Ziff Davis Gaming Publications Meet Their End

Dennis Faas's picture

Shocking news for long-time gamers this week, with reports that Ziff Davis publishing will end production of its popular magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM). In addition, it has sold fan-favorite web site 1up.com to UGO, which in turn has terminated the gaming page.

At first, news that UGO had acquired the site didn't seem all bad for 1up.com employees. UGO chief executive officer J. Moses told the media that the acquisition of 1up.com would allow his company "to expand our base of quality content and represents a major step forward in UGO's mission to become the leader in the games space." (Source: dmwmedia.com)

To anyone listening, that sounded like UGO's main intent was to make itself bigger and better by acquiring the Ziff Davis product and gamer favorite. Ziff Davis, for its part, indicated similarly, with CEO Jason Young telling workers in an email, "many of our employees will travel with this business and become part of the UGO team." Not long afterwards, it was revealed that most 1up.com employees would be out of a job entirely. Tech publications like Ars Technica are referring to the event as "a scorched-earth policy". (Source: arstechnica.com)

Equally painful for gamers will be news of Electronic Gaming Monthly's termination. Popularly referred to as "EGM", the magazine has been in publication for two decades. Unfortunately, a combination of a slackening economy and print publication woes will make this month EGM's last.

"With demand for print continuing to decline amongst both advertisers and readers and the content being produced by 1UP no longer available for use in the publication, it simply did not make sense for us to move forward with this business any longer," Young stated.

1up.com site director Sam Kennedy referred all questions about the layoffs to Ziff Davis bosses. He seemed less frustrated with UGO, stating, "All I can say to that is UGO held onto as many people as they could to run the business going forward and [kept] a lot of all-star key players."

The double-whammy is evidence that both the tech industry and the publishing companies that cover it have met their toughest opponent yet in this sadistic, sliding economy. Here's hoping that 1up.com and EGM employees keep up the good work elsewhere.

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