Wednesday, January 7, 2009

No, You're 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 fucked 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 fucked 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 shit 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 shitty 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 fucking sucks."

/end rant.

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

--Jeff

316 comments:

1 – 200 of 316   Newer›   Newest»
Mittens said...

So true man

Raul said...

I bet your post reflects what is going through the minds of the 1up staff. What fucking lame timing to announce the whole deal too... Though in some respects it was almost like watching someone on their deathbed, you knew the time would come sooner or later, it's still jarring when it finally does happen.

Matt B said...

I felt the same way when I read Kennedy's post. Just, seriously? Are you joking? Half your co-workers just got unceremoniously canned. Sometimes "no spin" is preferable to "good spin".

The only reason people listen to specific podcasts are FOR the personalities. They can get the news anywhere.

Art Green said...

Fucking right, man.

colinp said...

Always a pleasure Mr. Green. I am glad that you wrote this up as it is exactly what I have been thinking and feeling since I read Sam's post. You are a gentleman and a scholar, so keep up the good work.

Don said...

Well said.

Tosus said...

You know, I read Sam's post, and basically had the same thoughts running through my head. Of course, since I've never been the editor-in-chief of a major magazine(school paper doesn't count), I could probably not have summed up my thoughts in writing as well as you have. Give my regards and that of thousands of loyal listeners and readers to those who are looking for new jobs, as well as to those who still remain in the shell of their former company, as I'm sure working for a company with so little understanding of what they do cannot be much easier for them either. Good for Sam, trying to put as positive a face on this as he can, but you know what they say about polishing turds... (you get fleas or something, I dunno).

Brad Covert said...

Alright Jeff, let it all out man!

I was very disappointed when I saw that almost everyone I enjoyed listening to and reading articles by had gotten let go. When you and Shawn left, it was bad enough, but now almost everyone is gone. No more 1UP Show, now more 1UP podcasts...it's pretty sad man.

Joel said...

What a beautiful post.

It saddens me to hear of the loss of 1up. 1up audio was my cubicle companion for so long. I will miss getting to eavesdrop on these interesting, creative people discuss our shared passion of gaming.

I dream of the awesome projects these folks will go on to create. (Think Digg, Rev3, TWiT, etc.)

All things in life are temporary. Sadness and loss are a given, but that shouldn't keep us from marching onward to new experiences.

Best Regards.

matty117 said...

I really liked Sam but that blog post took some nerve. 1UP may go on but it as far as I am concerned a good friend died 7th January 2008 too many good people have lost their jobs for me to respect the site anymore.

I can only hope we see a few of them get together and start a new site like what the Giant bomb guys did.

To anyone from 1UP fired or not and people who left before this sad day thank you sooooo much for the fun and hard work you guys put in.

We were all a large extended family both the staff and community.

Thanks’ guys, God Bless and, Chuff it Out!

Mat

Pat S said...

It won't be the same 1up, but the new 1up will be even better, now that the dead weight is gone!

Slapshot said...

Well said, Jeff. Sam is in a difficult position, no doubt. But he overplayed the marketing and really now looks like a smacked ass to all of us who have been fervent fans of the 1UP properties. 1UP may look the same on the surface, but now it's a Hollywood set where if you peek inside the door, there's just wooden beams and scaffolding holding it up.

You guys made 1UP a success, despite Ziff's obvious inability to understand it nor support it. We've watched over the course of a few short years the decline of an institution that deserved so much more from it's corporate overlords. Your audience appreciated your efforts far more than any executive reading a P/L statement could ever hope to comprehend.

I wish those who were unceremoniously let go the best in trying to find a job in this worst of climates. You all are worth far more than either Ziff or UGO could ever hope to understand.

Mike said...

Jeff, I was so sad when you left. Then I was sad again when Shawn left, and now its just, poof; totally gone.

This is a very sad day for game journalism, I've been listening to the CGW podcast, then GFW, then LAN Party with Ryan, for the last 3-4 years, and I was a loyal subscriber until CGW/GFW got the axe from those fools.

Kennedy's post is obviously trying to put a good spin on the situation, but I would have much preferred him lay it out like it actually is. UGO is terrible and 1up won't ever be the same.

Hayden said...

Thank-you for posting this. I feel devastated, as 1up was the only american outlet that I've ever developed any respect for, and that came from the hard work that everyone put into the podcasts, 1up show and website content. I'm a games developer in the UK, and the 1up podcasts were an significant part of my week, every week. I'm glad you were able to go to see them, and I wish every one of them the best.

PixelLive said...

The exact same problem I had with the blog post. I'm sure he doesn't deserve a lot of the idiotic internet commentary frothing around 1up and GAF, but I personally objected to that blog post on almost every level. It was callous.

SC Spartan said...

I think you said what we all were thinking, but some much better. Thanks for your take on this. And your right...1up will not be the same.

Anonymous said...

amen

Anonymous said...

I normally don't give a shit about the people who update a website I visit every day.

But I care about all the 1up people.

This is devastating to me.

This is like when Sassy magazine went all commercial and instead of having punkish, pierced, non-traditional models, went skinny, skinny, skinny and only put celebs on its covers.

It broke my fucking heart.

Anderson said...

I checked in this morning for your thoughts before this post and was bummed to see there wasn't much said. Thanks for this one. Honestly, seeing the kind of anger at the situation expressed here is helpful for those of us who wish we could've done more to keep people we feel like we've grown close to by virtue of their blogs, podcasts, and videos. I mean, I'm not crying at my desk or heartbroken my favorite gaming site is gone -- I just feel bad for people who entertained me and now have uncertain futures.

It's cathartic to read an insider's unvarnished opinion on the subject, and I look forward to hearing more from the other casualties of this buyout. Good luck, everyone. If you need a sweet job in systems administration on the East Coast...

dan said...

You almost have to feel worse for those who remain at the site. Much like the mass exodus from gamespot proceeding the Jeff Gerstmann firing, those left behind never quite demand the same level of respect.

Not that there's anything wrong with keeping a job you were not fired from.

Good luck to everyone.

Mike said...

In all honesty I want to e-punch Sam in the face for that blog post. It completely rubbed me the wrong way. I hope UGO goes in the toilet, and the former 1up staff rises to the top like they deserve. One word, GiantBomb.com.

J.C. Richardson said...

Well said sir. Ever since the departure of Luke Smith you felt that the clock started to tick and like everything in the world, the $ was the bottom line.

I am sad to see the end of 1up as we know it and I am going to have a hard time finding another good podcast that lived up to the chemistry between Garnet, Shane and John (and you should have been the 4th chair).

Pour out to them the parting glass, goodnight and God be with you all.

- J.C.

Anonymous said...

The writing was on the wall for EGM. I'm still sad, but it was no surprise.

And I can see them wanting to pare down the amount of content creators for the 1 up site. But man, look at that list. Anthony (Along with Robert Ashley)was really finding his voice on the Lan Party podcast. And Nick just got his first cover story.

I just dont get the depth of the cuts so quickly.

Nathanael said...

It's beautiful Jeff. You said what I felt. It felt like a damage control mis-step, when it would have been better not to focus so heavily on selling a silver lining that most readers aren't going to buy anyway.

I hope everyone lands on their feet, but it's a tough time to be looking.

Austin said...

How the hell am I supposed to keep up with video game news now? I didn't even visit the site regularly, but I listened to the podcasts religiously. I feel like I just lost half of my best friends (all be it a one-way friendship.)

downwritefierce.com said...

"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 fucking sucks."

Well played, Jeff.

Macroe said...

I agree 100% that 1up.com has been robbed of its most solid core by firing so many genuine voices. It was a totally different beast without GFW, OPM, EGM and PC Mag, but once the real talent left, like you and Shawn, the company effectively had lost the game. To finally kick out the few committed people left like Ryan and Anthony is beyond stupidity.

It's certainly ironic to see companies that preach that people are their no. 1 asset squander away their only true value by mismanagement and irresponsible financial dealings.

How can anyone --except maybe the financial officer at Ziff in NY-- "join in celebrating this major news" as Kennedy's post proclaims? Still, perhaps we should understand the guy, trying to PR-bullshit the best of a desperate ? situation.

I remember your April 08 posts that showed your best efforts at picking morale up once GFW was shut down. All could feel the frustration behind your semi positive calls to action in your posts to the community to pitch in with ideas and suggestions for the website.

