It isn't a shock that EGM is closing it's doors, it's been rumored for awhile, and I also had a hunch when I was about to renew my subscription, only to receive an email stating that my February issue would be the last. With print publications like Official Playstation Magazine, the Games For Windows shutting down, for EGM to follow suit was only a matter of time. To see them continue for as long as they did afterwards though is nothing short of amazing. What was shocking were the layoffs associated with Ziff Davis's sale of the 1UP Network to UGO entertainment. Layoffs which included some of the most notable names over at 1UP, which has seriously hit a chord with me, and undeniably the rest of the gaming community that looked forward to the weekly podcasts, not to mention trustworthy editorial content.
After Jeff Gerstman was fired from Gamespot for his review of Kane and Lynch, and EGM's refusal to give into publishers, like Midway, Ubisoft, even Sony's sports division, trustworthy editorial content was hard to come by. EGM has always stood their ground with no leeway towards greedy publishers looking for high scores to their shitty games. So it's sad to see EGM closing it's doors. It's been around since I was a tyke and, at the risk of sounding like an absolute geek, when you follow a group of people for so long, you feel a sense of connection, a feeling of belonging and any alteration to that group is nerve racking. In the last two years, one by one, staff members would move on to greener pastures, Luke Smith to Bungie, Shawn Elliot to 2K Boston, Bryan Intihar to Insomniac, even Jeff Green joining The Sims team at EA Studios. Dan Hsu, former EIC of EGM, and Crispin Boyer, who've both been there since the early days, had also left Ziff. More than 30 staffers at once though? That's a shock to the system.
The layoffs included the whole 1UP Show production staff, most of the GameVideos.com staff and plenty of behind the scene folks as well. It makes no sense to me why the would shut down The 1UP Show. That was a huge part of their community. Phillip Kollar, Nick Suttner and Anthony Gallegos are among the crew getting the axe which means no more 1UP FM, about the only good news is that Garnett Lee and David Ellis are still around, but without Shane Bettenhausen, the ying to Garnetts yang, where does that leave 1UP Yours?
Hopefully some good will come of this and everyone who was let go will continue to hone their skills and land on their feet. Good luck guys, let's hope UGO doesn't run 1UP into the ground, Sam Kennedy certainly doesn't think so.