Last updated
Type of site
Computer and video game blog
Owner AOL
LaunchedJune 16, 2004;15 years ago (2004-06-16)
Current statusReplaced by Engadget Games on February 3, 2015 (2015-02-03)

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. [1] [2] [3]

A blog is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (posts). Posts are typically displayed in reverse chronological order, so that the most recent post appears first, at the top of the web page. Until 2009, blogs were usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often covered a single subject or topic. In the 2010s, "multi-author blogs" (MABs) emerged, featuring the writing of multiple authors and sometimes professionally edited. MABs from newspapers, other media outlets, universities, think tanks, advocacy groups, and similar institutions account for an increasing quantity of blog traffic. The rise of Twitter and other "microblogging" systems helps integrate MABs and single-author blogs into the news media. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

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 as 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.

AOL software company

AOL is an American web portal and online service provider based in New York City. It is a brand marketed by Verizon Media.


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.


Joystiq's E3 2006 crew Joystiq-E3-2006.jpg
Joystiq's E3 2006 crew


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,[ citation needed ] 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.

Jason Calacanis American businessman

Jason McCabe Calacanis is an American Internet entrepreneur, angel investor, author and podcaster.


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 [4] 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.

Electronic Entertainment Expo annual trade fair for the computer and video games industry

The Electronic Entertainment Expo, commonly referred to as E3, is a premier trade-event for the video-game industry. The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) organizes and presents E3, which many developers, publishers, hardware- and accessory-manufacturers use to introduce and advertise upcoming games and game-related merchandise to retailers and to members of the press. E3 includes an exhibition floor for developers, publishers, and manufacturers to showcase titles and products for sale in the upcoming year. Before and during the event, publishers and hardware manufacturers usually hold press conferences to announce new games and products.

Engadget is a multilingual technology blog network with daily coverage of gadgets and consumer electronics. Engadget currently operates a total of ten blogs—four written in English and six international versions with independent editorial staff. Engadget has in the past ranked among the top five in the "Technorati top 100" and was noted in Time for being one of the best blogs of 2010. It has been operated by AOL since October 2005.

Changes in site format

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 [5] 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. [6]

The Xbox 360 is a home video game console developed by Microsoft. As the successor to the original Xbox, it is the second console in the Xbox series. It competed with Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles. It was officially unveiled on MTV on May 12, 2005, with detailed launch and game information announced later that month at the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

On January 26, 2006, Joystiq coined the phrase "DS phat", [7] a nickname for the old-style Nintendo DS that helps differentiate between the old DS and the DS Lite.

On November 2, 2007, Massively was launched to cover MMOs in general. [8]

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. [9]

In January 2012, Ludwig Kietzmann became the editor-in-chief after Grant left to form a new video game news website with Vox Media, owners of The Verge , known as Polygon . [10]


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. [11] 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. [12] Readership of Joystiq had seen sharp declines, falling by at least 18% over the previous year. [11]

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. [13] [14] [15] 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. [16]


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 maintained the blog on the weekends as the weekend editors and Anthony John Agnello served as community manager. [17]

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 byXav de Matos
Genre Podcast
Original releaseMay 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, [18] Rocco Botte, Tom Chick and Shawn Andrich [19] but they stopped doing them.

The first episode of the subsequent Joystiq Show, posted on June 17, 2011, [20] 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's Best of the Web[ citation needed ] and the Feedster 500.

See also

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<i>Official Xbox Magazine</i> monthly video game magazine

Official Xbox Magazine is a monthly video game magazine which started in November 2001 around the launch of the original Xbox. A preview issue was released at E3 2001, with another preview issue in November 2001. The magazine was bundled with a disc that included game demos, preview videos and trailers, and other content, such as game or Xbox updates and free gamerpics. The discs also provided the software for the Xbox 360 for backward compatibility of original Xbox games for those without broadband and Xbox Live access. As of January 2012, OXM no longer includes a demo disc. In mid-2014, the U.S. version was merged into the UK version on the website, which lasted only a few months until Future plc announced that it was closing its website along with all the other websites that Future has published, including Edge and Computer and Video Games. In February 2015, OXM and all of Future's video game websites were redirected into GamesRadar. The magazine itself continues to be published in the UK, US and Australia. was a blog which covers the politics of computer and video games. GamePolitics was launched by freelance journalist Dennis McCauley in March 2005. At the time, McCauley was the video game columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, a position he held from 1998-2009. Growing somewhat bored of writing video game reviews, McCauley created GamePolitics in order to track the political, legal and cultural impact of video games. The site was often referred to as GP by followers.

Brian Alvey Co-founder of the publishing company Weblogs, Inc.

Brian Alvey is an American serial entrepreneur, programmer, designer and blogger. He grew up in Brooklyn and now lives in San Francisco where he is the CEO of Clipisode. He is best known for co-founding the blog publishing company Weblogs, Inc. with Jason Calacanis.

Lifehacker is a weblog about life hacks and software which launched on January 31, 2005. The site was originally launched by Gawker Media and is currently owned by G/O Media. The blog posts cover a wide range of topics including: Microsoft Windows, Mac, Linux programs, iOS and Android, as well as general life tips and tricks. The staff updates the site about 18 times each weekday, with reduced updates on weekends. The Lifehacker motto is "Tips, tricks, and downloads for getting things done."

Zune is a discontinued media management software for Microsoft Windows that functions as a full media player application with a library, an interface to the Zune Marketplace, and as a media streaming server. The software is used to sync with all devices with Zune functionality including the Zune 4, 8, 16, 30, 80, 120, Zune HD, Windows Phone 7, and Microsoft Kin. Zune devices work exclusively with the Zune software, which applies many design principles of Microsoft's Metro design language.

<i>Brain Challenge</i> video game

Brain Challenge is a mental exercise video game similar to Big Brain Academy, featuring "brain exercise puzzles". The game was developed by Gameloft Beijing for mobile phones and iPods and released on September 5, 2007. It was followed by a Nintendo DS version on January 8, 2008, an Xbox Live Arcade release on March 12, 2008, and a PlayStation 3 launch on November 27, 2008. The N-Gage 2.0 version was released on the day of the service's launch, April 3, 2008. A version for WiiWare was released in Japan on October 14, 2008, in Europe on November 7, 2008 and in North America on November 10, 2008. The Wii version also uses Miis for the players profile. OnLive also had launched their new streaming game platform with Brain Challenge on July 27, 2010. On January 20, 2011, the game was released for Mac OS X.

<i>Yosumin!</i> 2007 video game

Yosumin! (よすみん。) is a puzzle video game released as a flash game for the personal computer. Later, it was ported to the Nintendo DS console and the Xbox 360. The game involves players manipulating a grid of "yosumin", or tiles to make color matches and eliminate a certain number before time runs out. "Developed and published in Japan by Square Enix, the game was created to and brought to other platforms in an effort to expand their game portfolio and attract more casual players. The game has received mixed reviews, with some noting its originality and addictive gameplay, and others noting the games limited nature.

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Destructoid is a website that was founded as a video game-focused blog in March 2006 by Yanier Gonzalez, a Cuban-American cartoonist and author. It is part of the Enthusiast Gaming network.

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Peter Rojas is the co-founder of technology blogs Gizmodo and Engadget, as well as the video gaming blog Joystiq (2004).

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