Joystiq was a video gaming blog founded in June 2004 as part of the Weblogs, Inc. family of weblogs, now owned by AOL. It was AOL's primary video game blog, with sister blogs dealing with MMORPG gaming in general and the popular MMORPG World of Warcraft in particular.
After declining readership, it was announced that Joystiq would be shut down on February 3, 2015, as part of moves to downsize AOL's operations by shuttering its "underperforming" properties.
Type of site
|Computer and video game blog|
|Launched||June 16, 2004|
|Current status||Replaced by Engadget Games on February 3, 2015|
As of early 2004, Weblogs, Inc. was seeking to add a blog to its repertoire for the sole purpose of covering news related to video games, as evidenced by the now-defunct The Video Games Weblog, founded February 27, 2004. On March 12, Weblogs, Inc. CEO Jason Calacanis announced two spinoff projects: The Unofficial Playstation 3 Weblog and The Unofficial Xbox 2, both of which are now similarly retired, though they would set a precedent for the launching of Joystiq's Fanboy blogs in 2005. However, none of these three initial weblogs were ever aggressively marketed, and The Video Games Weblog made its final post on May 18, 2005, amassing 175 blog entries in total (a rather scant amount by Weblogs, Inc. standards). All three blogs are now listed as "On Hiatus/Retired" in the Weblogs, Inc. directory. David Touve, the primary contributor to these early blogs, would later act as Joystiq's features editor for a short time in late 2005 before resigning due to the birth of his child.
Later that year, following 2004's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Peter Rojas, the founder of and lead contributor to the company's flagship blog Engadget, formally introduced Joystiq to the masses, positioning the blog as an extension to Engadget's Gaming subdomain. However, being a separate and wholly video game-related entity, Joystiq allowed for much more in-depth analysis of the video game industry than the primarily consumer electronics-oriented Engadget. While Joystiq had featured content as early as April 2, the blog is not officially considered to have been launched until Rojas's public revelation on Engadget on Wednesday, June 16, 2004.
The first major shakeup in Joystiq's history occurred in June 2005, when senior editor Ben Zackheim, after being offered a position at America Online's Games division, announced his resignation due to a conflict of interest. He was succeeded by Vladimir Cole, a blogger who had been hired February 2005 and who held the position of Editor-in-Chief until February 2007, when Christopher Grant took over after Cole took a job with Microsoft's Xbox division. Weblogs, Inc. was acquired in October 2005 by America Online.
On November 21, 2005, coinciding with the North American launch of the Xbox 360, Joystiq welcomed its first spinoff project: Xbox 360 Fanboy, a blog devoted solely to the in-depth coverage of its namesake hardware. For the next three weeks this trend would continue, with PSP Fanboy launching on November 28, WoW Insider on December 6, and DS Fanboy on December 12. On February 15, 2006, a sixth blog was introduced: Revolution Fanboy, (which was later renamed to Nintendo Wii Fanboy), while March 29 heralded the arrival of PS3 Fanboy, completing Joystiq's trifecta of specialized next-gen coverage. While some have criticized the practice of splintering off Joystiq's primary areas of expertise as nothing more than a thinly veiled bid to increase traffic, Jason Calacanis has justified these actions by asserting that as Joystiq grows so too does its potential audience, and thus separate blogs are necessary to fulfill these specialized niches.
On November 2, 2007, Massively was launched to cover MMOs in general.
On January 27, 2009, the Fanboy sites were rebranded and integrated directly into the main Joystiq site. DS and Wii Fanboy were merged into Joystiq Nintendo, as were PSP and PS3 Fanboy merged into Joystiq PlayStation, and Xbox 360 Fanboy became Joystiq Xbox. Until 2010, these sites continued to feature specialized posts in addition to relevant content from the main Joystiq site.
On June 11, 2010, as part of the new "Futurestiq" iteration of the site, the three platform-specific sites shut down, with staff folded into Joystiq full-time.
In January 2015, co-owned blog TechCrunch reported that AOL was planning to shutter underperforming content properties, particularly in the technology and lifestyle verticals, to focus on its stronger properties, video, and advertising sales. On January 27, 2015, Re/code reported that Joystiq was among the sites that were "likely" to be shut down as part of this restructuring plan. Readership of Joystiq had seen sharp declines, falling by at least 18% over the previous year.
