The great 1up fiasco was 4 years ago today

While scrolling through my Twitter timeline this morning, I came across a post from former 1upper (and current Sonyman) Nick Suttner (@nsuttner) pointing out that today was the 4th anniversary of the meetings that essentially ended the brand's dominance.

Some might argue that the halcyon days of 1up were past anyway and they were already riding the downward slope. Most of the "big names" were gone, many by their own choice (John Davison, Luke Smith, Jeff Green, Shawn Elliot, Mark MacDonald, current Giant Bomber Patrick Klepek). But the site was still rolling along and the community, used to staff members "graduating" (for lack of a better term) into other gaming industry jobs, continued to thrive. Behind the scenes, some were already planning their exit (Shane Bettenhausen) and others were about to be caught in the storm (Andrew "Skip" Pfister, Philip Kollar and James Mielke, though Mielke would later return) but all felt the rumble of change coming. Although community favorites Garnett Lee (the heart of the podcasting empire), Jeremy Parish (Mr Retronauts himself), Ryan Scott and Dan "Shoe" Hsu would remain, the losses and wholesale changes were hurtful to the very tight-knit community and the site still has never fully seemed to find its voice and recover since.

Knowing that the end of the era had occurred, the classic cast of the 1up Network's flagship podcast 1up Yours (Lee, Davison, Smith, Pfister and Bettenhausen), reunited for one last mega-show dated January 22, 2009, 2 weeks after the big day. You can find that episode hereThe impact on the online video game news and entertainment community that 1up.com and the 1up Network had on the industry cannot be underestimated and anyone unfamiliar with 1up Yours should definitely check it out (This Year Collection has some great "Best of" episodes here, here and here), as the Bombcast is the only podcast that can be mentioned in the same air in terms of entertainment value and staff chemistry, in my opinion.

Personally, finding 1up Yours was huge in my life. There were some pretty rough times in my life in late 2006 into mid 2007. Having those podcasts to listen and look forward to made things a little better and I will be eternally grateful to everyone who was associated with that show. Thanks for those awesome memories.

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Posted by jhevans51

While scrolling through my Twitter timeline this morning, I came across a post from former 1upper (and current Sonyman) Nick Suttner (@nsuttner) pointing out that today was the 4th anniversary of the meetings that essentially ended the brand's dominance.

Some might argue that the halcyon days of 1up were past anyway and they were already riding the downward slope. Most of the "big names" were gone, many by their own choice (John Davison, Luke Smith, Jeff Green, Shawn Elliot, Mark MacDonald, current Giant Bomber Patrick Klepek). But the site was still rolling along and the community, used to staff members "graduating" (for lack of a better term) into other gaming industry jobs, continued to thrive. Behind the scenes, some were already planning their exit (Shane Bettenhausen) and others were about to be caught in the storm (Andrew "Skip" Pfister, Philip Kollar and James Mielke, though Mielke would later return) but all felt the rumble of change coming. Although community favorites Garnett Lee (the heart of the podcasting empire), Jeremy Parish (Mr Retronauts himself), Ryan Scott and Dan "Shoe" Hsu would remain, the losses and wholesale changes were hurtful to the very tight-knit community and the site still has never fully seemed to find its voice and recover since.

Knowing that the end of the era had occurred, the classic cast of the 1up Network's flagship podcast 1up Yours (Lee, Davison, Smith, Pfister and Bettenhausen), reunited for one last mega-show dated January 22, 2009, 2 weeks after the big day. You can find that episode hereThe impact on the online video game news and entertainment community that 1up.com and the 1up Network had on the industry cannot be underestimated and anyone unfamiliar with 1up Yours should definitely check it out (This Year Collection has some great "Best of" episodes here, here and here), as the Bombcast is the only podcast that can be mentioned in the same air in terms of entertainment value and staff chemistry, in my opinion.

Personally, finding 1up Yours was huge in my life. There were some pretty rough times in my life in late 2006 into mid 2007. Having those podcasts to listen and look forward to made things a little better and I will be eternally grateful to everyone who was associated with that show. Thanks for those awesome memories.

Posted by wumbo3000

It's a shame I never got into the 1up scene. I always knew that 1up Yours and the 1up Show were always awesome, but growing up, I was always more of a GameSpot guy. I stuck with the On the Spots and the Hotspots personally. But the 1up stuff always looked awesome and I've always appreciated what they did. I had a subscription to EGM though, and I will always love that magazine to death. Good times... good times.

