Why I left OXM

“Things change. Always do. You’ll get your chance! Important thing is, when it comes, you’ve got to grab with both hands, and hold on tight!”

Wow. It says something about my geeky life that this particular moment in it can be perfectly summed up by Otis from The Last Starfighter.

As discussed on KOXM podcast 174, Friday the 17th was my last official day at Official Xbox Magazine, and issue 101 (October 2009 cover date) will be my last issue as a staff member. I have moved to a new project within Future, about which I am very excited.

What it is:

  • – Well, I can’t tell you what it is, due to a rather strict embargo. It will be announced later this year and until that time, it’s officially a “secret project.”
  • – It is editorial. I am still working with words for a living.
  • – It is an excellent career opportunity for me.
  • – It scares the bejeezus out of me in the best possible way. This is a challenge, and not in the euphemistic “I mean this is a problem” way. I get to do new things and some of them will be tough. I’m going to love it.

What it isn’t:

  • – I was not fired. I was happy at OXM, they were happy with me there. I chose to leave for this new opportunity.
  • – I was not laid off and OXM is not in trouble. Despite what everybody wants to think about print being dead, OXM knows its ever-changing role and is doing fine. There are smart people at Future and the book is in good hands and bright minds, not to least of which belong to the editorial staff.
  • – I am not even leaving the podcast. I will continue on as Ryan’s cohort/cohost as long as he’ll have me. My new situation will not preclude me from jumping on Skype for an hour every week.

This is not intended to be a guessing game, so I am going to leave it there. Everything will make sense later this year and I will be thrilled to talk about it when I legally can. But I figure if I don’t come out and say a few basic facts now, and people notice that the Dan OXM gamertag gets changed, people might assume bad things. But there are no bad things.

I think I’ve done some of the best work of my career at OXM — the Gears of War review, how to get kicked off Xbox Live, the Epic Journey road trip with Nightmare Armor, setting up the Warthog ride from half a world away, calling Mark Rein a jackass in print, penning the Top 100 list in the current issue (it says OXM Staff because we all decided on the list, but I wrote all the entries). There’s a lot of articles I’m extremely proud of either writing or engineering or both. If I could force you to read them, I would. While at OXM, I unlearned some bad habits and took some chances that paid off. Outside of quitting out of the Endless Setlist with one song to go and pissing off Jeff Minter (still don’t like Space Giraffe, but I do respect the man very much), I really have no regrets. It’s been a very positive experience.

But things change. Always do. And now that I see my chance, I’m grabbing with both hands and holding on tight.

Cue music.

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