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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
And with the aquisition, about 30 of the 70 1up staffers lost their jobs yesterday. My favorite podcasts: 1up Show, 1up Yours, 1up FM, etc were vaporized! Fridays will never be the same. Also, say goodbye to Electronic Gaming Monthly as well. Sucks.....big time.

http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3172156

Quote:
UGO Entertainment Acquires 1UP

UGO Entertainment and parent Hearst Corporation have acquired 1UP and its associated sites.

By 1UP Staff, 01/06/2009

You may have heard the rumors in the past, but today the announcement we've all been waiting for has officially come: UGO Entertainment and parent Hearst Corporation have acquired 1UP and its associated sites GameVideos.com, MyCheats.com, and GameTab.com. 1UP and its sites now join UGO's network of gaming properties that will reach over 40 million monthly unique visitors. UGO and 1UP representatives commented on the deal:


"Since we started UGO 11 years ago, we have served the gamer community and built a world-class online publishing platform," said J Moses, CEO of UGO Entertainment. "The acquisition of 1UP, with its authentic voice, tenured editorial personalities and bustling user community, allows us to expand our base of quality content and represents a major step forward in UGO's mission to become the leader in the games space."


"We are extremely excited to join the UGO team," said Sam Kennedy, editorial director and creator of 1UP. "Relying on UGO's publishing platform will allow us to focus on what we do best -- creating great content and 'owning the conversation' among gamers through our unique, authentic and definitive voice and community."


Obviously, there are sure to be many questions as to what this deal means for the day to day of 1UP and its sites. To those, we can only say that we'll continue to produce the very best gaming content and support the very best gaming community as we always have, only now we'll have the backing of a fantastic publisher like UGO. Please join with us in celebrating this major news for 1UP.


Now for the drama....Here's Jeff Green's (prior employee now working for EA) take on the takeover...

http://jeff-greenspeak.blogspot.com/...-same-1up.html

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"No, You are not the same 1up"


So, soon after posting my last entry, I decided that the best way to show my support and love for the dozens of my co-workers laid off yesterday was not to scribble on my blog, but to actually be there with them.


I rode my bike from EA up to San Francisco, where a lively and active and drunken wake was in progress at Steff's Bar, the dive bar next to the (now former) Ziff Davis offices that has served as the go-to watering hole for years now. Some of those fired--like my good friends Ryan and Anthony--were not there, and knowing both those guys, I'm sure that hanging at a bar was about the last thing they felt like doing, knowing that they no longer held the jobs that they loved so dearly. But mostly everyone was there--both the fired (who were unceremoniously shoved out the door, with security guards present) and the "saved"--as well as a bevy of alumni who also came to show their support: Karen Chu, John Davison, Dana Jongewaard, Demian Linn, and many more. It's the one thing about Ziff Davis. No matter how ****ed up and ill-managed of a company it was---and, boy, was it--they always managed to hire great people who stick together even years after their departure. Alumni of that company always feel the same bond. Maybe because it was so ****ed up and ill-managed. Those who get out are kind of like ex-convicts--survivors who laugh and shake their heads at their former incarceration and feel for those left behind. Or maybe that's too dramatic and unfair. It's hard to say when it comes to something like layoffs. Emotions run high.


Which is why, after getting home from the wake, I got extremely upset when I read Sam Kennedy's "1up is Now Part of UGO" blog entry--which I'm not going to link to here because it doesn't deserve any more clicks. Now, Sam is an incredibly nice guy, one of those guys who never, ever has a bad word to say about anyone. He'd never write, for example, what I'm about to write. And there is no doubt in my mind that he's as bummed out as everyone else. He's in a horrid position here, having to put a brave face on what is an unequivocally ugly mess. So I wish no ill-will on the guy, and, more important, those following this story need to know that none of this is his "fault". All this **** happened way above him. He's just trying to make the best of a bad situation. And to that I offer him a heartfelt and sincere good luck.


