Paradox Gaming Network in 2022 and 2023
As I sit here looking this over, I realize an update on the Paradox Gaming Network is long overdue. As I sit here now in what is going on Paradox’s ninth year of existence, I look over how much this has changed. Paradox started as an Archeage guild back in 2014, and at the time that was it, it was just a guild. We had a little guide section on our webpage filled with some text guides, but that was it. As time went on, many people in that community had a dream of making a YouTube channel, a Twitch channel, and a lot of people were going to work together to turn that dream into a reality. Sadly, like most plans, the dream of having multiple creators working together under one umbrella fell apart. That is why, if you were ever wondering, everything I stream on is Paradox Gaming Network, instead of the standard of putting all your branding under your own name.
As I mostly treated my content creation as a hobby, I never really did much about trying to monetize. I sort of made a little ad money here, some Twitch subs and bits here, and that was really it. I wasn’t really interested in making money off this project. Then in 2018 someone who was getting a lot out of my Archeage guides basically told me to set up a Patreon so he could tip me. I didn’t really want to set up a way to make money, but this community member convinced me that it takes money to do most things, and by having the income I would have some flexibility in the things I could do. Wow was he right.
When the tax code changed in 2019, it forced me to sit down and make a decision. Did I totally unmonetized everything, did I pack it all in, or did I take dig in and force the next evolution of Paradox. Well after being told by my community to figure out a way to make things work, I did just that. It was about a nine-month ordeal, but in 2020 the Paradox Gaming Network, Incorporated was established and we were back in business.
Just because Paradox Gaming
became a corporate entity, does not mean we have adopted a corporate
mindset. Going into 2023 we remain true
to our roots. We are still a community
of people that you can ask questions to, not only about video games but also
life, the universe, everything. You need help with deciding on college, or help
understanding a mortgage, or how to get a passport, or whatever else you are facing
in your personal life, well there are people from multiple different careers,
backgrounds, successes and failures that you can reach out to and get help.
That is still the mission of the Paradox Gaming Network.
Where we are today
Every year I am a content creator I learn more and more about what I’m doing. Our growth is slow but steady. We also have added PGN Music into our list of products, which right now is a collection of over 300 DMCA Free songs that content creators, streamers, YouTubers, business owners, D&D DMs, video game developers, anyone can use this music without fear of copyright strikes or claims. The best part is since PGN Music owns the rights to the songs, and Jahlon as a person owns PGN Music, you never have to worry about a track being sold and then losing the monetization on your creations.
Our goals for 2023 are simple
1: Keep politics out of the Ashes 101 and Twitch Gaming programming. How are we going to do this? The Saturday show will be moving from https://www.twitch.tv/paradox_gaming_network over to my Jahlon YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/jahlon
The Streaming Schedule for the foreseeable future will be
Mondays 9 am Eastern
Wednesdays 5 pm Eastern
Fridays 1 pm Eastern.
I also plan on increasing the Monday and Wednesday shows to 5 hours up from 4, and then trying to do Ashes 101 in the first 2 hours, and then instead of dragging that on when we are light on content, jumping into other games.
This also means when I know I’m planning on playing a game that is going to have a lower viewer count. I’m going to stream those games on the Gaming Channel YouTube. So, my Final Fantasy 2-10, 12-14, and 15 playthroughs will be over on YouTube.
2: I want to dedicate myself to doing one Gaming YouTube video a week. A lot of weeks I just don’t get around to doing a video, so I need to focus on making sure I am consistent with putting out a video every week. What day of the week? I’m not sure yet.
3: PGN Music is going to increase its song holdings by 200 songs in 2023. As we will finish out the year 2022 with over 300 tracks on the label, by the end of 2023 we want to have over 500 tracks on the label.
4: Continue the community building
5: Raise 6,000 for Extra Life in 2023. We hit $6,007 this year, so I want to make sure the goal gets bumped from $5000 to $6000. We will be doing numerous fund raisings throughout the year
Where does the money go
Before I move on, I feel it necessary to talk about where the money goes that the company raises, not only on support platforms, but also all the tips, bits, subs, advertising revenue, creator code money, sponsorships, Amazon affiliate money.
First and foremost, taxes eat up a huge chunk of the income. Now yes, we do get a rebate check after I file the taxes, but the company has to pay 29.05% taxes quarterly. That does tie up a large chunk of the company’s money. For example, in 2021 $3,039 was paid to the Federal government in taxes and a rebate check of $560 was received in March.
