2023 was a year of continued operation for Pacer1 that can best be described as just another year. Nothing entirely incredible happened, none of our stories lit the internet on fire and Pacer1 did not go viral in any meaning of the word. That’s all fine and dandy with us, however, because what Pacer1 serves to do is what Pacer1- for the third straight year now- has delivered on. We promoted stories, told you exactly when they would be released, and published them on time without exception. Whilst it is up to you to dictate whether or not we released stories of great impact, we’d like to believe that we’ve offered something incredible for our readers that- for the most part- we will just continue to build upon.
Now, as for furthering the growth of Pacer1, I will admit that I did less in 2023 than I had expected to do around this time last year. I will get further into what I expected to do as opposed to what I did accomplish more in detail later on, but I will admit that this year was a lot different than what I had envisioned it to be. That, however, is not a bad thing. I have begun to reset my sights on what Pacer1 will be in the years that are to come, and that has led to a lot of what I thought going into this year being changed by the time that the calendars are ready to turn to one of new.
Ten seasons of material were released on Pacer1 in 2023, and seventeen episodes of that were released on the first day of the year alone. All in all, over one thousand pages of content was released on the website alone in this calendar year, and all of them came from the tips of my crying fingers as they beg for the sweet relief of mercy. Rise not only released its fifth season, but the world was finally given a remastered edition of the first two seasons, completing the series’ back catalogue on Pacer1. The series’ spinoff, RISE and REVOLT released its third season, whilst Dire and Dream Sequence released their third and second seasons respectively. In addition to this, Pacer1 released four brand new series in 2023 with the period news drama Tonight at 9 premiering in the late winter slate, the mystery thriller series Generation Alpha premiering in the spring slate, the criminal thriller Kings of Cambridge premiering in the summer, and the small town horror Remedy Hills premiering in the early winter slate. Collectively, a full one hundred episodes were released on Pacer1 in 2023 across all ten series, and that is a monolithic task that I am pleased to have accomplished.
With that being said, I believe it’s time to begin discussing the plans made in 2022 that didn’t come to fruition.
Planned in 2022, but did not come to fruition:
Growth on TikTok: an Idea to be Burned.
I was an idiot for believing that I could use TikTok to grow the readership of Pacer1. It was a classic example of someone not truly knowing where to find their audience and thinking to go to the one place that had as many people as possible hoping a few would stray from the pack and give my content a read. It was a foolish idea, but it was one that I didn’t fully think through if I’m being honest. More so than just the hope of convincing people to read these stories through using a TikTok platform, I was hoping to use the account on the website to release the audiobooks that had been taking the platform by storm. Unfortunately, I did not know how to best put that material into use, and incorrectly figured it was worth the effort to take what had been released on our YouTube channel and redistribute it on the platform. Perhaps it would’ve worked on another app, but TikTok is not one of them.
Growth for Pacer1 is not going to be found on TikTok. Our account will never accomplish what I hoped it would accomplish, and I’m not quite sure that I know what to do with it. Maybe if there’s a way to A.I generate colourful scenes in a slideshow that accompany what’s happening in the story whilst I paste a playthrough of some mobile game at the bottom half of the screen, but Pacer1 will not find success on TikTok unless that happens. If it did, I could actually see people paying attention to the story, but the way that I was releasing our content just never would have worked. It was an idea that is best left burned into the past.
Patreon Tiers: Decent Idea, Worthless Just Yet
The subscription tiers are something that I think can work with a larger audience, but we are just not there yet. If anything, I only mention this because it was a thing that I spoke of prominently last year, but this was more an example of me trying to get ahead of things with the hope that it might eventually pay off. It hasn’t yet, but there’s always a chance that it will so long as Pacer1 continues operating. It’s a decent idea, but there’s no real worth to it yet.
Pacer1 “From the Archives”: Great Idea, Just Not Consistent
Taking old material and re-releasing it in audiobook format a few years after the original airing whilst also releasing new material that will eventually become an archive season was a great idea that I just did not stay on top of. The last addition to Pacer1’s “From the Archives” project was re-releasing Dire’s first season in March, and that- for those who aren’t keeping track- was nine months ago. It’s been awhile, that’s on me, but I also wasn’t really sure what else to do. The only other option at that point since all of Rise’s back catalogue had been re-released in addition to RISE and REVOLT’s early in the year was to re-release the first season of Joshua Lane, which was a series that had been cancelled less than six months prior. I felt like offering the first season to new viewers only for them to eventually find out that they’ll only ever get two was a wrong move that I wasn’t willing to make.
