Sonic Fans’ Most Prominent Advocate is Gone
An unexpected and major decision has been posted today on the Sega blog: Aaron Webber, known to many as RubyEclipse and one of the community’s most prominent advocates and liasions between fans the company, has resigned. Today is his last day.
Webber began at Sega as a moderator of the Sega forums. It then turned into a paid position as a community manager, which Aaron took on at just 19 years old. Webber leaves Sega as an associate producer, most recently promoting the Hatsune Miku localization for the West.
Webber posted this message on the Sega blog, in part:
I started at SEGA when I was 19.
I had a big dream, and lots of passion, and spent way too much time playing SEGA games. It was thanks to this combination, but particularly that passion, that new doors began to open. I was given the chance to leave my entire life behind me to work at SEGA, living in San Francisco. Without even knowing where I would stay or if I could make ends meet, I said yes.
I left everything – my family, my friends, and perhaps some rational thinking – behind me in order to pursue that dream. In hindsight, it was one of the best decisions I have made in my entire life.
I still can’t believe how surreal it has been. To go from being a fan to representing the fans, to representing SEGA – and now, with my final day on the horizon, I find myself filled with a desire to write one more journal in this series. A snapshot of my life at this exact moment, and a message of encouragement to all of you out there who seek to live for your dreams, too.
Thank you all, as fans and as friends, for always being so supportive. Meeting you at conventions, greeting those of you who came to our lobby, and seeing you at events like Sonic Boom were the moments that rejuvenated every aspect of the job for me. I posted your fan art at my desk and read each letter with a warm smile, happy to know people out there really cared. I’m humbled and honored to know each and every one of you.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll state it one more time: Never give up on your own dreams. (Far too many people in this world do.) It was Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist that initially spurred me to send in my resume to SEGA years ahead of schedule, and I recommend the book to anyone out there who has an evening or two to read it.
Finally, it’s important to remember one’s roots: A huge thank you to Julian who believed in one of his moderators enough to interview him, and then offer him a job. My life would have taken such a different turn if not for that, and I’m eternally grateful.
Each of you reading this from SEGA: thank you all for making my six years here so wonderful, and full of so many amazing memories. I will always look back fondly upon my time here. I know you all will do wonderful things in the future, and I can’t wait to see what it holds.
To all of the fans out there: I’m sorry I couldn’t stick around longer. Sometimes, we know when it’s time to move on – and that day finally arrived for me. Against all logic and sane thinking (once again), it’s time to follow my dreams in a new direction entirely, this time outside of the industry.
You’ll forgive me for injecting some personal anecdote. In the many years I have covered New York Comic Con in New York, Aaron was always willing to speak, face-to-face, on the record, with as much depth as possible. He did so likely being told time and again how toxic this site was, and how detrimental it could potentially be toward Sega’s PR goals. I never made the interview easy, but he always made it easy to approach him–and he always made sure we had our story right.
Being able to accept and respond positively to that level of feedback wasn’t just a quality Aaron shared with me, but with everyone he met–even the faceless, sometimes atrocious remarks found in this community and elsewhere. He didn’t have to give me or any of the sharply negative opinions the time of day. But he did. That is respect. So not only will this site and I personally be poorer for Aaron’s departure–we all will.