Still. That blog post? Not a good call. It reminds me a bit of George Bush, to be honest, in its tin-eared, feel-good myopic offensiveness ("You're doing a heckuva job, Brownie!"). Yeah, he had to say *something*, but this wasn't the way to say it--not in public. I only want to comment on two lines:


"We're still the same 1UP, and we'll still be producing the same content...we always have"


Well, no, you're not, and no, you won't. You're not the same 1UP because you just lost a gigantic chunk of what made 1up 1up. It may go on, it may in fact produce great things, but it won't be the same. All that a company ever is is a mix of specific personalities. That's all it is. Period. When you remove people, it may go on, but it's never "the same." Saying it's the same is a disservice to all the people who just got canned. And, no, you won't be "producing the same content" because those responsible for some of the most popular and distinctive content--the 1up Show, the podcasts--no longer work there anymore. So, again, you can't say it's "the same". It's not. (And since everyone on the Copy Desk got canned, too, it won't be as well-edited, either.) Better to just acknowledge that, since we all know it anyway.


"...having the support of UGO and Hearst is probably the best bit of news we've ever had."


Again, no. If this can be called "the best news", I'd hate to see the bad news. In fact, it might be the best bit of news that you and the others who kept their jobs ever had, since you now don't have to be looking for work at the start of a new year, in the worst economic climate this country has been in in the last 80 years. For everyone else--both those who lost their jobs and those who followed their work--it's just about the worst news possible. I'll give you an alternate choice for "the best bit of news" 1up.com ever had: The fact that so many talented, creative, funny, dedicated people busted their ass at that site to produce content they believed in, despite the fact that they were chronically underpaid, chronically under-appreciated and lied to by an incompetent upper management (I mean the New York suits) whose ****** decisions led the company to ruin, and chronically treated--ever since the Ziff family sold the once-great company--like nothing more than numbers on a bleeding-red-ink spreadsheet. That's the best news you ever had. What happened yesterday? Yeah. Not so much.


In the cold light of day, though, another truth remains: All those still at 1up are still great writers and editors, and will, in fact, produce great things. You cannot underestimate the talents of Jeremy Parish, Thierry Nguyen, Scott Sharkey, and everyone else, and they deserve our support. I'm glad for all those who survived the cut, and will continue to read their work. And I wish Sam all the best over this difficult time of transition.


But since he's obviously hamstrung by having to put a happy face on this bloodbath, I'll just say what would have been nice to read, instead: "Our website is decimated. Our new owners failed to recognize the talent we had, which comes as no surprise since their own website values lowest-common-denominator pandering over quality content. We will do our best to do what we can, despite the fact that they gutted us. This ****ing sucks."


/end rant.


Good luck, all. Those now looking for a job, you know where to find me for references, advice, and beer.
 

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Quote:
"Our website is decimated. Our new owners failed to recognize the talent we had, which comes as no surprise since their own website values lowest-common-denominator pandering over quality content. We will do our best to do what we can, despite the fact that they gutted us. This ****ing sucks."

Awesome. UGO sites have sucked for ages.
 

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I just read this news this morning and was very disappointed. I knew Ziff was in trouble, but 1UP has always been a solid place. I always found myself going back there because it was the most straight-forward talk on games anywhere. No bias, no preferences, no sellout crap - just thoughts on games from people that got it. The 1UP Show was a fantastic roundtable presentation that I watched every Friday.
 

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Say goodbye to the last of the game review sites I actually trusted and valued. This blows. Would someone (other than Kotaku and the rest of the gaming blogosphere) please start doing game news/reviews right? Argh! I hate seeing good companies go under.
 

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This sucks, the 1UP Show was my favorite feature from all of the websites.
 

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Gaaah! Just when Hsu and Chan returned! This is just horrible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Not all hope is lost. What's funny is that they fired 99% of the true talent there. They already have podcast ideas in the making. Yea they were drunk when they made them but after they move all their crap out of the building today, they are going to seriously discuss them sober.


Nick Suttner has already tweeted that the "Rebel FM" will air tomorrow.


