It seems the years of sending out millions upon millions of AOL discs have not paid out for the multinational media company and its primary gaming blog, Joystiq.
Joystiq was founded in 2004 as part of Weblogs, Inc. Originally part of the web magazine Endgadget it later became its own entity. Weblogs, Inc was later bought by AOL and Joystiq was expanded to include blogs specific to World of Warcraft and general MMORPGs.
Today Joystiq released a blog in regard to rumors that the video game blog was closing up shop. The details about the shuttering seem slight as many of the sources that Joystiq spoke to at the corporate office are, "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." Another staffer replied, "We do not comment on rumor and speculation," when asked about the shutdown situation. So far no new information has come to light.
This move isn't surprising considering that AOL has been in the midst of a long-term restructuring of its sales organization. There is talk that the content giant is seeking to to automate more of its advertising using computers. AOL now sits at a 40% automation. This system would be more "efficient" and considering that at the moment 80% of AOL's advertising sales come from computers, trimming the human element out would be advantageous for the content giant from a business standpoint.
Despite the layoffs and shutting down of "underperforming content properties", AOL seems keen on continuing to provide content alongside advertising space. In regard to continuing to provide content The Recode article says, "AOL will continue to build high-level teams aimed at custom content, top customers and enterprise sales." Whether these endeavors will end up playing well for AOL's future remains to be seen.
What do you guys think? Is AOL on its last legs? Is Joystiq a video game blog legacy you'd like to see live on?