On January 30, 2015, various Joystiq staff members, and eventually the site itself, confirmed that the site, along with its spin-offs Massively and WoW Insider, and fellow AOL property TUAW, would cease operations after February 3, 2015. It is expected that future gaming-oriented coverage will be assumed by Engadget. After the shutdown, on February 10, 2015, the staff of Massively launched a successor site, Massively Overpowered, dedicated to the continuation of their MMO coverage.
The Joystiq staff before the closure included editor-in-chief Ludwig Kietzmann, managing editor Susan Arendt, feature content director Xav de Matos, reviews content director Richard Mitchell, news content director Alexander Sliwinski, senior reporter Jess Conditt, and contributing editors Sinan Kubba, Danny Cowan, Mike Suszek and Earnest Cavalli. Thomas Schulenberg and Sam Prell maintain the blog on the weekends as the weekend editors and Anthony John Agnello serves as community manager.
Previous Joystiq staff members include editor-in-chief Chris Grant, managing editor James Ransom-Wiley, features editor Kevin Kelly, reviews editor Justin McElroy, editors Griffin McElroy, J.C. Fletcher, and Mike Schramm, East Coast Editor Andrew Yoon, and West Coast Editor Randy Nelson.
|Super Joystiq Podcast|
|Hosted by||Xav de Matos|
|Original release||May 4, 2012 – present|
The original format for the Joystiq Podcast was hosted by Chris Grant, Ludwig Kietzmann and Justin McElroy. The three would discuss various gaming-related news stories. Segments included, 'What Have you Been Playing?', 'Brush With Fame', 'The Big Three', 'The Do It Line!' and 'Reader Mail'. Various podcasts have included guests from other gaming websites such as CheapyD, Chris Remo, Stephen Totilo, Rocco Botte, Tom Chick and Shawn Andrich but they stopped doing them.
The first episode of the subsequent Joystiq Show, posted on June 17, 2011, promised a more serious, academic format, with a multifaceted examination of Duke Nukem Forever including an interview with voice actor Jon St. John and a review roundtable. Over time, the show's format evolved to include more off-the-cuff discussion, while maintaining the topical nature.
The latest iteration of the podcast, the Super Joystiq Podcast, was announced at Joystiq's PAX East 2012 panel and officially released on May 4, 2012. This podcast features every editor, grouped together in a different configuration every week, each participating in an intro, news, preview, or "Joystiq Research Institute" segment.
While Joystiq has been nominated for several awards in the category of technology-related weblogs, it has consistently been overshadowed in this regard by blogs representing a far wider spectrum of technology, including Slashdot, Gizmodo, and its ubiquitous sibling Engadget. Joystiq has, however, been included in a number of listings of outstanding weblogs, including Forbes.com's Best of the Web and the Feedster 500.
Battlefield 4 is a first-person shooter video game developed by video game developer EA DICE and published by Electronic Arts. It is a sequel to 2011's Battlefield 3 and was released in October 2013 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360; then later in November for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Battlefield 4 was met with positive reception. It was praised for its multiplayer mode, gameplay and graphics, but was also criticized for its short and shallow single-player campaign mode, and for its numerous bugs and glitches. It was a commercial success, selling over 7 million copies.Dueling Analogs
Dueling Analogs (a pun on the Dual Analog Controller) is a webcomic by Steve Napierski (also the creator of The Outer Circle). The website was launched on November 17, 2005, and new comics are posted every Monday and Thursday. Dueling Analogs is a gaming comic and as such most of the comics take place in the universe of the games discussed. There are few ongoing stories or plotlines as all of the comics are self-encapsulated (one exception is the trial of King Bowser); however, there are repeated themes such as 'Rejected Mega Man Villains', 'Games that I am glad were never made' and 'What if...?'. Dueling Analogs is also a founding member of a webcomic group of gaming comics. The comic came to prominence in the webcomic community after the "So Dark the Contra of Man" strip.GameDaily
GameDaily (GD) was a video game journalism website based in the United States.
It was launched in 1995 by entrepreneur Mark Friedler under the name Gigex and focused on free game demo downloads. The site changed its business model from a flat fee per download CDN distributed service network to an advertising-based games content portal, content syndication and vertical ad network. The site also operated business news service GameDaily Biz.
The network grew to the number one position in ComScore's Games/Gaming Information category in March 2005 and was acquired by AOL on August 16, 2006. The site offered articles on different video game topics, with a lot of lists where games are ranked.