Here's a list of who got axed:


Yamaguchi, Marci

Cox, Simon

Convertito, Monique

Donahoe, Michael

Pinkham, Rosemary

Wilson, Jason

Bettenhausen, Shane

Ford, Greg

Gallegos, Anthony

Mielke, James

Bertrand, Jason

Bowen, Robert

Chandronait, Matt

Fitch, Andrew

Frechette, Justin

O'Donnell, Ryan

Pfister, Andrew

Quintero, Cesar

Scott, Ryan

Serrano, Rey

Varanini, Giancarlo

Frieg, Adrian

Garcia, Andrea

Gelfand, Leslie

Jaramillo, Jervilyn

Madu, Ndubuisi

Moran, Amy

Steel, CoyLou

Stowe, Meredith

Ubbelohde, Tipler

Boothe, Norris

Chinn, Derek

Ellis, Eric

Ross, Tammy

Tong, May

Mishra, Amy

Parsons, Doug

Rosa, Christina

Suttner, Nick

Kollar, Philip
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sam Kennedy is taking some major heat for his "best thing to happen to 1up" statement. His response on this neogaf thread that's over 50+ pages

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost...postcount=2629

Quote:
Hey guys, I haven't really read through this thread -- 50+ pages! -- and I probably won't ever be able to. But I did want to hop in here since, well, this is a pretty ****ing big deal, I just lost almost half my staff, and God knows what sort of hate is flying around right now.


There's no way to rationalize this for most people, and I don't want to sugarcoat anything. My blog (for anyone that actually read all of it) was sincere -- this is a great thing for 1UP. Lord knows we need some better infrastructure and backing. As for many of the podcasts and other shows that we worked so hard on -- and the people that produced them -- obviously, not so much. And I'm not saying that's OK, and I'm not saying you should even be remotely fine with that -- it kills me (and, to be perfectly honest, even the UGO people), that not everything could be preserved.


And I'm not here to defend this. It freaking sucks. But from my vantage point, UGO did what they could to, what I consider, "save" 1UP. Obviously, all of us would have wanted to see things go differently -- most of all me, considering I just lost many of my closest friends as coworkers and employees today.


A couple of things to realize, though:


Fact: 1UP was a business that was losing money.


Fact: This economy sucks and the ad market is diminished.


Fact: Ziff Davis has been trying to offload 1UP for years.


With those sorts of factors playing against us, something had to give. Everyone loved the stuff we did, but our business wasn't in the best of shape (see: Ziff-Davis files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last summer).


My hope in all of this, over the last year or so, was that some company would come along and be able to buy 1UP -- the entire operation -- and run with it. And I think UGO had actually originally approached 1UP with those same hopes.


But the reality of the market was that no company, including UGO, was willing to sustain 1UP as it was. And that includes Ziff Davis. I hate to to break it to you, but the sad fact was that there was little hope for 1UP to continue as it had been. Not in this economy. If any company out there would have been willing to support us as we were, they certainly didn't step up.


The only company that really did was UGO, and they did their very best to continue 1UP.


So like I said, while UGO may appear like the bad guy here, in a lot of ways, they just did what few, if any, other companies would. And, from everything they've indicated to us, they are completely supportive of 1UP and its people. Believe me, they were in the office today and were just as distraught about the losses of any of these shows and the people.


Of course, that doesn't make things any better for any of us. Fact is, we -- as in, the games industry, not just 1UP -- are losing some great things today. I'm with you in mourning. But I have a commitment from the UGO guys that they -- now, actually, we -- are going to do whatever we can to help these guys out and look for ways to continue these shows with them and/or to look into possibilities for new shows in the future. I'm not saying everything will be back to "normal" as you knew it anytime soon, but I am saying there should be some good things to look forward to in the future.


But anyway, now's not the time to think ahead -- certainly not for me, at least. Right now I'm just concerned about my friends. I just came back from a night of drinks at our regular spot, where lots of the games industry showed up to show their support for the guys. Honestly, it was so great to see everyone come out for the team. While a part of me is certainly happy about what UGO/Hearst has just done for 1UP -- because, like I said, it could have been a lot worse -- today was the worst day of my life.
 

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I never visited any of these sites regularly so I'm pretty neutral. Reading both accounts I'd say Jeff Green seems to be off-base on his two points of concern.


He criticizes the fact that 1up says they'll remain the same, but that's probal true to the extent that the main format will continue. Sure some people were let go, but in any acquisition merger they always release redundacy positions that already exist (ironically, that was a redundant statement). Jeff knows the behind-the-scenes people who lost their jobs so it is personal to him, but to the average reader 1up may still "feel" like 1up in the end.


