Was Giantbomb part of the CNET Sale?

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Temg99

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#1  Edited By Temg99
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gkhan

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Seems like a pretty safe assumption. I hope this works out and is not another G/O Media situation...

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shades846

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Does this effect the shares that Jeff and team got I think from selling to cbs back in the day?

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Ry_Ry

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CNET media group includes GameSpot so my assumption is that yes, GB is included.

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Temg99

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@gkhan said:

Seems like a pretty safe assumption. I hope this works out and is not another G/O Media situation...

Based on the current sites under new owner, I am not sure it is that toxic. But I also really worry because both GB and GS overlap so heavily. I hope that the contract they signed when they formed GB (and their subscription model) gives them standing to keep separate.

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LarsC

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This is bleak.

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krelmoon

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It would appear that this company did not have a tech focused or gaming focused vertical prior to this sale and they are keeping the existing upper CNET management in place. Doesn’t mean there won’t be layoffs but the same people who have left Giant Bomb to it’s own devices in the past due to it’s subscriber base are still in place and may continue to do so.

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gomezar7

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CBS interactive is not for sale.

CNET, GameSpot, ZDNet are included in the sale.

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gerrid

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#9  Edited By gerrid

Is GB part of CNET media group?

EDIT: Gamespot seems to have been part of CNET from before Jeff was fired, so when CBS bought CNET it also bought Gamespot. But GB was acquired separately by CBSi, so may well not be part of the sale.

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stickdutra

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@gomezar7: on their press release they say more site were acquire as well, it could be that GB is one of them!

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Rabidlamb

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Venture Capital...RIP

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frytup

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@gomezar7 said:

CBS interactive is not for sale.

CNET, GameSpot, ZDNet are included in the sale.

Yeah, but what falls under the "CNET Media Group"? This is the first I'm hearing of this entity, and I can't find a list of properties.

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Temg99

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@gerrid:Yah apparently even since the sale to CBS, Gamespot was part of the overall Cnet group.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cbs-to-buy-cnet-networks-for-18b/

CNet is known for technology reviews, news and advice but has also expanded into entertainment areas with a stable of sites that includes ZDNet, GameSpot.com, TV.com, mp3.com. It also owns the highly valuable Internet domain name News.com.

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Temg99

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#14  Edited By Temg99

@frytup: It is almost guaranteed that GB is part of the CNet Media Group, possibly as a brand underneath Gamespot (and thus why not listed). It would make little sense for CBS to get rid of all of their tech verticals but leave just GB around.

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LandHawk

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#15 LandHawk  Online

Someone must've seen Rorie's takes on CBS All Access.

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Temg99

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Also OOOOF. From $1.8B to $500mm? Wow.

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frytup

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@temg99: I agree that makes sense, but worth noting that GB gets billing as a brand distinct from Gamespot.

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GothNerd

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does this mean bakalar wont be on beastcast anymore

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Temg99

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@frytup: True. All depends on what the contract says when the GB was bought.

Sadly, I imagine due to NDAs Jeff and the crew will not be able to talk about it for a while other than to give an extremely high level answer. At least that was the case for the purchases I was a part of in the past.

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bigsocrates

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It's not 100% clear that GB was part of this sale since corporate organizations can be weird. It seems likely but who knows.

One issue nobody has brought up here is what this means for GB West vs GB East. One of the main reasons that GB was able to maintain the split that it did was because CBS is a massive corporation with office space and IT resources etc... in both New York and San Francisco.

Will the new company want to maintain offices spread out that way? Maybe the CNET group is divided this way already and it doesn't make sense to consolidate operations, but there's at least a risk that a smaller company won't want major presences in 2 of the most expensive cities in the world.

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Humanity

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Hopefully this isn't going to go like it did for Deadspin. This is literally the only gaming site I actually enjoy going to.

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Rabidlamb

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@temg99 said:

@frytup: True. All depends on what the contract says when the GB was bought.

Sadly, I imagine due to NDAs Jeff and the crew will not be able to talk about it for a while other than to give an extremely high level answer. At least that was the case for the purchases I was a part of in the past.

Don't worry. Rorie will break any rules about talking about it on his community stream later today

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gkhan

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It's not 100% clear that GB was part of this sale since corporate organizations can be weird. It seems likely but who knows.

One issue nobody has brought up here is what this means for GB West vs GB East. One of the main reasons that GB was able to maintain the split that it did was because CBS is a massive corporation with office space and IT resources etc... in both New York and San Francisco.

Will the new company want to maintain offices spread out that way? Maybe the CNET group is divided this way already and it doesn't make sense to consolidate operations, but there's at least a risk that a smaller company won't want major presences in 2 of the most expensive cities in the world.

The fact that everyone is working from home might make this less of an issue.

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Temg99

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#24  Edited By Temg99

@bigsocrates: on East & West: Honestly, I assumed that even if they stayed with CBS, they would be working from home permanently. That also is my assumption on how new owners would go. Maybe post-COVID both crews find a small studio they can rent for a day to do weekly streams like UPF. Or join together at someone's home. But I think the days of everyone together in the office are unlikely.

