UPDATE: Top gaming site hit hard by layoffs, SmashPad reacts
A significant number of GameSpot staff writers were let go today in what’s arguably been the biggest news affecting video game journalists in years. The news first broke when GameSpot staffer Carolyn Petit (who formerly wrote for us under our other branding names, mainly Inside Gamer Online, Amped IGO, Amped News, and Gamer 2.0) posted this on her Twitter page.
In addition to Petit, the following staff members have also been confirmed to be laid off by CBS Interactive:
The following staffers have been retained.
Of the five staffers remaining, only VanOrd (who, like Petit, also wrote for our other brands) and McInnis are part of the editorial team. VanOrd had this to say on his Twitter.
I am no more deserving than the incredible people who lost their jobs. Each and everyone of them is beyond valuable. — Kevin VanOrd (@fiddlecub) July 30, 2014
Confirming the cuts, a GameSpot source said, “GameSpot did some shifting of internal resources as part of our long-term content and user engagement strategy. A few positions were impacted.”
What does it mean for GameSpot? Are they going to replace those key components from their editorial team, or are they taking more of a Twitch or GameTrailers-like approach? Is a Giant Bomb merger coming? Only time will tell.
It’s quite easy to see that more than a few positions were impacted, and our thoughts are with everybody that’s been affected.
If you’d like to wish them all the very best, we went ahead and linked each respective former and current GameSpot member’s Twitter page. We’ll have more on this, including thoughts from the rest of our staff (many of us are former GameSpot Community members) shortly. After I take my beloved volunteer staff out for a beer.
||| Update: Staff reactions follow. |||
Danreb Victorio, Managing Editor
Editor’s Note: Danreb Victorio served as a Volunteer Community Moderator on GameSpot from 2004-2009 under the name “D-Mon DRV.” He’s been an active member of their forums since 2002 at the age of 14.
“Being a Moderator at GameSpot at the young age of 15 was something I was more than happy to have on my resumé, thinking it would be an inside track to an entry level position after finishing college.
Not being paid for what we do here yet is something that’s made me sour for quite a while, but I look at the effort each of us put up, and I’m realizing that if/when it finally happens… I’ll miss what we have here. To think that the one place I want to work for more than any other, in my opinion the creme de la creme of gaming journalism with more resources than any other publication, hardly has any job security? That’s a tough pill to swallow.
For many of us, especially those of us here at SmashPad, a job at a publication like GameSpot is a dream and as shown this morning… dreams end.
At any rate, I wish everyone affected all the best, and if they want to voice their freelance opinion here, I’ve open arms. :)”
Filippo Dinolfo, Senior Editor
“I’d like to offer some kind of coherent reaction to this, but all I’m left with is a bitter taste in my mouth. Corporations cut staff when the bottom line is hurting, so I get it from a business point of view, but that doesn’t make it any easier for the folks that lost their jobs.
The only saving grace is that these are some of the most talented men and women in the business, and I know any good publication worth their salt will be making phone calls to them immediately. I sincerely wish them all the best.”
Patrick Mifflin, Associate Editor
Editor’s Note: Patrick Mifflin joined the GameSpot Community as it was VideoGames.com in 1999 and soon after served as a Volunteer Community Moderator from 2000-2006 under the name’s “PatM” and primarily “DarkCatalyst.”
“Most people who know me are aware that my ties to GameSpot run deep, and even though my time on the community team didn’t end on amicable terms, the six-years-and-change I was there introduced me to many people I can still proudly call friends to this day (including many of my colleagues here at SmashPad).
More to the point in light of today’s news, my time at GameSpot was what really solidified the fact that I wanted to try and turn my ability to write about video games into a source of income. Despite how long I’ve had that goal, looking at the list of people who were let go by GameSpot today gives me some pause.
If job security can be so fleeting, even at the highest level of this profession, and even with the bodies of work that these people have amassed over time, is this really what I should be trying to do with my life? Is this a simple management faux pas, or an indication that the demand just isn’t there for game industry journalists as it once was?
If you’re looking to get into the gaming media, or are even already an active member thereof, it’s only responsible to seriously consider questions like these after today. Here’s hoping the best for all affected.”