Secondly, Jeff contradicts himself by not believing Sam who said that having UGO take over is really good news for 1up. Why is that hard to believe? Doesn't Jeff make it clear that Ziff-Davis were terrible at managing the business?


As Sam points out, wasn't 1up losing money in a weakening economy with bankruptcy knocking at the door? Sure, some people were let go, but in a glass-half-full POV, at least the site and a lot of positions were saved. Overall saving half of 1up is better than losing all of it, so the news about UGO does seem to be a net positive for those who remain and the readers.
 

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I read this news yesterday but did not know the extent of what the takeover by UGO was.


I was definitely surprised to see the list of names, and there were some rather well established names on that list, which made it even more surprising.


I wish them all the best!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblow /forum/post/15486080


I never visited any of these sites regularly so I'm pretty neutral. Reading both accounts I'd say Jeff Green seems to be off-base on his two points of concern.


He criticizes the fact that 1up says they'll remain the same, but that's probal true to the extent that the main format will continue. Sure some people were let go, but in any acquisition merger they always release redundacy positions that already exist (ironically, that was a redundant statement). Jeff knows the behind-the-scenes people who lost their jobs so it is personal to him, but to the average reader 1up may still "feel" like 1up in the end.


Secondly, Jeff contradicts himself by not believing Sam who said that having UGO take over is really good news for 1up. Why is that hard to believe? Doesn't Jeff make it clear that Ziff-Davis were terrible at managing the business?


As Sam points out, wasn't 1up losing money in a weakening economy with bankruptcy knocking at the door? Sure, some people were let go, but in a glass-half-full POV, at least the site and a lot of positions were saved. Overall saving half of 1up is better than losing all of it, so the news about UGO does seem to be a net positive for those who remain and the readers.


Jeff is upset because he believes, simply, that UGO people are far worse at their jobs than 1Up (see the last paragraph). Looking at both sites briefly, I must say he's onto something. And considering the main draw of 1Up (it was not a popular site) was the podcasts, which are dead because the people who worked on them were mostly fired, I highly doubt 1Up fans will think this is the same 1Up.


I think Hearst/UGO just bought up 1Up because they have some decent connections, like their reviews being on Amazon, and some search engine optimization, which leads to good clicks. UGO clearly has no interest in retaining what made 1Up unique.


Anyway, it's not like Jeff is an unbiased source, and its true Ziff was looking to offload 1Up for a long time now (at least a year).
 

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Hey, there's no atheists in foxholes, and no Libertarians in a recession


[or merger in this case]


I tend to favor small\\medium businesses so I tend to agree with the fired 1up guys, but who's to say they won't be run, editorially, the same?


My guess is they might improve after everything is said and done; but later, a few editors down the line, big business will screw this up as management comes in trying to make changes that make them look good, but fall apart once they got their promotion.


It always sucks to lose you job, but if these people were the heart and soul of 1up, then they have nothing to worry about since people will be wanting to grab them up for their experience.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PvtChurch /forum/post/15485506


Say goodbye to the last of the game review sites I actually trusted and valued. This blows. Would someone (other than Kotaku and the rest of the gaming blogosphere) please start doing game news/reviews right? Argh! I hate seeing good companies go under.

Seriously. None of the big review sites have weathered the transition into the mainstream. IGN, Gamespot, Edge, and now 1up. All taken over by corporate mega-media zombies. Sounds like the premise to a great FPS, no?


For me, that leaves the blogs, the forums, and a couple of small-scale second-tier review sites. None of these places can write a decent review to save their life. Even though most of us believe "reviews are teh suxorz!" the value of a well written and trustworthy review can't be underestimated. 1up was the last major gaming site whose reviews I trusted and enjoyed reading. So sad for all of us.


But this could be a good thing. Giantbomb has come out looking pretty good as a new alternative in the wake of Gerstman's controversial firing. Hopefully some of the talented ex-1up folks will come up with something equally as good (and profitable).
 

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Maybe they can go to G4? I'd like to see the 1up gang have a show on there.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by number1laing /forum/post/15486301


Jeff is upset because he believes, simply, that UGO people are far worse at their jobs than 1Up (see the last paragraph). Looking at both sites briefly, I must say he's onto something. And considering the main draw of 1Up (it was not a popular site) was the podcasts, which are dead because the people who worked on them were mostly fired, I highly doubt 1Up fans will think this is the same 1Up.