You got out a tad too late in my opinion, but still early enough to not face the prospect of cold knocking on doors in this economic climate.

My best possible scenario for the laid off: Ryan finds a job writing for Lost, Anthony becomes Chief Supervisor for Star Wars Continuity at Lucasarts.

Best of luck to all.

LiK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blogmike said...

Great post Jeff - from the heart

Anonymous said...

Well said Jeff. I know that Sam is in a difficult position but his blog was poorly worded.

Troy Goodfellow said...

Kennedy's blog post was trying to reassure a bunch of readers who obviously know that this is a big, big change and a shocking cull of talent.

I rarely wrote for 1up or ZD, but was always proud to do so because of the legacy and the people associated with the outfit. There weren't many good options here, sadly, with ZD under a crushing debt from which there was no real escape. Still, this is a sad, sad day.

Bobby said...

well said jeff, its a breath of fresh air reading what you wrote because thats how all of us feel as well. 1 minute im reading sams "its ok we're a happy family" post then the next im reading half the 1up staff got canned. what the fuck! who ever was in charge of this made a horrible mistake and the people in charge will soon see that when people stop visiting 1up to follow there favorite now fired personalities. it sucks they got let go but im very confident they'll all find work very fast.

LiK said...

Jeff, could you please go on Gamers With Jobs podcast next week and discuss this whole fiasco? PLEASE????

BTW, Great post, but I still feel bad for Sam.

paperbackwriter1 said...

Once again Jeff hits the nail squarely on the head.

I'm sure that all the guys will go on to do new things (possibly even better things) but I will mourn 1UP for a long time, they really had something special and I'm gutted it's gone :(

Cary said...

That was a wonderful post, Jeff. I actually just got chills while I read it. I agree with every point you made, especially about 1UP being forever changed. I suppose the suits only see positions and salaries and not the interesting people who made the site what it was. 1UP's podcasts and videos have been part of my life for a very long time, so this is really hard to take. I can't imagine how horrible it must be for my favorite group of people, who had it all taken away from them in an instant.

Tosus said...

I too would love to hear you on GWJ once again, your home away from home in the podosphere. And maybe you could get Ryan Scott or Anthony Gallegos or any of the other erstwhile 1Upers to go on with you. Or even Sam Kennedy, if his new overlords will allow.

Steve said...

I so sorry for your friends Jeff. In a strange way they have become my friends too through listening and watching them on the podcasts. I wish the best for all who lost their jobs. I really feel that it was the personalities at 1up that made the content so great, but most of them are gone now. Fortunately I think that there are companies and employers out there that realize the talent and abilities of these people unlike the management at Ziff, and they will all be busy again soon. Keep us up to date on what any of them move on to.

Best Wishes
Steve Eckert
Edmonton, Alberta

G-Man said...

If anyone could shed the true light on all this I am glad you did. The sad thing about it is that you are right it is never going to be the same. But you know what we always have those great memories.

Scott Tilton said...

Well said. I'm glad somebody had the balls to say what needed to be said. All you former 1Up'ers need to pull together and start your own site.

Brandon M. Smith, Esquire said...

After listening to the GWJ podcast from December with you and Shawn Elliot in the guest seats, I was given some hope that Hearst buying 1Up might be a good thing if it ever happened. The greatest asset 1Up had was talent, so to keep that talent intact after acquiring 1Up seemed logical to me. Apparently not so much to the powers that be at Hearst. I understand that from a business point of view just buying all the 1Up/EGM subscribers and the 1Up name was probably the main motivation, but if so it shows a lack of understanding of the modern online community. The community that has built up around 1Up and EGM, (and formerly GFW) is not foolish enough to believe the silly press release they are trying to feed us about 1Up staying the same and frankly it is insulting that they think they could pull that over on us after putting most of our favorite writers out of work.

Anyway, the folks laid off from 1Up are going through a hard time but they are all extremely talented and I have no doubt they will land on their feet. My heart goes out to them.

Justin L said...

Amen.

Gavan Acton said...

Well said. What made the 1up site great was the people and inherently their podcast/vidcasts.

To say that nothing changed is a joke.

Slapshot said...

Brandon said: "The community that has built up around 1Up and EGM, (and formerly GFW) is not foolish enough to believe the silly press release they are trying to feed us about 1Up staying the same and frankly it is insulting that they think they could pull that over on us after putting most of our favorite writers out of work."

Well put. Not only did they yank the heart out of 1UP by laying off so many of it's talented folks, but then they insult me by telling me 1UP is still the same great place to go for video game journalism.

They either don't get it, or consider the current community expendable. Either way and with all due respect to those who avoided the ax, 1UP won't be getting my clicks anymore.

nailerr said...

the 1up podcasts were a major highlight of my week, every week.

I'll never know those people, would never of met them. But I loved to hear them.

This just hurts. I hoped what happened at Gamespot was not going to happen again, not so soon.

Rob said...

Thanks for writing that - it needed someone directly involved with that great group of people to say it.

I read Sam's post first before I knew the whole picture - i thought it was just a change of ownership, but after reading around it all seemed to be very hollow.

Best wishes to all - to those staying who have to produce high quality content against a baseline of Lowest Common Denominator quality checks, and to those who went.

We'll be watching...

Dragonzigg said...

You're spot on Jeff. Unfortunately, it's another case of the talented and dedicated being undone by the idiocy of management, both Ziff and UGO. We can only hope the guys find new and better jobs elsewhere.

nailerr said...

And by chance I happened to have Smashing Pumpkins / Bodies come up on my iPod in the middle of that post. As Billy is singing right now "love is suicide" which I am seeing in a different light perhaps right now. The love put into 1up by all those involved, was suicidal, in this case.

Tom said...

Well said, as always, sir.

As many before me have said, it's the people at 1up that mattered. The content produced by 1up was special and interesting because of those people. I find it difficult to believe any of those left behind @ 1up will be comfortable publishing crap like the 10 Greatest Video Game Sex Scene that currently passes for game journalism...er, sensationalism at UGO.

It's odd but I had a visceral reaction of loss and sadness at the news yesterday. I followed the blogs and twitters with dread. "Best friends I'd never met" someone commented. How true. I listened to the podcasts to and from work, read the news when I got home, and as a new dad of a now 3 month old girl - it was the only place I could get intelligent discourse on my now time squashed passion.

Just as you do, Jeff - they'll keep telling it like it is. Thankfully the internet is full of wonderful tools to keep up with the lot of them. And that we will.

Rishard said...

Thank you for saying what needed to be said.

One thing I was just thinking about today. It seems like 1up was probably a profitable site if working on its own. Is there any way that 1up could have bought itself away from Ziff and worked as a seperate entity the same way that Bungie did from MS?

Steven said...

You deserve all of the thanks you are receiving for this post (and your blog in general). Thought you should know.

tole_cover said...

I'm not opposed to the beer offer, Jeff. :)

Parisi said...

Jeff,

What an excellent blog post. Your words are so true, and I agree with you 100%. Sam is a great guy. I have known him for years, and I am sure he was devastated by what happened yesterday. A site he worked so hard to build into what it is today, to just be gutted in one fell swoop has to be gut wrenching. Hopefully though they will continue on with the talent they have, and continue to put out great content, but as you said, its not the same 1up anymore.

To all the guys who lost their jobs(to the guys I know personally and to the ones I didnt), I know you will all land on your feet at bigger and better jobs.

Good Luck and God Speed!!!!

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to all of those who lost their job. While the community may feel betrayed and like they are the ones losing here, it is nothing compared to the loss the ex-1uppers must be going through. Best of luck to them all and I look forward to following them all to wherever they go.

Macroe said...

Check out this other post by Sam Kennedy, which is what he honestly should've posted http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=14274125&postcount=2629

Warren said...

I'm glad that someone in your position said it, because all of the fans were thinking it. Thank you for that!

And, to be honest, I'm more interested in seeing what the departed can build out of this situation than seeing what the survivors can salvage from it.

Dtrescott said...

I don't think this could have been said better, great post Jeff

Chris said...

I couldn't have said it better myself Jeff. 1up will not be the same, it can't be the same. Not with the quality and quantity of talent that was let go.

Eddie Aitken said...

