The rumors of the video game news website Joystiq closing were confirmed Friday morning by Alexander Sliwinski, the News Content Director at Joystiq. As reported by TechCrunch, AOL consolidated and removed a number of blogs including Joystiq and Massively amid falling revenue from the parent company.
— Alexander Sliwinski (@Sliwinski) January 30, 2015
Joystiq published a goodbye yesterday, with each of the staffers posting contact details and personalized farewells. Various writers responded in their own ways:
Yes, @Joystiq is shutting down. My love and thanks to who read and followed. This job is special, and it’s not always because of the games.
— Sam Prell (@SamPrell) January 30, 2015
Massively published a final podcast episode yesterday with Editor-in-Chief Brianna Royce, and is worth a listen for those seeking a more inside look. The closing message was not as positive or clear cut as the main Joystiq crew.
I would like to be able to tell you truthfully that this is an equitable and just decision that makes some sort of logical sense, but the reality is that our overlords’ decisions have always been unfathomable. I know more of what I know about corporate from reading tech and finance news than through my own job. We all suspected this was coming eventually a year ago when a VP whose name I don’t even know and who never read our site chose to reward our staggering, hard-won 40% year-over-year page view growth by… hacking our budget in half. There’s nothing to do in the face of that kind of logic but throw your hands in the air. It’s not about merit or lack thereof, and it’s not about journalism or gaming being dead or anything grand like that, so there’s no point in taking it personally.
Even those that were not readers of the site should give the entire post a read. The authors also commented on Twitter about the closure:
— Brendan Drain (@nyphur) January 30, 2015
Joystiq is a video game blog that launched in the summer of 2004 with Peter Rojas of Engadget. The blog, as part of the network Weblogs, Inc., was purchased by AOL in 2005. Joystiq’s steady success led to spinoffs including Massively, XBox 360 Fanboy, and WoW Insider. The decision that led to the shutdown also entailed a drastic reorganization of its ad sales staff. The site and its spinoffs will officially close February 3rd, 2015.