GameTrailers, GameFront and The Escapist Hit By Layoffs [UPDATES]
Original Story: Today, gaming journalism has been dealt yet another big blow. Defy Media has cut staff resulting in more than a dozen gaming journalists looking for work at the start of 2015. And it came as a big surprise, too.
Defy Media is a digital media company that owns a variety of brands, including GameTrailers, GameFront, and The Escapist. As advertisement revenue has continued to dwindle, and gamers look to places like YouTube and Twitch for their news and discussion for gaming, these sites have had their bottom line impacted. So, management has made the decision to cut down staff to a much smaller size.
Among those let go were the following (you can read their departure Tweets for some context):
- Elizabeth Harper
- Greg Tito (The Escapist Editor-In-Chief)
- Michael Damiani (GameTrailers Producer)
- Phil Rowen
- Ross Lincoln
Judging by tweets sent out by the crew, the cuts were sudden. Several team members have voiced their shock at the turn of events, resulting in them having to immediately look for new opportunity in a field that doesn’t make it easy. Others even pointed toward political tension being a motivating factor. GamerGate and the result of tension between gamers and journalists has been brought up by several staff, with one even vowing for revenge after stating that it was a much larger issue than it appeared.
The last major layoffs in the gaming industry came in late July when GameSpot let go of seven full-time staff, including veteran Ryan Mac Donald. With more competition than ever for increasingly fewer job opportunities, many have had to look elsewhere for careers. Take for example former GameSpot editor Greg Kasavin. At one point he was one of the most prolific game reviewers on the planet. Now, he’s a game developer at Supergiant Games, which have turned out the great hits Transistor and Bastion.
We would like to thank these people for their work, and hope that they can find a new home.
Update: Bob Chipman from The Escapist has not been let go. We apologize greatly for the misinformation. We have removed him from the layoff list above.
Update #2: Josh Vanderwall has stepped in as the new Editor-In-Chief for The Escapist. You can read his post about being hired for the position here.