Nice write up Jeff.

Theshi said...

You're right Jeff. 1up was special because of the people there.

Fans connected to the site because of the people...we didn't love 1up because of the brand or the name or a fanciful looking site.

1up will never be the same again.

1up-lover said...

Beautifully written.

vinster345 said...

I agree with the sentiments involved and I or anyone outside Ziff Davies will never know the mis-management of the 1up group and EGM.

What worries me in this whole crap-storm is that the fact that one of the few comercial places that tries to be like an independent gaming website has fallen (pretty much).

It worries me that the only websites that might succeed comercially are those that pander to the publishers/developers.

It also worries me that this medium still does not seem ready to treat reviews and approach games in a mature and non-base way with regards it reporting.

For all the wailing and nashing of teeth, this does make it appear that if you try and make a website approaching games in this manor, you will fail and that the consumers of games are not ready for this type of coverage.

LK said...

Well said, I thought that blog was fucking insensitive as well. "Good news", what an ass.

Joey said...

Completely agree. I can understand why everyone who has had the chance to work with or for you has such respect for you. You have defended your friends honorably.

8bitmike said...

i've never met any of these people before but it truly is a sad day for me. as a member of 1up for 2 years and subscriber to GFW and EGM, it is one of the worst days ever. good luck to everyone.

Faird said...

I just don't know what to say. After all the Jeff Gerstmann/Gamespot news form last year, I would have thought more people would have had the integrity to say exactly what you said Mr. Green.

Anonymous said...

Last Ballad of 1up

http://gamevideos.1up.com/video/id/16707

Good luck and godspeed

Brian said...

UGO is repulsive for what they did to 1UP. I've come to respect the personalities at 1UP so very much, and it was largely your magazine and your podcast, Jeff, that motivated me to see what else 1UP had to offer (and the 1UP Show tipped my scales overwhelmingly). I'm exclusively a PC gamer but even the console-centric and PC-phobic editors, like Shane Bettenhousen, shared such valid, educated commentary on the big picture that I drank up every word they had to say no matter how much I disagreed.

I feel bad saying it but it's almost a shame that a skeleton crew remains to keep the ship afloat. I'd feel like a Benedict Arnold returning to the site, but I've grown to rely so heavily on the sage scrawlings of Scooter and Parish. You know when Lisa Simpson has that science fair project where Bart can't stop touching an electrified cupcake?

Dare I say, this is bigger news than the cancellation of CGW/GFW. All us nerds felt that disturbance in the force that day, sure, but at least Ziff was gracious enough to keep (nearly?) everyone on staff. Today EVERYONE - the console gamers, the PC gamers, the lovers of critical journalism of all kinds - every last one of us feels this lump in our throats, knowing this era is over, for keeps, for reals.

I'll voraciously follow the careers of those editors who are looking for work today, but I fear the removal of that cohesive, tangible 1UP rapport will be absent.

1UP was something important to me, and I will remember it as such. Maybe it's for the best that it was cut down in its prime so that I can do nothing but smile as I count the rings on its remaining stump, you know?

Since I have no 1UP account I guess I'll just say it here. Thanks to you all, current and past 1UP staff, for assuring me that video games are an intellectual pursuit.

MrCHUPON said...

Hear hear.

yoonas said...

I hope Anthony and Ryan and others who were really damn talented and funny, will be fine. I know how hard it can be getting laid off.
Also...this would mean that my favorite podcast is now done...officially...damnit.

MojoBox said...

Considering "decimate" originally meant to reduce by 1/10th, I'd think it's fair to say this is far past decimated. More like annihilated, or purged.

This feels like UGO skinning the hide of the 1UP corpse to use as a throw rug. They've clearly only taken interest in the name of 1UP (and the integrity that implied) rather than what actually made it 1UP, the people.

To pretend that 1UP is moving on to a brighter future just seems dishonest. I know those who survived have to put on a brave face (especially management), but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be called for it.

Jeff's Son said...

Get em dad

Slapshot said...

Macroe said: Check out this other post by Sam Kennedy, which is what he honestly should've posted http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=14274125&postcount=2629

From the sound of that post, perhaps it would've been better to just shut 1UP down completely. I mean if you can't make any money with the talented people and products 1UP had before, how in the world do they expect to succeed now?

Half the talent pool is gone and most if not all of the popular podcasts will probably be nixed or scaled way back. How do they expect to get ad clicks now?

It boggles the mind.

Gunsakimbo said...

Ya.. that's so rough for all of them. I've had add so many twitter friends today so I can track and support all of them with wherever they end up going!

I decided two weeks ago to start putting together a print only gaming mag (well, zine to start). While I'm sad to see all this go, knowing that issue 1 in February will probably be the best selling gaming mag in the country right now due to no other valid competition, this tragedy brings to me a delusional silver lining.

Thanks for setting the 1UP record straight. Hopefully you didn't just set off a shit storm against Sam!

Graham said...

Well, said Jeff. I agree with many of these comments as well. As creepy as this sounds I'd kinda become attached to the 1up crew. I looked forward to their shows every week and was always bummed on the rare occasion that there wasn't a show. Also, one commenter mentioned Giant Bomb. A team up of Giant Bomb and and 1up alumnus would be a wet dream come true for any gamer. It must happen!

Charlie said...

One is reminded of nails and them being hit on the head.

Anonymous said...

CAN someone enlight me? Im a gamer... and i have NEVER heard of UGO!! what "impact" on the industry UGO has?
is ugo something like IGN ?

Mattato of Eld said...

Jeff, make sure you wish them luck from all of us here. I don't have a 1up account (and now never will), and so I was unable to give my condolences to those guys.

First GFW, then You and Shawn, and now this...

Pedro Carichas said...

Right on. This whole mess will never leave 1up the same. I hope those who got laid off start working on something new. Just like the Giantbomb team did after their problem.

John Kelly said...

Thanks, Jeff. Like many other commenters, I felt the exact same when I read Sam's press release, but I'm so far removed from the situation I was worried that my own criticism might have been a little unfair or misguided. Plus, you put it much better than I ever could.

I'm genuinely shocked at the way the whole thing has happened. I saw Joystiq's list of the fantastic people who were let go and it completely staggered me. That much talent and that many genuinely interesting personalities in one place - 1UP was really something special. I had expected it to go out with a bang, but this doesn't even count as a whimper.

Best of luck to everyone affected by this.

Nick said...

Jeff, as much as I love your light-hearted and amusing blog entries, I think this kind of insightful no-holds-barred honesty is what keeps me and others coming here. Please keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I don't know where EA is, but I'm willing to bet that it's far. You are a true friend to the 1UP community. Sorry, I mean the old 1UP community. You were there in their hardest time. Thank you for doing what I couldn't do (although admitedly if I did do that, they'd probably think I was some psycho stalker or something). You brought comfort to those who desperately needed it. Thank you Jeff as well as all the fellow 1UP alums who showed up at that bar.

G-Man said...

I respect Mr. Kennedy for being more forthcoming in that GAF post, but I maintain that 1UP is basically at ground zero once more.

Those awesome Mielke interviews of Japanese developers? Gone.

Donahoe's manlove for wrasslin'? Gone.

Podcasts? Gone (sans Retronauts according to Mr. Parish).

And so on.

You may have saved the company, Mr. Kennedy, but now you have to build an identity all over again. I do not envy your position.

Nahual said...

1up really is dead, literally, it's now nothing but an URL, a logo and a few former employees of ZD.

Nothing against the people that remained, but they lost so much of the most prominent talent (and some of the best in the industry) that, well, UGO should just have offered jobs to those they kept, it would have been much cheaper.

Really, that they did was like buying a new car, taking off the brand badge and a seat or two for spare parts, and then trashing what was left, engine and all.

And given UGO's track record, i wouldn't be surprised if they forced what's left of the staff to concentrate on "Top 50 bounciest boobs in gaming" bullshit.

What's it gonna sell? What's it gonna sell?

Nick said...

Thank god for an old cantankerous bastard who doesn't give a crap. You said what a lot of us feel and think. A voice of reason screaming out in the darkness. Well hopefully the community still staying at 1up can pick up the pieces and shattered dreams and move forward somehow. I hope you gave Tina a big hug to I think she needed it.

Dogma/Alexander Cederholm said...

