Interview: Gabriel Bogdan | Founder & Editor-In-Chief At Cerealkillerz

We spoke to Gabriel Bogdan, founder and Editor-in-Chief at Cerealkillerz.

By Admin, Posted 21 Aug 2019

We spoke to Gabriel Bogdan, founder and Editor-in-Chief at Cerealkillerz. Gabriel has been involved with the gaming industry for quite some time now and he loves covering gaming news and reviews. Not to mention he hardly misses the gamescom and E3 events, along with conventions like Paris Games Week or Tokyo Game Show. We thought of having a chat with Gabriel and publish this interview to show an appreciation towards his dedication for gaming.

Gabriel Bogdan, Cerealkillerz, Founder, Editor-in-chief, Gamer, Journalist, Expo

Ron: Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Gabriel Bogdan: My name is Gabriel Bogdan and I’m the founder and Editor-in-chief at Cerealkillerz. I’m 27 years old and grew up in a small town here in lower Austria (Near Vienna) with video games as steady companion. From Sega Saturn, SNES over to my first own Game Boy and PlayStation 1 where it all started for me through basically every video game platform to date. Around 7 years ago I decided to make more out of my passion for video games and started writing my first reviews and news as Blogger with Cerealkillerz. Since then everything got bigger every year as we are approaching our seventh Gamescom as press this month and also looking back at five times covering the E3 Expo and a lot of other Events from around the world already.

Ron: What are your duties at Cerealkillerz? Tell us why you decided to establish Cerealkillerz and how is it going for you so far?

Gabriel Bogdan: As Editor-in-chief and founder my duties are pretty much everything around the whole project. Since around 2-3 years now I got an amazing team of 3 editors I oversee and that help me out with daily news and upcoming reviews and previews but besides that everything from keeping the Website working, Social Media on every platform, YouTube, editing our videos and doing the preview coverage from the events we get invited to every year is still fully on my daily to-do list. The reason why I started the project was pretty simple. Besides my other personal hobbies, Video Games are always on my mind and since I always inform myself on every new game that comes out and the urge to try out the newest games it wasn’t hard for me to take the next steps and put a little more effort into my interests.

We fight with the same problems that basically every gaming outlet out there has today: Inscrutable social media algorithms, the decline of interest for print media/serious gaming coverage and the steady changing industry were you always have to find a way to adapt but besides that it works really well for us here in Austria. After 7 years we are already considered one of the most important gaming Medias in the country and our yearly E3 and Gamescom coverage always finds a good international audience that helps us with growing our YouTube and Instagram Presence.

Ron: As a founder of a gaming website, what trends have you noticed in the gaming industry recently? Do you support where it’s heading?

Gabriel Bogdan: Visiting E3 reveals every time what the industry is trying this time around. The last years were focused on 4K and VR. Now we got the upcoming rise of eSports, Game Streaming (Google Stadia) and still a big focus on Streamer/Influencer. The most interesting Trend in the industry in the new way how smaller game studios can manage to still put out “AA” Games with a reduced size of the team and budget. Hellblade was pretty much the biggest example in the last years for that and I’m really curious what other developers will learn from their development diaries and achieve also similar projects in the future.

Ron: Esports focuses on its social aspect a lot these days. Do you think there’s a lot more potential in terms of the social aspect of Esports than there currently is?

Gabriel Bogdan: Definitely. To be honest “eSports” was already there when I was younger but it was just people with a common interest in games coming together and playing a bit competitive together with basically no external audience. So to keep eSports alive in the future, the focus needs to be on the community and getting the people together and interested in it, not the sponsors or prize money. If it stays the way it’s being handled at the moment it will probably die as fast as 3D TV’s or even the VR Hype. If you lose your core audience and just do it for marketing big twitch numbers and filling up bigger arenas, the community will probably die soon around it.

Ron: Do you supervise the effective approach to prepare, rewrite and edit copy to improve readability?

Gabriel Bogdan: At first: Yes. Since I’m working now with the same people for almost 2-3 years I trust my editors. After some time and training it pretty much gets to be routine and I’m really happy with their work at the moment.

Ron: What is the most challenging part of your job?

Gabriel Bogdan: The 24/7 aspect of it. Sure it’s videogames and I still love it but keeping myself up to date all the time and trying to pick good stories for our website and also getting them ready in time is demanding and most of the them not really rewarding when you lose a lot of relevance in minutes, hours or sometimes days. The Internet is crowded with good video game sources and to stay relevant you have to be ready all the time the whole year.

Gabriel Bogdan, Cerealkillerz, Founder, Editor-in-chief, Gamer, Journalist, Expo

Ron: Have you ever gone above and beyond the "call of duty" for Cerealkillerz?

Gabriel Bogdan: In the first years basically every time. There was no pressure from the community or the publisher/pr side but I wanted to do my best and be a better version of myself every time so yea in this time I rushed from every story to the next, tried to get my reviews out as soon as possible and also do everything that the website gets the attention it deserves. Nowadays it got my routine and got my schedule to still be efficient but I’m not overdoing it anymore. It keeps the quality of the content steady and also my health.

Ron: Have you ever received negative feedback on a piece of your website? What was your response?

