Escapist Editors in the Midst of an Exodus?! -Updated-

Sleepy Sol

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LifeCharacter said:
Solaire of Astora said:
It's been well-established that the only reason for the loss of staff was a lack of ability to compensate them for their work.

Believe me, I don't want to come off as a hugely ardent GG-defender, but this event had nothing to do with it.

Has anyone heard or seen anything on displaced staff finding potential job opportunities?
The thing is, GamerGate might not have anything to do with the lack of funding and the need to lay off people, but then we see the people who vocally opposed GamerGate coincidentally being the ones to be let go by their pro-GamerGate boss. Considering that, you'll hopefully forgive some of us for being a bit skeptical that GamerGate had nothing to do with this.
Yeah, I felt like I might want to amend my post and say that that is in fact a possibility. However, if that were the case, I don't think they would have been kept this long.

We may never actually know, considering the fact that I doubt we'll get any greater looks into the inner workings of Defy Media any time soon.

Based on a lot of behavior (Twitter activity) by those let go, they don't seem to be particularly perturbed at their former employer. I'd go with either of these situations being possible, but place my bets on my previously stated idea of The Escapist not being able to financially support them, much like the Extra Credits debacle, among other similar problems.
 

drivel

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My question is: What's my PubClub Membership paying for? I've been a PubClub Member for five or six years, and visiting the site since 2008, and the Escapist has gone from reputable gaming e-zine, to click-bait and cosplay photos. How long until MovieBob, the LRR guys, Yahtzee and Sterling form their own site and you're left with no content to speak of?

GET IT TOGETHER.
 

Armadox

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Aug 31, 2010
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drivel said:
My question is: What's my PubClub Membership paying for? I've been a PubClub Member for five or six years, and visiting the site since 2008, and the Escapist has gone from reputable gaming e-zine, to click-bait and cosplay photos. How long until MovieBob, the LRR guys, Yahtzee and Sterling form their own site and you're left with no content to speak of?

GET IT TOGETHER.
See this? This I stand behind. When you're floundering this badly on stage, throw a pie or something. I really want to see them just say screw it, and start grabbing content because it's fun and entertaining and enjoyable without being rooted in scandal. Hell, apologize for the lack of funds, explain what and how the money is spent, and let the fans help with the culling process. Grab new shows and media for the brass hell of it, rather then because of what is trending.

I come here because of the fun entertainment of the content and the enjoyment of the forums. I really, REALLY don't need my hobby and leisure time spent trying to drum up controversy ( unless it's on the rights, use or validity of art. Thems fighting words..). So, I say instead of doom and gloom we should just remain seated, and give them a few weeks to get a stage show together, or at least explain what they plan to do in simple, easy to digest words that end with "and we're totally going to break away from how things are going, and stand for something nonsensical. Here's a new show about dogs making video games.. enjoy[footnote] Ha ha ha ha ha.. HA.. ah ha ha ha.. ah ha..ahhaha.. ha.. [/footnote]."
 

Sleepy Sol

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LifeCharacter said:
I'm not familiar with the workings of Defy's budget, so this is mere speculation, but I feel like "budget issues" is something that doesn't just spontaneously show up as an excuse to fire people, especially not when you probably have to answer to someone in your own company. There might also be contracts that needed to be waited out and a desire to not look so overtly biased and discriminatory that you just up and fired everyone who disagreed with you about a petty internet spat.

As for the behavior of people let go, haven't there been a few people railing against GamerGate in the aftermath of their firing? Tito might not be, but Tito seems like the kind of mild mannered guy who wouldn't turn into a disgruntled former employee.

It's just outright, unsupported speculation that anyone can disregard, but it's not exactly hard to see where people are coming from when, all of a sudden, a bunch of people opposed to GamerGate happen to be the ones let go by the pro-GamerGate guy when the time came to fire people.
Ross Lincoln did post a tweet saying "Y'know what? GamerGate fucking sucked" or something to that degree. I haven't heard about many of the others, but many of them already seemed to express a distaste for GamerGate long before they were let go. Whether mildly or quite harshly.

