PayneReactor is the longest running and most influential Max Payne fan site on the web. Even today it’s still going strong. Thousands of Max Payne fans from all over the world visit the site every day for the latest on Max Payne, other character driven games, interviews and much more. In this section you can learn more on how the site came to be.
The history of PayneReactor
PayneReactor was founded by Kristian Brynie Hollund in 1999. Hollund started the website out of great interest for the then upcoming Max Payne videogame and his love for web design. Back then the website was called “Insane Payne”. In a world were Twitter and Facebook were nonexistent, the site proved to be quite popular. Hollund’s insight in how the game would turn out (thanks to good contact with Remedy Entertainment) and the decent amount of visitors the site received after launch, gained the interest of GameReactor. Hollund was eventually approached by GameReactor and agreed to put the site under their “umbrella” in 2001 and naming it “PayneReactor”. To celebrate the cooperation, Hollund got in an interview with Remedy Entertainment which GameReactor translated to many languages, further increasing PayneReactor’s popularity in many countries.
In the month Max Payne launched, the website had over 500.000 unique visitors in that month alone. By the time Max Payne 2 was announced Hollund started running the site independently again, keeping the PayneReactor name. The site got great support from Rockstar Games and Hollund was even invited to preview the new Dead Man Walking mode of the game in New York before launch.
Since the launch of Max Payne 2 in October 2003 there’s been a lot of activity in the game’s modding scene (since the games are highly moddable) or various fan created film projects. Hollund requested the Max Payne community for help in providing news and maintaining the website. Shortly after, Patrick Streutjens joined as second in command.
After 2006 the biggest modding projects were either finished or abandoned, leaving the community silent. The absence of a new Max Payne game also ensured interest in the franchise slowly died. However PayneReactor endured, out of love for the franchise and always believing a sequel would be coming.
Since 1999 PayneReactor has existed in one form or another. After the release of Max Payne 2, a custom CMS by Matt Lowden was implemented. At the time, a CMS was fairly new (systems like WordPress did not exist yet) and hard to maintain. While the site did benefit a lot from the CMS at first, Hollund no longer had the proper time to maintain the site. As a result, a lot of content became inaccessible and was lost over time. In 2008 Hollund decided it was time for change. He started from scratch with a new CMS (Joomla) and redesigned the website together with Streutjens, who provided most of the graphics. The design was updated during the years, improving heavily on visuals and the user experience.
Max Payne 3 was announced in 2009, but would not release until May 2012. The announcement of the new title and the redesign rekindled a lot of interest in PayneReactor. Just a few months ahead of release of Max Payne 3, PayneReactor was again invited by Rockstar Games for a hands-on preview of the game in New York City. You can read all about that trip by clicking here.
Kristian Hollund retires from PayneReactor
On the 5th of November 2013, after 14 years of running PayneReactor, Kristian announced his retirement from the site due to time-consuming work and hobbies. Streutjens, believing PayneReactor is a crucial part of the Max Payne legacy, immediately stepped in to keep the website online. Kristian agreed, leaving the reign now in the hands of his trusty protégé.
After Hollund’s retirement, Streutjens decided to reboot PayneReactor. Streutjens never really liked the complexity of the Joomla CMS and craved for a more simplified system that could provide readers with a more blog-like experience. The latest incarnation of the site is running on WordPress and features an all new design designed by Streutjens himself. The design and layout of the website was heavily inspired by previous iterations, new design trends (like “flat” design) and brought new functionalities to the table.
Something Streutjens believed was necessary in order to keep PayneReactor relevant was to further expand the site to feature more Rockstar Games & Remedy Entertainment game titles, as well as other character driven games. Ensuring you, the reader, is provided with exciting content in-between Max Payne games.
2014 marked the year of PayneReactor’s15th anniversary. The event was celebrated by organizing a giveaway contest in cooperation with Remedy Entertainment and Rockstar Games. Max Payne fans from all over the world participated by sharing their most cherished Max Payne memory. More than 20 prizes were shipped, each containing rare Max Payne collector’s items.
In November 2015, PayneReactor was invited to Cologne by Remedy Entertainment for a behind-closed-doors preview of their new title Quantum Break. After 15 years, Streutjens was finally able to meet with many of the developers of Max Payne, like Sam Lake, who all praised the site still exists today.
It’s not going anywhere but forward.
The views and opinions expressed on this website, are the personal opinion of PayneReactor and are independent of any official positions. PayneReactor is not responsible for the content of statements and reactions of third parties on the here published pieces. Alan Wake and Remedy trademarks and logos are property of Remedy Entertainment Ltd. Max Payne is a trademark of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Quantum Break and Xbox One are trademarks of Microsoft Studios. All rights reserved.