Defy Media lays off writers at The Escapist, GameTrailers and GameFront

Ben Parfitt
Defy Media lays off writers at The Escapist, GameTrailers and GameFront

A number of games journalists yesterday lost their jobs across three of Defy Media's properties.

We made some tough decisions yesterday that impacted several staffers from The Escapist, GameTrailers, and GameFront,” general manager Alexander Macris confirmed. The contributions of the talented writers and editors we had to let go will definitely be missed. However, all of the properties are continuing to serve the gamer audience going forward.

Here at The Escapist, Josh Vanderwall, the managing editor under Greg Tito, will be taking over as the new editor-in-chief. Look for his first editor's note, re-introducing himself to you all, later today.”

GameTrailers was acquired by Defy last summer.

Former editor-in-chief Greg Tito added: Due to budget cuts at Defy Media, a large number of my colleagues have also been let go. This news sucks for everyone, including those left behind to run these publications. My thoughts are with all of you and I hope you bounce back with a new gig soon.

I want to thank the people who made working for The Escapist awesome. I'm especially proud of the team of senior editors I assembled to cover the super-wide spectrum of geekiness out there. We produced a monumental amount of editorials, reviews and columns that were informative and fun-to-read, but, much more importantly, we had each other's support when we needed it most.

Thank you for making the last six months bearable. There is not much more to say right now.”

New Escapist editor Joshua Vanderwall appeared to later confirm the whispers that the changes reflected a desire to move away from the analytical and moral ponderings that have come to characterise some of The Escapist's competitors in favour of a more light hearted approach.

Moving forward, The Escapist is eschewing the ‘curmudgeon' mentality that is so pervasive these days in favour of the ‘enthusiast' mentality that we want to foster among our community, and geek culture at large,” he said. We want to focus on finding the good in the geekspace, rather than focusing on the bad. We want to facilitate enjoyment, rather than disparagement. We want to talk more about the things we love, and less about the things we hate.”

The news continues what has become a run of job losses in the games press, with Future having shed several positions and brands in the past year (including CVG and Official Nintendo Magazine) and US outlets GameSpot and Polygon cutting numbers.

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