Several large websites, including Joystiq, Massively, and WoW Insider closing in the midst of AOL Layoffs

Joystiq, Massively, Wow Insider Shut Down By AOL Layoffs

Rumors began to circle early this week that Joystiq, the AOL-owned blog that had spun off Engadget in 2005 to cover gaming and game related news, was shutting down. Yesterday, staff writer Alexander Sliwinski confirmed over Twitter that rumors were true.

When Recode initially reported on the rumors, Joystiq then reported on the rumors as well, using some of the humor that has been a trademark of their site for the past decade.

“Sources tell Joystiq that the staff is 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. We’ve reached out for more information. We will update, as we always have, when we know more.”

Much of the online gaming community has reacted with sadness at the news of the site’s closure.

Ryan Winslett wrote on Cinema Blend, “Fresh out of college and working in the standard journalism field (I report on sports and schools, if you can believe it), Joystiq was the first games website to truly grab my attention and hold on tight. While some sites tried too hard to be sterile and provide “just the facts” and others tried too hard to be the edgy, too cool for school brand of infotainment, Joystiq was a delightful blending of the two, offering up all of the news I was interested in with personality and humor to boot.”

According to more detail released yesterday by TechCrunch, both Joystiq and the Apple news weblog TUAW are set to be folded back into Engadget. Gamasutra reports that Engadget will also take up some of the reporting previously covered by MMORPG focused Massively.

All in all, the New York Post reports that AOL is laying off around 150 workers from its ad staff, as it focuses more on programs selling ads and less on salespeople. All of this comes in advance of AOL announcing its earnings in the fourth quarter of 2014. The Post also reported that AOL’s stock fell yesterday.

“Wall Street seemed less than impressed by Armstrong’s attempt to reshape and resize the company’s sales force — shares fell 1.8 percent to $43.25. The stock is down 8.3 percent over the past year.”

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