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UFFSite turns Eleven Years Old

June 28, 2011

Today marks the our eleventh birthday. On June 28th, 2000, this site burst onto the web - but back then, things were different. That was just over a week before Final Fantasy IX launched in Japan, Final Fantasy was at its height of popularity and magazines (Official Playstation Magazine UK in this case) were writing about how the story of Final Fantasy VIII was so emotional it almost made them cry. It was a great time for Final Fantasy.

Back then we were known as the Unofficial Final Fantasy 9 Site. I still think 9 is the best in the series personally, but 9 wasn't enough for us. It was spun off, and that gave birth to UFFX. Run by different staff, UFF9 continued to grow separately with content sections for older titles like FF7 and earlier. Later, UFF9 gobbled up UFFX, too. Then, it became the Unofficial Final Fantasy Site.

One June 28th 2006, we launched RPG Site. A spin-off from UFFSite, that's gained a life of its own and led to us having other sites including the Media Vault and The Gaming Vault. Even though there it stands for nothing, we kept that acronym - we became the UFF Network. We've still got more new sites on the drawing board, but we'll always be from UFF. We're proud of where we came from. We believe our fansite history is an advantage, not a disadvantage.

Final Fantasy's had rough times. Whatever you say about Matsuno's strange departure from the development of Final Fantasy XII and the ensuing chaos or the quality of Final Fantasy XIII, the most damaging thing to the series from the perspective of the site was the massive five year gap between FF10 and FF12 and the three year gap (four in the West) between FF12 and FF13. Stuck with little to talk about, we at UFFSite saw friendly, allied and enemy websites fall as webmasters lost interest. Few remain from our era, and we're really proud we're still here.

With a major Final Fantasy release last year and another set for this year, it seems Square Enix might be finally getting a grip on the HD development schedule. They've also got a community team over in Europe who is taking really important baby steps towards building something really special - and for the first time in years we're really excited about what we can do and who we can reach with UFFSite. Speaking to them reminds me that we can do things that official sites never will.

This big beast is old. Storied in history. It's been a huge part of people's lives. I've met people here that have come to be the most important, loved, amazing people in my life. A few of you in particular - you know who you are - have had a huge impact on my life that will never disappear, but each and every one of you who browsed this site, posted on our forums and loved Final Fantasy with us has to be thanked.

So thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. Every one of you has impacted the site, and me personally, in a huge way. I lived a voracious double-life on UFF and in meatspace for years, and eventually, thanks to certain amazing people, the worlds merged. I used to draw a line between that stuff, but no more. I write about games for a living now. How about that, huh? I was so lucky. I can never thank the site - or all those who made it successful - enough. That's my personal story, but there are so many more out there. There are ex-UFF forum members who are now married, and if nothing else we can walk away knowing we helped that to happen. In the smallest of ways, we changed the world.

This old beast is too big, too storied and history, and too important to some people to merely let disappear into the night quietly. After years of coasting with news and little else, we're happy to say we're going to kick it up a notch, hopefully in line with what Square Enix themselves do with the FF Fanbase.

You'll see a new version of the site and a switch in our style - while all our old content will remain, for newer FF's we're going to take a new, modern approach. After all, it isn't 2000 any more. You'll hopefully see new faces who love FF joining the team, too. I could talk about this for hours, but just know this - it's not over. To borrow a phrase, "There ain't no gettin' off this train we're on!"

Keep 'em peeled. Thanks for the 11 years; here's to many more - this adventure is just beginning.