Happy New Year indeed. It's official. The UGO network has announced that it will be acquiring Ziff-Davis's 1up.com website and related properties, and Ziff is to allow EGM to die a quick death. (Read Joystiq's coverage of the fiasco here.) A broad rash of layoffs at 1up have been announced, including the canning of such industry mainstays as Shane Bettenhausen and James "Milkman" Mielke. Not to mention, many of 1up's long-running and beloved podcasts such as 1up Yours and the 1up Show are done, as well as the relatively young but excellent 1up FM podcast. Whoa.
On the one hand, this isn't really news. The writing has been on the wall for quite a while. But on the other hand, it's hard to embrace the reality of a world without EGM and a good chunk of what made 1up 1up. These guys were passionate, and a lot of them really knew their shit.
EGM has been a staple in video game culture for several centuries now. But with the rise of the Internets, print media has been having an increasingly rougher go of things, not to mention print media in the gaming space. When you have a tech-savvy core audience which is starved for info about the games they love, who pore over screenshots as soon as they become available on the 'nets, it's hard for a print magazine to compete given the necessary delay in getting that info and media to its fanatic technogeek base. Also, word is there's some sort of global war on prosperity going on, and advertising and marketing budgets have taken some of the heaviest casualties. Until this generation I've generally been a one-console-per-generation guy, so I never actually subscribed to EGM. But I read and enjoyed it from time to time. Mostly, it's just gonna be weird not to see it on the stands any more. It's been around forever. *sigh*
As for the 1up podcasts, I was a fan. 1up Yours had begun to lose some of its swagger after the departure of people like Luke Smith and Mark McDonald, who gave it a lot of its appeal, but the recent return of John Davison as a regular was bringing it back to form. I was a weekly listener. Not to mention 1up FM which, although fairly new, maintained a high level of quality and charm pretty much from the get-go. Co-hosts Nick Suttner and Phil Kollar? Axed. Dang.
So happy trails to all. We at SFTC shall do our best to pay tribute to the departed by... I guess by continuing to occasionally post our random brain dumps about gaming.
At least I still have my trusty Lehman Brothers' gaming podcast. Oh, wait a sec...