Last week on June 20th, 2016 Ken Barnes posted the final article for Pure Xbox. A loyal reader tipped us off to the piece. It was entitled “So long, and thanks for all Clicks”. It marked the end of an era for the Gaming Network’s Pure Xbox website, with the handful of staff parting ways to spend their time elsewhere.
Barnes notes that the reason for the closure was that much of their news was met with “complete apathy” and that they just couldn’t maintain enough readers, writing…
“Our staff was dedicated to the cause of building a site that informed and therefore empowered the Xbox community, but we could all only be expected to contribute so much in the face of almost complete apathy from the Xbox fanbase. We’ve tried as much as we can and as many things as we can, but there’s little more that we can do. Without readers, there’s no advertising. Without advertising, there’s no money.”
I think part of the blame would most certainly be on the end of search engines. A lot of gaming news isn’t actually ranked based on news, but rather gaming an algorithmic system. A lot of sites that actually report game news and have informative articles are sometimes pushed way back on the fifth, seventh or tenth page of search engines while ads, shop links and affiliate posts (along with click-bait YouTube videos) fill up the first page.
It’s a sad and unfortunate turn of events, especially for gamers simply looking for gaming news, and it’s equally sad for gaming websites just looking to put out honest-to-good content.
Nevertheless, Pure Xbox is another site closing down the doors. They weren’t embroiled in controversies involving tawdry soap-opera style events where their writers were regularly hung out to dry due to licentious behavior like some sites, nor were they known for being called out frequently for paid reviews. For as far as I know there were never any reports about improper coverage or a lack of disclosure, and that makes them one of the few decent ones out of the bunch.
Barnes closes out the piece noting that Nintendo Life and Push Square will continue to cover Nintendo and PlayStation content, but the Xbox side of things just couldn’t cut the custard financially.
After opening up in July 18th, 2012 and having a run through the likes of the end of the Xbox 360’s era and the start of the Xbox One’s (short) era, the team have bid their audience farewell and they’re thankful for all the clicks.