Posted by cooljammer00

I'm not too familiar with the situation, but if it was as bad as I hear, it seems like everyone went on to better things/

Posted by FluxWaveZ

Before starting to listen to the Bombcast, Fridays were definitely special for me as I knew I had 1UP Yours to look forward to. The 1UP Show was also amazing, though I got into it rather late. It's so unfortunate that the "1upocalypse" had to happen and break up such a great group of personalities.

Posted by alternate

They never had brand dominance and that is coming from someone who loved 1up back in the day. They were a niche audience whose business plan was based on sharing the talents of EGM, GFW, etc and not having to pay the salaries of those people. When the magazine shuttered they didn't have much choice but to layoff most of the staff. 1up never made money and never had to make money as it lumped in with the magazines - putting all their losses together.

ZD did about the best they could, business wise - sounds like they could have handled the staff a lot better, selling it as a going concern. UGO/Hearst did about the best they could keeping staff and trying to make a go of it.

What IGN did was arguably a bigger fiasco. Essentially buying up the domain and stripping it down to about 5 staffers.

Posted by OfficeGamer

I'm sorry I'm failing to take your post seriously.. You're talking about a video game site on the internet not a former music band, dude.

Posted by granderojo

God I feel old.

Posted by robdburrows

I was a huge 1UP fan back in the day. But after the shake-up I ended up here, so it wasn't all bad. I still miss the 1UP show and daily podcasts.

Posted by mosespippy

GFW Radio is the one other podcast that can share the limelight with 1Up Yours and the Bombcast as the important podcasts in gaming, but 1Up Yours was the best. I feel like Giant Bomb has for the most part filled the void that was left in the wake of the 1upocalypse with the E3 Bomb House being a direct comparison to the poolside podcasts. It's not the same though, and Weekend Confirmed is not even close to what 1Up Yours was. Co-op was a fantastic replacement for the 1Up Show and I wish it had more episodes before they canceled it. Now hopefully MarcMacD will publish that drunken 1Up Yours Reunion episode from years ago, of which he is the only one with a copy.

Edited by IIGrayFoxII

I agree. 1UP Yours and GFW radio were huge podcasts to look forward to and I agree the only thing that was (may) be better than Giantbomb. I loved that site and a lot of huge talent did go through 1UP. I was devasted when it happened (but like you said most of its talent had left by then already).

Here is an old favorite GFW moment of mine:

Posted by Killroycantkill

@OfficeGamer said:

I'm sorry I'm failing to take your post seriously.. You're talking about a video game site on the internet not a former music band, dude.

This statement bugs me for some reason. Why that because it's a videogame website and not a band that makes this post not as serious of a band breaking up 4 years ago. It's still a group of talented people trying to bring great content to people who love videogames just like how a band would want to bring their brand of music for others to enjoy.

Posted by RecSpec

This was more final nail in the coffin rather than turning point, but it was still shocking at the time. I'm glad I ended up here, but I really enjoyed the time I spent over at 1up.

Posted by OfficeGamer

@Killroycantkill said:

@OfficeGamer said:

I'm sorry I'm failing to take your post seriously.. You're talking about a video game site on the internet not a former music band, dude.

This statement bugs me for some reason. Why that because it's a videogame website and not a band that makes this post not as serious of a band breaking up 4 years ago. It's still a group of talented people trying to bring great content to people who love videogames just like how a band would want to bring their brand of music for others to enjoy.

I will agree with you if you tell/show me what their talent was?

Posted by SirOptimusPrime

@IIGrayFoxII said:

I agree. 1UP Yours and GFW radio were huge podcasts to look forward to and I agree the only thing that was (may) be better than Giantbomb. I loved that site and a lot of huge talent did go through 1UP. I was devasted when it happened (but like you said most of its talent had left by then already).

Here is an old favorite GFW moment of mine:

That was beautiful. I need to go back and dig through these.

Online
Posted by FluxWaveZ

@OfficeGamer said:

@Killroycantkill said:

@OfficeGamer said:

I'm sorry I'm failing to take your post seriously.. You're talking about a video game site on the internet not a former music band, dude.

