Wednesday, February 4, 2015

RIP Joystiq, Massively, and WoW Insider

So I learned yesterday, via The Know, that AOL shutdown gaming websites Joystiq, Massively, and WoW Insider as part of a restructuring move because AOL hasn't been relevant in over a decade and rather than actually evolve and adapt to the now, it's easier to just fire people and shutdown popular websites to save a few bucks.

Now, I'm not going to front and claim that these three sites were vital to me. Truth is, I hardly game anymore outside of Fallout 3 and some Facebook games, but I know well enough that quality gaming sites are an important commodity that shouldn't be wasted. What really boggles my mind is that according to Brianna Royce, the editor-in-chief of Massively, the site was performing extremely well, revenue-wise:
...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....
 Emphasis mine, because goddamn, that is just stupidity. I'm no financial expert here, but if I had a site that was posting that kind of annual performance, I would reward them, not punish them by halving their budget. This was mentioned already in the above video, but the astounding amount of stupidity made it bear repeating.

Farewell, Joystiq, Massively, and WoW Insider. Hopefully someone will swoop in and buy you all up, like Townsquare Media did when AOL shuttered ComicsAlliance.

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