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One Up, Down

Though I alluded to it in yesterday’s Lyric of the Day, I haven’t yet spoken about the purchase of 1UP, the closing of EGM, and the laying off of about 40 of the industry’s top writers, editors, and art staff.

The reason why I haven’t spoken about it is that, honestly, I just have no fucking clue what to say about it. I mean, here you have this amazing group of people putting out these two amazing products. (I’m talking about 1UP.com and EGM, but of course 1UP also comprised a ton of podcasts and video shows and blogs and on and on.) And rumors had been percolating for awhile that EGM was not long for this world. With the internet being what it is, I found those rumors disappointing but not surprising. EGM is a great magazine, but when your target audience is exactly the sort of person who a.) hates to pay for stuff, and b.) knows how and where to get it for free, you’re on thin ice. Add in a recession and a sale and, well: disappointing, but not surprising.

But I felt optimistic for all my friends and colleagues because 1UP had recently gone through this major reorganization, where all (or nearly all) the staff of EGM got hybridized into 1UP. As annoying as this may have been to the people involved, I thought it was a very smart move; I believe I may have even expressed to some of my colleagues that it should protect them in the case of EGM closing.

Yeah, sorry about that, guys. What I didn’t take into account is that 1UP would be bought by a company that wasn’t interested in the things that I always considered to be the site’s biggest strengths. 1UP was, to me, a site about personalities and personality. The previews and reviews were fine, they worked, they did their jobs. But the site really showed its stuff when it came to the podcasts and the 1UP Show and Broken Pixels and all that other wacky, irreverent shit those people put together every week. To me, that was 1UP. You could ditch all the reviews, previews, and feature stories, but if you still had the 1UP Show and 1UP Yours, you still had 1UP.

So what does new owner UGO do? They get rid of most of the people involved in both of those properties. I just don’t get that. I am genuinely confused.

And maybe that’s the problem. Maybe that’s why, even after rambling on for six paragraphs, I still don’t know what to say. Because I just don’t understand it. I can’t wrap my head around it. It’s like a force of nature; you can’t explain it or control it, all you can do is try to accept it and work with it and move on.

But I do know this: I wish nothing but the best for my colleagues and former co-workers. I’m sure you all know this, but I’ll say it anyway: You didn’t deserve this. Here’s hoping everyone lands quickly and adroitly on their feet. Lord knows they’re owed at least that much.