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On January 27th, TechRaptor reported on the closure of the popular video game blog Joystiq as part of an effort by AOL to restructure its organization. Details were scant at the time and even the folks at Joystiq seemed a bit confused as to whether their blog would last the night, but in the past few days information has surfaced about the state of AOL’s current content offering platforms.

To start it seems that there will be around 150 people laid off with the majority being cut from the sales department.

This sad news follows confirmation of Joystiq’s closure. For a time it was believed that Joystiq would end up on its own channel at Endgadget, but Alexander Sliwinski, the former News Content Director for Joystiq made the official announcement via twitter that “Joystiq is no more”. This closure includes the shutdown of both WoW Insider and Massively (Massively may return, though in a different form according to their former EIC).

Currently, the only blog consolidation that AOL has gone through with is merging AOL Autos into Autoblog. There are plans to merge TUAW, the self-described “Unofficial Apple Weblog” into Endgadget. Other consolidations schedule to occur include the family-inspired Parentdish blog and fashion/beauty blog MyDaily. These two British-based blogs will be combined into the current Huffington Post website.

Other sites that are suffering from reduced traffic include KitchenDaily and Pawnation, but their fates have yet to be revealed.

As we detailed in the other news report regarding Joytiq’s shutdown rumor, the main reason behind this consolidation of content platforms is a result of AOL attempting to focus on automated advertising. CEO Tim Armstrong elaborated on AOL’s goals saying the company is trying to “increase in the value and growth of our global content brands by simplifying the portfolio of brands and increasing our share of video and mobile in key content areas.”

AOL’s focus on simplifying its portfolio comes in the wake of their third quarter earnings report. According to AOL’s earnings release, AOL’s global advertising revenues increased by 18% jumping from $399.7 million in 2013 to $473.4 million in 2014. Although this growth is impressive, Techcrunch brings out that the company’s profit is “currently driven not by its advertising business but by its subscriptions revenues (eg its legacy dial-up business and other paid services).” With this in mind, it will be interesting to see what future choices AOL makes.

Do you think they will offer better content in the future? Is there hope for gaming blogs like Massively or WoW Insider to continue in other forms?

Jon Schear

Staff Writer

Graphic and web designer by day, amateur digital artist/illustrator and writer for Techraptor by night. When I’m not doing any of those things, you can find me getting extremely angry in WoW as I watch my Moonkin get killed multiple times in PVP or drinking scotch.

  • Barnassey

    This is not surprising in the least since Joystiq was one of the first videogame sites to actively post SJW talking points. Let the Ad revenue fallout keep happening!

  • Nick

    joystiq and massively were a couple of the sites I actually went to for news as they released mostly just articles on what was happening, none of the bullshit political stuff or super opiniony pieces to push an agenda. However, their article writing style is/was completely lazy. I often called them out for incorrectly representing something, or not taking the time to link to the actual information. I guess I mostly just kept going to their website because the format articles were presented in was nice. Simple layout, scroll through what you’re interested in and read it. Now I’ll be looking for another website that runs the same type of update articles on stuff. Sorry TechRaptor, I like your articles, but your front page is not great, and the site overall is really slow compared to others. It’s really easy for articles to get buried here.


    Ehhhh. I’m big on free speech. I’m fine with SJW talking points as long as it doesn’t incite a mob to go after others and as long as conflicts of interest are always publicized.

  • Typical

    Maybe gamers should have been their audience.

  • Greg

    Massively started wildstar boob gate and got them to shrink them. They shoved there ideology all over the place.

    WoW insider started that bullshit article “its been a bad year for women who play wow” and got the director at blizzard to say they would focus more on that where there wasn’t a problem in the first place. (remember the ugly draenai female model joke?)

    good riddance. I’m find with SJW talking points too as long as its presented as opinion not as fact. Hell if that christian site can put aside there christian views to talk about the merits of a game first then talk about there ideaology ANYONE can.

  • I have to agree with Dead on this one. I’m not a big fan of the SJW kool-aid, but I wouldn’t want to see them be prevented from talking about their beliefs.