This statement bugs me for some reason. Why that because it's a videogame website and not a band that makes this post not as serious of a band breaking up 4 years ago. It's still a group of talented people trying to bring great content to people who love videogames just like how a band would want to bring their brand of music for others to enjoy.

I will agree with you if you tell/show me what their talent was?

Entertainment/humor?

Posted by OfficeGamer

@FluxWaveZ said:

@OfficeGamer said:

@Killroycantkill said:

@OfficeGamer said:

I'm sorry I'm failing to take your post seriously.. You're talking about a video game site on the internet not a former music band, dude.

This statement bugs me for some reason. Why that because it's a videogame website and not a band that makes this post not as serious of a band breaking up 4 years ago. It's still a group of talented people trying to bring great content to people who love videogames just like how a band would want to bring their brand of music for others to enjoy.

I will agree with you if you tell/show me what their talent was?

Entertainment/humor?

Then let us agree to disagree my good friend :) I do not consider this a talent because every gamer and his mother plays games and has opinions about them and can be considered funny by a portion of any given number of people listening to him share his opinion. Even managing a site on the web has become an easy thing done by teenagers and amateurs so that argument is also irrelevant.

Though like I said I respect your opinion if you consider game reviewing a talent, I just disagree.

Posted by Class_A_Ninja

@OfficeGamer said:

I'm sorry I'm failing to take your post seriously.. You're talking about a video game site on the internet not a former music band, dude.

Just a question: can you understand this guy's post better if you replaced the 1up situation with Giant Bomb getting rid all of it's staff except for Patrick and no longer producing video content?

I mean, you are on Giant Bomb's forums so I imagine you might like the site a great deal.

Posted by HaltIamReptar

@Class_A_Ninja said:

Just a question: can you understand this guy's post better if you replaced the 1up situation with Giant Bomb getting rid all of it's staff except for Patrick and no longer producing video content?

There hasn't been a better realized horror story since The Call of Cthulhu.

Edited by Wrighteous86

@RecSpec said:

This was more final nail in the coffin rather than turning point, but it was still shocking at the time. I'm glad I ended up here, but I really enjoyed the time I spent over at 1up.

Yeah most of the awesome people that had already left by this point 4 years ago left BECAUSE they knew this was coming. Mark McDonald or Crispin Boyer, one of the two, mentioned that as they left, they warned their coworkers to start looking for employment elsewhere.

I miss 1UP... except Garnett.

Posted by Baal_Sagoth

1UP was very influential and ambitious in the field of transitioning coventional gaming coverage to a modern online format. It was also incredibly flawed and ultimately a spectacular failure in my opinion. The 1UP Show delivered great moments and had a good concept but was way to hype focussed and didn't give the games themselves enough time. Too much dumb Halo collectors edition nonsense and too little insight into what I though a gaming website should be about - the games.

The podcasts were on their own level at the time, especially GFW Radio, and played a huge part in my enjoyment of the format to be honest. This is mostly due to incredibly good personalities like Jeff Green, Shawn Elliott, Shane Bettenhausen, Mark McDonald and Garnett Lee. In a way I'm still puzzled how a single site could have so much talent and still be so mediocre in many respects. All of the forum, community and review parts of 1 UP never interested me. The constant inside baseball discussions about gaming journalism where so far up their own assholes it wasn't even funny (especially how far they missed the point of critically reflecting the role of gaming coverage by obsessing about the journalism bit). There always were way to many opportunistic morons blatantly trying to get a "real" job in the gaming industry. Also a lot of hipster bullshit.

In the end one has to respect the ambition concerning some of 1UP's progressive direction (and, by proxy, the influence it had over GB's genesis in some way). At the time there was nothing like it. I still dearly love and respect some of my favorite people from there but I can't say I ever really liked 1UP as a whole. Or that I trusted their editorial voice and opinions on games. I can't deny its influence over my personal views on gaming and gaming coverage though.

Posted by NegativeCero

Pouring an imaginary one out for the old Ziff days. I came across them a bit late, but I definitely connected with the things the staff there were doing. It really did feel like they were a close-knit bunch.

Posted by skyebaron

If any of you want to relieve the best of 1up you can download a best of here: http://www.thisyearcollection.org/p/archive.html

My favorite is GFW Radio 2007 and 2008. Its by far the best gaming podcast ive heard. Still, the bomcast fills the void left nicely.

Posted by Winternet

What is this 1up you speak of?

