According to Christian Slot, the platform’s Editor-in-Chief, Jaxon, a one-of-a-kind “virtual influencer” and space-themed esports tabloid, will be retiring.
Staff members, including journalists and writers, were briefed on the publication’s situation late last month.
Jaxon co-owned and co-financed Samsung Electronics and Upday, a Samsung service, and Axel Springer SE, a German digital publisher that owns numerous multimedia news outlets.
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Since the launch of the release – which was first an application and then a website – Jaxon has placed great emphasis on creating a comprehensive eSports experience for its German audience. The company cited the country’s rapid esports growth as a reason for its interest in sharing hot news, content and trends.
According to former employees who are familiar with the situation, Axel Springer initially canceled funding for the project. Samsung was faced with the decision of either filling the gap or cutting the financing together with Axel Springer. In the end it went with the latter.
Speaking to Esports Insider, the former employees found that Axel Springer had suffered a drop in sales. The question “by how much?” remains unanswered as Axel Springer SE’s decision to delist in 2020 meant that the company could be exempted from publishing annual financial statements. In the most recently published financial report, which evaluates the 2020 financial year, Axel Springer’s sales fell by almost 5% and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by 13%.
Nor was Jaxon the first Axel Springer subsidiary to close. Technology news site Protocol, which launched in 2020, shut down last month.
Earlier this year, the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) unanimously adopted a parliamentary report calling on the European Union (EU) to “recognize and better fund the video game and e-sports ecosystem in Europe “. It’s no secret that Germany, home to the world’s largest facilities in terms of events, organizations and leagues, is widely regarded as Europe’s eSports hub. However, like many others, the country has been hit by the Europe-wide economic recession.
Several former employees — who all wished to remain anonymous — spoke to Esports Insider and shared their experiences during their time at Jaxon. Overall, they described it as a positive work environment.
One employee said it was a “great place to work,” and another praised its “beautiful and simple culture” and “excellent employees.” Meanwhile, another said they didn’t feel any pressure if they couldn’t meet their weekly quota as the editorial team understood. There were also no complaints about the payment.
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The staff were also surprised at the parent companies’ decision to pull out of this project as readership had been high. This was confirmed by Christian Slot, former editor-in-chief at Jaxon, in a tweet: “Although we experienced explosive growth after launching the site in July (+1.3 million visits after 4 months, KPIs exceeded by +100%), the owners decided to quit.”
The closure of Jaxon is another blow to sports and games journalism. Jaxon joins other publications like Comcast’s gaming content network G4 TV, Rush B Media, and others that shut down earlier this year. This is a common problem in the industry right now as other publications are struggling with finances. Upcomer, which is now owned by Enthusiast Gaming and Inven Global, among others, has had to lay off members of its editorial team.
Hisham Almadani, journalist
Hisham joined Esports Insider in November 2022. As a freshman at the University of Detroit Mercy, he hopes to further his career in games journalism. When he’s not writing, he’s probably reading.