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chaser324

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#25  Edited By chaser324  Moderator

Since we're still probably months out from this deal being closed, I wouldn't be surprised if the GB staff probably also have a lot of questions about what this will mean for them.

Regardless, Red Ventures is a very odd company for this. I live pretty close their HQ and they have something of a "cult" like reputation around here. They're one of those companies that really pushes being a part of their "family" and have this big campus with amenities that encourage their employees to never leave. Not sure how much of that culture trickles down to all of their subsidiaries.

Also, just for clarity, in spite of the "Ventures" in the name, Red Ventures is not really a VC company. They're primarily focused on marketing/sales. Their bread and butter are review/comparison sites for finding movers, credit cards, etc. where they can make a commission any time you buy through their site.

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Master_Funk

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Since we're still probably months out from this deal being closed, I wouldn't be surprised if the GB staff probably also have a lot of questions about what this will mean for them.

Regardless, Red Ventures is a very odd company for this. I live pretty close their HQ and they have something of a "cult" like reputation around here. They're one of those companies that really pushes being a part of their "family" and have this big campus with amenities that encourage their employees to never leave.

Also, just for clarity, in spite of the "Ventures" in the name, Red Ventures is not really a VC company. They're primarily focused on marketing/sales. Their bread and butter are review/comparison sites for finding moves, credit cards, etc. where they can make a commission any time you buy through their site.

Umm, that doesn't sound particularly good..

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mrfluke

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No one really knows for sure, but to add to armchair speculation, I’m gonna say that they were part of the sale?

A few website redesigns ago, I believe gamespot used to have footer links to giantbomb directly, and back in the office days they used to share an office space with them

So I’m willing to say yes, but boy if nothing else, when they return to an office, things might change dramatically.

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Temg99

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@chaser324: Thanks for the clarification. I edited the VC comment in my OP to the name of the company to avoid any confusion.

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Regardless, I just hope that chat during upcoming streams is not ruined by trying to hound whoever it is to answer the question. Staff will make a statement when the time comes and we should just let them be about it while they are streaming.

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hansberg

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Regardless, I just hope that chat during upcoming streams is not ruined by trying to hound whoever it is to answer the question. Staff will make a statement when the time comes and we should just let them be about it while they are streaming.

I was just thinking that myself. I, unfortunately, fully expect to see exactly that through the next couple of days before it tapers off: folks popping on and off the stream, asking for details. Hopefully that won't last too long before people finally drift into wait-and-see mode.

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colourful_hippie

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#32  Edited By colourful_hippie

Well this sounds complicated. If GB doesn’t end up being a part of this sale then my main concern is do they have to change the Hotspot name? Or more importantly will they lose access to future game tapes!?

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Brian_

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#33 Brian_  Online

Could you imagine? "Good news, Giantbomb staff. We're letting you back in the office to get anything you left behind from before the Covid outbreak... Also take everything else with you because we sold you off and you don't work here anymore."

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Temg99

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Regardless, I just hope that chat during upcoming streams is not ruined by trying to hound whoever it is to answer the question. Staff will make a statement when the time comes and we should just let them be about it while they are streaming.

Yup. Chances are 75% of the staff had no clue this was even happening and the ones who did know are not allowed to talk about it until it passes any regulatory hurdles.

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CupOfDoom

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There are too many unknowns at the moment to speculate on anything atm. I do hope that GB can still continue going forward without getting merged or shutdown. And, that all the folks at Gamespot, CNET, and the engineers, designers, ect... behind the scenes can also keep their jobs.

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#36 Goboard  Online

@colourful_hippie: Sounds like a caper is in order to get those tapes, duplicate them, and return them without anyone being the wiser before the deal goes through.

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Humanity

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@dizzie_lizzie: fortunately unlike Twitch the staff aren’t obligated or motivated to answer every single chat request so they’ll will remain mostly ignored.

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Temg99

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#38  Edited By Temg99
@colourful_hippie said:

Or more importantly will they lose access to future game tapes!?

Even if GB are part of the sale it is not guaranteed that the archive and hardware come with them to new company. Red Ventures may own any distribution rights to anything already uploaded or created, but decided not to purchase all of the archived physical library. Stuff like that gets VERY complicated. For example: the laptops, cameras, microphones and streaming hardware the team uses may remain with CBS, so they may have to request and fight for all new gear and the appropriate budget. It happens more than you think.

Even if the hardware and archives were part of the sale, unless new owner rents out office space, they will have to move somewhere else anyways. So depending on their decision, all of the game tapes could go into storage, sold, or digitized and destroyed.

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colourful_hippie

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#39  Edited By colourful_hippie

This is bullshit logic for all I know but you’d think they would be able to comment if they are NOT a part of deal because maybe any NDA would only apply to those who are a part of the deal

@temg99: Good point!

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geirr

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Oh, woof.
Well hopefully the new owners will be chill and let GB exist and continue to do their own thing.