In addition to this, I wasn’t sure whether or not “From the Archives” really had a point once I disconnected it from the initial intent of Pacer1 Audio and the Patreon subscription tiers. It became something more akin to being a brand name that just distinguished current releases from past releases, and I didn’t quite mind that. After all, I had created a logo for both “From the Archives” and the topic that we’re about to talk over next, so why not keep the status quo? I’ll likely keep From the Archives going, I’m just not quite sure when. It’s very possible that 2024 will see a new “From the Archives” release at some point.
Pacer1 Audio: Yet to Truly Premiere. Work in Progress.
Pacer1 Audio is what I expected to be a section of the Pacer1 website devoted solely to hosting either videos of the Pacer1 audiobook episodes or links to places in which you can access the Pacer1 audiobook episodes. I haven’t fully worked out the kinks and thought that I would have by now, but I simply haven’t. I’ve also run into difficulty with the quality of these episodes, as they’re difficult to both produce and publish, and I’m not sure that I want to use the platform that I make the audio episodes on in the first place. Nonetheless, Pacer1 Audio is still in the works and can’t really be judged on anything yet other than its failure to meet a release in 2023.
However, there have been things that I’ve done with Pacer1 in 2023 that are also worth noting, and they mainly have to do with bypassing the TikTok expansion plans in favour of really keying into the demographic that we’re looking for. It starts with things we’ve at least dipped our toes into the water of this year.
Pacer1 in 2023, Not Just Another Quiet Year:
Pacer1 officially leaves StoryFire
Earlier in the year, Pacer1 began ceasing any further uploads of our stories onto StoryFire, where we had been releasing material since our launch in early 2021. We made it clear that we would eventually inform the StoryFire audience of our future plans, and that day has come as part of the State of Pacer1 2023 address. Pacer1 will no longer be uploading content to StoryFire for a variety of reasons, but the main ones are as follows.
We don’t believe that Pacer1 was earning any more of an audience on StoryFire than what our website can reach. The process of using StoryFire that made it so appealing was the possibility to release episodes on the platform and interact with a community built into the platform itself. The freshness of the platform when we joined made it appealing to begin reaching an audience where the platform had not already been saturated. However, the platform never grew to what we believed that it could become, and our reach within the platform was no longer worth continuing with StoryFire for.
In addition to this, the management of StoryFire has always had views and beliefs as far as business is concerned that go against what we believe. Their focus was creating a new YouTube as opposed to a more interactive Wattpad with less fodder to be sifted through, and that did not operate in line with what Pacer1 has been trying to accomplish. In addition to this, ownership spent a very long period of time clouding itself in a murky haze of cloudiness that has failed to ever alleviate itself, and we’re not sure that the platform is in the best hands that it can be. The belief that we carry is that StoryFire is no longer a platform that can be used as a less content-flooded Wattpad with built in social interaction, but a crypto haven operated by an unknown figure and individuals with likely very little power in the real world over matters that mean something who have taken to StoryFire as if they were moderators of some other chatboard website. That is not to say that all are, just a few that almost certainly have taken to the husk of the platform and began playing around with it like a puppet pretending that there is still life inside the corpse.
After a pleasant two and a half years, Pacer1 will no longer be releasing material on StoryFire and wishes the platform the best in what it does moving forward.
Pacer1 Begins Promoting on Tuesday Serial.
Tuesday Serial is a website that, until a few months ago, had been updating its list of releases each week with new releases of web serial episodes from all sorts of creators. Pacer1 began publishing on Tuesday Serial during the run of Dire and Generation Alpha earlier this year, and it proved successful for a period of time. Then, Tuesday Serial stopped updating its releases, and Pacer1 stopped applying to be promoted on the website. Maybe they will update again eventually, but for the time being- Pacer1 gave Tuesday Serial a brief try and found moderate success from it. Unless the updates begin on the website again, we’re not sure that Pacer1 will be applying for promotion on Tuesday Serial any further.
Pacer1 Offers a Taste of Their Content in Testing the Waters with Neovel.
Ever since departing from StoryFire, Pacer1 has been looking to broaden where our content reaches and where it can be found. We have looked into various platforms and applied for membership with some, but very few peak our interest in the way that StoryFire or Wattpad once had. Neovel is a website that joins those in the category of intriguing, and the biggest reason for that is the continued rights that they have assured in their mission statement and terms of service that we will retain.
