After a rumblings of a closure were reported by Re/code, rumors began circulating earlier this week, Joystiq has confirmed that AOL will be shutting them down. The site will continue to publish content until next Tuesday.
For those of you who might be wondering why, the word on the street is that AOL is going through some restructuring and Joystiq wasn't pulling in as much money as its parent company desired. Perhaps its a sensible business move in a world where half of the traffic to most video game websites uses Ad Block software (effectively cutting all revenue earned in half). Maybe it makes sense to someone in a corporate meeting who can only see the numbers. To them, its a good move to shut down Joystiq after eleven years covering the industry.
Eleven years is a life-age in the world of video game websites. Most seem to go under in less than five years. To those of us who followed Joystiq's work and labored in the trenches alongside them, Joystiq was an institution. It just was. It seems impossible that when I wake up on Wednesday morning, it will be over and gone.
No more news coverage from Alexander Sliwinski. No more reviews appearing from Susan Arendt. No more goofy bits of everything written by Ludwig Kietzmann. No more from any of the talented people who worked on building Joystiq: Xav de Matos, Richard Mitchell, Jess Conditt, Sinan Kubba, Danny Cowan, Mike Suszek, Earnest Cavalli, Sam Prell, Thomas Schulenberg, or Anthony John Agnello.
These people did great work, a lot of great work. I hope we'll see them land on their feet, but for now, I think it is okay to be sad. Next Tuesday, the video game community will witness the passing of something extraordinary.
After eleven years, Joystiq is closing shop.