Breaking: 1UP bought by UGO
Today is a sad day for gamers everywhere. 1UP, in my opinion of the best bigger gaming sites out there, has been bought by UGO. Alongside this, GameVideos, MyCheats and GameTab have also been sold by the parent company, Ziff Davis who has been bankrupt for quite a while now.
As such, a number of prominent writers on 1UP have been fired or quit and Electronic Gaming Monthly, the print magazine also owned by Ziff Davis, is to stop print from the January issue. That’s right, one of the best US gaming magazines is no more. Some of the greatest games writers of the moment and one of the greatest gaming magazines, loved by many, has now closed because UGO wanted to save a bit of money. UGO, whose site seems more like an issue of Zoo or Nuts discussing “things men like” such as boobs, cars, fighting etc.
Not only this, but UGO have scrapped all of the 1UP podcasts, that includes some personal favourites including 1UP Yours, The 1UP Show, Broken Pixels and Retronauts. So, what’ve we lost so far? Well, 30 fantastic writers, a great magazine and easily a selection of the best gaming focused podcasts on the internet.
But then again, UGO is not entirely to blame. Niero over at Destructoid did his own investigating into the economics behind the buyout and came up with some interesting facts.
“According to salary aggregating service PayScale (who claims to have surveyed over 22,000 people), the median salary for seasoned Web Geeks is in the $50-80k range and upwards of $100k for director-level positions. Multiply that times 30, then add the cost of equipment and studio space, and you’re easily looking at $2.5 million annually. That’s a lot of ads to sell for free podcasts to break even. Unless money was being thrown at them by listeners, that team should have been disassembled a long time ago and put towards other, more profitable enterprises within 1UP. Common sense,” he observed, “Thus, Ziff clearly ran the expensive operation in an attempt to win market share, but couldn’t stay the course of their flawed economics. What podcast or magazine can ever hope to break even on on that kind of money in this economy?”
Either way, some giants were felled today. A list of rumoured firings within 1UP has made it’s way around the internet and it’s heartbreaking to see some prominent writers, and people I aspire to be like, being thrown to the side. The list is below:
Luckily, however, many of the above writers have stated that they already have future plans in the works, so hopefully this isn’t the last we shall see of them.
But until then, RIP EGM and so long 1UP. You shall be sorely missed.