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Author Topic: Ziff-Davis bankruptcy reorganization (1Up, EGM etc.)  (Read 3122 times)
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Blackjack
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« on: March 05, 2008, 09:27:24 PM »

Thought I'd put this here since they have publications and news sites in both PC (Games for Windows) and consoles (EGM etc.) and both (1up).

Ziff Davis Files For Bankruptcy, Continues Normal Operations
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=17737
Quote
The company says that an ad hoc group of shareholders have set aside $24.5 million to continue normal operations as it undergoes the Chapter 11 case, as well as for operations after it re-emerges.

It also notes that as part of the proceeding, Ziff Davis has asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York "for permission to continue paying employee wages and salaries and to provide employee benefits without interruption."

[CEO comments]....We matched audience growth with impressive digital revenue expansion. And while the print market continued to be challenging, we continue to be print category leaders in the markets we serve.
Not a DOOOOMMM!!!! situation by any means. It's good they have some shareholders setting aside that much money to get through a tough situation. Still, I'd be a nervous employee.

When I got laid off by a small newspaper in 1991, I remember us having an employees meeting with the publisher to "clear the air" about paycheck concerns a few weeks before the floor was yanked out (being told to "not cash a check" til a certain date so they can be sure the have enough funds is a clear warning sign that we all ignored there  icon_frown).

Anyway, it's really, really tough for print publications (magazines, newspapers everything) right now. The newspaper chain I used to work for is laying off people and cutting back left and right.

In the trade media that I work in (not gaming alas tear), we make great revenue from color print ads in our monthly magazines. The e-mail newsletter I work on has button ads and banners, and while it's good for us (and keeps me employed!  icon_smile), it's peanuts compared to what the print ads bring in.

It's great the world's Going Digital. It's just I just keep seeing newspapers who are doing well with their Web sites but awful with print circulation having to cut, and cut, and buy out editorial staffers. Some day, mark my words, a lot of publishers will have to hire volunteers or just have no content at all. DOOMMM!!!! I would love to be wrong however. smile
« Last Edit: March 05, 2008, 09:34:36 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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Blackjack
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2008, 09:04:05 PM »

1Up's editor has a blog post explaining some boring business minutae. But basically, they see it as a good thing and they'll technically have new owners once they emerge from bankruptcy, little or no more debt to deal with, and more money to spend on their sites and magazines (in theory):

That Chapter 11 thing...
http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=8657645&publicUserId=1002446
« Last Edit: March 07, 2008, 09:08:45 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2008, 09:08:31 PM »

All the best to them and I hope they're right about it being a "good thing" but I can't help but think that's a little naive.  Certainly I wouldn't be surprised to see some restructuring involved that could lead to a few layoffs. 

Then again with the number of 1Up staffers leaving on their own I'm not sure that they need to fire anyone to begin with.  At the current rate it's going to be a ghost town by next year. 
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Blackjack
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2008, 09:10:17 PM »

Maybe you're confusing them with Gamespot and the mass-exodus after the Kane & Lynch Fiasco? Or maybe all the 1Up guys are running over to Gamespot to fill the openings there? icon_biggrin
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2008, 09:39:24 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on March 07, 2008, 09:10:17 PM

Maybe you're confusing them with Gamespot and the mass-exodus after the Kane & Lynch Fiasco? Or maybe all the 1Up guys are running over to Gamespot to fill the openings there? icon_biggrin

Nope, not confusing them.  1Up has a huge amount of turnover, to the point where the "Curse of the Fourth Chair" is now a running joke on 1Up Yours because they've keeping losing them.  Someone over on Neogaf posted a list of 1Up people who've left in the past year and it's pretty long. 
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Calvin
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2008, 09:47:11 PM »

Bryan Intihar (a very bright, if loud guy) has just left to become community relations manager at Insomniac.
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denoginizer
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2008, 12:15:23 PM »

Those guys seem to have perfect jobs.  They seem to literally talk about, write about, and play games all day. I don't understand why they keep leaving.  I can only imagine that the pay isn't that great.

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Ridah
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2008, 05:14:59 PM »

Quote from: denoginizer on March 10, 2008, 12:15:23 PM

Those guys seem to have perfect jobs.  They seem to literally talk about, write about, and play games all day. I don't understand why they keep leaving.  I can only imagine that the pay isn't that great.



