Kongregate Shuts Down Most Chat Rooms, Forums, Lays Off Staff

Kongregate Shuts Down Most Chat Rooms, Forums, Lays Off Staff
Image: Supplied

Kongregate, the online portal best known for its library of time-killing Flash games, has announced they will no longer allow developers to upload new titles going forward.

The move was announced via a post early Thursday morning on the Kongregate forums. “As most of you know, Kongregate.com was first created in 2006. The gaming industry has changed a lot since then,” the company announced.

In the post, the group announced that there will be "several changes" to the site, with chat rooms shutting down, certain forums being closed and developers no longer able to add new games to Kongregate. Existing developers will still be able to update their current titles, but only 20 games out of the site's 128,000-plus library will continue to have their own chat functionality.

The move follows what appears to be a string of layoffs at Kongregate, according to one of the company's former product managers. It's not currently known how many employees are affected, and Kongregate is yet to issue a statement about the layoffs.

"We know that this change will be frustrating to many of you, but we wanted to give you a chance to plan for it, so you don’t lose contact with the many friends you’ve made on Kongregate.com over the years," the company said.

Kongregate was originally founded by Emily and Jim Greer in late 2006. After launching into a beta phase, the site received $US9 million in investment, including money from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

The site was later acquired by EB Games' parent company GameStop in 2010, and Kongregate launched their own mobile gaming development fund a few years later. The site then released a new SDK to allow Kongregate developers an easier process for launching their games on Steam. In 2018, Kongregate launched Kartridge, a new storefront designed to compete with Steam.

Some of the most iconic games released through Kongregate include AdVenture Capitalist, Star Trek Trexels, the Super Fancy Pants series, Swords & Souls, Super Mario 63, Learn to Fly, Wonderputt and more.

Kongregate's announcement can be read below in full.

As most of you know, Kongregate.com was first created in 2006. The gaming industry has changed a lot since then!

During the intervening years, Kongregate as a company has grown and adjusted with those industry-wide changes. Today our business is largely focused on developing games and flash, as you are aware, is slowly going away. That means that Kongregate.com will need to evolve as well.

We will be rolling out several changes to the website over the coming days and months, the first of which is that we will no longer be accepting new titles on Kongregate.com as of today. We also will not be adding any more badges to games. You will still be able to play our existing library of over 128,000 amazing games and developers will be able to update their games as normal.

In addition, we will be disabling a number of Kongregate.com’s social features later this month and in the future. We know that this change will be frustrating to many of you, but we wanted to give you a chance to plan for it, so you don’t lose contact with the many friends you’ve made on Kongregate.com over the years.

For those who crave all the details, the following changes will happen on or around July 22:

  • Chat rooms not associated with a particular game, including Badge-of-the-day chat rooms, will be closing.
  • Many game-specific chat rooms will no longer be available, but some games (roughly 20) will continue to have chat.
  • Certain non-gaming forums (Off Topic, Serious Discussion, The Arts, and Forum Games) will be removed from the site.
  • Most other forums will be moved to a read-only state in which administrators can make announcements but players will not be able to post. This will not affect the forums for Animation Throwdown, Bit Heroes and other Kongregate-created games.
  • Individuals wishing to create a new account will be required to verify their email address.

Please be aware that as part of our focus on developing games, we will have fewer resources to support Kongregate.com. That said, our support team will do their best to help players experiencing in-game issues.

We thank you for your continued support as we take this next step into our future.

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