Survivor’s remorse

To say that this has been a difficult week would be an understatement. I’ve seen some tough times during my relatively brief time in the American workforce; I was laid off in 2003 from a lame newspaper ad design job (voluntarily, but laid off nevertheless), and I’ve watched as close friends were slowly shed from the Ziff-Davis roster over the course of my tenure there, beginning with none other than the close friend who helped land me at 1UP in the first place. There are black days I remember well: learning that GMR and XBN were being axed via message board scuttlebutt; seeing Games for Windows slowly suffocated by the licensed albatross around its neck and a hypocritical audience who demanded better quality PC games journalism and then promptly ignored the best around; watching my employer go into bankruptcy with no real reason to be confident in its survival.

But this week tops them all, because it’s combined the worst of everything. Dear friends were let go. A publication — the publication, really — was closed down. And all so unexpectedly and anti-climactically.

There’s a good side to this: our new owners intend to let 1UP be 1UP, and they’re far more financially sound than our previous company. For the first time in…well, ever, I actually feel confident that 1UP has a long-term future. But the collateral losses have been devastating, and my ability to write goes out the window when I’m depressed. I’ve been staring at a blank word processor document for the past two days…but I think I managed to churn out a little catharsis. It doesn’t solve anything besides offering a little emotional resolution, but I think I can at least start working toward getting back on track now.

And, should anyone in a hiring-type position be reading this, drop me a line if you’d like some recommendations for incredibly talented writers, artists, video editors and podcast producers. I can put you into contact with some great people….

25 thoughts on “Survivor’s remorse

  1. The motley collection of talents that 1up seemed to attract was too bright a flame to last forever, I suppose. I look forward to seeing what the new 1up can accomplish, and I cherish my memories of all the great writing, podcasting, and video content I consumed from the old 1up.

  2. i want to contribute my voice to the chorus of well-wishers and sympathizers on this site and best of luck to every person involved.

    the loss of EGM is for me, like so many others, feels like a personal one. ive been reading that publication since about 1990 – sometimes through a subscription, sometimes at the grocer or bookstore – and it is inextricably bound up with my life as a gamer, my childhood and youth.

    i’ve been living in Asia for the last few years and only get to go home once a year. for me seeing friends and family is the first thing i want to do but it isnt long before im off to Barnes and Noble to drink a coffee and read EGM. this was a small enjoyment that i specifically looked forward to and i am going to miss it. a lot.

    i know my story isnt unique. there are plenty of folks – thousands, id imagine – who will remember EGM with a similar degree of affection and i cant imagine a more fitting eulogy than that.

    thanks for everything guys and gals. it was and will remain appreciated.

  3. I just started listening to Retronauts this past summer, and it slowly but surely reignited my passion for videogames. You guys inspired me to get a Genesis, Saturn and Dreamcast, and you introduced me to tons of classics that I had either overlooked (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Phantasy Star IV) or forgotten about (Mega Man 2, Chrono Trigger). You guys even managed to cut through the haze of nostalgia to show me that Rare sucked, for the most part – although I still love the first two Donkey Kong Country games. Who knows, maybe it’s just the music. Anyway, after burning through every Retronauts episode I still craved more, so I started listening to 1UP FM and 1UP Yours. Two months ago, I did something that I hadn’t done since Mortal Kombat 3 was crashing and burning: I bought an issue of EGM. It was so cool to have something tangible that was created by all my favourite internet personalities. Why I didn’t do it sooner, I don’t know (especially since I’ve been a Seanbaby fan for 8 years, which is a long time considering I’m only 20) but I wish I’d done it sooner. Even though I’m a relatively new fan I’m still going to really miss all those wonderful people that got let go (particularly James Mielke and Shane Bettenhausen), and I wish them the best of luck in whatever their future endeavors may be. Sorry if all that seemed scattershot or psychotic, it’s just that I’m going to miss listening to those podcasts every day on the bus to and from work (here’s one last inappropriately parenthetical comment for the road: congratulations on the engagement).

  4. While back in the day I was a supporter of Videogames & Computer Entertainment over EGM, and have always carried a childish grudge that EGM basically caused the former to try to be more like it and thus, ended up making it suck and die, its a damned shame to lose the only really serious US videogame magazine, and my sympathies go out to it and the 1UP staff who have lost their jobs over this.

    Best of luck to everyone moving on, and the same to the folks who remain.

  5. and just as you owe your career to folks like Nich and Mielke, I owe mine to you, cause i would never have gotten that 1up internship without your intervention, even if subtle, and i certainly wouldn’t be where i am today without that internship.

    I have much love and respect for 1up, even after all of these shifts through the industry, if for simply giving me the chance and the opportunity to get in the only door i ever dreamed of entering.