The grass is always greener on the other side my friend. I used to think QA testing for a video game company would be my dream job but I was in hell for 3 months, video games are a nice hobby but not so peachy when you have to work with them. I think this whole trend of game editors leaving their jobs started around, not surprisingly, a small while after the Wii was released and every developer decided they wanted a piece of the action, quality or no quality.
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2008, 05:52:01 PM »

Quote from: Ridah on March 10, 2008, 05:14:59 PM

The grass is always greener on the other side my friend. I used to think QA testing for a video game company would be my dream job but I was in hell for 3 months, video games are a nice hobby but not so peachy when you have to work with them. I think this whole trend of game editors leaving their jobs started around, not surprisingly, a small while after the Wii was released and every developer decided they wanted a piece of the action, quality or no quality.

Let me get this straight- you think these guys are leaving because they got tired of playing crappy Wii games?  Really? 
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Calvin
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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2008, 06:13:49 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on March 10, 2008, 05:52:01 PM

Quote from: Ridah on March 10, 2008, 05:14:59 PM

The grass is always greener on the other side my friend. I used to think QA testing for a video game company would be my dream job but I was in hell for 3 months, video games are a nice hobby but not so peachy when you have to work with them. I think this whole trend of game editors leaving their jobs started around, not surprisingly, a small while after the Wii was released and every developer decided they wanted a piece of the action, quality or no quality.

Let me get this straight- you think these guys are leaving because they got tired of playing crappy Wii games?  Really? 

It's easier if you don't try to understand him.
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ATB
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« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2008, 08:27:51 PM »

Well, I think a lot leave to go onto the next rung in their dream job.

Luke Smith for example, was grade A on 1up and as a result he now runs the community at Bungie.  Tell me that's not a step up?

Ditto Intihar.  He's probably over the moon to be at Insomniac now.

IIRC, some other guy formerly of 1up is now a producer at Kojima and is working on MGS4.

So I think they look at 1up as a great job and the springboard to other things...
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denoginizer
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« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2008, 08:40:29 PM »

Quote from: Ridah on March 10, 2008, 05:14:59 PM


The grass is always greener on the other side my friend. I used to think QA testing for a video game company would be my dream job but I was in hell for 3 months, video games are a nice hobby but not so peachy when you have to work with them.

Working in QA for a development company doesn't sound good to me at all. But getting to play GTA IV 2 months before it comes out. And playing games that I don't buy and then writing about them or discussing them on podcasts sounds pretty damn good to me. 

Personally I would much rather do that than deal with constant bitching  and forum BS as Community manager with Bungie or Insomniac too.

Unless of course the pay was much better.   paranoid
« Last Edit: March 10, 2008, 08:42:03 PM by denoginizer » Logged

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ATB
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« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2008, 08:45:55 PM »

Quote from: denoginizer on March 10, 2008, 08:40:29 PM

Unless of course the pay was much better.   paranoid

Which it probably is...and you probably get shares in very successful game companies...or their parent.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2008, 08:48:58 PM »

Quote from: ATB on March 10, 2008, 08:45:55 PM

Which it probably is...and you probably get shares in very successful game companies...or their parent.

Actually both companies are now parent-less...er, independent. 
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ATB
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« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2008, 01:02:05 AM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on March 10, 2008, 08:48:58 PM

Quote from: ATB on March 10, 2008, 08:45:55 PM

Which it probably is...and you probably get shares in very successful game companies...or their parent.

Actually both companies are now parent-less...er, independent. 

That's what I thought, but I wasn't sure about insomniac...
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2008, 01:26:04 AM »

Yep, Insomniac has always been independent.  They obviously have a great relationship with Sony but there is nothing stopping them from going multi-platform (though Sony owns the franchises). 
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« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2008, 06:08:42 PM »

Quote from: ATB on March 10, 2008, 08:45:55 PM

Quote from: denoginizer on March 10, 2008, 08:40:29 PM

Unless of course the pay was much better.   paranoid

Which it probably is...and you probably get shares in very successful game companies...or their parent.

I'd agree.  Ziff-Davis is essentially in the advertising biz.  While the writers write about video games, they are doing so as a means for someone in the company to sell ads.  Whenever I think about any job, I always have to ask myself 'where does the money come from?'

Unless I'm with Google, probably near dead last of the industries I'd want to be employed in is internet advertising.

gellar
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« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2008, 08:17:27 PM »

i was offered a job at a mobile phone advertising company. pay wasn't bad, but... ugh. i instead took a contract QA position working on Halo 3, which was the most intensely hellish job i have ever worked. 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for weeks on end...
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