I can empathize with those that feel this way, but I just can't agree, because I don't think Archon would do this sort of major staff shake-up for such a petty reason as a number of employees making a few negative comments about a nebulous internet movement. The site has already had problems before paying contributors; a certain big wig whose last name rhymes with the word curling just left...which probably lost at least a sizable chunk of an audience. And thusly, ad revenue and such.

Given the company's previous problems, there probably is something wrong with Defy's business approach, but again, all we can really do is speculate at this point, I suppose.
 

drivel

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I mostly let GG wash over me, and where I came down on the issue matters not. I bring it up only to say that it's baffling to me that people were so upset by it (not the verbal abuse, or the death threats - that should upset anyone who's a functional member of society, but the core debate for whatever that was worth - and I'm not sure it was worth much at all) that they would stop patronizing a site delivering content they like.

And if AdBlock was killing the site, then you do a pop-up to encourage people to disable it, or you gate it, or you make your site a pay site. There's still ways to make money on the Internet in the age of AdBlock.

Also, I was a more avid forum-goer earlier on in my membership, but I'll never understand why Internet forums are so important to people. I come to the Escapist for the professionally produced content, though even the staff writers' and freelancers' writing quality has dropped precipitously. Written articles are often poorly structured, and contain grammatical and typographical errors. Does the Escapist have a copy editor?

I'll continue coming to the Escapist (and probably paying for PubClub) almost entirely on account of the video content. But I've moved on to Polygon for the stuff that the Escapist USED to deliver in it's glory days as an e-zine.
 

AntiChri5

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TopazFusion said:
Ah, I'm just reading up on the rest of this, and I see this happened for financial reasons.

In which case, I guess we come back to the adblock fiasco from a few months back. It seems too many people are robbing this site of its revenue stream. So I guess Jim had the right idea afterall.
I think "robbed" is way too loaded a term. Using it is not a crime. It's also worth mentioning, everyone i know who uses it and also browses the Escapist got it specifically because of the ads on the Escapist.
 

IceForce

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TopazFusion said:
I guess we come back to the adblock fiasco from a few months back. It seems too many people are robbing this site of its revenue stream.
Maybe if The Escapist would fix its horribly intrusive ads, people would be less inclined to block them.

Actually, that raises a question. Since this site is in financial strife, does that mean the ads here are going to get even worse?
 

RedDeadFred

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May 13, 2009
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So...... did a lot of the viewership money leave with Jim? Or as this been in the works for a while?

At least it's not Yahtzee leaving. He's basically the only reason I come here now. If he goes, it'll be too much of a site based around Bob.
 

Drathnoxis

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Is it time for the great Escapist Exodus? For years we'll wander the wastelands of the web searching for the new "last bastion of the internet!"

Although it seems like we're already halfway there. I swear the forums aren't nearly as active now as they were a couple years ago. Time was you could barely refresh the page without the latest threads being shuffled around.

Oh well, as long as Yahtzee and Shamus Young (the most underrated contributor on the site) remain, so will I.
 

Bat Vader

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LifeCharacter said:
Solaire of Astora said:
It's been well-established that the only reason for the loss of staff was a lack of ability to compensate them for their work.

Believe me, I don't want to come off as a hugely ardent GG-defender, but this event had nothing to do with it.

Has anyone heard or seen anything on displaced staff finding potential job opportunities?
The thing is, GamerGate might not have anything to do with the lack of funding and the need to lay off people, but then we see the people who vocally opposed GamerGate coincidentally being the ones to be let go by their pro-GamerGate boss. Considering that, you'll hopefully forgive some of us for being a bit skeptical that GamerGate had nothing to do with this.
Isn't it illegal to fire anyone over their views as long as they aren't harmful?
 

Atmos Duality

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Unsurprising.
I'd normally attribute this to the Standard Internet Forum Cycle, but given what an absolutely dreadful year 2014 was for games news sites in general, I'm going to err on the side of caution.
(methinks saying "Gamers are Over" and essentially calling your audience names does that)

Sadly, it appears that I will have to once again start looking for a new enthusiast site, and likely within the next year.
The end of another era...

