The History of 2404
Posted by Björn Holine January 28, 2015
I think the easiest way to tell everyone about 2404.Org’s past is to interview myself. I’ll try to put up many of the questions we’re asked about the site and answer them. It may sound strange but here goes nothing:
What does 2404 mean and why did you pick that name?
We really don’t have a definitive answer to this question. Dan was the one that came up with the name just by putting some number combinations together. We were in need of an original name and it was just that. Besides, it really helps out when other sites link to our site because if it is in alphabetical order numbers are usually first (we did not plan that).
Did 2404 start off as a website?
No. 2404 was originally a TFC clan. You can basically thank Half-Life for 2404 because without it, this site would most likely not exist. I may have started some other site but it would probably be more technology oriented (which is pointless these days because there are so many out there). Some interesting facts: we were allies with a clan called ViBig - www.vibigclan.net. We needed a website for the clan and a member had one up in no time. It was a bit disappointing to me because I really wanted to be in control of a website so I decided to make a second site that would be more or less “unofficial.” As you can imagine the guy who made the “official” site got angry and quit the clan, thus leaving me with the responsibility to maintain and continue the 2404 clan site. I really wish we had an archive of that site just to show people what it was like. Deadpool made a flash intro with Rage Against the Machine music in the background. The entire site was somewhat sloppy but it was my first time experimenting with it all – you have to start somewhere. The clan didn’t last too long because everyone was too busy with schoolwork. I actually did not participate in the actual clan matches. Because the family only had one computer at the time (an old 200Mhz Gateway machine) I would watch Deadpool play. So when you see people stopping by the forums saying things such as “hey you guys, do you remember me?” it’s people from the clan. Again, Half-Life was the driving force behind the first stages of this website so, as you can imagine, the founding members are extremely biased towards it and Valve.
Was it just a TFC clan?
During the last stages of the 2404 TFC clan I created a new website/clan: the 2404 Counter-Strike clan. It really didn’t last long at all but I had fun creating another site and being in control of a clan.
So when did 2404.org start?
Sometime during the winter of 2002, Dan, Anders, and I discussed some strategies and ideas for the future. We came up with the idea of creating a gaming community. All of us were IGN fans before this time but when they introduced an unnerving amount of advertisements and started asking for money for certain content that was it. We wanted to try and start something for people who were feeling the same way as us. I started working on 2404.org during the spring and I finished in late July of 2002. We were lucky enough to get our “opening” posted up on CS-Nation. I still don’t know how we ever made it on that site but it was an initial boost that was definitely a good way to get our name out. We obviously used the fact that Half-Life was one of our main focuses which must have done the trick. The domain was registered in the winter when we were first forming our ideas. We didn’t choose .ORG, the other domain extensions were taken (it’s pretty funny if you go to .COM– some Asian shipping company). I really started 2404.org for fun thinking it would probably not go anywhere but that I would enjoy it while it lasted.
How has 2404 grown over the past couple of years?
Having no previous website experience, it took me a while to figure out what works and what doesn’t. We originally wanted to have short reviews on games because we didn’t think people liked reading long reviews. At some point I realized that in order to gain traffic we needed to become more professional. We really made a jump when I was finally able to find volunteers to help out with reviews, editing and public relations. There have also been other things that have helped to set new goals for the site along the way. For example, I remember when I first saw a commercial for a game where it said something along the lines of “IGN calls it the best action game of the year” and thought to myself “I can do that.” Things like this motivate me to keep taking 2404 to the next level. Call me crazy but I tell people that I want to be a competitor of IGN/Gamespy (at least the PC side of things) someday. Everyone should set goals for themselves and live up to them as much as possible. Don’t set unrealistic goals, but set hard goals.
Why do you continue to use crappy phpNuke?
I really don’t understand why people hate phpnuke so much. It has helped a lot of beginners out and even though it is overused I still think it is a great thing. That doesn’t mean I’m not sick of it though because I am. The reason I still continue to use it is because I’ve gotten so used to it over the years. I’ve been able to add and modify quite a few things and I like that it is flexible like that. I’ve tried experimenting with other content management systems but I really haven’t found anything else that I like enough to replace nuke yet. For the future I’ve decided that 2404 will probably use the vBulletin CMS that is currently in development (and will hopefully be out soon) or else come up with a custom one (any programmers interested?). Update: We no longer use phpNuke.
What do you see for the future of 2404.Org?
As I said in the “growth” section I want to come to the point where you could call 2404 a competitor of some of the current large gaming websites. To get to that point it may take some alliances. I’ve thought about partnering up with some NextGen console sites (one for each system) to create a new gaming network. Fighting the big companies alone is difficult but creating a gaming super-site where four or five sites come together would be an ideal solution. Not only do I see this network consisting of the console sites but also a DVD/movie site as well as a computer hardware reviews site. Webmasters are stubborn people though, we all want to be in control of everything on our own sites. I basically started 2404.org for fun, thinking that it wouldn’t really go anywhere. Fast forward to today and we have a business license along with a volunteer staff crew of some great people. It’s hard to say exactly what the future holds for this site but I know I want to keep it going for a long time.