A walk through the valley of the dead gaming sites

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Death, decay and destruction.. Happy Friday

The number of people I see starting gaming sites thinking this gig is easy and that all we do is play free games and get money thrown at us is incredible. I’d say an easy 95% of these go down in the first year while out of the 5% remaining less than 1% ever actually become sustainable.

Looking locally it’s quite easy to see what I’m talking about when you look at the five biggest sites in the country being us, GameZone (Mweb), Mygaming (MyBroadband), Do Gaming (Telkom) and I’d hazard a guess at IGN (NAG Magazine) . Four of those are supported, if not entirely reliant on their parent companies to continue existing.

When we look at the smaller sites I don’t think it’s unfair to say that none of them are earning enough to stand on their own two  feet. Hell even we can’t make our bills every month which is depressing in itself. But we’re not alone in this country as a lot of large gaming websites have shuttered in the past few years and due to my morbid curiosity I decided to create a list of them. Let me know if I’ve missed any.

1UP.com

The highest profile collapse has to be 1UP which hasn’t been updated since the 4th of June 2013 –  but it at least still looks like a running site

1UP.com  Video Game Reviews, Cheats, and More

EGM

EGM closed their doors back in 2012 and their site is now simply a listing of their last magazines… look how depressing this is.

EGMi - The Digital Magazine   EGMi

GameSpy

Anyone who gamed before Steam arrived knows about GameSpy but did you know it’s now dead and has been since February last year?

GameSpy  PC Games, Reviews, News, Previews, Demos, Mods   Patches

G4TV

It’s also been just over a year since G4TV aired their last of their 1378 episodes.

Video Games, Game Reviews   News - G4tv.com

I think what’s most depressing about all of these sites is that they all had a ton of money and hits backing them up but they simply couldn’t monetize well enough and eventually had to be shut down. Some well known local sites haven’t faired any better with one of my earliest reads shutting down last year.

PS3Blog

I actually approached PS3Blog a few years ago to see if we could team up and work together but it never really worked out. It’s a pity as I liked their dedicated approach but it wasn’t sustainable.

PS3Blog.co.za   If it's PS3 News Its Here!

NintyGamer

One site that didn’t surprise me when it went bust was the local attempt at a Nintendo dedicated site in a country that really isn’t a big Nintendo fan. Nintygamer died last year May even though they somehow managed to get Diablo 3 marketing money which says more about some marketing companies than Nintygamer I think

NintyGamer   South African Ninty Fan Site

So what other sites that you used to visit often have fallen by the wayside and which large sites are you expecting to fail next?

My personal bet is Kotaku will soon no longer be listed as a videogame website and will become an entirely geek culture based website. I’m also not sure IGN’s latest plan for localised portals is going to be a sustainable business as it appears to increase their costs and maintenance while not really offering  much unique. 

I also think the next wave of changes will be more in line with mergers than anyone closing. I can see Eurogamer and VG247 officially merging and becoming a single site along with Polygon and Microsoft… okay that was mean. Maybe more importantly we should be asking if videogame websites have any future at all, would you prefer to get your news in a different way?

Last Updated: January 31, 2014

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

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