Next up is the domain names. Paradox Gaming Network owns four domain names, paradoxgaming.net, ashes101.com, archeage101.com and pgnmusic.com so that, and the hosting and all the other bits and bobs is a portion of our income. We have a couple of online services that we pay for, different bits of software we need for some of the products we make, but many of them are still covered by me as a person. For example, I personally cover the cost of Dreamweaver, MidJourney, and Filmora at the present time. Eventually when the company makes more money I hope to move those remaining expenses over to the company.
Another little thing we do is the Christmas cards each December, the Extra Life Donations, the P.O. Box, and occasionally we send a thank you gift to our secret artist, our web page design, and our moderators on Twitch and the Discord.
Finally, any remaining money is spent on PGN Music’s composers and albums. In 2022 (as of 15 November 2022) we spent $7,839 on song creation and $726 on art creation. Sadly, at present, we are making very little return on investment on the music. As the label grows, I hope the income starts to pick up so that we generate more music and then maybe have some money left over for marketing and advertising. Finally I’d love to be able to actually pay for staff to do a lot of the bits and pieces which draw my attention away from the actual content creation.
Where the money does not go
I feel it is equally important to make sure people understand that the money from the Corporation does not go to me as a person in any way, shape, or form. PGN, INC does not pay me a salary, it does not pay for my gear (mic, cameras, lights, monitors, PC) it doesn’t pay for my costuming (hats, vests) nor does it pay for any of my games. There are streamers who are out there working as creators for their living, and there is nothing wrong with that. I just want people to know that when they donate, when they buy something through one of my affiliate links, whatever they do, that money is going into the company for the company to do better things. I feel as a community you have the right to know where the money goes.
Why build a
Let’s be honest here for just a second. Before we ever talk about video games, let’s talk about life. To quote Rocky Balboa
“The world ain't all
sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how
tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if
you let it.”
Isn’t that the sad depressing truth? Yet what is the rest of that quote? “It ain’t about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, about how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done.”
I’m lucky enough to have squeezed through a window of opportunity that led to a level of success that I have retired at age 39. I now have the ability to play video games all day and just enjoy life, but what kind of man would I be if I didn't try to make the world a better place? What kind of man would I be if I didn’t put my talents to use helping some of you get back up and keep moving forward?
I truly believe that people can come together every night as a community, play some video games, but they can do so much more for each other as well. Need help with a resume? We have plenty of professionals. Need advice about life? We have plenty of seasoned adults. Going through issues with your first kid? We have plenty of parents. It does in fact take a village to raise a child, and we don’t all get dealt a very good hand when it comes to family.
In just this last year we’ve helped people get into college, we’ve helped people get into the military, we’ve helped people fix some really big life mistakes. We can celebrate the completion of a couple of GEDs due to motivating people to seize control of their life, we’ve explained mortgages, loans, fixing bad credit, how to fix debt, how to establish good credit. If I can make even one person’s life better every week through having a “gaming” community then I have done my job.
Why make instructional videos?
My background is in Education. I have a Master’s degree in Education and I’m lucky enough to have taught for 3.5 years before and after 9/11 an event in American History that changed my world. I love video games; I’ve loved them since I was three. I also love helping people. Making instructional videos on Video Games and having my Twitch show lets me blend two things that I love: teaching and video games.
Nobody should have to struggle with some of the insane things that developers put in video games anymore. Even more, some people don’t have time to figure every little thing out or worse, they get anxious when they can’t figure something out. Nobody needs that in their life. What’s more, nobody needs the brushed off answer. Sometimes a topic takes a while to explain.
So instead of the first
person getting a really good answer, the next person getting a decent answer,
and then three or four people further down the line getting either a horrible
answer or just ignored, why not spend a few hours putting together a good video
so thousands of people can view it and get the same level of help? Even better
why not produce that video that will actually spark conversation between people?
Why is it always “we”?
People have asked me why I always use the “we” pronoun when talking about Paradox when on the main channels I'm the only creator who makes content. The truth of the matter is I’m probably the least important person in the operation. Sure, I get out there and stream and make the videos, but if the network, aka you guys, didn’t watch the videos, didn’t share the videos, didn’t make comments on the videos I’d just be a guy doing a lot of recording for no good reason. Community building is the number one thing we can do, and I appreciate each and every community member. From the people who started this journey with me 9 years ago, to the person we pick up tomorrow.
Has Jahlon sold out? Am I going to have to pay to watch his videos?
My videos are going to be on Youtube for Free. For now. Forever.
Everything I do, everything I've ever done, everything I ever will do will go up on YouTube and you will never have to pay a dime. The Buy me a Coffee simply exists for people who want to help support the Paradox Gaming Network. Honestly, watching the videos and showing up when I stream is also a ton of support and it's the type of support, I need more than financial contribution.