UGO Absorbs Struggling 1Up Network, EGM Canceled
We have been following this developing story since yesterday, and it now seems as if the multiple reports have finally boiled down into something a little more concrete and reliable. Most of you already know about the demise of 1Up and EGM, but here's our detailed update.
Due to climate change (bad economy, slumping advertising market), UGO has absorbed 1Up and discontinued the print magazine, EGM. This obviously results in EGM staff losing their jobs and a significant staff reduction at 1Up, which means there could very well be a lot of disappointment and animosity floating around. But today, 1Up director Sam Kennedy tells the loyal readers that they shouldn't point the finger at UGO; in a recent NeoGAF post, he says that UGO's purchase of 1Up may have been the best, and perhaps only, option remaining. He said he won't "sugarcoat anything," and that it's a simple matter of facts. "Fact: 1UP was a business that was losing money. Fact: This economy sucks and the ad market is diminished." With two facts like this, it's tough to stay in business. Kennedy also added:
"UGO did what they could to, what I consider, 'save' 1UP. Obviously, all of us would have wanted to see things go differently - most of all me, considering I just lost many of my closest friends as coworkers and employees today ... If any company out there would have been willing to support us as we were, they certainly didn't step up. The only company that really did was UGO, and they did their very best to continue 1UP."
Kennedy remains hopeful that some freshly laid-off writers will be able to return to 1Up/UGO at some point in the future, and says he has a "commitment from the UGO guys that they - now, actually, we - are going to whatever we can to help these guys out..." He wants the podcasts to come back, obviously, and in the end, it's just a bad idea to turn anybody into the bad guy in this scenario. Sometimes, things just don't work out the way you want them to, and you have to roll with the punches. We'll see how UGO/1Up does.
1/7/2009 Ben Dutka