Posted by Christoffer

I got into 1up about a year before it all went to crap. It was truly saddening so see one great personality leave after the other. The biggest knife in the heart (yes it take multiple knifes to kill me) was when Jeff Green left. Aweful aweful times.

Posted by notdavid

I think I was following IGN at that time. Maybe a bit of Gamespot, too. Never really got into 1Up when they were in their prime.

Edited by aquamarin

I was a GFW fan, really didn't care a whole lot for the more flagship 1up stuff at the time, but when it was becoming evident that the whole 1up industrial complex was eroding memeber by member, it was a sad thing. I actually still enjoy some blogs and the podcast content that 1up still does put out, but why does the website still have the same visual style as it did back in its heydey and try to act as if it's yet another one-stop-shop for all things gaming? Even when I'm dropping in on a blog via a twitter link, the visual style of the site just makes me depressed thinking about the place's downfall.

Posted by believer258

@OfficeGamer said:

@FluxWaveZ said:

@OfficeGamer said:

@Killroycantkill said:

@OfficeGamer said:

I'm sorry I'm failing to take your post seriously.. You're talking about a video game site on the internet not a former music band, dude.

This statement bugs me for some reason. Why that because it's a videogame website and not a band that makes this post not as serious of a band breaking up 4 years ago. It's still a group of talented people trying to bring great content to people who love videogames just like how a band would want to bring their brand of music for others to enjoy.

I will agree with you if you tell/show me what their talent was?

Entertainment/humor?

Then let us agree to disagree my good friend :) I do not consider this a talent because every gamer and his mother plays games and has opinions about them and can be considered funny by a portion of any given number of people listening to him share his opinion. Even managing a site on the web has become an easy thing done by teenagers and amateurs so that argument is also irrelevant.

Though like I said I respect your opinion if you consider game reviewing a talent, I just disagree.

I don't necessarily think it's a talent, no, but I do think that it's pretty entertaining and interesting to hear their thoughts, opinions, stories, and jokes, and I would be disappointed if the GB crew had to split up into different jobs for some reason and I never got to hear them in a podcast again. That's how it's comparable to a band - not in the talent, but in the idea that that particular group will never make the same kind of content again.

And no, I don't think that it's something that "everyone and their mother" can really do. If you go and watch a bunch of different Let's Plays or read everybody's opinions on games, you'll realize that it requires at least a little something to be entertaining and most importantly requires some personality. Totalbiscuit, Yatzhee Croshaw, and many others succeed on their personalities and it takes work and dedication to keep that stuff up and keep people interested in hearing what they have to say.

Posted by iceman228433

Man that was Really 4 years ago, that is nuts it does not feel like 4 years. I miss GFW Radio, and 1Up yours was awesome with Luke Smith.

Posted by Solfege

@OfficeGamer said:

@FluxWaveZ said:

@OfficeGamer said:

@Killroycantkill said:

@OfficeGamer said:

I'm sorry I'm failing to take your post seriously.. You're talking about a video game site on the internet not a former music band, dude.

This statement bugs me for some reason. Why that because it's a videogame website and not a band that makes this post not as serious of a band breaking up 4 years ago. It's still a group of talented people trying to bring great content to people who love videogames just like how a band would want to bring their brand of music for others to enjoy.

I will agree with you if you tell/show me what their talent was?

Entertainment/humor?

Then let us agree to disagree my good friend :) I do not consider this a talent because every gamer and his mother plays games and has opinions about them and can be considered funny by a portion of any given number of people listening to him share his opinion. Even managing a site on the web has become an easy thing done by teenagers and amateurs so that argument is also irrelevant.

I know this is a little exaggerated, but as a music major I've got to tell you that a huge, huge, HUGE part of the bands out there have no talent and little to no knowledge about their instruments. Musicians today are almost more public personalities than musicians making art. I'm not trying to call you out. Just sayin':-) It takes talent and hard work to produce a good website just as it does with music.

1up had some incredibly good things about it. As many others have said the podcasts was the greatest thing about the website (and the only thing I really cared about). 1up yours, GFW - the brodeo, 1up show, Retronauts was some of the finest gaming podcasts ever. The chemistry between the members, especially in GFW radio, was amazing. Shawn Elliot and the gang had some hilarious, well articulated and often philosophical talks about games at times.

