Dear Massively, die and get better

Massively is closing. I know, this is likely the first time a blog post is being written about it, but that’s just what I do, break news and set trends. You’re welcome.

I bashed Massively often. Usually it was their comments section, but at times it was also the content/site itself. To say the site wasn’t perfect is a bit of an understatement. But to call it terrible is also incorrect IMO. Simply put, Massively was the only ‘major’ gaming news site I visited, so clearly they were doing something right. The biggest insult you can give anyone is not caring enough about them to have an opinion, and I often had an opinion about Massively.

Keen mentioned them stealing content back in the day. I experienced that as well, and while it somewhat bothered me, I wasn’t as bothered as Keen. Stealing content is what the internet is about really, and at least Massively eventually stopped (mostly). Still, a very valid reason to dislike them.

I also agree that they were far too tied into corporate PR puppet strings. Finding a real opinion from Massively was difficult, because it felt like 95% of the content was indeed “Hey Massively, say this about our game now!” style posts. Another very valid reason to dislike them.

If you play EVE you likely dislike Massively for a long list of reasons, pretty much all valid.

I could go on, but the point is that Massively was far, far from perfect.

Yet far from perfect was still better than a lot of other sites (for example, the utterly unreadable format that uses), and that’s why Massively was a site I visited at least once per day. I rarely clicked on an article (other than to see the comments section for a good laugh), but I did enjoy scrolling through everything and being able to keep up with the basic happenings of the genre. That, above all, was Massively’s greatest strength.

I don’t know how many of Massively’s problems came from being owned by AOL, but I suspect that was a major factor. One only has to look at Bleacher Report (to use a sport ‘blog’ site as an example) prior to being purchased by CNN and after to see just how quickly your site can fall once suits get involved (not that BR was great before, but it wasn’t the absolute joke it is today).

I also think the general concept for such a site is solid from a reader/content perspective, and should the good of Massively be brought over to an independently owned site, I would give it a look at least. I also think from a business perspective that can work. Whatever group tries to make it happen, I strongly suggest looking at a site like Barstool Sports (hide the kids before you do, site is often NSFW, and if you posses a thin skin, prepare to be offended). That site has gone from being a tiny local player in sports media/blogging to one of the most influential voices in the city of champions and beyond, to say nothing about the amount of revenue they generate via ads, the shop, and sponsorship, all without truly ‘selling out’ (a running joke is that they do sell out, but sell-outs don’t continue to post stuff that would cost you sponsorships left and right).

So yes, ultimately I’m a bit sad that Massively is closing, unless that closing leads to a better, non-puppet version of Massively. The good writers should make that happen, and do so quickly. Best of luck to everyone in their future endeavors.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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13 Responses to Dear Massively, die and get better

  1. Pingback: On Departures from Our Corner of the Web | The Ancient Gaming Noob

  2. Yeah, I asked myself “Why haven’t I been following some of these other MMO sites?” Then I went and looked at them and saw what they put in their RSS feed and realized that this was an area where Massively got things very right. They actually delivered information in an accessible format. Go figure.

    • SynCaine says:

      Which is also what Barstool is so good about; none of this ‘click to read anything’ BS. Just the stuff you want in an easy-to-access scrolling format.

      Same goes for blogs, if I have to click anything on a blog, I’m out.

  3. kevinbrill says:

    I appreciated the fact that Massively covered most everything, and that I could split them into separate RSS feeds. There are quite a few things that I dabbled with and then stopped playing, but I was still interested in reading the news to get a feel for what was up.

    I’m going to miss that. Now I’m probably going to have to go out and source fan blogs for things in which I’m interested. Which is good and bad. The volume and breath/depth of content on something like EQ2Wire or Riftgrate is much better than Massively, but for the fringe games (Allods, AoC) I’m wondering if the blog coverage is as good.

    The other big thing that kinda stinks is the shuttering of the podcasts (Massively Speaking and WOWInsider). I didn’t listen to every episode, but they were fun and informative. I’m pretty sure that I remember listening to MS when Michael Zenke was the host…

  4. malahide says:


    your sending off has just soooo much more class than that of Keen’s

    • SynCaine says:

      Haha, pretty sure someone commenting that I did something with more class is a first here, and I think I take a bit of offense. I must be losing it.

      On a serious note, I get where Keen is coming from, it’s just that copy/paste content is something I’ve long come to terms with, and I think they did it a lot more with his stuff than mine (the only thing I can think of that got me a bit mad was a few of my DF1 posts, because the author passed off my opinion post as if it was his opinion.)

  5. zaphod6502 says:

    My comment on another blog was deleted so hopefully this comment will remain intact here.

    I found Massively’s anti-EVE stance to be obnoxious especially in a market of pointless “me too” MMO’s. They didn’t really do anything to help push the MMO industry to make better MMO’s and their clickbait articles were mostly pointless.

    Having said that maybe they had improved over the last couple of years but I stopped visiting Massively before that.

    Maybe the Massively writers should get together and form a new independent site and use Patreon funding.

    It’s been a fun week. A bunch of websites are closing that I did not visit and SOE is being bought out and most probably dissected and re-made.

    The shakeout of a mostly dead MMO industry continues.

    • SynCaine says:

      I don’t get the whole “dead MMO industry” thing, what with three major MMOs all doing well (WoW, FFXIV, EVE), and a new crop that doesn’t look terrible (mainly CU, but also LiF, Pathfinder, Repop) but I think that might be a post for tomorrow.

  6. zaphod6502 says:

    That’s not much of a list SynCaine. :)

    I only play WoW and EVE on a semi-regular basis. Not interested in CU. No idea what LiF or Pathfinder is. I am in the alpha for Repop but it is very unbaked at this time.

    Maybe I should rephrase that – a mostly dead MMO industry for me. ;)

    • SynCaine says:

      3 successful MMOs; when in the genre has there ever been significantly more? We had UO/EQ1/AC, then DAoC came along, then WoW. By the time EVE was a big deal we were in 2006/7, and we know the rest.

      As I’ll write out tomorrow, today in the genre isn’t all that different than any other point, really.

  7. tithian says:

    Syp over at Biobreak explains how AOL was basically shitting on them for a while now, so yeah being acquired was what killed the site essentially.

    I really enjoyed reading the site due to its direct delivery of press releases and MMO happenings, and frankly, the comments sections were just brilliant; they provided some of the best laughs I’ve had on the internet for some time now.

  8. Pingback: Ripples from Things | Kill Ten Rats

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