Destructoid agrees to be acquired by Enthusiast Gaming


Serious business

Nope, it’s not an April Fool’s gag. Big news today, folks.

Destructoid has agreed to be acquired by Enthusiast Gaming which is headquartered in Toronto. Yes, Mr. Destructoid is an honorary Canadian now (eh!). This means Papa Niero is no longer the owner of Destructoid, as I’ve traded in all shares of my LLC and taken shares in their company. One independent company joining another. 

This isn’t my resignation, though. I’m not going anywhere.

My decision to join Enthusiast Gaming was not an easy one, but a necessary one as Facebook, Google, and Apple continue to squeeze small publishers into their walled gardens. The web publishing business no longer resembles what I was able to once hustle on my lonesome. Sailing that crazy ocean with my team has been incredibly challenging and rewarding for us, but we’re happy to come ashore to an all-gaming focused network that is ten times our size. If Destructoid was a cute curiosity before then we’re going to be fucking adorable soon. Oh, you think I’d go corporate? Fuck that. We’re an even bigger indie now.

(The Enthusiast Gaming crew and friends at the first ever EGLX, hence the old logo. In the back left center with the badge that's Jason Lepine (twitter), their COO, and Menashe Kestenbaum, Destructoid's new CEO (twitter), wearing a blue shirt in the middle. Not pictured is Dave Soeiro, who does our Facebook stuff now. Also not sure if Eric Bernofsky (CFO), Eric Weichhart (artist) and Yirmy (ninja) are in this picture. Yeah yeah, we know we're all pasty sorta-white dudes. Where are the lady resumes? We're looking for talent in various areas - please get in touch.)

I didn’t lock this down with Enthusiast to then disappear into the hills of Honolulu and buy all the rare amiibo. This is a right cultural fit as the Enthusiast boys are a lot like us - bloggers. They remind me of the early days of Joystiqs' fanboy sites - focused, passionate blogs updated daily. Check out PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Enthusiast when you can.

You might remember that we recently hosted a Dtoid drink-up together with them at E3. In fact, they are just five guys running sites very similar to our community blogs, but they have vast expertise in areas where I’ve always stumbled like making sure some dumb obscure thing in our archives doesn't get us blacklisted on Google. 

I don’t want to bore you too much with how we make the sausage, but obviously it takes a lot of nonsense behind the scenes to make a site like ours run smoothly or else every wannabe Destructoid clone would have put us out of business years ago. We’re going to get even better at doing that stuff, and it’s going to be an organic thing as we test and learn.

What it means for you:

Enthusiast’s bossmen get that Destructoid is a community and a culture and they don’t want to come in and change a bunch of stuff. If anything, they are encouraging me to get the site back to basics and do more of what the readers want most, like figuring out how to bring back more video content on Destructoid and making our social media updates more personal -- stuff our readers have been requesting for years. If you already follow us on Twitter and Facebook you might have noticed that we’ve been able to step it up already. 

Otherwise, everything stays the same and opportunities open up for everyone, even people who aren't staff. Over at Enthusiast.gg, they’re already paying their community bloggers (note: that software is in very early public beta, and half-finished) so we’re going to figure out how to spread the love with the whole lot of you in the coming months. Until then, please feel free to check out their platform.

What it means for me and the editorial team:

Editorial, as it always has, will remain a completely separate thing from advertising. I'm very adamant about church and state, as we take FCC guidelines very seriously. You can read all about that in our ethics statement

On a more personal note: Over a decade ago I sold my house and car and everything I could to get this crazy blog going for the first two years. I was 27 years old then. When that money ran out this company rode that red line hard. People don’t even know, and maybe that's a book I'll write down the line. This is a huge deal for me personally, as I’ve been floating Destructoid on my hopes, farts, and the strong necks of my friends for the last 11 years. There’s nothing I’d rather do than work on Destructoid, so I hope to be here doing the same stuff for many more years and working alongside Chris, Jordan, Brett, Steven, and the rest of the crew. My role at Destructoid continues to be publisher, where I support the team that brings you all these headlines daily. In between I'm writing and promoting a lot more community blogs as well.  

Destructoid will continue doing its thing. Enthusiast is busy putting together their second gaming convention in Toronto, they’re working on making more website acquisitions, and they’ve started to take the advertising responsibility off my hands so I can get back to posting weird stuff on the home page. Likewise, I’m working to make their company more notorious. Long-term we’ll likely integrate or at least cross-link all of our sites in some meaningful way. We have a lot of stuff in beta and we’re just getting started. 

Attached below are some photos of our interim office in Toronto, where I spent a few days working right before E3. I knew I was with the right crew when I spotted the ocarina. These guys are legit. Also, sidenote - if you're anywhere near Toronto you've gotta see this Dungeons and Dragons improv comedy show. I laughed so hard I was crying. It's sooo good! More photos.

In the meantime, I'm here to answer any questions you have. Drop them in the comments or email me at [email protected] 

Enthusiast represents 50 million monthly gaming readers right now, and we’re hoping to double that number by the end of the year. Thanks for reading us, and we hope you’ll come along for the ride. 

It’s a braver, bigger, more international, sextacular new Destructoid starting right now! 

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