So yesterday this news broke. AOL may be shutting down Joystiq. Massively, being a partner site, might also suffer this fate. I have to say, if it were to happen, this would mark a sad day for the MMO and blogging community. I think maybe the authors saw it coming with the last round of layoffs and budget cuts, because they prepared themselves and set up more prominent personal blogs.
You can find Justin Olivetti/Syp, of course, over at biobreak.wordpress.com, but others made a move, as well.
Larry Everett opened up Hyperspace Beacon to get his Star Wars related posts out, and he also puts at least snippets of his Massively column on this site.
MJ Guthrie has a few projects- her personal Twitch page being one, then there’s lookingforshinies.com and her Landmark-roleplaying-writing-the-games-history-page i just can’t seem to find right now. I’ll look for it later.
I’ll update the list if/when i get the other adresses, as well- if i remember correctly, Mike Foster also has some project going on.
With that out of the way, let me say this straight: Massively can’t be allowed to vanish.
You’ll have mmorpg’s closing shop, that’s just business, but Massively shutting down would be a huge loss for our favourite industry. Granted, i liked the page more when it was more blog and less news, when every author was excited for their game and every column made you wonder why you didn’t see all the wonders of these games- the way it was before the last cut. But even now, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a site like Massively. It’s still mostly designed as a blog, even if news take a front seat now and the game columns are not that great when the author isn’t excited about their game, but sees the same flaws in it as we do.
This site is made by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. It also is vital for my interest in the genre in the first place. It is a very important site, in my book. All authors, even the more and more grumpy ones, love the genre and this is what shines through each and every article they put out- and this is what differenciates Massively from other sites who try to write in a neutral tone or something- one might be able to visit other sites for news, but not for the excitement!
Also, one has to wonder- where would the games get appropriate coverage, then? I see no real competitor to Massively, the other sites are even more news-related. I’d hope the Massively writers might be able to stick together somehow and publish something indie, but it really isn’t that easy to earn money in the internet- although i could see ways- maybe offer in-depth game guides, sell them as pdf or something, in addition to the column.
I don’t think these sites where they could get donations would work- maybe, if they really stick together and want to reform Massively, but by themselves, i don’t think they’d be able to do it this way. They would need to offer paid content. But this isn’t the topic for today.
I really hope this are just rumors, or by some magic trick Massively won’t be affected, but to be honest, the pointers seem to indicate otherwise. Most important, perhaps, i hope it works out for all employees, who i feel to almost know in some fashion, so there is somewhat of a relationship there. I know it’s just a second job for most of them, but my guess is that they love it. So they should keep it or land on their feet, continuing to do what they love to do.
Best wishes and hopefully, this is all wrong.