In loving memory

2023-08-15 by Callum Andrews

Some things remain the same

In the ever-evolving landscape of the gaming industry, web-based gaming outlets have played a significant role in providing news, reviews, and a sense of community for gamers around the world. Platforms such as Kotaku, Gamespot, Giantbomb, and IGN have become household names, serving as go-to destinations for gaming enthusiasts seeking the latest updates, in-depth analysis, and engaging content.

These web-based outlets emerged during a time when the internet was rapidly gaining traction, connecting people from different corners of the globe. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the gaming industry witnessed a surge in popularity, with more individuals embracing video games as a form of entertainment. As a result, the demand for reliable information and interactive platforms to discuss and explore gaming experiences grew exponentially.

Kotaku, founded in 2004, quickly became one of the most influential gaming blogs on the web. Its founder, Brian Crecente, envisioned a platform that would cover not only the latest news and reviews but also dive into the cultural aspects of gaming. This unique approach resonated with gamers, and Kotaku rapidly gained a loyal following.

Around the same time, Gamespot, established in 1996, was making its mark as a leading source for gaming news, reviews, and video content. With a team of seasoned journalists and a comprehensive database of games, Gamespot became synonymous with gaming journalism, providing in-depth analysis and critical evaluations that shaped the industry.

Giantbomb, created in 2008 by former Gamespot staff members, introduced a fresh and irreverent take on gaming coverage. The platform focused on creating engaging video content, including podcasts, video reviews, and humorous features. Giantbomb's distinct personality and candid approach attracted a dedicated fan base, solidifying its position as a prominent web-based gaming outlet.

Meanwhile, IGN, founded in 1996, emerged as a powerhouse in the gaming media industry. Its comprehensive coverage, ranging from breaking news to video content, appealed to a wide audience of gamers. With a global reach and a network of talented writers and video producers, IGN became a go-to destination for gaming enthusiasts seeking quality content.

These web-based outlets quickly gained popularity, primarily due to their ability to provide timely information, expert opinions, and engaging discussions in a digital space that was becoming increasingly interconnected. Gamers found solace in these platforms, which not only kept them informed but also fostered a sense of community and camaraderie.

It's the swim or sink mentality

However, while many web-based gaming outlets have managed to adapt and thrive, others have unfortunately faced significant challenges that led to their eventual shutdown. Several prominent gaming platforms have bid farewell, leaving behind a void in the gaming media landscape.

One such example is Joystiq, a popular gaming news website that operated for over a decade before its closure in 2015. Joystiq, known for its comprehensive coverage and dedicated team of writers, fell victim to financial constraints and the changing dynamics of the gaming industry.

Another notable case is, an influential gaming outlet that provided a mix of news, reviews, and podcasts. Despite its popularity and engaging content, faced financial difficulties and was ultimately shut down in 2013.

Furthermore, GameTrailers, a prominent video-centric gaming outlet, ceased operations in 2016 after more than a decade of delivering game trailers, reviews, and original content. Despite its loyal following and valuable contributions to gaming media, the platform struggled to generate sufficient revenue to sustain its operations.

These examples serve as reminders that even well-established web-based gaming outlets are not immune to the challenges posed by evolving technology, financial constraints, and changing user preferences. The closure of these platforms highlights the need for continuous innovation and adaptation to stay relevant in a highly competitive industry.

While outlets like Kotaku, Gamespot, Giantbomb, and IGN continue to operate and thrive, it is crucial to recognize the challenges faced by their counterparts that have unfortunately succumbed to the ever-shifting landscape of the gaming industry. By understanding the factors that led to the shutdown of various web-based gaming outlets, we can gain valuable insights into the complexities and demands of this dynamic field.

One of the primary reasons for the downfall of certain web-based gaming outlets was their failure to keep up with emerging trends and technological advancements. In an industry where innovation and adaptability are key, platforms that were unable to evolve were left behind. Take, for example, Joystiq, a once-popular gaming news website. Despite its dedicated team of writers and comprehensive coverage, Joystiq struggled to embrace emerging trends such as mobile gaming and the rise of video content. While gamers were increasingly turning to mobile devices for their gaming experiences, Joystiq's website remained primarily desktop-focused, failing to optimize its content for mobile users. Furthermore, the growing demand for video-based content was not adequately addressed, as Joystiq relied heavily on text-based articles, missing out on the opportunity to engage with audiences through video reviews, Let's Play videos, and live streaming.

Similarly, GameTrailers, a platform renowned for its video-centric approach, ultimately succumbed to the changing landscape of online video content. While GameTrailers had established itself as a go-to destination for game trailers and video reviews, it failed to capitalize on the rise of platforms like YouTube and Twitch. These emerging platforms offered a more diverse and interactive experience for gamers, allowing them to engage with content creators, share their own gaming experiences, and build communities. GameTrailers' reluctance to embrace these emerging trends and fully leverage the power of user-generated content ultimately contributed to its downfall. The platform failed to provide the same level of community engagement and interactivity that competitors on YouTube and Twitch were offering, causing users to migrate to these alternative platforms where they could consume gaming content and connect with fellow gamers in a more immersive way.

These examples illustrate the critical importance of staying abreast of emerging trends and technology in the gaming industry. Web-based gaming outlets must be proactive in identifying and embracing new platforms, formats, and user preferences to maintain relevance and capture the attention of their target audience. Failure to do so can result in losing significant market share and being left behind by competitors who adapt more quickly to the evolving landscape of the gaming industry.

