AOL Shutting Down Joystiq

AOL Shutting Down Joystiq

AOL is preparing to shut down the video game website Joystiq after over 10 years of publication, according to people familiar with the situation.

It’s unclear exactly when Joystiq will close, but we’ve heard that this is connected to a larger-scale reorganisation planned by AOL, the long-running media company that has had more than a few struggles in recent years. Even as they close the gaming news site, AOL may use the name “Joystiq” for other branding purposes, according to one person familiar with goings-on at the company.

Recode first reported the news of Joystiq‘s shutdown.

When I spoke to him yesterday, Joystiq editor-in-chief Ludwig Kietzmann declined to comment on this story, but this morning, Joystiq reported that they were “aware of the closure,” despite the fact that AOL corporate had not informed the staff.

Last week, the AOL-owned TechCrunch reported that their parent company was planning a restructure that would lead to layoffs and site closures. Though TechCrunch didn’t offer specifics on which sites AOL would be closing, the report did mention that Joystiq‘s traffic had declined by 18% in the last year.

Originally founded in 2004 as part of the Weblogs network, Joystiq was acquired by AOL in 2005 alongside sister sites Engadget and Autoblog. For many years, Joystiq was Kotaku‘s biggest rival, fighting for eyeballs on the web as print magazines shuttered and declined. (Disclosure: I freelanced for Joystiq before starting at Kotaku.)

In 2011, then-editor Chris Grant left the site along with several other senior editors to found Polygon, a gaming site under the Vox Media umbrella. Since then, Kietzmann has been editor-in-chief of Joystiq.


  • I used to use joystiq because I hate getting news 2 days late with less articles than the kotaku US site. But then joystiq made this aweful tablet/phone format.

    • Agreed. The touch version of the site is terrible. Swipe back from an article and it takes back to the very top every time? Annoying when you’re several pages down the list and have to scroll down again to find where you were up to.

  • That’s a damn shame. ‘Massively’ under the joystiq umbrella has consistently been an excellent source of MMO-related tidbits over the years.

  • I always enjoy reading Jess Conditt’s articles. Hopefully she finds a new home without too much trouble.

  • I like Joystiq, as it seems to carry just games stuff, rather than some of the more… eclectic stuff that clutters Kotaku (Bashcraft…) – but their tablet format is awful so I barely read it anymore.

  • In case you’re unaware, there’s a quite a few game journalism sites (ones under Defy Media) currently losing staff because of cuts, including The Escapist, Game Front and GameTrailers.

    Something about advertisers not wanting to spend as much, I don’t know. I’m having trouble finding everything I read, but here’s one article confirming a bunch of layoffs, I think.

    • Yeah it’s been a brutal year for this stuff – rev3games gone, GameTrailers is a shadow of its former self.

      I think Polygon’s entry to the market is what has killed off Joystiq

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