Sad news emerges on the internet today, as long-time video game community staple GameTrailers.com announces it is shutting down its operations effective immediately.
GameTrailers was, at one time, the internet’s best resource for discovering and viewing new video game trailers. However, today, thirteen years after the website first launched, the once industry staple announced via its official Twitter that it would be closing its doors. Brandon Jones, the boss and founder of the site, also took to his own personal Twitter to confirm the news to the many fans in disbelief over the sudden closure:
“Today is the last day of GameTrailers. I wish it wasn’t so. I love all of our fans like family. Thank you for letting me do this job.”
The website has also laid off all of its staff members, including Jones. According to Ben Moore, GameTrailers’ Associate Editor, the team was informed that they were out of jobs only a few hours before the official announcement was made, and the staff are understandably “still reeling a bit”. The decision to close the website was made by Defy Media, a company that bought GameTrailers in 2014 and immediately made a number of layoffs.
GameTrailers used to be among the gaming community’s best resources for clips of video games and trailers, carving out a place for their content early as the rest of the gaming world still struggled to migrate past magazine previews to the more entertaining and dazzling video advertisements. However, while the news might be sudden for both the website’s employees and outsiders alike, it is not entirely unexpected.
The video game industry has been in a constant state of growth and evolution since the website’s initial launch, and the state of video content now compared to a decade ago is rather dramatic. Once YouTube became the internet’s resource for pretty much all recorded video content, it became significantly easier for gamers to access trailers and other clips without needing to visit any other site to do so. YouTube also became an incredibly profitable venture for gamers like PewDiePie, which only increased the site’s traffic and power over video as more content producers migrated to the platform.
All things considered, then, it makes sense that the increasing number of competitors covering video game trailers and the way the current marketplace sits has worked in conjunction to force out a beloved staple of the community. When a lot of gaming’s video content flows through the equally gargantuan channels of YouTube and Twitch, smaller websites like GameTrailers will inevitably struggle to keep up. While an implementation of a subscription service like YouTube Red might have been an option once, competing with the millions of videos that already exist and are accessible for free with YouTube’s regular service made that an impossibility.
Of course, even though it might make sense, it doesn’t make it less terrible. Hopefully the members of the GameTrailers team find a new home for their creative and engaging content soon.
Were you one of the many gamers who scoured GameTrailers daily for content in the early 2000s? What’s your fondest memory of the website? Let us know in the comments below.