One of the significant financial challenges that encountered was the unsustainability of its revenue models. The platform primarily relied on advertising revenue, which proved insufficient to cover the costs of operation and generate substantial profits. As the gaming industry evolved, traditional display advertising became less effective, with advertisers shifting their focus to other platforms and formats. This decline in advertising revenue put strain on's financial sustainability, making it increasingly challenging to sustain operations and invest in growth.

Lack of Profitability: Despite its popularity and dedicated audience, struggled to achieve profitability. Generating consistent revenue streams proved to be a significant hurdle for the platform. The high costs associated with content production, web infrastructure, and maintaining a large team of writers and editors outweighed the revenue generated from advertising and other sources. The inability to generate sustainable profits made it difficult for to secure long-term financial stability and invest in new initiatives to stay competitive in the evolving gaming media landscape.

Difficulty in Securing Funding and Investment: Web-based gaming outlets often require substantial investments to sustain operations, innovate, and adapt to emerging trends. However, faced challenges in securing the necessary funding and investment. As the gaming industry grew increasingly competitive, attracting investors became more challenging. The platform struggled to demonstrate a clear path to profitability and failed to secure sufficient funding to support its operations and fuel growth initiatives. The lack of financial backing limited's ability to invest in new technologies, talent, and content strategies that could have potentially helped the platform overcome its financial challenges.

These financial hurdles collectively contributed to the eventual shutdown of Despite its dedicated audience and strong editorial content, the platform was unable to overcome the financial constraints and adapt to the changing dynamics of the gaming industry. The experience of serves as a reminder of the importance of establishing sustainable revenue models, achieving profitability, and securing adequate funding to support the growth and evolution of web-based gaming outlets. Without these crucial financial foundations, even popular platforms can struggle to maintain their operations and survive in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Inadequate community building has proven to be a detrimental factor for the longevity and success of web-based gaming outlets. Platforms that fail to cultivate thriving communities often struggle to retain and engage users, which can ultimately lead to their demise. One example of this is the closure of a once-prominent gaming outlet called GameSpy. Despite its extensive coverage and resources, GameSpy faced significant challenges in building a vibrant and inclusive community. The platform lacked effective moderation, leading to toxic behavior and a negative user experience. This ultimately drove away users who sought a positive and respectful environment to engage with fellow gamers. Without an engaged and supportive community, GameSpy's user base dwindled, and the platform could not sustain its operations.

Evolution isn't just important in nature

Successful web-based gaming outlets, such as Kotaku and IGN, have demonstrated the significance of community building in their continued success. These platforms actively foster communities through features like comment sections, forums, and social media engagement. By encouraging user interaction, promoting positive discourse, and providing spaces for gamers to connect and share their passion, these outlets have successfully built loyal and engaged communities that fuel their growth and sustain their operations.

Inadequate community building, whether through the absence of effective moderation, limited social features, or failure to foster positive engagement, can hinder the growth and long-term viability of web-based gaming outlets. Platforms must prioritize the creation of inclusive and welcoming communities, as they play a vital role in driving user engagement, promoting loyalty, and establishing a sustainable user base. Without a strong community foundation, web-based gaming outlets are at risk of losing relevance and struggling to retain the user interest necessary to thrive in the competitive gaming media landscape.

In the ever-evolving gaming industry, the closure of various web-based gaming outlets serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by platforms in staying relevant and adapting to changing trends. Examples such as Joystiq, and GameSpy shed light on critical factors that contributed to their downfall. These factors include a failure to keep up with emerging trends, financial challenges, inadequate community building, and an inability to adapt to evolving user preferences.

Platforms like Joystiq and struggled to keep pace with emerging trends in the gaming industry, particularly in areas such as mobile gaming and the rise of video content. Joystiq's lack of mobile optimization and limited video content offerings hindered its ability to cater to the evolving preferences of gamers. Similarly,'s failure to fully leverage platforms like YouTube and Twitch for community engagement and user-generated content led to missed opportunities and an inability to sustain its operations.

Financial challenges played a significant role in the closure of these platforms. Revenue models that were unsustainable and the inability to achieve profitability, as seen with, highlighted the importance of establishing robust revenue streams and controlling costs in the face of a rapidly changing industry.

Inadequate community building proved detrimental to platforms like GameSpyy. Toxic behavior, a lack of effective moderation, and limited community engagement features created an unwelcoming environment and drove users away. These platforms failed to recognize the significance of fostering inclusive and engaging communities, which ultimately impacted their ability to retain and engage users. From the mistakes of these platforms, valuable lessons can be learned. Web-based gaming outlets must prioritize adaptation to emerging trends, such as mobile gaming and video content, to meet the changing needs of their audience. Establishing sustainable revenue models and achieving profitability are crucial for long-term survival. Effective community building, with robust moderation and meaningful user engagement, fosters loyalty and strengthens the user base.

Moreover, the importance of embracing user preferences and evolving gaming preferences cannot be overstated. Platforms should constantly seek to understand and cater to the shifting demands of gamers, whether through innovative features, immersive experiences, or embracing new genres and technologies.

In conclusion, the closure of web-based gaming outlets highlights the need for constant innovation, adaptability, and community building in the dynamic gaming industry. By learning from the mistakes of these platforms, emerging outlets can position themselves to thrive and meet the evolving needs of gamers in an ever-changing digital landscape.