LifeCharacter said:
The thing is, GamerGate might not have anything to do with the lack of funding and the need to lay off people, but then we see the people who vocally opposed GamerGate coincidentally being the ones to be let go by their pro-GamerGate boss. Considering that, you'll hopefully forgive some of us for being a bit skeptical that GamerGate had nothing to do with this.
I'm not so sure about that and for one big reason: Bob Chipman.
MovieBob was by far the most vocal anti-GGer contributor on this site (especially in the thick of it; he said some truly vile things), and yet he remains.

Methinks other factors went into those decisions ahead of one's stance on GamerGate.
 

Leoofmoon

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From what I herd Jim left for many reason one being Escapist allowing Gamergate to be talked about her in the forums.

I personally wish all this people the best in finding new work.
 

Albino Boo

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Bat Vader said:
Isn't it illegal to fire anyone over their views as long as they aren't harmful?
If your opinions damage the likelihood of brand advertisers from using your site and alienate chunks of your readership then they are harmful. As I said in an earlier post in this thread, part of the job of an editor is to look beyond their own personal opinions and ask the question what does my readership want to see. At times the escapist felt it was being run by activists telling people what they should think and getting involved in trench warfare. We live in world where madmen in Moscow are trying to redraw borders by force, lunatics are killing people in the streets of Paris and thousands are dying from a horrible disease in Africa. Perhaps a little perspective was needed and remembering games are a form of entertainment and is not worth dying in ditch over. I dont always agree with the points made by Robert Rath or Shamus Young but at no time do I feel they are going to be aggressive if I disagree with them. Ultimately its not what you say but how you say it that counts. Requesting a few rewrites to make articles less hostile would have been advisable. The internet is not short of people being angry.
 

Alleged_Alec

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Fappy said:
Thorn14 said:
Random Gamer said:
Thorn14 said:
I can totally see this entire debacle causing advertisers to just go "Woah fuck we don't wanna get involved with this insanity" and pull out and/or not get involved. I'm not really sure if I should feel responsible or not, because this whole mess could have been avoided had the industry not constantly thrown fire onto the spark and make the worst possible decisions regarding it.
Well, odds are that several ad contracts were renewed for the new year, and that the rate was lower due to gaming media becoming less safe with all the Gamergate mess. In which case, other sites face a similar fate.
And both gamers and journalists were involved in that GG feud, which made advertisers wary of the wisdom of putting ads in gaming press. Though one could probably argue that journalists should've been more careful and shown more self-preservation when it was their jobs on the line. Of course, that line of reasoning doesn't apply with the Escapist, since the people who've been fired weren't vocall on either side and didn't make fools of themselves - that reasoning will mostly apply if other sides are hurt just as much in the next few weeks.
Right, thats the tragedy of it all, that because I suspect the ENTIRE industry might be getting hurt, journalists who may be completely ethical and had no involvement with this are suffering.
At least you have the empathy to regret the collateral damage GG has (potentially) caused. A few other GG sympathetic havens I have seen are cheering about this news.
I don't know. KotakuInAction's top comments are all people showing sympathy. Not only because Tito allowed for debate, but also because it's never fun to lose your livelyhood.
 

Davroth

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Apr 27, 2011
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As TopazFusion said already, the GG controversy likely caused more Pub club memberships to be cancelled then new ones being made. There's your answer why cost cutting measures had to be taken, and why people lost their jobs. I find the insinuation that "Pro-GG" caused this or that "Pro-GG" wanted this to happen quite distasteful. You'll find human garbage that revels in the misery of other everywhere. Noone with an ounce of sense in their body wanted this outcome, I'm rather confident in saying that.
 

dalek sec

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Jul 20, 2008
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To me it's a sign that things are really bad that none of the staff have come to try and calm our worries. So my best guess? It's the bloody End Times people, get ready for bad things... D:

Add me to the list of people waiting for a new site to be found.