I too jumped over here when the site fell apart.

Posted by DonutFever

1UP Yours was my first podcast, and lead me to Giant Bomb.

Posted by DoctorWelch

I have never really understood what "happened" to 1UP. I see people mention it, but I can't find any information on what they are specifically talking about. I'm guessing it's just a firing of everyone and restructuring or something, but it doesn't makes sense to me. So one day they were awesome and the next day a bunch of executives just shut the thing down and turned it into shit or something? The bigger question for me is why everyone still talks about it like its a dead relative. I mean, its still a site that puts out content right? And if it's still a name that people know I really don't understand what makes people talk about it in the past tense all the time. Maybe it's just because it's owned by IGN now, and they don't feel like putting any effort into a site that would essentially rival IGN. At this point I'm just thinking out loud though.

I say all this because I didn't really visit gaming sites until Giant Bomb. Up until that point I just read magazines like Game Informer and Nintendo Power. Honestly, I probably visited CheatPlanet.com more than any other video game dedicated site up until Giant Bomb was started.

Edited by MordeaniisChaos

My only connection to them was listening to Luke Smith talk about Halo, usually on the Bungie Podcast, which was awesome. I think they gave a shout out on the Bungie Podcast when things went to shit, but I could be remembering that wrong.

Edited by Jay_Ray

@DoctorWelch: A company bought the parent company that operated the 1UP network. A restructuring occurred which resulted in the closing down of the magazine portions (EGM and GFW) which subsequently caused a ton of layoffs, also the 1UP Show was shut down which to many people was the thing 1UP had going for it. The major reason people speak as it is dead to them is because of the lay offs and restructuring resulted in a ton of the sites personality disappeared over night and what was left eventually dissipated when the people who were left choose to pursue other careers. It's not completely unlike Gamespot after Jeff was fired. Basically try to imagine what Giantbomb would be like if Vinny and Ryan announce tomorrow they are leaving, Giantbomb would be traumatised and may not recover.

1UP was also the pioneer in the podcast and video revolution video game journalism has taken. Giantbomb's roots can be seen in the 1UP Show and 1UP Yours, and I would even say Giantbomb may not exist if 1UP never did what it did from a video production standpoint.

Posted by Humanity

Never got into that site. Heard many good things about it, went a couple of times. Mostly seemed really pretentious as much as I hate to use that word. Too bad for the people that enjoyed it I guess, but it was never the last bastion of proper "games journalism" for me.

Posted by Barrock

Sad. :( GFW, 1UP Yours, and the WoW podcast were awesome.

Posted by DoctorWelch

@Jay_Ray said:

@DoctorWelch: A company bought the parent company that operated the 1UP network. A restructuring occurred which resulted in the closing down of the magazine portions (EGM and GFW) which subsequently caused a ton of layoffs, also the 1UP Show was shut down which to many people was the thing 1UP had going for it. The major reason people speak as it is dead to them is because of the lay offs and restructuring resulted in a ton of the sites personality disappeared over night and what was left eventually dissipated when the people who were left choose to pursue other careers. It's not completely unlike Gamespot after Jeff was fired. Basically try to imagine what Giantbomb would be like if Vinny and Ryan announce tomorrow they are leaving, Giantbomb would be traumatised and may not recover.

1UP was also the pioneer in the podcast and video revolution video game journalism has taken. Giantbomb's roots can be seen in the 1UP Show and 1UP Yours, and I would even say Giantbomb may not exist if 1UP never didn't do what it did from a video production standpoint.

I feel like you should just take that and post it to wikipedia or something cause that's the best overall summation of the 1UP downfall that I've seen. I guess it's just really odd to me that some company bought them out and basically flushed something good down the toilet. Then, on top of that, they don't even take advantage of having a name people know. It's like the same thing that happened to Gamespot with all the people leaving, except this time the higher ups decided to take something interesting, unique, and revolutionary (at least that's what I'm seeing people say) and turn it into something boring that no one cares about anymore.

Edited by ExiledVip3r

1UP Yours and GFW Radio introduced me to the world of podcasts and following gaming sites, I burned through both podcasts backlogs in a matter of months while stocking shelves. I would not be here today without them. Sadly the fiasco seemed to happen just a couple months after I started. It also introduced me to Twitter, once everybody was layed off many of them seemed to turn to Twitter in a big way to keep themselves out there.