In 2011, the GameDaily brand was retired. Its staff and content were merged with Joystiq, another video game website owned by AOL.List of Game of the Year awards
Game of the Year (abbreviated GotY) is an award given by various gaming publications to a video game that they feel represents the pinnacle of video gaming that year.Pac-Man Championship Edition
Pac-Man Championship Edition (パックマン チャンピオンシップエディション, Pakkuman Chanpionshippu Edishon, sometimes referred to as Pac-Man C.E.) is a 2007 video game in the Pac-Man series, developed by Namco Bandai Games for the arcades.
The game was designed by Tōru Iwatani, the creator of the original 1980 arcade game Pac-Man, and it was Iwatani's final game before his retirement.Originally released on the Xbox Live Arcade service for the Xbox 360, it was later released for the Android, iOS, J2ME, Roku, Maemo 5 and S60 platforms, on the PlayStation Network for the PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3 consoles, on Nintendo 3DS as part of the retail game Pac-Man & Galaga Dimensions, and as part of the downloadable game compilation, Pac-Man Museum for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Steam for the PC.
Pac-Man Championship Edition received two successors—an indirect follow-up, Pac-Man Championship Edition DX, which was released in 2010, featuring new gameplay elements—and a direct sequel, Pac-Man Championship Edition 2, which was released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2016.PhyreEngine
PhyreEngine is a free to use game engine from Sony Interactive Entertainment. Despite its origins under Sony it is compatible with more than just PlayStation platforms, with support for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation VR, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation Portable, Microsoft Windows (for OpenGL and DirectX 11), Google Android and Apple iOS. PhyreEngine has been adopted by several game studios and has been used in over 200 published titles.PlayStation 3 models
The PlayStation 3 video game console has been produced in various models during its life cycle. At launch, the PlayStation 3 was available with either a 20, 40, 60, or 80 GB hard disk drive in the US and Japan, priced from US$499 to US$599; and with either a 40, 60, or 80 GB hard disk drive in Europe, priced from £299 to £425. Since then, Sony have released two further redesigned models, the "Slim" and "Super Slim" models. As of December 2013, the total number of consoles sold is estimated at 77 million.PlayStation Move
PlayStation Move (プレイステーションムーヴ, PureiSutēshon Mūvu) is a motion game controller developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. Initially released in 2010 for use with the PlayStation 3 video game console, its compatibility was later expanded to its successor, the PlayStation 4, in 2013, and its PlayStation VR platform in 2016. Conceptually similar to Nintendo's Wii Remote and Microsoft's Kinect, its function is based around controller input in games stemming from the actual physical movement of the player. The Move uses inertial sensors in the wand to detect motion while the wand's position is tracked using a PlayStation Eye or PlayStation Camera. The device was generally well-received by critics, but has not quite met Sony's goals for integration into the market.Polygon (website)
Polygon is an American video game website that publishes news, culture, reviews, and videos. At its October 2012 launch as Vox Media's third property, Polygon sought to distinguish itself from competitors by focusing on the stories of the people behind the games instead of the games themselves. They also produced long-form magazine-style feature articles, invested in video content, and chose to let their review scores be updated as the game changed.
The site was built over the course of ten months, and its 16-person founding staff included the editors-in-chief of the gaming sites Joystiq, Kotaku and The Escapist. Its design was built to HTML5 responsive standards with a pink color scheme, and its advertisements focused on direct sponsorship of specific kinds of content. Vox Media produced a documentary series on the founding of the site.Rayman Origins
Rayman Origins is a platform video game developed by Ubisoft Montpellier and published by Ubisoft for PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS and Microsoft Windows. It is the fourth main installment in the Rayman series, and the first main installment since 2003's Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc. The game was released on 15 November 2011 in North America, 24 November 2011 in Australia, and 25 November 2011 in Europe for PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360. It was released later for PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Windows, and Nintendo 3DS. The OS X version of the game was released on 12 December 2013 by Feral Interactive. The story follows Rayman, his friend Globox and two teensies as they fight Darktoons and other evil creatures that have infected the Glade of Dreams.