Gabriel Bogdan: I was surprised over the years that we actually didn’t get that much negative feedback on articles. Mostly it was just some comments like “I already heard that story some hours/days ago” or “Why did you like that game I don’t like” but never anything about our writing style or the points we used in our reviews, which is still a bit surprising for us but I’m not complaining. YouTube on the other hand is a different turf. Some of our editors got negative feedback from people for not being as good as they expected someone that played a game for the first time at conventions like E3 or Gamescom, which is why I mostly oversee the capturing process at events like that. People are very picking on YouTube when it comes to gameplay videos, so I’m always trying to keep the quality up to minimize the negative feedback but most of the time it’s pretty much random and we’re not taking it to serious.

Ron: What have you found to be the best way to monitor the performance of your work and/or the work of your team?

Gabriel Bogdan: Besides the tracking mechanics we got on the website and on social media: Comments. Feedback from people is always the best way to see if your work really reached someone. It gets rare these days because of the mechanics behind the different social media platforms but we still see a lot of responses on our work.

Ron: Can you tell us about a time when you developed your own way of doing things other than following others?

Gabriel Bogdan: The first time was when I’ve read gaming print media back in the days when I was younger. I was always annoyed that some outlets kept expanding their articles with explaining which button makes you jump or you need for solving puzzles in a game and side facts like that. That’s where I drew my first inspiration for doing my reviews and articles different and gamer focused. With the rise of Social Media and YouTube people wanted to avoid more and more to waste time and be more efficient. So I always tried to keep our reviews on the points that gamers want to hear and know. Short and simple to the point. After that I just worked my way up to my own routine for events, previews and nowadays I edit my Previews, Interviews, and Reviews on my own from the making of at the event, to distributing it on our website and the different social media platforms.

Ron: We all have experienced this at least once. Will you share an experience when your ethics and patience were tested? How did you keep your emotions in check?

Gabriel Bogdan: At my first E3 Expo everything didn’t go the way I expected. I traveled there with a freelancer camera man to help me out with filming our interviews. If you watch our interviews from E3 2015 you can still see what happened back then. We got into a personal fight about little things and it was in the middle of the conventions, so I tried to keep my emotions in check and talk him down so that at least we can film the rest of the interviews and I can get back to my work. It was a lot of stress for me and also my first E3 so lots of the videos/interviews didn’t work out the way I wanted to and it thought me a lot of working together with other people and also about having backup plans. After that I thought myself everything I needed to record the interviews and edit them in the future myself which helped me a lot on trips like the Tokyo Game Show or Paris Games Week in the years after that.  

Ron: What in gaming excites you the most? Outside of work, how much time do you spend playing video games in an average week?

Gabriel Bogdan: The new ways of playing, stories and overall the experiences I get from every game. Videogames are an amazing product. So much different ideas and people behind them and it combines so many fields of entertainment. Music, Film, Animation and also every aspect of the game development like the story writing, game design, lightning and so on. I think at least 1-2 hours a day and a lot more on the weekend. 

Ron: What experiences would you personally like video games to deliver in the future?

Gabriel Bogdan: More immersion and tighter controls. The Player needs to be more part of the game/be inside the game. VR is a nice gimmick but still far away from that experience people are dreaming of.

Ron: As a founder of a website, you get a lot of developers trying to get your attention and to play their games, but they may not know the best ways. Do you have any tips that you can impart to make their pitches towards you and other journalists more effective?

Gabriel Bogdan: Avoid Spam. I get a lot of Mails every day of the year and I look through all of them. Don’t send your pitch 5 times a month and ask every time if I had time to look at your idea. Also even if you are a small indie developer: Consider working with a pr agency/marketing. There are a lot of creative people out there that help Indies promote their game and if your game is good they are the best way to get journalists consider covering your project.

Ron: With so many gaming websites and independent journalists trying to reach the same target audience segment, do you think the correct messages are being spread across?

Gabriel Bogdan: We should get “back to the roots” and focus on what’s important: The Games and the Gamers. A lot of outlets try new fields, mix every sort of entertainment together and try to get the attention of people with new marketing tricks or just clickbait. I know you all need to make a living but at the end of the day you lost your way. Journalists/Blogger/Youtuber: You don’t sell products or ads. You are helping fellow gamers out that need Information on a new game, are not sure if an upcoming game is worth their money or just want to talk with someone about their shared interests. If we keep that in mind we can make the community a better place for everyone. Even if that means losing clicks, money or attention.

Gabriel Bogdan, Cerealkillerz, Founder, Editor-in-chief, Gamer, Journalist, Expo

Ron: Why is it important for gamers to maintain a healthy lifestyle? What advice would you have for a gamer looking to take the first steps towards a healthier lifestyle?

Gabriel Bogdan: Playing games all day is demanding, even if you are not playing competitive. Your eyes and body need rest and be trained enough to get through hours of gaming. Take a break and even if the game is amazing, get some fresh air, check up with your friends and after that you can enjoy your game again. You should never forget about the world out there and that there are other great things besides videogames.

Ron: What are the future plans for Gabriel Bogdan?

Gabriel Bogdan: I’m always trying to improve our website, reaching a bigger gamer audience and also coming up with new ideas to keep up with this industry. Besides that I’m working on our first EP/Album with my Band (I have been playing drums for some years) and as always keeping myself up to date with the newest videogames. We’ll see what the future of videogames will look like in the next years.


Big thanks to Gabriel to joining us for the interview. We wish him all the very best with his venture. Keep up with Gabriel Bogdan in his website Cerealkillerz and follow him on Instagram.


Sarwar Ron, NoobFeed

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Platform(s): PS3, Vita
Publisher(s): Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer(s): Sony Computer Entertainment
Genres: N/A
Themes: N/A
Release Date: 2013-11-15

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