While they were never the biggest gaming publication, between the podcasts and The 1UP Show, I feel like 1UP really paved the way for modern gaming sites as we see them today.

With the Bombcast and other podcasts former 1UPers started, I feel like the hole is largely filled. There is still a 1UP Show shaped hole in my heart though :(

Posted by HaltIamReptar

@DoctorWelch said:

@Jay_Ray said:

@DoctorWelch: A company bought the parent company that operated the 1UP network. A restructuring occurred which resulted in the closing down of the magazine portions (EGM and GFW) which subsequently caused a ton of layoffs, also the 1UP Show was shut down which to many people was the thing 1UP had going for it. The major reason people speak as it is dead to them is because of the lay offs and restructuring resulted in a ton of the sites personality disappeared over night and what was left eventually dissipated when the people who were left choose to pursue other careers. It's not completely unlike Gamespot after Jeff was fired. Basically try to imagine what Giantbomb would be like if Vinny and Ryan announce tomorrow they are leaving, Giantbomb would be traumatised and may not recover.

1UP was also the pioneer in the podcast and video revolution video game journalism has taken. Giantbomb's roots can be seen in the 1UP Show and 1UP Yours, and I would even say Giantbomb may not exist if 1UP never didn't do what it did from a video production standpoint.

I feel like you should just take that and post it to wikipedia or something cause that's the best overall summation of the 1UP downfall that I've seen. I guess it's just really odd to me that some company bought them out and basically flushed something good down the toilet. Then, on top of that, they don't even take advantage of having a name people know. It's like the same thing that happened to Gamespot with all the people leaving, except this time the higher ups decided to take something interesting, unique, and revolutionary (at least that's what I'm seeing people say) and turn it into something boring that no one cares about anymore.

It's actually a complex situation if I recall correctly. From what I recall, Ziff Davis, the parent company of the organizations mentioned, was well on its way to going under before the mass firings happened.

Posted by BaconGames

@wumbo3000 said:

It's a shame I never got into the 1up scene. I always knew that 1up Yours and the 1up Show were always awesome, but growing up, I was always more of a GameSpot guy. I stuck with the On the Spots and the Hotspots personally. But the 1up stuff always looked awesome and I've always appreciated what they did. I had a subscription to EGM though, and I will always love that magazine to death. Good times... good times.

Almost mirrors my exact situation exactly (except replace EGM with Game Informer). I think if that was happening now I'd be in a position to start going but since those times are long past, I don't know if I have it in my to go back to old stuff like that. Oh well, I spend way too much time of my day to day life trying to fit in GB content, I'll keep the entire backlog of GFW Radio and 1UP Yours for a dire situation.

Posted by Jay_Ray

@DoctorWelch: I think the biggest problem that occurred during the take over was closing down the magazine end of 1UP. From a business prospective it had to be done, magazines were becoming completely obsolete and I believe that the magazine end was bleeding money. Unfortunately this resulted in a "cut off the arm to save the body" scenario and they simply could not retain all the staff that made 1UP unique. The worst decision though was the ending of the 1UP Show and subsequently the firing of the video production staff, 1UP might of come out of this shit show alive if they'd have kept the 1UP Show. This is the only thing that occurred during this event that I can not see reasoning behind besides a poor management decision.

Posted by guanophobic

The intro music and just the format of the 1 UP Show was something I had never seen before and made me start tapping F5 like crazy on neogaf for fresh download links on friday nights after work. The direction/production of these shows were done with a lot of love, kind of like what the GB gang did with the GOTY-stuff, but on a weekly basis.

Posted by PenguinDust

I can't recall the last time I visited the site.

On the other hand I listen to Garnett Lee weekly and both Jeff Green and Shawn Elliott have been on recent episodes of the Gamers with Jobs podcast.

Many of the folks are still around and pop-up from time to time on podcasts or even the GB couch.

Online
Posted by Jay_Ray

@HaltIamReptar: Yes, if the buyout didn't occur 1UP as a whole probably would have been completely finished and everyone there would have lost their jobs. It was overall a bad situation.

Posted by jhevans51

@aquamarin: I get the same feeling when I go over there for Jeremy Parish's content that I do when I drive by the grown over playground I used to play on as a kid: a sad smile.