Rayman Origins has received critical acclaim, being highly praised for its graphical style, level design, and sense of humor. Despite its critical reception, it did not perform very well commercially during its original release in November 2011. A mobile game based on Origins, titled Rayman Jungle Run, was developed by Pastagames and released for iOS, Android, and for Windows Phone 8 on 29 May 2013. A sequel, Rayman Legends, was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Wii U and Xbox 360 on 29 August 2013 in Australia, 30 August 2013 in Europe, and 3 September 2013 in North America to similar critical acclaim.Remote Play
Remote Play is a feature of Sony video game consoles that allows the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 to transmit its video and audio output to a PlayStation Portable or PlayStation Vita. Similar functionality is provided on Nintendo's Wii U console, using the Off-TV Play function. This feature essentially allows compatible home console games to be played on the handheld. In 2014, it was expanded to include the use of PlayStation TV, Xperia smartphones and tablets (Z2 and later), and PlayStation Now. In 2016, it was expanded to Microsoft Windows PCs and macOS.
While seldom implemented on PS3, Remote Play is a mandatory feature on all PS4 games, except for games that utilize peripherals such as PlayStation Move.Skullgirls
Skullgirls is a 2D fighting game developed by Reverge Labs and published by Marvelous and Autumn Games. The game was released through the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade in North America, Europe, and Australia from April to May 2012, and later received a Japanese release by CyberFront for the PlayStation Network in February 2013. A Microsoft Windows version, developed by Lab Zero Games and co-published by Autumn Games and Marvelous, was released in August 2013. A Japanese arcade version, produced by M2 for the NESiCAxLive service, was released in 2015. A mobile spinoff of the game, developed by Hidden Variable Studios and published by Line, was released for Android and iOS devices in May 2017.
In Skullgirls, players engage in combat against one another, with teams of one, two, or three characters attempting to knock out their opponents or have the most cumulative health when time runs out. The setting of the game revolves around the "Skull Heart", an artifact which grants wishes for women. If a wisher with an impure soul uses the Skull Heart, she is transformed into the next "Skullgirl", a monster bent on destruction. Skullgirls received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the animation and gameplay mechanics, while criticizing its limited roster size and online multiplayer features.
Development of post-release content faced numerous setbacks. In May 2012, publisher Autumn Games was sued over allegations of fraud regarding an unrelated property, Def Jam Rapstar, cutting off Skullgirls' financial support and forcing developer Reverge Labs to lay off the entire development team. The core team would eventually reform as Lab Zero Games in November 2012, launching a successful crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to continue their work. After Autumn Games severed ties with distributor Konami Digital Entertainment in December 2013, the latter formally requested to have the game removed from the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade. The game was later re-released on both platforms in 2014 as Skullgirls Encore. When the game was ported to the PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and PC in 2015, it was renamed to Skullgirls 2nd Encore.Sundown (video game)
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Twisted Pixel Games is an American video game developer based in Austin, Texas. Originally a contractor, Twisted Pixel releases games based on its own intellectual properties such as The Maw and 'Splosion Man. The company uses its own proprietary engine, known as Beard, to power its games. On October 12, 2011, it was announced that Twisted Pixel had become part of Microsoft Studios. However, Twisted Pixel separated from Microsoft, and became an independent company again on September 30, 2015.Weblogs, Inc.
Weblogs, Inc. was a blog network that published content on a variety of subjects, including tech news, video games, automobiles and pop culture. At one point, the network had as many 90 blogs, although the vast majority of its traffic could be attributed to a smaller number of breakout titles, as was typical of most large-scale successful blog networks of the mid-2000s. Popular blogs included: Engadget, Autoblog, Tuaw, Joystiq, Luxist, Slashfood, Cinematical, TV Squad, Download Squad, Blogging Baby, Gadling, AdJab, and Blogging Stocks.
Today, Engadget and Autoblog are the only remaining brands from the company, now existing as part of Verizon Media division.WildStar (video game)
WildStar was a fantasy/science fiction massively multiplayer online role-playing game that was developed by Carbine Studios, published by NCSOFT. It was unveiled on August 17, 2011 during Gamescom. WildStar took place on the fictional planet Nexus, where a mysterious and powerful race known as the Eldan have disappeared, leaving behind a wealth of technology and secrets for players to explore.The game was released on June 3, 2014 with a subscription and later changed to free-to-play on September 29, 2015. While it was no longer required to pay for a subscription, those who did were "signature" members, getting a few bonuses such as increased experience/currency gain.
On September 6, 2018, NCSoft announced the immediate closure of Carbine Studios and that WildStar 'would begin the process of winding down'. An exact shut-down date was not given but later stated to be November 28, 2018.