Dramatic cuts have been made to the team behind Glixel, the video games website run by the publisher of Rolling Stone magazine.
The San Francisco office was closed last Thursday, with all staff reportedly laid off. The news emerged via social media posts from general manager John Davison, content director Simon Cox, and news editor and former GamesIndustry.biz senior editor Rachel Weber.
Davison posted the following explanation on Facebook:
"It's taken a couple of days for this to properly sink in, but sadly on Thursday this week we closed the San Francisco Glixel.com office. I'm incredibly proud of what we achieved over the past year and a half. We set out to build something with a clear vision that covered games differently: by making it about people rather than just product.
"Thanks to the Herculean efforts of Simon Cox, Miguel Lopez, Rachel Weber, Paul Justin Encinas and Stacy Cohen along with our growing roster of incredibly talented writers, I think we really proved that there's huge potential in that. There has been some truly amazing stuff.
"What we started isn't going away, but the future of it will now continue from the Rolling Stone office in New York without us."
A similar Facebook post from Cox added: "Sadly Rolling Stone couldn't make a remote office in SF work for them and struggled to give us the support and attention we needed to really grow. No harm, no foul."
Glixel had been in operation for just over a year, if you include the weekly newsletters that preceded the site's actual launch in October 2016. Rolling Stone publisher Wenner Media brought in Davison and Cox for their decades of experience at countless games outlets, including Electronic Gaming Monthly, IGN parent Ziff Davis and GameSpot.
Games media has been a challenging space for several years now, with consumer attention increasingly shifting towards YouTubers, Twitch streamers and other influencers, as well as publishers and platform holders creating their own direct-to-consumer channels through social media and video. Many sites have opted to expand the breadth of their coverage to include films, TV and other entertainment news - a trend Glixel avoided following.
With the bulk of the editorial team gone, it will be interesting to see if Wenner Media continues to run Glixel with the roster of freelancers it has gathered over the past year, or whether it will expand the New York team in order to grow the site.
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