Posted by jhevans51

Thanks for all the great discussion guys. It's really great to hear a lot of my same feelings about the old 1up site. Like many of you, the demise of 1up is what led me to GiantBomb in the first place, as I wasn't a GameSpot guy before.

The 1up show stuff, with Matt Chandronait and Ryan O'Donnell was appointment viewing and the legacy of those shows can be seen all over the place.

Posted by me3639

Sorry, never hear of it.

Posted by wjb

@Baal_Sagoth said:

1UP was very influential and ambitious in the field of transitioning coventional gaming coverage to a modern online format. It was also incredibly flawed and ultimately a spectacular failure in my opinion. The 1UP Show delivered great moments and had a good concept but was way to hype focussed and didn't give the games themselves enough time. Too much dumb Halo collectors edition nonsense and too little insight into what I though a gaming website should be about - the games.

The podcasts were on their own level at the time, especially GFW Radio, and played a huge part in my enjoyment of the format to be honest. This is mostly due to incredibly good personalities like Jeff Green, Shawn Elliott, Shane Bettenhausen, Mark McDonald and Garnett Lee. In a way I'm still puzzled how a single site could have so much talent and still be so mediocre in many respects. All of the forum, community and review parts of 1 UP never interested me. The constant inside baseball discussions about gaming journalism where so far up their own assholes it wasn't even funny (especially how far they missed the point of critically reflecting the role of gaming coverage by obsessing about the journalism bit). There always were way to many opportunistic morons blatantly trying to get a "real" job in the gaming industry. Also a lot of hipster bullshit.

In the end one has to respect the ambition concerning some of 1UP's progressive direction (and, by proxy, the influence it had over GB's genesis in some way). At the time there was nothing like it. I still dearly love and respect some of my favorite people from there but I can't say I ever really liked 1UP as a whole. Or that I trusted their editorial voice and opinions on games. I can't deny its influence over my personal views on gaming and gaming coverage though.

As much as I loved 1up, I sometimes forget it was purely for the personality driven content and not for the traditional written work. The original shows and podcasts were where they shined, which was funny because not a ton of people (especially the CGW/GFW crew) weren't entirely on-board with the whole "podcasting" thing.

I never cared for the site itself. I enjoyed most of the podcasts, but Garnett Lee was obnoxious sometimes and Luke Smith, although funny, became a cartoon character to me after a while; I was kind of okay with him leaving. The 1up Show had its problems, but I started to prefer it over On the Spot and whatever IGN had at the time. As much as I thought Rich Gallup was a pro at hosting, On the Spot was really a show of Quick Look EXs, and half the games featured weren't all that interesting. It had its moments, but in order to get to 5 minutes of Jeff and Carrie goofing off, you had to sit through 15 minutes of Koei developers showing off their boring game no one cared about. From what little I remember, the IGN Chobot-driven show was too "E! Network programming" for me. There kind of was nothing else at the time back in 2006.

And I never understood associating 1up with "hipsters". Other people have said that, but I suppose I have different criteria for the term.

Posted by jhevans51

@wjb: Yeah, I definitely didn't get a hipster vibe. I guess one could have misconstrued some of Shane Bettenhausen's opinion as hipster-ish, but Shane seemed to revel in playing the "Sony Bettenhausen" character.

Edited by Baal_Sagoth

@wjb said:

@Baal_Sagoth said:

[...]

As much as I loved 1up, I sometimes forget it was purely for the personality driven content and not for the traditional written work. The original shows and podcasts were where they shined, which was funny because not a ton of people (especially the CGW/GFW crew) weren't entirely on-board with the whole "podcasting" thing.

I never cared for the site itself. I enjoyed most of the podcasts, but Garnett Lee was obnoxious sometimes and Luke Smith, although funny, became a cartoon character to me after a while; I was kind of okay with him leaving. The 1up Show had its problems, but I started to prefer it over On the Spot and whatever IGN had at the time. As much as I thought Rich Gallup was a pro at hosting, On the Spot was really a show of Quick Look EXs, and half the games featured weren't all that interesting. It had its moments, but in order to get to 5 minutes of Jeff and Carrie goofing off, you had to sit through 15 minutes of Koei developers showing off their boring game no one cared about. From what little I remember, the IGN Chobot-driven show was too "E! Network programming" for me. There kind of was nothing else at the time back in 2006.

And I never understood associating 1up with "hipsters". Other people have said that, but I suppose I have different criteria for the term.