I am a massive supporter of maintaining creative freedom and the liberty of self-ownership over my work, which is why I choose to only release that work on platforms where I have the exclusive ownership over the material that’s written. It’s why I reserve all rights to my work and the likeness associated with my work, including promotional art, literary content and the titles or branding of my material. Neovel offers that in a space that I can comfortably describe as being Wattpad without the fodder, and it’s why I plan to bring Pacer1 material to Neovel for at least a little bit more than just a test drive in 2024.
Whether or not that test drive will be full seasons released on the platform, added episodes from the past or even new releases remains to be seen, but Neovel has definitely piqued the interest of Pacer1 and I look forward to playing around with the platform more in the coming year.
But that’s enough about next year’s plans. How about we get to the thing you really tuned into read? Let’s talk about next year’s releases.
Pacer1 2024 Slate of Releases Part 1 - The non-renewals:
Kings of Cambridge - not renewed for Season 2
As detailed and purposefully-loaded as the concept for Kings of Cambridge was, I’m just not sure that it stuck the landing. I felt like the series didn’t carry the weight of a story that I was proud of and I thought- in hindsight- that I tried to do too much and offered way too little. In addition to this, I don’t think future seasons were set up to be worth the read following the material of the first season on account of the fact that I just didn’t believe I’d done the maiden ten episodes justice in what I was trying to accomplish. Kings of Cambridge becomes the only 2023 release to not be renewed for a second season, but it isn’t the only 2023 release to not see a release in 2024...
Remedy Hills - annualed for Season 2
Yes, the dread “annualing” that I had made mention of earlier in this year with my address to new readers. Remedy Hills has been annualed for a second season, which means that it will not be coming back in 2024, but it will be coming back for a second season at some point in the future. Almost every time a series is annualed, it means that a series’ next season has been pushed back to the year that follows the new one, and Remedy Hills is no exception to this rule. Season 2 of Remedy Hills is planned to be released in 2025, leaving 2024 without the presence of its second season.
Pacer1 2024 Slate of Releases Part 1 - The Renewals:
Tonight at 9 - Renewed for Season 2 starting 6th January 2024
Tonight at 9- the period news drama that launched at the start of 2023- is returning for a second season as announced earlier in the year, and will premiere on Saturday, the 6th of January 2024 with the season premiere episode entitled “Strange Bedfellows.” The tagline for season two is “Swallow Your Pride.”
Tonight at 9 was a series that was inspired by the Newsroom, a series that ran on HBO from 2012 until 2014, and I am such a fan of it that it’s one of the few series I have actively gone back and rewatched. I don’t tend to do that with any series, but I do that with the Newsroom. Tonight at 9 was inspired at times by the Newsroom, Sam Vickers was heavily inspired by Charlie Skinner and the concept of a newsroom in New York dated in the recent past is something that I found fascinating. The story is entirely original and I believe that it offers significant opportunities for growth over seasons that are to come, so here’s to hoping that season two is received well and continues to set the precedent that I believe the first season set very well.
Dream Sequence - Renewed for a final season starting 7th January 2024
Dream Sequence- the science fiction thriller that has proven to be a great staple of Pacer1- will return for a third and final season, and will premiere on Sunday, the 7th of January 2024 for the final ten episodes of its run with the season premiere episode entitled “Expiration.” The tagline for the final season is “The Realm Will Have It’s Way.”
Dream Sequence has been a wonderful journey and experience with Pacer1 and has found some of the platform’s greatest success, but all good things must eventually come to an end. Dream Sequence will become our first series to complete its run, and it was planned to last this long from the very start. I wanted to series to run for three seasons, I believed that it had an identity and that it offered a story that could be fittingly completed by now, and I am a massive fan of the final product that has been put together. Scarlett Bensen and Victoria Shea’s stories will reach an end on the 10th of March 2024, when the series airs its finale titled “Omega.”
Rise - Renewed for Season 6 starting 6th April 2024
Away from the late winter slots and onto the spring slots as we have Rise- the post-apocalyptic zombie horror flagship of Pacer1- will return for its sixth season, and will premiere on Saturday, the 6th of April 2024 for an unordinary eleven episodes with the season premiere episode entitled “Closest Confidants.” The tagline for the final season is “Look Beyond the Shadows.”
Rise has been the flagship since its premiere on another platform in December 2018, but it has been brought to Pacer1 and has now run for five (completed) seasons and offered a spinoff series that we will get to momentarily. Following the death of protagonist John Callis at the end of season four, the series began finally setting course for its end destination in season five, but found itself split into two alongside the remaining members of the group. Divided between Cumberland and Rockford, the central characters that remain endure their individual journeys to the compound where it all began... Nova Scotia.
