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Salute: 1UP Acquired By UGO, Downsized; EGM Shuttered

The early days of 2009 are dark ones for Ziff Davis' erstwhile Game Group. Giant Bomb salutes the departed staffers.

The giant crowd at the PAX 1UP Yours Live event was something to see.
The giant crowd at the PAX 1UP Yours Live event was something to see.
There's no easy way to talk about people losing their jobs, especially when they're people you're friends with. Now-former Ziff Davis game property 1UP announced its rumored acquisition by UGO today, with reports coming in from all over about massive layoffs and the closure of Ziff's sole remaining print magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly, in the wake of the deal. MTV Multiplayer has done the hard part for me with this report.

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.

Joystiq also has a rumored full list of the layoffs, indicating the bulk of the editorial and video departments have been let go.

We all have friends and respected industry colleagues among the (former) ranks at 1UP, and we were especially honored and humbled to appear recently on what's now become the last two episodes of 1UP Yours. Thus, this post is primarily here to express condolences and best wishes to those 1UP staffers who have departed the company. It felt a little weird to go on putting up the usual goofy game news and screenshots of Cammy while a bunch of other people making the same living as us abruptly found themselves out of work this afternoon.

We'll pour out a 40 or two for those chaps tonight, which--if you know us--is really the fondest farewell we could bestow.
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