I'm not sure what IGN was up to at the time as I only sporadically checked them out when they came up in forums and elsewhere after I settled for GB as my go to location for games (I gave that Chobot news segment a shot for a short while and that's pretty much it). But curiously I pretty much enjoyed On the Spot as long as I visited Gamespot. After leaving the world of local gaming magazines I first learned to respect Greg Kasavin and actually discovered Rich Gallup, Jeff, Ryan and everyone else via GS's video formats. Your criticisms are acurate but they didn't bother me at the time for some reason. Plus, the glorious madness was already present occasionally (Ryan and Jeff performing a Britney Spears song still haunts my GS memories). The timid approach of some 1UP staffers towards podcasts and the like on the other hand made me feel at home very much as I just got used to all of that myself at the time. It was a significant part of my enjoyment of their content.

Other than that we're pretty much on the same page for the most part, I think. As for my "hipster" remark - I suppose after hearing that term in all kinds of contradictory contexts and having been called that myself I should just admit to not knowing what that even means anymore but I'm guilty of habitually still using it. I tried to say that 1UP, for my particular tastes, leaned a little too heavily towards getting on top of trends sooner than everyone else at the expense of in-depth, careful perspectives. This is, of course, pretty characteristic for websites, forums and critics in general. After all, some of the fine folks at 1UP really shaped parts of my gaming habits even if I favored GS a little more at the time.

Edited by C2C

Aright huge wall of text incoming. tl;dr: The 1up podcasts were great and the site was pretty "meh" and bloated for its own good.

The podcasts were great. I remember when the layoffs happened, like a third of my entertainment got wiped out since I was way into podcasts at the time. The entire debacle took down: GFW radio, 1upFM, the 1upshow, 1up yours, and Broken Pixels, with only Retronauts managing to go on for a period of time. The video content was hit or miss for me as it was mostly previews of stuff. The thing I will say however, it was well produced and the personality was definitely there. I even followed the video crew for a bit when they started their own video show site thing. Broken Pixels was legendary though, and I highly recommend watching the first couple of episodes. However the audio podcasts were where the real magic happened. I liked the podcasts and they have earned their praise.

However, like somebody else mentioned, 1up had to go down. At the time when the layoffs happened 1up was still not an interesting site as a whole. You did have some interesting sections in the site like the podcasts, their video shows, and the niche editorial sections; but the site as a whole was meh. When you think about it though, it kinda had to be as they covered everything that came out. You had the previews for games with screenshots, and reviews for a ll the games you would not think about playing, and in turn you had some pretty filler content. You also had the community, which seemed fine. You had a couple of loud obnoxious personalities, but those are just going to in just about every online community. Their blogging system was a wreck, and was hard to really get the ball rolling on some lengthier discussion. The podcasts did interact with the community from time to time so the forums which was nice.

As a result of all the stuff going on however, the site itself was always too busy for my taste. You had the systems segregated into their own sections. You had their walkthrough, media, editorial, and community sections all occupying and vying for your attention but never really having a unified voice. Barring Retronauts which always had a cohesive voice because Jeremy Parish headed the podcast and the editorial section of the site, the 1up podcasts and the site might as well have been in different universes. Sure you had a little bit of crossover between the 1up yours crew and the people who were reviewing/previewing the games at times, but going to the site for more of what you liked hearing was usually a no go as there was not that much. Worst yet, what you did see just didn't compete. You want cheats and walkthroughs? Go to Gamefaqs. You want news? Kotaku had that in spades. You want reviews? Metacritic. Everything else was comparable to IGN, Gamespot, or any other big site video game site.

The podcasts also created a a situation where I wanted to see more of the 1up Yours crew at work only to find out that I had to get a copy of EGM to get it. I liked the guys and probably would have subscribed if the magazine had that same level of personality. But you also had a lot of filler in EGM, (or really any magazine for that matter) and like most people, opted not to buy the magazine. No offense to the crew behind the magazine, but I really did not want a previews section, letters to the editor section, or full page ads. The value proposition was just not there. If they wanted to mitigate the damage, 1up really should have doubled down on what made the podcasts such a success, personality.

In the end though, the layoffs had to happen because EGM was attached to 1up. It really wouldn't matter how good the site or its content was at the time, the lack of EGM subscriptions would obviously take its toll.

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