This is nothing but sad in my opinion. The strength in the 1UP Network was the personalitys och theirs podcast production. To sack staff members that was key to many of these productions seems wierd to me IF you want the site to keep working as it used to be.

I have had EGM and 1UP among others as inspirations and role models in this buisness so it's really sad to see these people being laid off and therefore seeing the last really good and realiable game site get decimated like this.
IGN sucks, Gamespot lost all personality last year and now 1UP is something completly different. I wish all the fired people of 1UP the best of luck. What I really hope for is that a so called new Giant Bomb get's created through all this, fueled by many of the 1UPers.

The world and this industry needs analyzing, deep thinking, inteligent and more transperent people.

RetroBob said...

Jeff you have summed it up perfectly. I was thinking the exact same thing when I read that story. No way that's what Sam's really thinking.

Absolutely gutted, I really am. Frankly almost in tears, pretty fucked up considering I never even met any of you. Like someone said to Nick Suttner, "the 1Up staff - the best friends I never met." Fully fucking agree man.

Anonymous said...

A big thanks to all the former 1Upers for all their awesome work, dedication and passion. When individuals left like Luke, and and you Jeff... it felt like loosing a friend. This though... what can be said? The podcasts, and the 1Up show were imho some of the best ways to get info and form opinions about games... bar none. A gaping hole will be left behind, and it saddens me. Good luck everyone on finding new work. Your passion shows and you deserve it!

xaiax said...

Please allow me to hop on the internet rage cannon and take a ride with you.

1up is dead.

Long live 1up.

ctayag said...

While that post seemed like "yeah, we are happy to go with UGO" speak, it just sounded like he wrote it just to please their new buyers.

RetroBob said...

Sorry for the double post.

Jeff, you're a top guy for heading straight up there to be with your friends. Good man.

jeffwolverine said...

Ok so now that it's all over.......... I smell a podcast where all the former members talk about all the behind the scenes issues that have occurred over the years.

Ross Arbour said...

This is a heartfelt analysis of the situation.

Well-written. They slaughtered the staff.

Elizabeth said...

Harsh - the insightful commentary on games and the industry kept me coming back week after week. What a loss to the industry and the fans.

DFS said...

I was fired from 1UP before it was cool to get fired from 1UP.

Slapshot said...

If I was Sam Kennedy et al, I'd be polishing my resume. I have a feeling that UGO is only interested in the email addresses of 1UP members...for mail marketing purposes. By hacking the staff and content, it's clear they have no desire to run 1UP "the same" as before.

mark said...

What a sad end for 1up. I will really miss the personalties, humour and gaming insight in equal measure. I'm just glad l managed to be a part of the audience before the suits tore it all down. Great sentiments Jeff on a truly shifty end of a great crew. All the best to everyone in what they do next and sincere thanks for sharing your enthusiasm.
When the going gets tough, the chuff gets going

zelas said...

I'm glad you went and said what needed to be said.

It's really such a shame it ended the way it did.

Anonymous said...

in the words of an emotional, overweight wrestling fan, "thank you for saying what needed to be said!...I don't wanna see another one of these!"

Anonymous said...

Yes

Derek said...

I just hope a lot of them continue to blog like you and Shawn do, it's the only thing that kept me content after you guys left last year. But now that Shawn, Ryan and Anthony are gone I don't think I can support a website that lost it's uniqueness. No I don't think Garnett and Phil alone can save a podcast.

DaStuph said...

Mergers, takeovers, etc, they always blow ass. I've worked for a major corporation for over 10 years and its constantly hanging over your head along with "minimizing redundancies" or any number of other creative words to put a pretty face on getting kicked to the curb. Its brutal. I've been lucky over the years but as jacked up as the economy is right now I'm really sweating it so I feel their pain.

Your post was spot on I'm sure. Sad part is you could probably switch out names and specifics then apply it to any number of "mergers". Seems like good people get shafted all the damn time and your left standing there with your junk in your hand wondering what the hell do I do now?

Its a damned if you do, damned if you don't scenario from what I've seen over the years. You can have all the components you need for success but if you don't have the big money and exposure behind you its really tough to be uber successful. At the end of the day even someone who loves what they do cannot be underpaid for their effort in perpetuity and maintain their dedication.

Sucks all the way around...

Jordan S said...

You couldn't of said it better Jeff.

I listened to GFW from the start adn 1upYours nearly from the start.
I can't explain how much I loved those shows. I fucking loved them.
1up was my favourite website and I loved to here them every week. It brought a smile to my face no matter what.

This is absolute bullshit.
And I'm sure this will go further. Maybe something bigger or better?

Thank you for this post Jeff.
I was devastated when you left...
But not like this...

Marko Dj. said...

Thankfully most, if not all, of the staff that did get the can are qualified enough to move onto bigger and better things. The economy might suck in the United States, but smart people are always able to work around that and find a way to sustain a comfortable living. I look forward to seeing what is next for them. Yes 1Up will be different, but we're all about evolution and maybe, just maybe this will turn out alright.

Still better than the BS that has turned GameSpot into a joke.

Jesse Dylan Watson said...

This... is really depressing. I'm not sure how this could happen in a loving universe, but I know those who were let go have a fantastic future ahead of them. They're extremely talented individuals.

Laez said...

Well said Jeff.

Mike Barrett said...

Well said Jeff. Best of luck to the talented staff that was let go.

Chris said...

Never a truer rant has been said. It was a poorly worded blog post by Mr Kennedy :(

Good luck to all those that have left and all those that remain at 1Up. The empty husk it now is.

StressedOutCat said...

I know its one thing to put up a brave face after the company has been decimated..
but that post that Sam Kennedy made that's just wrong in so many words.. is like saying: whatever these guys contributed to the site and put their heart and soul into it has meant nothing.. we can just simply reproduce it...

Darren said...

Fucking A jeff well done great blog

lowlight said...

I made a Facebook group for fans of the former 1Up. I will update it with news on where everyone is at, etc. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=47456772412

Jonah Falcon said...

Jeff, it's kind of painful having to report the ongoing drama at GameStooge.com. This stuff gets me depressed, especially as someone in the industry myself. It started, for me, with the shuttering of Computer Games Magazine and it's been a slippery slope since then. I can't image what it feels like to watch from a relative distance your home being demolished with a wrecking ball.

Hope all is well.

Jonah

AncientMecha said...

My friends and I are going out tonight, and we're going to pour one out for those who lost their jobs.

...I was really looking forward to the SF4 Game Night last night, too.

Sean Ponn said...

Well put, Jeff. This is probably the worst day in the gaming related portion of my life that I have ever experienced. I remember reading EGM in elementary school. We are surrounded by incompetent people in management positions. This incompetence is EVERYWHERE (for christs sake the economic collapse is a clear testament to that). Rage overwhelms the sorrow I feel the best video game site/magazine staff that were let go. It was painful when CGW closed but now this. Rage.

Nathan said...

this news just keeps getting worse and worse the more i read. fucking ziff davis...

Leathersoup said...

I hate corporate spin. It lacks humanity. I can't remember where I heard it from but it was said that corporations enjoy all of the benefits of human rights without any of the responsibility of being one. This is simply another example of a that. Thank you for pointing it out Jeff.

Rushan said...

Yeah i felt the exact same way. 1up as we know it is completely dead except for the 5 remaining employees. It was a real fucked up move on UGO's part. They knew 1up was a great site that set the industry standard for community involvement and excellent content.Like you said firing those who make the content will change the site entirely.

People like you are a part of 1up. Even though your gone your still producing great content. Fuck their will never be another site like 1up.

PolygonSlayer said...

Instead of posting on everyones blogs, I thought id post here.

Game Over. Its sad, and all I can say is. Iam raising my glass high! Cheers to everyone at 1up (current and ex)!! There are now more or less no other gaming sites left that I will read. I will still give the "new" 1up a chance, after all some of the staff are left, but iam afraid this is the end for the real 1up.
What would be awesome, would be if everyone could gather for one last real 1up Podcast, even if its not official.
Again, cheers to all, and I hope to be reading your stuff elsewhere!

Jonah Falcon said...

"I hate corporate spin." Sam wasn't making a corporate spin. Rather, he was trying to, as Jeff put it, keep a brave face in a bad situation. What's Sam supposed to do, fall to his knees blubbering and committing sepuku?

