GameTrailers’ Surprising Shut Down

When GameTrailers was founded in 2002, online video game journalism was still a new concept. Most video game news was consumed in printed magazines or on television. It was a huge success. Competing well with sites like IGN and Kotaku, GameTrailers was a major source for video game and technology news.

In 2014, GameTrailers was purchased by Defy Media. Soon after, Defy Media laid off workers from GameTrailers and their two other gaming news sites: The Escapist and GameFront. GameTrailers was losing viewers and employees in the process.

Thirteen years after being founded, GameTrailers shut down on February 9, 2016. They gave no warning about their closing to the gaming community, or their employees. GameTrailers’ employees found out they were losing their jobs mere hours before their closing. Although GameTrailers profits were on a decline, no one was expecting this sudden announcement.

Many believe this was due to consumers relying on sites like YouTube for gaming news. News sites, especially in technology and gaming, do not get the ad revenue they used to, since YouTube became a mainstream platform for people to watch videogame trailers, reviews, and let’s plays- a video of someone playing a game.

Just a few after hours after their announcement, GameTrailers posted one final video. The video was a second review of the game Bloodborne, updating their original score of a 9.6 to a perfect 10! This was GameTrailers’ first ever perfect score, as they believed no game could truly be perfect. Their highest score prior to the Bloodborne score update was a 9.8, which was only awarded to eight games in 13 years (Halo 3, The Witcher 3, The Last of Us, Bayonetta 2, Super Mario Galaxy, Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Grand Theft Auto IV, Grand Theft Auto V).

The shutdown of GameTrailers is a loss for the gaming community, and a tragedy for GameTrailers themselves. I wish their former employees the best of luck in the future, and that the shutdown of GameTrailers may positively affect other video game journalism sites that are still hanging on.