The PAL Gaming Network (PALGN) is an Australian based videogame news and reviews website that focuses on the videogame industry and culture in PAL territories, particularly Australia and the UK. It was launched in 2003 by a group of PAL forum members on the IGN message boards who were disenfranchised by the American site's move to subscription based boards. In August 2003, the Sydney Morning Herald said the upstart website's "dedication to console gaming in PAL markets is admirable."
PALGN has grown to be one of the largest independent videogame websites in Australia, garnering over a million hits from over 300,000 unique users each month.
PALGN's main page has links to the latest news, reviews and previews for all major videogame platforms, including Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, Wii and PC. Reviews and previews are usually timed to coincide with the launches of the game in PAL territories, and feature and editorial content usually deals with the local and greater PAL videogame scene. However, the nature of the global industry means most articles are suitable for international audiences as well.
PALGN covers every major videogame release on every platform, and the site's review archive is now over 1,300 games strong. PALGN is recognised as a major source of critical review by metascore sites Metacritic and Game Rankings and scores given by PALGN are used to determine the average rating a game receives on those sites.
One of the most popular features of PALGN has been the comprehensive Australian release list which has been published since 2004. The release list is now based on the same data used by retailers and publishers, is updated in real-time, and allows users to see the scheduled date for a game's release, the status of that date (rumored, tentative, confirmed), the retail price, and even the rating given by the OFLC.
Users can also select to view release dates by individual platform, and a click on a title will link to all PALGN coverage of the game.
After a few intermittent podcasts, PALGN finally launched an ongoing podcast in 2007, co-hosted by Evan Stubbs and Daniel Golding. It has featured industry guests such as Joseph Hewitt, Senior Designer at Auran studios, Tom Crago, Head of the GDAA, and Greg Tannahill, Democrats Candidate for the ACT. The format went weekly in 2008, and has been running for over a year.
In October 2007 PALGN launched GamerKids, a version of the site designed for younger readers and their parents. Some PALGN content is shared with GamerKids, and there is also unique content specifically designed for the youth market. Popular gaming blog Kotaku described GamerKids' design as "a little crazy on the eyes. Due to the new design, the GamerKids website now links to PALGN itself.
PALGN began as a forum, and has maintained a lively community of Australian and UK gamers for over six years. The forum has boards for discussion of videogame related matters for every platform, as well as boards for general chat and entertainment industry discussion.
In 2006 PALGN launched a Game Exchange forum. Hundreds of successful transactions have taken place since then by over 300 users.