No, Sam is trying to make the best of it, and will try his darnedest to do as good as he can under the circumstances. What Jeff is doing is saying what Sam probably thinks and wants to say, but can't because, well, he values his job and I'm sure the other writers who worked with him wouldn't want one of the survivors to be kicked out for some insanely Pyhrric victory.

PolyBulman said...

I am honestly at a loss for words. You left, then Shawn, now Ryan, Anthony, Skip, Matt, Shane, etc. are all gone? I'm glad you got out when you did, Jeff, but this is just...there are no words.

I entered journalism school because of Ziff Davis's staff--how much fun they seemed to have--and that's no exaggeration. I write metro now, and am in no way involved in games journalism, but this should still speak volumes...the fact that I am now making my livelihood because of the great things I saw happening in the Ziff offices.

I've always flirted with the idea of leaving my mainstream beats to break into the games journalism industry...but I don't think I have it in me anymore.

Almost everyone who once made this career field appealing to me is now gone.

Arc said...

*Claps*
Finally someone calls the spade a spade.

Matt said...

It's strange how many times I've been through this kind of situation. I've been in both the "good" meetings and the "bad" meetings. I want to say "I don't understand" why UGO made the decisions they did, but the truth is I get it all too well. Open your spreadsheet app of choice. Look at additions in column A, subtratctions in column B, let people "go" (I hate that fucking phrase) accordingly. Aquisition confirmed.

Oh, and Jeff? You fucking rock, man :)

-matt chandronait

Reginald C. said...

I bet Jeff, that somewhere, Sam is thanking you for saying everything he couldn't say. We have to realize that he's still going to be working for "1up" and with UGO. So I take comfort and maybe he does too for saying everything he wanted to say, but couldn't.

Jeremy Steven said...

Well put, Jeff. Kennedy's post could have been thought through a bit more.

I'm gonna miss the crew so much over there. The only one I really care about still left is Tina. Honestly, w/o the podcast and w/o the writing of Ryan, Anthony, and Matt, I don't know how often, if ever, I'll be going over there. Is there anyone left who even owns a PC? Were the decisions to cut made purely on a salary basis (notice hispanic, female, recently-hired Tina is left while older, white, longer-serving folk got axed. This says nothing about Tina, I'm just noting a pattern)?

I suggest you download any old podcasts and videos you want to keep, since who knows how much longer they will be available.

My verification word is "cromee" which pretty much sums it up: crummy.

Reginald C. said...

Another thing. I've been a fan since my freshman year of high school. 1up got me writing about games for my school newspaper. I 'm now the online editor in my senior year still writing about games. I want all of the folks at 1up who've ever worked there to know how much of an influence you've had on me and my writing. I wish you all get the best out of this fucked up situation and know that you have people in your corner always.

Anonymous said...

Well said Jeff. I was pretty irritated after reading the post & then finding out that almost all of the best people got canned.

I was sad enough when you and Shawn E. left & the Brodeo was no more. But, at least we still had LAN party, 1UP FM, 1Up Yours and Retronauts.

I had just finished my last 1UP podcast from the holidays. Little did I know it would be the last podcast from 1UP. I know it's selfish to think about me in a time when many talented people got a kick in the jewels after so many years of quality service to us 1UPers.

Anonymous said...

...But, this blows.

Shawn D said...

Well said Jeff.

I'm devastated inside, just as when GFW magazine left, this is all a memory now, and dammit this is depressing. I hope the people gone can somehow form their own site, best case scenario of course..

Slapshot said...

I know it would take an enormous amount of coordination and capital, but it would be cool for the recently 1UP departed to put together it's own media site and bury what's left of 1UP.

exton said...

Rock on, Jeff!

Josh said...

Jeff you are a true mensch and a good friend to your 1up comrades.

Annon2 said...

Although I know the 'survivors' are all talented writers, there's nothing left at 1Up for me without the 1Up Show and all the radio shows. It sucked when Jeff and Shawn left, it sucks even more when everyone else gets laid off.

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that a great group of people that have been slaving and working hard at UGO are being treated as villains in this.

Jeff's quote: "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..." can be said for many that work for UGO.com.

A viewpoint from one of the insiders:
http://geminibros.wordpress.com/2009/01/07/think-children-what-does-it-all-mean/

DanV said...

Jeff - with that one blog post you have pretty much said everything that could be said...

All the best to all the 1up/EGM staff. I know exactly what they're going through, because we went through a similar thing at our work a month ago, and saw some of my best frineds who Ive been working with for 13+ years leave, being treated in the same questionable standards as what seems to have gone off at the former ZD.

What price is a little dignity to people these days?

Dan

Ragusauce said...

I take issue with the whole "Let's not pile on Sam thing". Let's set the record straight, yeah tough luck for those guys but, Sam Kennedy and Simon Cox are a big part of the reason the layoffs happened. They were in charge of the ship long enough to turn 1up into a sustainable business but didn't. Weren't both of those guys responsible for the bottom line at the game group? While they were in charge did they in make any changes that could have increased the survivability of the game group? As evidenced by the layoffs and meteoric rise of Kotaku and Joystiq no. Frankly, neither of those guys understood talent. When they let people like Bryan Intahar, Shawn Elliot, Crispin Boyer, Dan Hsu, and Jeff Green walk out the door what do you expect is going to happen? I am sure Simon got a big pay out as part of this deal, and Sam got to keep his job with a bunch of in-experienced brown nosers who will tell him how great he is and be completely thankful he "saved" their jobs. I am sure his pliant management style is re-assuring to his new Hearst corporate overlords who know they can push him around when push comes to shove.
It is a sad day for 1up and EGM for sure, but let's not kid ourselves that the org as a whole wasn't all ready a hollowed out husk of its former glory. Sam Kennedy and Simon Cox squarely shoulder the blame for that as well as the current state of affairs.It is a sad day for 1up and EGM for sure, but let's not kid ourselves that the org as a whole wasn't all ready a hollowed out husk of its former glory.

Michael in nyc said...

I passed by the New York Ziff Davis offices at lunch today and gave the building a mean stare. This is a perfect example of why traditional businessmen can't run new media for crap. It is just an url now and a pretty valueless one at that -- well done Hearst. I hope that all of the excellent 1up staff find new creative positions soon. Your fans will still be there for you.

Bakor said...

Very well said Jeff. I couldn't believe the words I was reading off Sam's blog. I knew a day like this was coming for 1Up. However, I did not expect it to be this bloody. My heartfelt condolences to those that lost their jobs. Good luck.
I had never been to the UGO webpage before today (didn't even know it existed). If that is what 1Up becomes... God help them.

Primosis said...

Brilliantly put Jeff. I don't think anyone could have put it better, and I'm sure the distance you have from the company now leaves you in the right position to say what it seems like everyone must be thinking.

bobby real said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Steve said...

nicely said!

Caleb M said...

Well said as always Mr. Green. When I saw the announcement on the front page of 1up yesterday I was a little nervous. The sheer amount of cover-up was apparent though it took me hours to figure out what really happened. Honestly I went into a tailspin, I grieved for all the poor people that came back from a vacation to nothing more than a funeral so to speak.

After finding the body count on joystiq and gamasutra I was appalled but still in control of the simmering cauldron. Not until I read a post by radtke on the main page of UGO's site did I lose it.
"1UP is all about its personalities, and its fans are awesome, passionate and willing to fight to the death"
Seriously, how can someone sum up a situation so well and his company move the other direction. I honestly don't know his position (after trying to register for the site and deciding that they sabotaged the authentication process I didn't stick around)but it's apparent that UGO is aware of what makes 1up what it is.
So why give the poet a partial lobotomy?
This is a terrible business decision. I hope it blows up in the face of UGO (and I don't think it will take much hoping).

Good luck to all the 1up crew. To those cut loose and those pinned down under fire. Labor on, take what's given to you and make it into something much better like we all expect.

Justin said...

i can think of no more appropriate response than: QFT

Kyle said...

Thank you, Jeff, for calling out the ridiculous corporate-speak, albeit recognizing that Sam Kennedy has little choice but to fire up the spin-engines. I know you speak from experience on sniffing out this sort of nonsense, because you were in the uncomfortable position of spinning it yourself back when GFW closed.