Dire - Renewed for Season 4 starting 7th April 2024
Dire- the series that began with chaos falling upon the globe and changed premises into a post-disaster dystopia on Pacer1- will return for its fourth season, and will premiere on Sunday, the 7th of April 2024 with the season premiere episode entitled “The Burning Tower.” The tagline for the final season is “May Glory Befall the Angelino Republic... Or May It Fall Defiant Forevermore.”
Dire has been the workhorse of Pacer1 since its beginning in 2021. Despite changing its premise between the first two seasons in a way that makes season one feel more like a prelude to the rest of the series, Dire has been the most consistent and dependable series that the project has put out. Running for only four episodes in January 2021, Dire was the first Pacer1 series to be released, and has continued to serve the purpose that has been needed of it... Putting out a quality story filled with emotional levity, endearing and vilified characters, and a plot that you just can’t help but find something to latch onto. Dire has consistently marked its territory as one of the most consistent series under the Pacer1 banner, and its return for a fourth season puts it in company only shared by two other series, both of which being associated with the concept of flagship branding.
Generation Alpha - Renewed for Season 2 starting 20th July 2024
Generation Alpha- the new series that offered readers mystery, shock, horror, suspense and disbelief in 2023- will return for its second season as the only series scheduled for a summer slate release, and will premiere on Saturday, the 20th of July 2024 with the season premiere episode entitled “This Story Has Holes.” The tagline for the final season is “The Truth Shall Set You Free.”
Generation Alpha was a maze of emotion in 2023, and it looks to carry on that story into 2024 as the only series slated to be released during the summer time. Running unopposed, the story of Sophie Amari and the aftermath of her abduction and subsequent actions in the early 2030’s will continue to flesh itself out in the upcoming year, offering readers a hook into a tale that they spent ten weeks becoming enraptured by. Generation Alpha concludes the Saturday slate of releases in 2024, and does so in a way that I feel many readers will both not see coming and not be able to look away from.
RISE and REVOLT - Renewed for Season 4 starting 6th October 2024
RISE and REVOLT- the Rise spinoff that has captivated audiences and now reinvented itself as a tale too intriguing to drop- will return for its fourth season as the only series scheduled for an early winter slate release, and will premiere on Sunday, the 6th of October 2024 for a twelve episodes season with the season premiere episode entitled “Call to Vancouver.” The tagline for the final season is “There One Moment, Gone the Next.”
RISE and REVOLT has been one of the most popular series that Pacer1 has put out, and in many ways- it has exceeded the original, it’s parent series Rise. Centring on Lou Jack, the first two season follows the tale of an ensemble cast that season three proceeds to immediately flip on its head, establishing Lou Jack as the protagonist and set its course toward finding the ensemble cast that a sinking boat had stranded in the northwest coast of Canada. Bringing in an all-new set of characters and gradually meeting some with outright heartbreak, the third season of RISE and REVOLT brought in characters that have become beloved by readers, and offered a strong reboot of sorts that has launched the series into the next level. RISE and REVOLT promises to continue getting better as it carries on, preparing for the launch of its fourth season, and tying Dire for the second-longest running series on Pacer1.
Here's to 2024. Happy New Year, Readers.
Grant Haste's Story will Continue with a 2nd Season, Scarlett and Vic's Stories will Conclude with a 3rd.
Tonight at 9 has been renewed for Season 2.
Following a very promising first season, Tonight at 9 will receive a second season in 2024. Headlined by the charismatic anchor pairing of Grant Haste and Taylor English, alongside high-ranking member of LMC News Sam Vickers and characters such as the dedicated Aiden Redwood and charming evening news host Carly Carpenter, Tonight at 9's first season has paved the way for a second season, which will premiere on Pacer1 at some time in 2024- set to be announced in the 2023 State of Pacer1 this December.
Dream Sequence has been renewed for Season 3- which will be the series' final.
The supernatural story of Scarlett Bensen and Victoria Shea will also return to Pacer1 in 2024, but it will be for the series' final season. Entering season three, Dream Sequence will prepare to use the events of the second season's conclusion to send it off in a fitting farewell with a final ten episodes. Just as the case is with Tonight at 9, the run of Dream Sequence's third and final season will be announced just as all other series in the 2024 Slate of Releases in the 2023 State of Pacer1.
State of Pacer1 2022 -