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steelknight2000

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This is the nature of the tech industry. We'll just have to take a wait and see approach and hope no negative changes come out of this.

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moderateTrouble

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#42  Edited By moderateTrouble
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Doherty

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Honestly, this doesn't sound great. Whatever happens, my only concern, and the only one that really matters, is that everyone on staff keeps their job and they keep getting paid. This has been a horrible year on the heels of a bunch of crummy years. I just hope everyone at giant bomb and their families are secure.

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colourful_hippie

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Well shit. At least Jeff seems excited from the standpoint of maybe being able to more stuff that he wants with a change in corporate leadership. Hopefully it doesn’t go the other way though.

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NameRedacted

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Well... F*ck!

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cuckfupertino

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@colourful_hippie: Why does anyone think they’d have to sign an NDA? I’m sure some folks at CBS and Red Ventures signed NDAs, but those are lawyers and executives and accountants who authorize the sale.

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imhungry

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@temg99: This news feels extra wild when thinking about that stuff given how much talk there's been in the past month about budgeting their new gear for working from home.

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@colourful_hippie: Why does anyone think they’d have to sign an NDA? I’m sure some folks at CBS and Red Ventures signed NDAs, but those are lawyers and executives and accountants who authorize the sale.

Blanket NDAs are not uncommon. It's paperwork you sign when you get hired.

They may not be legally enforceable in many cases, but probably best to keeping any non-public information to yourself if you want to keep your job.

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squigiliwams

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You know how Jeff and company are always joking about trying to Slack famous people like David Letterman and such? I guess thats how ill feel about seeing @jgerstmann and @bshoemaker show up in MY company slack. I've been a GB fan/premium sub for a long long time, and its extremely strange waking up to all of this.

The cult comment above makes me laugh. I've been an engineer at Red Ventures for 4 years now. Aside from them giving us a lot of company tshirts (seriously, its how we celebrate. something gets launched? we make tshirts. someone takes a particularly good shit? we make tshirts.) i dont really feel the desire to drink too much koolaid.

I can't speak to how these changes will affect GB at all. A. I'm just an engineering manager in a division of the company far from where Gamespot (and possibly GB?) will end up. I dont know shit. B. Even if i DID have some knowledge about the purchase, i wouldn't speak on it anyway cuz i like my job. All i can say is:

1. The company is wildly different from how the local folks think of it. 5 years ago, it was basically a marketing firm for internet companies. We ran websites, knew how to SEO like the best of them, and basically said 'we'll sell your product better than YOU can sell your product'. And we did. We have a pretty sick campus by Charlotte, North Carolina standards. Since then we've taken that 'sell your shit better than you can' mentality and realized maybe if we sell our own shit we can be better off. So we started buying our own shit. So far, this is the biggest thing we've ever done. Most of the other acquisitions (bankrate, healthline, yada yada) are doing better now than they were before. The whole call center way of business is largely being downplayed infavor of all this new stuff.

2. Whats it like to work here? Pretty damn good. I've gotten offers for more money elsewhere in the area (lots of SF tech is making satellite offices in Charlotte rn like CreditKarma and others) but I stay cuz i like it a lot. The CEO came right out and said 'no one is getting fired due to covid.' We're not getting raises, but we haven't had any layoffs. Shortly into my career here, i started tutoring/volunteering at our Road2Hire program (https://roadtohire.org/) which takes people who haven't had opportunity (growing up poor usually) and teaches them to program and then gets them jobs in the area. This past year I helped a young man go from supporting his brothers and sisters with multiple gas station jobs to a jr. developer at Bank of America. Half of my engineering staff came up through this program. And WE pay THEM a monthly stipend to do this. Our CEO (Ric Elias) legit gives a shit. Hes stupid rich, but spends fucktons of his own cash trying to make Charlotte suck less. We have a huge scholarship program for DACA students https://www.goldendoorscholars.org/ and before lockdown we were growing https://lifesports.org/.

3. When the BLM stuff hit, the company response was pretty quick and damn good. CEO himself came out and said 'we hold you to a high standard, but we've been shit to you for ignoring this'. Since then they've made major major changes to our HR policy, put a ton of money in the right hands, gave us the opportunity to help the community in the right ways (i put on a Q&A panel with the Southern Poverty Law center and it was AWESOME) and now the company itself is pushing all of us to VOTE. Seriously, its awesome. I'm black, and never in a million years did i think the company i work for would come to me and go 'JESUS CHRIST WE FUCKED UP LET US HELP' and then actually do something tangible.

I guess most of that post makes me look like im sip-sip-sippin on the koolaid. I'm not an idiot. Corporations aren't our friends. The second im not contributing i know my ass is out. THAT SAID, if i have to crank the capitalism grindstone, i dont mind doing it here.

source: https://github.com/wesleyradcliffe Me.

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@squigiliwams: Thanks for the context! I'd never heard of Red Ventures so it's easy to assume the worst but if Jeff says he's cautiously optimistic then I take him at his word.