I've been through three rounds of layoffs at my company in 9 years, and every time, the layoffs are announced with the sort of think-positive corporate-speak pablum that just makes one's stomach turn. The Onion has gotten so good at replicating this gobbledygook in their fake articles, that reading REAL corporate spin is now indistinguishable from what The Onion so expertly parodies.

Anyway, sad news for all the folks at 1Up. Sam points out that without this option, there simply wouldn't BE a 1Up anymore. Now we wait and see whether UGO intends to utilize the "tenured editorial experience" (as their cheery press release put it and which, I might add, they promptly fired, almost to a man) or simply destroy the 1Up reputation as being a place to turn to to avoid the Spike-TV-esque nature of 99% of other gaming-related websites out there.

David Doel said...

Agreed, bravo!

God, honestly this is the absolute worst thing to happen to the gaming press in the entire existence of the industry in my opinion. 1up.com was truly the last large gaming media outlet that still had that independent feel to everything they did. Unlike their competitors, they could swear on their podcasts, speak their mind about whatever and whoever in the industry, and just the overall sound of their writing just felt like they had more creative freedom and never held anything back.

Erik said...

Amen Jeff! You told it exactly like it is. I was kind of disgusted when I read Kennedy's blog last night, it seemed like a total lack of class.

Thank you Jeff for keeping those fools real.

Pookie said...

Thank you, Mr. Green. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

You always seem to be a sane person in and insane place, and I always appreciate that. after you and shawn left it was bad for 1up because you guys were part of it and I loved your personalities. But now this? That post has so many foul things about UGO it is Rediculous. However I do detest the fact that a company bought them out and then took out damn near all of what made 1up better than every other gaming news sites. It just doesn't make sense to me, a crappy start to a new year.

fishbonetaher said...

As horrible as this situation may be, i truly believe that some good can come out of it in the future. I have a feeling that many of the now ex-1up staff will land on their feet and probably a great multitude of features that they would have otherwise been constricted to do by corporate pressure. check this blog post about what the future of the ex-1up staff can become:

http://blogs.ign.com/middle eastern-gamer/

Steve In NorCal said...

I wish when I'm your age I can be as awesome as you. You summed up what I've been thinking, thanks.

MrCHUPON said...

"B Real", I'm pretty sure you missed Jeff's point(s) by about three miles. Do note that his objections were chiefly within the context of Sam Kennedy's blog and not the situation at large, though yes, the situation at large does factor in here. But let me elaborate:

"1.) 1up has always been a moving target, editors / writers have moved on. And it act like it has been “the same” until now is asinine. The 1up/ EGM I grew up with even a few years ago is vastly different from the recent incarnation."

Many, many businesses are moving targets as you say. This much is true. However, it sidesteps the point that Jeff is trying to make in that this unit, this operational whole of personalities, was just chopped in half almost overnight. When people enter and leave a business, usually it's done so as an act of natural progression and attrition. An employee enters, gets acclimated to the culture, grows within and adds to the culture, and should he leave, there's likely a rookie in place that's going through the same process. The company, its culture, and its people grow and change together. When Luke Smith left for Bungie, Patrick Klepek -- who "grew up" in 1up's culture -- took his place, and fit in as part of the culture. 1up wasn't the same 1up that it was when Luke left, but it had arguably similar ideals and philosophies and approaches. Still, yes, every few years, philosophies or approaches may change as you point out.

Jeff isn't talking about a few years, or even a few months. Jeff's not even taking issue with change in general. Jeff's talking about a change so colossal in both speed, size and impact (40+ staff in a day versus an organizational mutation in a few years), how it contradicts Sam's claim that 1up will be the same 1up we've loved, and how he feels this spits in the face of the 40+ who were just lopped off. Within the context of this situation, and what Sam posted, Jeff's point is sound.

"2.) Sorry but firing half of everyone is sill preferable to firing everyone. Simple math. And get off the high horse. 1up had some good stuff but it was largely the lowest common denominator in the video game arena. While the podcasts had some great discussion, they were also filled with scat humor, “getting drunk is kewl”, fanboy claims, and more that often overshadowed the content. In this economy the fact that anyone still has a job is a victory. To claim otherwise shows that Jeff is out of touch."

I don't think we should mourn any more for these 1uppers who lost their jobs than we do for the other 1600 laid off by EA, or the victims of massive layoffs by Sony, or potential victims of the rumored Microsoft layoffs. I don't think we should mourn any less, either. You are quite right that this economy affects everyone, and though I would say that Jeff writes as he does in support of his dear friends, that's not the point I'll make here.

Again, in the context of what Sam said, which is what Jeff takes issue with, Jeff vehemently disagrees that this is the "best" news for 1up. Considering 1up was bleeding cash, I don't know that it wasn't the best news for 1up at this moment in time, but his point was clearly that it was again an insensitive thing to say in the face of tons of people who got dropped. Do you really think those 700,000 people you reference in your comment want to hear that their being cut was the "Best News" for their respective companies because it would save them from going under?

Jeff's biggest problem with the post with both of his points is in the perceived insensitivity of the text. You calling him "out of touch" means you really didn't grasp that. By the way, there's a discernible difference -- even if you don't realize it -- between bringing intelligent discussion to a podcast while being yourself and not changing just to conform (the drinking and the scat humor; notice that within a single podcast a whole lot more knowledge comes out of the episode than do Garnett's boob jokes or the effects of liquor) versus devoting a large area of your site to hot babes to serve "Today's Gamer" who "is a highly influential trendsetter and lifestyle maven whose passion for 'what's next' is virtually unparalleled in the marketplace." I majored in Marketing and this is EXACTLY the type of stuff we use to pander to the lowest common denominator, because sadly it works. And let me tell you -- the people who FALL for that shit are the lowest common denominator. What's more pander-esque to you -- dudes just being dudes on their podcast while still doling out truth, or dudes enticing you to come read their stuff by featuring a hot babe article with saucy pics every week and "Our steamy photoshoot with the star of ABC's True Beauty"?

MrCHUPON said...

Before I sound like I'm hating UGO too, I want to say that I don't hate UGO. That it panders isn't a result of its gaming editorial brass or staff, but the executives of the company as a whole. It doesn't change, however, the pandering image that it gives off. That's what worries me the most -- that 1up will now, fairly or unfairly, be clouded by this image that people might now have of it simply due to its new ownership. Is it right to make such a judgment without looking deeper? No, but you know it can happen, and to the detriment of 1up.

Macroe said...

Business Plan ver 1.0

Jeff Green, CEO of Greenspeak, registers the available domain 1up2.us and immediately signs in all loyal readers of Greenspeak, which becomes the main column on the frontpage.

Invitations to contribute columns and reviews are sent to the ex-1up team, including Shawn, Matt, Anthony, Ryan, and as many others as possible.

Obviously there are no funds to pay initial wages, so a three month test period of free work would be the first condition for all interested team members.

A proposal to all 1up.com readers and Greenspeak community members is also sent out: Donate $50 for startup costs and in turn receive a 1up2 founder status. For heavy hitters and fanboys, a minimum $500 investment proposal is also offered, along with a 0.1% stake in the future Greenspeak-R-Us Co.

Team personalities pledge to write daily, plus every weekend a Skype podcast is put up on the site. If sufficient ex-1uppers agree to join the new website, perhaps 2 podcasts can be recorded weekly. Use of the Gamers With Jobs model encouraged.

Advertising agreements should start immediately. An extremely well prepared background on team members should be prepared to convince advertisers that the eyeballs will be there. Do the math, add up the silent clicks on Greenspeak, plus other blogs like Shawn´s. You will be surprised.

Team members work from home, coming together on weekends to tape their respective podcasts. This allows everyone a chance at getting a regular job if their entreprenurial spirit is not up to the occasion.

Once a minimum cash flow is achieved, a barebones office is established to coordinate efforts. After three months of positive word of mouth and major cajoling of industry connections, a decent plan is written up by a Stanford MBA on his summer job... hey, I´m improvising ok?

Formal business plan is presented to venture capitalists at Palo Alto. (Yes, Silicon Valley is still home to filthy rich capitalists that right now are looking for their next big hit media company, and you are RIGHT THERE! I'm from Mexico and can only dream of the real, true and unique opportunities presented to you Americans, Sir).

