January 7th, 2014 - "Twin Galaxies closed", "down", "offline", "sold", "gone"....
Over the past several weeks, this blog has been receiving a steady stream of traffic from Googlers searching under these and similar phrases.
Anyone who types twingalaxies.com into their address bar can see for themselves that the Twin Galaxies website has indeed disappeared; offline for almost two months as of this writing.
Being that Donkey Blog's Top 20 Donkey Kong Scores page has for some time been the second-highest ranked Google result for the query "Twin Galaxies" (only TG's Wikipedia entry ranks higher), it was inevitable that many visitors would end up here looking for answers as to what happened, why it happened, and when (or if) TG would return.
That being the case, I felt it necessary to make a post addressing the issue and to provide some answers.
Unfortunately, I have few to give.
Just days after the Kong Off 3 came to an end, the front page of twingalaxies.com was replaced with the following:
For weeks it stayed that way.
More recently, a visit to twingalaxies.com redirected to the-1up.com (the arcade/bar owned by Jourdan Adler) and returned a more ominous result:
The latest development came today, with visits to the domain now showing a GoDaddy "park" page.
So what happened to Twin Galaxies as an entity and as a website, and when are either coming back?
Notwithstanding the discussion and gossip that sprung up immediately in the wake of the website's disappearance, there are only a small handful of people who can answer these questions with anything other than blind speculation, and not only are none of those people talking, they are going out of their way not to talk.
Here's what is known:
- During or shortly after the Kong Off 3, a falling out, dissolution, or termination of some kind occurred among Twin Galaxies ownership—the relevant parties being co-owners Jourdan Adler, Richie Knucklez, and Websignia (the web hosting/site creation team that built TG's new site in 2013).
- Less than two weeks after twingalaxies.com disappeared, Websignia quickly launched a new website called GamerLife365.com, utilizing the underlying design skeleton and social networking platform that they had built for twingalaxies.com.
- In a December 1st email welcoming former twingalaxies.com users to the new GamerLife365.com site, Websignia identified themselves as having been co-owners of the company, and that "on November 20th, it was made abundantly clear that our vision for Twin Galaxies was no longer in alignment with the vision of the other owners."
- Richie Knucklez, in a post to the KLOV forum, stated: "The day after I returned home from the Kong Off 3 I was informed by phone call I was no longer part of Twin Galaxies... I am deeply saddened by where the chips landed but I only hope the best for Walter's legacy. I do not have any answers."
- During the latest broadcast of Richie Knucklez' "Arcade Culture" live Web show, no mention whatsoever was made of Twin Galaxies or his affiliation with it, except to indirectly assert that it would not be discussed—near the end of the broadcast, Knucklez said that it was time to address "the elephant in the room", then held up a stuffed elephant and tossed it at the camera with a resigned smile.
Clearly a major upheaval has taken place. It was just over 14 months ago (in the weeks before the Kong Off 2) that TG changed hands from former owner Pete Bouvier to Adler/Knucklez/Websigia. Today's development (the move away from the-1up.com to a GoDaddy park page) suggests that TG might yet again be in the process of transferring to new ownership.
What this bodes for the future of the scoreboard, the site, and (perhaps most relevant to the DK community) the Kong Off is unknown.
My position throughout has been, and will continue to be, to avoid editorializing, speculating, or disseminating rumors about the situation. Revelations are bound to come in the next few months, and I am content to wait for them.
Whatever the case, being that the Twin Galaxies organization is in limbo at the present time, the scoreboard is at least temporarily frozen (including any and all would-be Donkey Kong score submissions), and while Knucklez has alluded to plans for a Kong Off 4, nothing has been officially announced or scheduled.
Any major events will be relayed here as they develop.
UPDATE, 3/29/14: Almost three months after this post was made, our "major event" came to pass!