Actually, with the Amazon review tie ins I'd heard they were getting more and more popular.


Sad day.
 

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That's too bad. I only just started to listening to game related podcasts. Of the one's I've listened to, 1upyours was my fav. I wondered why there was no update last week. I guessed it had something to do with new years.


Gamers with Jobs isn't too bad, so I've been listening to that.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by admo1972 /forum/post/15496490


That's too bad. I only just started to listening to game related podcasts. Of the one's I've listened to, 1upyours was my fav. I wondered why there was no update last week. I guessed it had something to do with new years.


Gamers with Jobs isn't too bad, so I've been listening to that.

I find Gamers with Jobs hard to listen to. Not sure what it is about them. They all have the same personality, maybe, and they're always laughing at their own unfunny in-jokes. Truth is, though, I have to admire anyone who puts a show together. I'm finding it soooo not easy to get things going!


The 1Up Yours show was awesome to download every week. The guys all had unique, entertaining personalities and a convincing sense of games, as well as an immense insight into the gaming industry. No one is ever going to agree with anyone all the time when it comes to game reviews, but I always felt like I could trust them. Not to forget my huge man-crush on Shane Bettenhausen. Hm, I wonder if he'd be available for my podcast now?
 

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Sad to see the demise of EGM. Jeez, I think I started reading back around issue 8 or 9, and was super pumped to see the pictures of the Japanese Super Famicom (I think my brother and I were the only kids on the block to be salivating for a launch-day Super NES...thanks EGM). The quality of the mag really went down in the last few years, but no game magazine has ever inspired the kind of enthusiasm in me that those huge, multi-hundred page December issues of the mid-90s did (they were practically as large as the Sears catalog). Aww, now I feel like the nostalgic old man.


1up's podcasts were great, but the site was cluttered and hard to navigate. They've been in trouble for a long time now, so like others have said, it's no surprise. I'm just interested to see where some of the more senior guys wind up.
 

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Wow--I'm actually stunned! I knew something like this was coming (see Ziff-Davis filing for chapter 11 last year) but I didnt see the house of cards come tumbling down all at once. This is a pretty big deal. I dont really visit many gaming websites anymore, but rather listen to Podasts at work. It's so much more appealing for me.


Although I wasnt the biggest 1UP Yours fan (once Luke Smith left, it went down hill for me) but I still enjoyed listening to it from time to time. For me the best 1UP network Podcasts were 1UP FM and Retronauts. I feel those guys could articulate their views and opinions well--especially Nick Suttner's.


This also leads me to wonder exactly how much the poduction dept's operation cost amounted to over there since they were doing the 1UP Show (video) and several audio podcasts. I'm guessing it was quit a bit. Doing these things takes a decent amount of time and money (one might be surprised how much the annual cost is in regards to time consumption and $--no one I know of does Podcasting for a living), and I can only hope it helps greaten people appreciation for Podcasters in general (in any genre). It's always kinda bummed me out a bit to see some people carp about trivial things when they're getting something entertaining for free. If it's not enjoyable--cool move on. And I dont mean to imply that there can be no constructive critisism either (our Podcast has grown considerable in quality due to listener input)--but it's the immature rallying that can go on that bothers me. It's kinda like someone bringing a batch of cupcakes they spent their free time making to work for everyone to enjoy and one of those co-workers who doesnt enjoy them seeking that person out and berating them. This might be a bit of an exageration, but I'm just trying to make a point. I've guess what I'm saying is--I've always supported anyone who does a Podcast because I think it's ultimately a good thing and it's just a fun hobby. I love it! I love that we live in an age where this is possible dont you? I hope some good can come out of all of this.


More importantly I hope those people find jobs and land on their feet safely. I hate to see anyone get canned as it's stressful and sad for everyone and never a good thing (at first). For me personally when I was layed off a few years ago, it actually turned out to be a really great thing for me in the end.
 

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Yeah, I've read EGM for ages. I knew something bad was coming when they were literally GIVING AWAY subscriptions over 2008, though. I just assumed they'd be absorbed into 1up or something.
 
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