Total costs:
- Website registration plus hosting at 1and1.com is $8 a month
- Your time to write Greenspeak is the same as right now.
- Team members who decide to contribute are out of a job anyway and most are young and single, meaning that family security is somewhat in the distant future. Cost for the three month test from the team, $0.
- Recording equipment, podcast and mikes, $200.
- Website designer, start basic and use templates. It works for blogger.
- 2 hours per weekend spent podcasting with your friends... PRICELESS...

So, Jeff, if you people don't organize and get something going, you will regret it forever. My sincere wish and recommendation is that a courageous spirit starts something up and gives it three to six months to develop.

I understand you won't be the next google, but if the American Dream does not work for talented and motivated people like you, who are in the middle of the technology center of the world, with the venture capitalists open for the next big thing, it does not work anywhere else. You have a once in a lifetime chance, use it ... and make us your proud shareholders on the way!

My pledge for $500 is on the table. Your ball now.

Javier said...

This really just sucks. You perfectly expressed what I've been thinking this whole time after I learned about the buyout. Aside from a few blogs, 1up was the only source of gaming news, reviews, and previews that I trusted to do more than just go into the "objective" consumer report side of journalism. There are probably more writers like that out there, but 1up was a haven for great games journalism, and now Hearst has destroyed that.

My first experience with 1up was the 1up Show after G4 had completely turned to SpikeTV2. From that, I moved on to the other podcasts. Chief among them was GFW radio which has been my favorite show on any medium for years now. I have probably clocked in thousands of hours listening to 1up podcasts, so even though I don't personally know the 1up staff, I do feel for them greatly. I wish them luck in the future.

Since the podcasts are over, I've taken the precaution of making the entire GFW Radio collection available at a few well known bittorrent trackers, just in case Hearst gets rid of the archives completely.

Again, condolences and good luck to the former staff of 1up.

David Guillermo said...

Again we see Sam Kennedy applauding alone in the crowd

Macroe said...

And sincerely, if I wanted to start reading blogs from so many dispersed but talented people like all of you, it would be a mess. How convenient and practical is it really for common people like me to read all of you in one place only?

...One website to rule them all...

BTW, sorry for my spelling, should've written entrepreneurial. Also, if anyone is interested in GREAT podcasts by some of the brightest among you, check out the GREAT Stanford ones at http://ecorner.stanford.edu/podcasts.html

Joe Fielder said...

My time at EGM was some of the most fun I've had in my entire professional career. The people there were fun, interesting, well-read, just great to talk to, share ideas with, trade books/movies/music/game recommendations, drink with, whatever... Just really good people.

As someone who has some experience in layoffs -- I'm on my second but have interviews at several really good spots in the next week -- I can say that sometimes these things work out for the best.

It's going to be rough for everyone the next few weeks and possibly months -- it's tough facing the unknown in a troubled market -- but I know that based on the talent I saw when I was at ZD, these people will land in much better places.

- Joe Fielder

Niall Trout said...

So fucking true man, when i first read sams blog i didnt know that ugo had laid off all the people i had grown to love, and i didnt think it possible for sam to write such a post, i was in shock.

Jonah Falcon said...

"I passed by the New York Ziff Davis offices at lunch today and gave the building a mean stare."

That made me laugh. Especially since I live in NYC.

Charlie Blix said...

Thanks for writing this Mr Green (You're old so I have to call you that right?). I've been reading EGM since 94 and listening to all the podcasts since they started and when I heard it all went up in flames the other day I was crushed. I was angry and reading this helped a lot.

Thanks again and good luck to everyone involved, both the fallen and the survivors.

darvoid said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this horrible layoff, Jeff. I only hope that the people who got hit land softly on their feet in this crazy economic mess. Bourbon for me, please.

Lasse Lund said...

Great rant. My best to all those who lost their jobs at 1up. Sad day.

tomsamson said...

Well said man, and yeah, nothing against Kennedy, but man, seriously? what the?!?
Again, i strongly vote for everyone at 1up packing their stuff and they all do a site together.
Its the people that make up such a site, to build the site itself is easy in comparison. Giantbomb has made a very good example for how to pull that off.
Now that most of the people at 1up are gone its WORTHLESS. I also don´t want to visit a site anymore of which i know its run by people who make such decissions. On what should i trust those?
Gamespot knows how it feels to loose all the reputation, now its UGO´s turn (not that it had much to begin with,but yeah, there goes the rest).
And yeah, also again: FUCK YOU UGO.
Everyone don´t visit any UGO crap anymore.
Also, on a unrelated note: dos attacks making sites inaccessible are evil, don´t do that at home, people.

moron said...

God, it just breaks my heart to death... I wish everyone the best and hope to hear from them soon is some form or another.

Blackout62 said...

Well said Mr. Green, well said

Paul said...

As always, Jeff, you're spot on.

StormTrooper said...

I have read EGM since the first issue, I was 8 years old and I couldn't believe there existed a magazine that catered to the once small niche of videogaming. I had many subscriptions over the years but I mostly bought it month to month off of the newstands.

I deeply enjoyed the 1up show and Broken Pixels.

This news has hit me like a ton of bricks, and I am honestly going to be ruined for a while over this.

You guys enriched my life, and now I have one less good thing to look forward to, making me wish the next month would come faster for me to soak in the beautiful format and layout of my beloved EGM.

Fuck UGO, I will never click on a link associated with them ever again.

And I wholeheartedly pledge to support any projects or content from the former staff.

I'll be here for you guys.

edu.reboucas said...

That was sad, indeed. Amen to your words.

Anonymous said...

If shit is acquired by shit, does it become something other than shit??? 1up sold their reviews to whomever paid them well, UGO does the same. I think it's a match made in heaven

Anonymous said...

One of the challenges that all writers must face in the business of publishing... and, yes, publishing absolutely is a business... is dealing with the business people.

My experience, for the most part, has been that business people, and creative people, just don't think alike (this is the reason writers adore publishers who actually understand them).

Business people just think on a different level.

It was noted one time on the GFW podcast, for example, that when a game has poor sales, the business people associated with that company, rather than blame the game for being a bad game, will blame the websites and the magazines for giving the game a low score - or indeed they'll actually blame themselves for a poor marketing job!

I'm willing to bet that somewhere on this planet there's a business person who is still brooding a bit over the low scores of Catwoman, or feels that Catwoman's marketing campaign wasn't good enough. Um, no, Catwoman failed because it was one of the worst games we've seen this century. We're gamers. We know quality when we see it.

Also, I could only shake my head and laugh when I read that every person working at the copy desk at 1UP got fired - that is rich! There's no reason to fire anybody at the copy desk. If you work at the copy desk then your creative input is severely limited, to say the least. Firing everyone at the copy desk was purely a business decision. There's probably some kind of a shuffle taking place - in other words, the incoming company is just looking after its own people, and are simply transferring them over to new positions. And of course those in the old positions are basically screwed. Either way, that's strictly a business decision. That's an accountant looking at a spreadsheet and making a decision based on the payroll, and on the numbers.

And I don't know this for a fact, but my guess is that during a meeting, one of the business people piped up and said, '... and when we fire these people, make certain that we've got security guards watching them... we don't want any of these people attempting to burn the house down on their way out." And, yes, whoever said that probably got a big pat on the back for having remembered to mention it - hey, kudos, buddy!

You see - that's just how business people think.

In business, like it or not, it's a dog eat dog world. Consequently, business people can be utterly ruthless and absolutely unapologetic. They just don't think the same way that creative people do.

The Goose.

Anonymous said...

Well said son, well said.

CowJoMonkey said...

Thank you Jeff, you said exactly what I'm feeling right now.

poolman said...

That's exactly how I felt reading that blog post.

The end especially made me a little sick to my stomach, something about kicking UGO's ass in SF4... just the nonchalance in that tone.

Anonymous said...

Awesome blog, and nothing could be further from the truth! Maintaining the brand by ridding the ones who created it!! Sad sad day in the media world! Glad you left with some dignity.

Boba said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIBPX_Scz98 says it all,

Your a good man jeff, thank you for keepin it real all these years. Hope you can guest on the new podacst with Anthony, Nick and Phil sometime.

Marc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marc said...

Spoken like real man. The gaming world has lost its Shangri la, its zenith- and I wonder if it will ever be the same again... honestly, I wonder if any of us who so loved 1up will ever be the same either.

