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GameSpy, UGO, 1UP Say Farewell

The videogame world has been stunned by the news that GameSpy, 1UP and UGO are all being shuttered. GameSpy had been around since 1999 (back when it was a mere online match service – game-spy, geddit?) UGO was a site that I wrote for both indirectly as an editor of GamePen and directly when I wrote DVD and game reviews for UGO.

UGO’s Chris Radtke bid farewell stating:

I’ve spent many years of my life trying to turn UGO.com into something entertaining for you guys. Hopefully you stopped by recently to watch one our funny videos. Or you found yourself debating one of our nerd culture lists, read a movie review or pondered the age old question “Who would win in a fight, a minotaur armed with a trident or a centaur armed with a crossbow.” Could be you tried to win something off our homepage or you Googled “Hot Girls” and found a couple of pics you liked. I don’t really care how you got here, just as long as you were entertained when you did.

Ubiquitous (at least, to me) podcaster Jeremy Parrish wrote in his 1UP wrote in his farewell:

It’s been a fantastic (almost) 10 years. Even in its most frustrating and even dispiriting moments (there were some pretty dark times before IGN bought us in 2011), 1UP has always been fueled by the sincere enthusiasm of everyone writing for the site. Dozens upon dozens of people have moved through the various doors of our assorted offices, and each of them brought passion and talent to their work. I’m proud to have been a part of something so much larger than myself, and to help guide it as gracefully as possible to its slow halt since taking over the role left behind by my predecessors, Sam Kennedy and James Mielke.

Another podcaster favorite Dan Stapleton stated in his GameSpy goodbye:

GameSpy, as we know it, began in 1999. Today, 14 years later, it has reached the end of the road. We had a good run, and we want to sincerely thank all of you for reading and joining in discussions with us. It’s been fantastic.

Just to be clear, we’re not being shut down because PC gaming isn’t a big, important, and growing thing — because it is. That’s not even debatable. It’s not even because the GameSpy staff did a bad job of talking about it. Hell, from where I’m sitting we did an awesome job, particularly in covering the technical quality of PC versions of cross-platform games in our Port Authority features, reality-checking the hype of about-to-be-released big games with our Questions & Concerns series, delving into the nuances of MMORPGs, strategy, MOBAs, and simulations in our columns, regularly checking up on free-to-play games in Free Agent, calling out Microsoft’s neglect of PC gamers, mocking Ubisoft’s claims of a day-and-date PC release of Assassin’s Creed 3, breaking the news on SimCity’s lack of save/reload, and of course our amazingly bizarre The War Z interview.

Why is this closure happening, then? It’s a business thing, and like most business things it’s not easy to explain or understand unless you spend all day crunching numbers and paying bills. Which I don’t. So here’s the simple version that even I can comprehend: Ziff Davis wants to run an efficient, focused company, and managing several different sites that all cover videogames isn’t exactly the model of efficiency. Even though GameSpy had its own unique voice that was separate and distinct from those of our sister sites, and there has always been value in that, it’s hard to argue with that logic. Even if it does totally suck.

The silver lining is that the value of all of the voices and opinions of our staff and writers won’t just go away. We’ll still be out there talking and writing about the great things happening in the world of PC gaming, both at IGN and other places around the internet, because it’s what we love to do. It’s why we wanted to work at GameSpy in the first place. We hope you’ll keep reading and watching and talking about PC games with us.

Let us know if you followed one or all of the sites.

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