Remember Twitter Gaming (opens in new tab)? The official Twitter account debuted at the beginning of 2016 as part of an effort to "support the avid gaming community and help the top gaming organizations and personalities deliver high quality content to and engage with their fans on Twitter." But now, amidst the chaos and hilarity of the first two weeks of Elon Musk's one-man rule, it appears to be gone for good.
The Twitter Gaming account hasn't tweeted since November 3, one day before Musk cut the company's workforce in half. The layoffs affected a wide range of teams at the company, according to a Reuters (opens in new tab) report, including communications, content curation, human rights, and ethics. Some product and engineering teams were also impacted by the cuts. Shiraz Siddiqui, formerly the senior social lead for Twitter Gaming, confirmed that he'd been let go last week as part of those layoffs:
cool, get do one of these finally earlier than I thought pic.twitter.com/V5yIe9KVrBNovember 4, 2022
But it wasn't just Siddiqui who was cut loose: A new Washington Post (opens in new tab) report says the entire marketing side of Twitter Gaming was let go at the same time. That squares with the current state of the one-million-follower account, which last tweeted on November 3, one day before the layoffs. Prior to that, the account had tweeted on almost a daily basis, but it's been completely silent in the eight days since.
As farewell tweets go, it's not the most stirring I've ever read:
Gaming in general represents a significant portion of Twitter's overall activity: The Washington Post says there were 1.5 billion tweets about gaming in the first half of 2022, compared to 10.4 billion tweets about "news." Twitter is undeniably a fantastic source of game-related information—I rely on it heavily for my work—and it's also a great way for content creators to expose themselves to larger audiences. That all happens separately—you don't need to follow Twitter Gaming to keep up with gaming on Twitter—but the account seemed to be part of a bigger marketing strategy that is now, without warning or explanation, apparently kaput.
Assuming that Twitter itself doesn't implode and crumble into dust before the end of the year (and given what an absolute gong show (opens in new tab) it's been since Musk took over, I'd give it 50/50 odds), the Twitter Gaming account could resume activity someday, under the control of a new team, or maybe Elon himself, if he can figure out the password. There have also been reports that after cutting too deep, Twitter is now begging some former employees to please come back (opens in new tab), which would be funny if it wasn't so sad and destructive, so maybe some life will be found there. For now, though, it's gone: Collateral damage in the ongoing black hole collapse of one of the world's foremost social networks.