Skip, Fitch, Jason Wilson, Nick, Phil, Matt C, Ryan, Ryan Scott, Jay, Jason, Shane, Milk, Greg, Giancarlo, Mo, Rosie, Donahoe, Rey, Curtis, Justin, Michael G, Rob, Cesar, Matt Shirk and Anthony.... goodluck and thank you for everything

spooncivicR said...

At this point I am conflicted because I really enjoy reading Jeremy Parish's work but, I do not want to support UGO. Anyway great post Dad...

gmechmk2 said...

I'd just like to first start off by saying how shocking this is to have at the start of the new year. To have one of the most reliable source of gaming journalism, editorials, and podcasts cut out in practically a day.

It really hurts me a lot whenever I see people, suits really, taking advantage of the loopholes in our economic system, playing fast and loose with huge corporations to make a buck and shit like that. Why can't these fucking dicks understand? Or do they need to be strung from a lynch mob to understand not to fuck with everyone. It's pretty damn ridiculous.

As for Sam, I think it's more like a corporate line he had to post. Sucks for him to be the dart board now for his new bosses and the angry community. And, I don't think this is going to be the end of this. Something is bound to happen, and I HOPE it's something good. Lord knows we need some positive things to happen or we'll all go mental.

Ross Rasmussen said...

Thank you Jeff.

I have been terrified of this since the news of the bankruptcy a year ago, or even the cancellations of OPM, XBN, EGM2/XG/GMR. This has been the organization I've dreamed of working for and why I just completed a journalism degree.

And here it is.

I was sad when you left, but understand your position and was excited about your new position. I wish you the best of luck. I was lucky enough to visit EA LA last January and was totally impressed by the facility and the people I was able to meet.

Again, thank you for your work.
Thank you for your honesty.

What has happened is awful.
But everyone will prevail.
Those of us who have followed the site from its beginning know what made it special:

the personalities.

tim said...

Sad day...i will prolly NEVER go back to 1up.com after seeing all the talent gone.

Stephen said...

Yeah! Post #180!


But I'm still friggin' speechless from the last blog entry.

UGO = Ugly Gay Orangutans

That is all.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, thanks for putting into words what we all are thinking and feeling.

Hamilton

Mike P. said...

Just wanted to add a coment here. This sucks bad. I'll really miss EGM and the old 1up. Thanks for posting this Jeff.

inexactscience said...

I had never heard of UGO until you mentioned it on the GWJ podcast. I've never even looked at UGO's website until today, and I not surprised to see that it's a piece of shit that looks like a poor man's version of IGN, (which btw is a piece of shit in and of itself).

Anonymous said...

Seriously, why would Sam try to patronize the community and the ex-employees. Either speak the truth or shut the fuck up.

Well said Mr Green

Evan Miller said...

Every word of that is exactly what is going through my mind. My inner gamer (who's angry as fuck by the way) wants to boycott the site, but at the same time it's still got some of the best in the business left. It's complete bullshit that they let the people go -- Ziff can take a step back, and fuck it's own face.

Twice.

Cheers, Jeffy. And here's to a brighter future -- we all know you deserve better than that filth UGO.

SCCG TV said...

Jeff, thanks for the information. I hope we can keep tabs on the very talented former 1upers as they (hopefully) continue to work in the industry.

Scott K. (Autumnsgypsy79) said...

To all of those without a job after this morning I would like to offer my condolences if you are reading this. I have taken this much harder than I should being that I have never met any of you. I have not been an “active” community member on the 1up Network, but I have been one of the many people that enjoy reading the content and listening to the podcasts. I am also a 14 year subscriber to EGM. Since reading the news this afternoon, I have had this fiery rage building inside that I have been unable shake off throughout the course of the day. I am not upset because the magazine I have been subscribing to for half of my life will not be showing up in my mailbox anymore. I am not upset because my hour and half commute to work is going be a lot harder to tolerate without your voices keeping me distracted from the traffic jams. I am not upset because I feel I no longer have a review source whose opinion I can trust when I am considering dropping sixty hard earned dollars on a new game. I am upset because a lot of good people at the bottom of the ladder, who worked hard every day, are getting screwed by the corporate suites bad decisions again. Its every where you look these days. I am also in a position that will most likely be cut in the coming months so that CEOs, shareholders, and Vice Presidents can continue to get sacks full of bonus money every year. They get bonuses and we get the axe. The worst part is these people could not do their jobs if it wasn’t for us, the expendable, faceless, low level people. I am not talented with words like those who have been let go today, but I did my best, good luck and I hope to see all of surface somewhere new very soon.

Hideo said...

I've been checking and rechecking the pages for Legendary Thread and "Lan Party", until I got an email my brother earlier today. I have to say, not only am I heart-broken, but my ambitions involving a profession with the video game journalism and criticism industry (however lofty and cliche) seem to be against the rocks. I hope that the industry does not continue in this direction; the direction of corporate-interest mergers, marginalized end-users and massive lay offs in the name of "better and brighter" futures.


My only words can be those of advice, as the 186 comments which proceed mine have done plenty in the way of comforting the terminated editors, writers and reviewers.

Please, please, PLEASE, take a cue from your peers Jeff Gerstmann and Ryan Davis: Establish your own site. I can assure you without a doubt, if a website was created, which did its best to recreate and maintain (regardless of ad-space, sponsor pressure or anything) the unique identity which 1UP developed the fans would flock there. Not only for the sake of entertainment, but in an attempt to prove that enthusiast gaming press has little to do with revenue expansion, and more to do with passion, interest and intrigue.


Hopefully Jeff Green, or his former colleagues at least read this, if not, I'll wish you guys the best of luck in whatever you intend to pursue, inside or outside of the gaming industry.

Spod said...

Jeff Green: Yoda on a motorbike.

Eric said...

Well said, Mr. Green. Pass my condolences along to your good friends who, through long readership and podcast listening, feel like friends of mine, too. If you find out where the land, please keep us up to date! I have no idea how / where to find out where "the departed" have gone, so I'm hoping you'll keep us in the know.

Ciel said...

Jeff Green, you are the man. I was sad to see you leave 1up, but now I'm just glad you left of your own volition instead of getting thrown out by some douchebag corporation.

Josh of Cubicle Ninjas said...

Love you Jeff. Well said.

I've read EGM for over 18 years and what a great time it was, right? Sure, it had to end someday, but it is so sad that it had to end this way. 1up and EGM are dead to me.

Dale said...

Sorry Jeff. Have been looking you up here and there after CGW folded to see what happens as I enjoyed your candidness in editorials. Mostly spot on especially trying to game with a family!....and I run across this news today.

God's got something in mind for you, Keep your eyes open and when you feel a hunch that a certain opportunity is right for you, grab it as it isn't a hunch. Its the big guy tapping you on your shoulder pointing you in the right direction. Now, Go kick some ass!

Jonah Falcon said...

"Well said man, and yeah, nothing against Kennedy, but man, seriously? what the?!?"

Okay, what would you have preferred Kennedy do?

Mark Stephen said...

well said!

geo said...

Great post. Good job in heading to the bar, that's the real friendship you get when you do a tour of duty with a group of people, or so I hear.

Time to pool the resources and get a second weekly podcast up on GWJ, no?

Best to the grieving, stay strong!

marcus said...

Still don't get it.
Why they layoff the main asset from the 1up? Those ppl were the main reason for almost everyone to came back to the site every day. I mean, this makes no sense! The podcasts and the video shows were the only reason I kept returning to the site everyday.

It should be around those ppl and their talent that UGO should build up the "new" 1up/ugo.com. Now I'm not sure if they know what they "bought" (and layoff), and I must say that I fear for the future of those that remains.

For the others, I will keep a close eye on what they will come up with next, because I'm sure it will be of great quality!

Rebel FM has me as a listener! ;)

Adam S said...

Jeff,
Any chance you could console us by getting together with some of your old GFW and/or 1UP pals and do a podcast? Really, it doesn't even have to be about games (though I'm sure it will come up). I'm sure I speak for many of us 1UP and GFW fans when I say that the subject was secondary to the cast in importance. It would definitely help us all feel better.

Justin said...

Thank you once again Jeff for being honest & just being yourself. Awesome post.

Anonymous said...

Be my dad.

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