Massive Layoffs at GameSpot, Industry Shifts Toward Livestreaming and Video
A handful of GameSpot staff has been let go today in what is the largest rattling of a video game journalism site in years.
GameSpot, which is a site with the second most traffic of any in its segment, has lost at least six employees today. They weren’t alerted to the move until this morning, similar to the well-known termination of Jeff Gerstmann back in November 2008.
Below are the staff that have been confirmed to be let go via a Twitter post by Justin Haywald:
The following staff will remain:
GameSpot came under fire the past two days following the release of its The Last of Us Remastered review by Carolyn Petit, who argued that the protagonist’s personality critically damaged the narrative experience. The review is very unlikely related to the layoffs, but has already been associated with it by gamers due to the timing.
No reason has been given for the layoffs, but the market has shifted dramatically over the past few years with the rise of video content, which has placed pressure on high-traffic. Interviews and gameplay on YouTube began to shift the attention away from editorial, shortly before livestreaming, particularly Twitch, arrived on the scene. Twitch.tv has surged to a global rank on Alexa of 238, beating out GameSpot and IGN, in terms of total traffic.
Although GameSpot and others sites have adapted to include video content as part of their weekly production, it’s been a difficult battle to compete against the likes of YouTube and Twitch.
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Google recently acquired Twitch for $1 billion, a move that appear to be right at a time when livestreaming has become mainstream with its addition to the console and mobile markets. How the move will affect the site is yet to be determined.
It is unclear if GameSpot will replace its employees, or if some sort of merger, potentially with affiliated site Giant Bomb, will be made.