Ziff Davis Media today announced the sale of the 1UP Digital Network, including 1UP.com, MyCheats.com, GameVideos.com and GameTab.com, to UGO Entertainment. EGM’s last printed issue is January 2009. The fate of 1Up podcasts is unclear, following comments received by MTV Multiplayer from Ziff's Sam Kennedy.
Rumors around the sale of 1UP.com and the future of legendary magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly are no longer rumors.
Ziff Davis Media has announced the sale of 1UP.com and its web site subsidiaries to UGO Entertainment and decided to close down long-standing game publication EGM.
“We believe this is a smart transaction for Ziff Davis Media that places these market leading assets and teams in a great environment poised for further success,” said Ziff Davis Media CEO Jason Young in the official release. “The transaction allows us to pay down debt and shift our full focus to our core PCMag Digital Network business. We thank our 1UP team members for their contributions and wish them the best of success into the future.”
In addition to these moves, a series of layoffs have hit Ziff Davis.
MTV Multiplayer has learned from multiple sources more than 30 people were laid off as part of the transition, including much of the GameVideos.com team. 1UP Show creator Ryan O’Donnell and producer Matt Chandronait announced that popular video podcast The 1UP Show would not be produced any longer on their Twitter feeds.
Other notable layoffs include podcast producer Andrew Pfister.
In a brief phone interview, 1UP site director Sam Kennedy told MTV Multiplayer he could not comment on the layoffs. “Honestly, questions like that have to go to Ziff Davis at this point,” said Kennedy. “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.”
Kennedy would not confirm reports from O’Donnell and Chandronait that The 1UP Show was over. “We’re going to try and maintain a lot of the audio and video going forward,” he said. “Will we have as many shows as we have in the past? Probably not, but we have – we’ve had – a lot of ideas for future shows and we’re pretty excited about what we’ll do in the future. Right now, we’re going to go through the process of really figuring out what kind of shows and products we want to keep going in the future. Our intention is to keep as many going as we can.”
UGO CEO J Moses said his company was committed to investing in 1UP editorial in the future, though he and Kennedy could not disclose details. “In a period of time where a lot of businesses are getting smaller – contracting, if you will -- we’re growing,” said Moses.
Moses confirmed 1UP would remain its own brand going forward and continue operating out of the San Francisco bay area.