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Goodbye, Gamespy - IGN Lay-offs & Site Closures

By Ninjabutter - 28th February 2013 - 04:14 AM

IGN Entertainment, hit earlier this month with an unspecified number of employee lay-offs, has permanently shut down three of its subsidiaries; Gamespy, 1up.com, and UGO. Gamespy, likely the best-known of the three, has been something of a staple in the multiplayer gaming industry since their founding fourteen years ago, providing forums, a very extensive file-hosting platform, gaming news, and the multiplayer servers for several games. 1up.com and UGO were both websites which focused on gaming industry news, rumors, interviews, preview videos, and game reviews. The three sites combined formed a fairly substantial part of the online gaming news and information community.

The websites do still currently remain online, at least for the time being, and Gamespy editor-in-chief Dan Stapleton has posted a farewell article indicating that the closure of the sites was not due to poor performance on their part, but was rather a financially-driven move prompted by Ziff Davis, the publishing company behind IGN. UGO editor-in-chief Chris Radtke posted a similar article, and Jeremy Parish did likewise on 1up.com.

Ziff Davis CEO Vivek Shah announced the closures and IGN lay-offs via the following staff email last week:

From: Vivek Shah
Date: February 21, 2013
Subject: Staff Announcement

Today, we took some difficult but important actions that will ensure the continued growth and health of IGN and AskMen. Before I go into more details about the changes, you should know that they resulted in the elimination of jobs at IGN. It's always upsetting to say goodbye to colleagues and let's do what we can to help these employees as they seek new opportunities.

It's also important for you to know that we are absolutely confident that we now have the best structure and team to successfully move the company forward and that there are no further planned reductions.

The changes we made today are designed to allow us to Simplify and Focus. Our goal is to do fewer things and to do them exceptionally well. In that vein, we want to direct all of our energy and work behind our two flagship brands: IGN and AskMen. They are both category killers and share a vision of a multi-screen (PCs, tablets, smartphones, TV) and multi-format (text, photos and video) world.

As a result of our decision to focus on our core brands, we are:
Winding down 1UP.com, UGO.com and GameSpy.com;
No longer ad repping 3rd party sites such as GameStop.com and FamilyGuy.com;
Actively engaged with parties interested in acquiring IPL. IGN's role going forward will be to broadcast and cover a variety of eSports events;
Dividing our ad sales team into two: one focused on IGN and the other focused on AskMen.

The full email, including various staff position changes, can be viewed at Polygon.

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