. We couldn't have had any of these opportunities without them; they have been kind and professional with us. Everyone we have met in the industry has been extremely nice, friendly, genuine, and passionate. If you see or interact with a journalist or developer, just know there's no way you could do this job without truly loving video games and the industry.

On top of this, we have been given insane opportunities to cover events! In 2023, we got to go to PAX East and Gamescom, both of which were dreams of mine. This year, we expanded that. Not only did we go to PAX East, but we were also invited to GDC and Summer Game Fest, which were both incredible! Summer Game Fest, in particular, was an amazing event, and I am honored to be invited to be counted amongst the most prestigious media outlets and creators that had this opportunity. Our year isn't over yet, and we will go to Gamescom in two months. I will also be trying to go to the Tokyo Game Show on top of that (just waiting for an email confirmation).

As I mentioned, this was all achieved in two years by someone without prior experience in the industry. Before this, I managed movie theatres and a CVS Pharmacy, so going from that to now being a journalist in the game industry who is running a company has been a BIG change and learning experience for me. It has all been amazing, though, and incredibly, we have come this far. While a lot of work has been done on our end, thanks to this incredible community that reads our work and interacts with us on Twitter/X, Reddit, YouTube, Discord, and our other social media.

Again, thank you for all of your support.

What Comes Next?

Well, SteamDeckHQ has been rapidly growing faster than I could have anticipated, and while we have a lot we want to do, we are still figuring out how to do it.

The biggest changes we will be making moving forward are videos. We have been in talks with a couple of editors who can help us with videos, including Hi-Tech-Lo-Life. We plan to expand our video content with game reviews/previews, opinion pieces (Why we need a Steam Machine Now!), bundle roundups, and more. We see how important videos are and want to push them. We have been testing the waters with some video content recently, with the biggest being Ghost of Tsushima, and we plan to bring out more as we solidify our pipeline to ensure optimal video creation.

We also started a podcast and have lots of plans for it! It is on a small hiatus while I traveled for Summer Game Fest, but we will be back with a new episode next week. We have ideas for more podcast episodes and other series, so stay tuned for those announcements!

I have also been putting together some unique ideas to start live streaming on Twitch or YouTube. I wanted to find ways to make streaming interesting instead of just showing gameplay and talking about it. There are about 2-3 different ideas, with 1 specifically being fully fleshed out. We will do live streaming weekly as soon as we figure things out. It will be happening once a week to start, but as we continue, we will most likely increase it to 2-3 times weekly.

There are more projects in the works that I can't talk about much yet, but there's a lot in the works right now, and we are so excited to show off what we are doing.

In Conclusion

We are working on so much, and thinking that I would be here two years ago is insane. I am blown away that we can review video games, go to gigantic events to cover them as press, and be one of the biggest outlets covering the Steam Deck. We are honored to have these opportunities, and I am still in complete shock that we could even go to Summer Game Fest this year. That's a very exclusive event, and I am honored to be one of the people invited to go.

Again, though, the only reason we were able to do all of this is because of you. We can't thank you all enough for reading, interacting, recommending, and watching all of our content. It means so much to us here, and it continually blows me away to see everyone who comes to the site. It stuns me daily to see just what we are able to do because of you, and I can't thank you all enough.

Thank you again for all of your support. We can't wait to showcase what we have coming up and continue to answer all of your questions about which games run on the Steam Deck.

If you enjoyed this article, check out the rest of the content on SteamDeckHQ! We have a wide variety of game reviews and news that will help your gaming experience. Whether you're looking for newstips and tutorialsgame settings and reviews, or just want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, we've got you covered!

Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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