Daniel McNeely (Armor Games) interview

Categories: Interviews


Daniel McNeely and his crew are in the process of revamping Armor Games, one of the leading Flash games portals, and he took some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions for FreeGamesNews readers (thanks Dan!)

FreeGamesNews: Could you please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your background?

Daniel: My name is Daniel and I’m the CEO of Armor Games. I went to Biola University where I got a BS in Business and a Bible Minor. I’ve played games my entire life and a few of my favorites are Act Raiser, Ice Climber, Crono Trigger, Secret of Mana, FF3, Anything Mario or Link related, and Halo 3.

FreeGamesNews: could you give us a quick history on Armor Games?

Daniel: Armor Games started in the end of 2005. I being a big gamer, wanted to make a website devoted to great games. Most of these great games came from Newgrounds and not only did I find great games on this site, but great developers. Most of them were friendly and nice, and I got to pay them to develop flash games for AG. We had a handful of hits come out and have been releasing games ever since.

FreeGamesNews: How many people are working at Armor Games today and how did the team come together?

Daniel: Our team consist of 5 people, but we have an additional 10+ people who we work with on a contractual basis. It’s hard to say how our team got together, but I do believe that our team is one of a kind!

FreeGamesNews: Do you plan to expand your team in the future?

Daniel: Yes, we are currently looking to hire an additional 2 to 3 full time developers, a community manager, and a PR person.

FreeGamesNews: Can we have an idea of Armor Games monthly traffic?

Daniel: I can’t get into specific numbers, but our unique daily traffic is above 250,000 and our page views are in the millions.

FreeGamesNews: How do you manage all that traffic, especially to avoid down times?

Daniel: We work with Nexcess, an amazing hosting company who has meet and exceeded our expectations in hosting. I highly recommend them.

FreeGamesNews: You are in the process of redesigning your site; when and why did you decide to revamp Armor Games?

Daniel: We decided to revamp our site to allow for community interaction. We had planned to redesign back in early 2006, but it’s been a slow process.

FreeGamesNews: Your new design looks great: can you tell us what are the major differences between the two layouts?

Daniel: The new layout features tags, user profiles, armor points, armatars, armor achievements and some other surprises coming in the near future.

FreeGamesNews: let’s talk about the other games portal; do you consider the major ones as friends or as competitors?

Daniel: I consider them friends. The internet is a BIG place, and there’s plenty of traffic to be shared amongst various game sites.

FreeGamesNews: Kongregate, “the YouTube of Games”, received $5million in funding last summer: is it good news or bad news for sites like Armor Games?

Daniel: It’s great news!! :D It shows that online causal games is an expanding market, and VC’s are willing to back it. I’ve been contacted in the past by VC firms wanted to fund Armor Games, but its something I haven’t been interested in.

FreeGamesNews: What was the worse day of Armor Games life (and why)? And what was the most exciting one?

Daniel: I’m not sure there is a worst day. I get to make and play games for a living and work with awesome developers like Jmtb02 (John Cooney), Tony L, Krin, Patrick M. (Godlimations), Josh Tam, Brad Borne, Jared Riley, Coolio, David and Kevin, Alex A, and Tom & Dim just to name a few of the many.

The best day was getting to move into the new Armor Games office with John Cooney the head of game development for AG.

FreeGamesNews: There are today thousands and thousands of online games sites, with more opening every day: what is your opinion about the state of online gaming business?

Daniel: I think a lot of games have started to move from quality to quantity. I’ve also seen a surge in developers which is good news, because it means more games and more people getting to do what they love for employment.

FreeGamesNews: What is your politic about licensing games from developers?

Daniel: If it’s a great game, I’d be more than happy to sponsor or license the game. The first website to offer cash for games was Newgrounds with their monthly prizes. After that I believe Armor Games and Crazy Monkey Games were the first sites of their kind to offer good payments for flash games. Since then, a surge of sites have popped up; all wanting to sponsor the next big hit. In the end, it means more money for developers which is always a good thing.

FreeGamesNews: Hosting services are getting cheaper and cheaper and there are more and more developers who host their games on their own sites today. Does it worry you for the future?

Daniel: No it does not worry me. I am a follower of Jesus and believe the bible in the Holy inspired word of God (2 Tim 3:16) It says In Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own” I can’t stay focused on each new game site that pops up. I have very little control in life, and what I can control is doing my job to make ‘Armor Games’ the best site it can be.

FreeGamesNews: Suppose now I’m a young Flash games developer. Why should I try to get a sponsorship from Armor Games instead of another games portal?

Daniel: For several reasons.
1.) Armor Games gets a lot of traffic and can get your game in front of 100,000’s people.
2.) We offer a lot of money for great games.
3.) We offer many types of sponsorships including non-exclusive. As the flash game industry evolves so does our form of sponsorships.

FreeGamesNews: How do you imagine Armor Games and the online gaming industry in the next two-three years?

Daniel: We are currently working to bring a few of our games to WiiWare and XBLA. I’m hoping that Armor Games will continue to bring some of the best games to the web.

FreeGamesNews: Anything else to add in closing?

Daniel: Thanks for the interview, and I have always enjoyed checking your site for the latest and greatest game news.

Eric (FreeGamesNews Editor): Thanks for your kind words Dan. We wish you all the best for 2008 and we are looking forward to more exciting games at Armor Games!


4 Comments to Daniel McNeely (Armor Games) interview

  1. This is a great interview. I enjoyed hearing about the growth of a great gaming portal. It is interesting to see how casual internet games have grown and continue to grow. I wish you had asked him more about how his site plans to make money. (monitization).

  2. Porter says:

    Nice interview, it’s old, but nice to get a little info on Dan and the life of Armor Games :)

  3. cedric says:

    go!! armorgames!! woo!!

  4. Jogos gratis says:

    Armorgames is by far one of the biggest online game portals in the world. I really like their website and their games. They don’t release crappy games, only good ones.