One of AOL's recently shuttered sites is back from the grave — sort of. The team behind WoW Insider, a now-defunct blog dedicated to Blizzard's insanely popular MMO, has launched a new site thanks to some crowdfunding help. They've managed to secure more than $12,500 per month through Patreon that will be used to fund operations of the newly launched Blizzard Watch, which will cover all of Blizzard's games and not just WoW.
"We are huge fans of the games Blizzard makes."
"After talking through things with a few colleagues, we decided that the best course of action for the community and ourselves was to try to run a site on our own," says Alex Ziebart, former editor-in-chief of WoW Insider. "We are huge fans of the games Blizzard makes, so it was only logical that we move towards covering all of their properties, instead of just World of Warcraft."
WoW Insider was just one of multiple AOL properties that was recently shut down, including both Apple blog TUAW and gaming site Joystiq, which has since been folded into Engadget — though with only one reporter staying onboard.
Blizzard Watch's original goal was $8,000 per month, and the additional fees will be used to secure more freelance work from a wider range of writers. The site is owned and operated by Ziebart and Adam Holisky, former managing editor at WoW Insider. And though it just launched, the two say that it's something they've been thinking about for a long time, and in fact the idea had been pitched to AOL multiple times. So when WoW Insider officially shut down earlier this week, the team was well prepared.
"When AOL released us from our contract at 5PM ET on Tuesday February 3rd, we were ready to go with our Patreon campaign and a new site," says Holisky.