It has just been reported that the plug is being pulled on 1UP, GameSpy and UGO.
According to Ziff Davis CEO Vivek Shahan, from an internal memo that Polygon recently published:
"Our goal is to do fewer things and to do them exceptionally well. In that vein, we want to direct all of our energy and work behind our two flagship brands: IGN and AskMen."
As a result, the three aforementioned websites, which are part of IGN's network, will be shut down at an as of yet unspecified date.
The news is hot on the heels of reports of layoffs at IGN. Throughout the day, various IGN employees have been telling the world that they have just been laid off, including Colin Campbell. This also comes less than a month after IGN was purchased by j2 Global, via its Ziff Davis subsidiary.
When the sale first went down, many in the industry noted the irony of the Ziff Davis/1UP coming full circle. Ziff Davis originally founded 1UP in 2003, and later sold the site to Hearst Corporation, which owned UGO Entertainment. UGO was later sold to News Corporation, which at the time owned IGN Entertainment, and 1UP went along for the ride.
Unfortunately, the layoffs are a sad sign of the troubles that faces new media as a whole. Like the difficulty that comes with monetizing video, which many major outlets have long struggled with. Whereas smaller parties, on YouTube and Twich, have had much success.
The Ziff Davis/IGN/1UP/GameSpy/UGO dynamic also speaks of the dangers of own entity owning everything. Furthermore, it's an increasingly tough marketplace for writers out there, so the best of luck to everyone affected.