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After more than a decade in the business, it looks like video game news website Joystiq may be shutting down. Leave it to Joystiq to break the news with style, however, reporting on rumors of their own potential demise in typical business-speak fashion.
If I may break from the regular format for a moment, I’d like to add that the above paragraph took me quite a few minutes to write. No matter how I worded it, something felt off about discussing the closure of Joystiq, a site I’ve been following daily since 2005.
Fresh out of college and working in the standard journalism field (I report on sports and schools, if you can believe it), Joystiq was the first games website to truly grab my attention and hold on tight. While some sites tried too hard to be sterile and provide “just the facts” and others tried too hard to be the edgy, too cool for school brand of infotainment, Joystiq was a delightful blending of the two, offering up all of the news I was interested in with personality and humor to boot.
So that’s why this recent news post on that very site has me feeling especially blue today. While the crew may have changed over the years, I still visit Joystiq regularly, perusing the news, enjoying their reviews and getting to know the writers through the character that bleeds into each story.
So, how has the Joystiq staff handled the recent rumors? With tongue planted firmly in cheek, of course. Alexander Sliwinski’s report references a news article from Recode, stating that parent company AOL is “likely to shutter” Joystiq as part of an “extensive house-cleaning” effort.
According to Sliwinski’s digging, one anonymous member of the Joystiq staff stated that they “do not comment on rumor or speculation,” while another said “We’re still working until we can’t.”
“Sources tell Joystiq that the staff is aware of the closure, but corporate hasn't officially told them, so they are unable to acknowledge anything out of concern that it will cause immediate shutdown,” continues the Joystiq post.
As with all such articles involving rumors, Sliwinski closes by stating that the Joystiq staff has reached out for further comment from the, um, Joystiq staff, and will provide updates as they become available.
The article has already garnered hundreds of comments, many of which display a loyal readership that finds plenty of value in what Joystiq has to offer, despite what AOL seems to believe. On the social media front, a #SaveJoystiq campaign is trending in the United States, as readers and colleagues show support for the site.
While we still have to file this as a “rumor” for the time being, here’s hoping that Team Joystiq manages to land on its feet in the event of an actual closure. Then again, maybe all of the positive buzz will help change some minds? Only time will tell.
The past few years have been rough for gaming sites. Previous mainstays like GameSpy and 1UP were shut down as publishers looked to trim costs. CVG was hit by lay-offs last year and will be shutting down entirely in February. Even GameSpot had to do some belt-tightening recently. Last week, meanwhile, brought lay-offs to Escapist and GameTrailers along with the shut-down of GameFront.