  6. As a kid, I *relied* on EGM to guide me towards purchasing the good games worth the pennies I feverishly worked to save up. Without EGM, I would have given up on video games long ago, believing that all games were as worthless as Jurassic Park for the NES. I’ll miss EGM and all the 1UP staffers that have made their content worth following for decades. When I heard what went down, I wanted to go buy everyone there a round. I really hope this helps 1UP get back on its feet so these sacrifices weren’t in vain.

  7. I know it’s far harder on the people let go – and I’ve expressed my best wishes to them elsewhere – but this is your personal blog, and thus a personal message: take care of yourself, Parish. You may be a survivor, but now more than ever people are going to want that great work you’ve always turned out, so make sure you don’t wallow in depression too much and forget to take care of you.

  8. Hey Jeremy, I don’t know what the word is on podcasts, but if Retronauts continues it’d be rad if you could get the old crew onboard sometimes. Just record it over Skype or something – never mind sound quality if we can have the same old cast.

    Anyway, you are basically my favorite member of the 1UP staff, so it’s pretty cool that you’re still onboard. I’ll miss Shane, Milky, and a whole bunch of the other guys, but I’m confident you and the remaining staff will still be able to make 1UP worth visiting.

  9. I’m just shocked that there isn’t a single nasty comment on your blog yet, Jeremy. I feel like the Joker standing on that construction site at midnight. Except I don’t want to blow them all up.

  10. My condolences to all who are looking for a job. Parish, thanks for your even-handed assessment that is neither a glib press release or a vitriolic rant. There are two sides to this issue. I am glad you are still employed and hope you can continue Retronauts.

    It is too bad Shane won’t be around. While it seemed you two were a bit antagonistic towards each other, your arguments were often more informative than the times when everyone agreed. My opinions are closer to yours than his, but he is not a fool, he knows his stuff. Also, he insisted on calling you T-Frog. Good times.

  11. You keep on writing it, and I’ll keep on reading it. Doesn’t matter where it’s at.

  12. Good post(s), Jeremy. The new content on 1up (Retro Blog, Tilt, etc.) looks great, and I’m looking forward to following all of it.

  13. Are you planning to join RebelFM or another podcast composed of former 1upers? I know that you’re not among the formers, but it seems a tragedy to separate you from Shane forever.

  14. I can’t say I feel bad; its been a long time commin’. Once Viff Vavif took over EGM it was a slow trundle downhill as they began to murder the rag stripping and reducing features over an 11 year period making a terminally ill cancer patient out of the wonderful 300+ page mags with awful hand drawn cover art and editorials that actually made USE of its writing staff in EGM’s golden age.

    Its really not the staff’s fault the inefficient corporate machine they were plugged into failed them so hard.

  15. The most amazing part is that, despite the unbelievable shitstorm that was this week at 1UP, you still managed to crank out another episode of Retronauts.

    You’re a goddamn trooper, Parish. Thank you.

  16. I have gone to 1UP for a long time to read reviews of games that weren’t covered in EGM. It looks I’ll be spending more time visiting 1UP in the future!

    It’s terrible when your co-workers feel like family (even the ones you have a “grr” relationship with) and they have to leave all of a sudden. Hopefully you’ll be able to keep in touch with them in the following months and years.

    Hang in there Parish, and take care of yourself.

  17. I wish I could say that I would continue supporting 1up, but my attitude at the moment is the same as it was in the wake of Gerstmangate: I wish you the best, and hope to see your work in other venues because I won’t be visiting 1up anymore. I can’t in good conscience support enterprises that victimize their employees that way.

    I’ll keep reading Gamespite though, and I’m sure that you’re looking for other employment and wish you the best (I know I damn well would be, actually, I am, because I’m unemployed, but you know what I mean).

  18. You really don’t know what you’re talking about and your presumptions are frankly insulting. Don’t do me any favors.

  19. Parish, if any of your former co-workers know networking reasonably well, have them email me their resume.

  20. I can’t believe the fire sale that was the last days of EGM. There was a seriously talented core of individuals gathered there that I could consistently trust to inform and entertain. Now that they’ve been scattered, I wonder how and where I’ll be able to restart.

    I worry sometimes, even though we’re doing really well in the family oil business, about what would happen if suddenly some asshole investor jumped the gun on us and we found ourselves out in the cold. And I’m a frighteningly carefree sort of fellow, so I suppose that’s just part of that adulthood and maturity thing that twenty-four years on this planet has failed to teach me yet.

    I hope your friends and co-workers hurt by this land on their feet somehow. Illigitimi non carborundum, brother.

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