Last week rumors circulated that AOL would be shuttering it's video gaming site Joystiq. Like most bad rumors this one turned out to be true and the site will be shutting down today, ending a decade of some of the best game journalism ever written.
It's a weird feeling to see a site like Joystiq close, especially given how Gaming Nexus and Joystiq are linked. Former Gaming Nexus writer Ben Zackheim was one of the first writers for the site when it started. Ben never formally quit but we figured it out when we saw a massive spike in traffic to one of our posts that he linked to. Ben later left to do other things but I've been following the site ever since then as the site has had some of the best coverage of the industry out there.
One of the best examples of this was Alexander Sliwinski's great coverage of the 38 Studios collapse and subsequent legal ordeal. Alexander's coverage was tireless, detailed, and engaging and I appreciated that he managed to report on the event with such an even perspective.
Another great side project form Joystiq was Jess Condit's great Dear Trolls tumblr account where she replies to some of the worst comments posted on stories at the site with animated .gifs.
What I've appreciated most about Joystiq over the last few years is that they've stayed committed to top tier game journalism without resorting to over the top editorials engineered to drive traffic. The site never resorted to padding it's content with non-gaming content like movie trailers or the latest internet memes. Everything was about games and it was always a great source of well written reviews and news posts.
It looks like the site was the victim of a corporate re-organization and trimming of brands but I really question if AOL really knew what to do with the site. I'm hoping that some of the great writers there are brought over to Engadget or find work with another game site or possibly even form their own new site. Either way the world of game writing is clearly losing a great repository of original game writing.