Back in 2009, a tiny little game called Landwirtschaft Simulator appeared. It was a 3D farming sandbox game published by Astragon aimed at the German market, where you could run your own farm, complete with tractors and crops.
Crucially, the game is built on a very open platform. Using simple LUA code and a 3D editor, you can change just about anything in the game. Farmers, being ingenious DIYers, soon began creating their own mods for the game, adding their favourite tractors, crops and even animals.
Two issues quickly presented themselves. Firstly, the game, the community and most of the mods were entirely in German. Secondly, there was no central place to upload and share those new mods. Enter FS-UK.
Almost overnight we gained our first 5,000 members, growing to 50,000 in the first year. Initially we were running on shared hosting with a very simple templated CMS, but this was soon outgrown.
In 2010 we deployed a completely custom built CMS with many bespoke features around mods for Farming Simulator, which now had an official English release, as well as a cult following.