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Vox Media unveils high-profile new hires for gaming project

Ex-Joystiq, Escapist and Gawker staff include Crecente, J and G McElroy, Grant, Pitts and Gies

Vox Media, which runs technology blog The Verge and sports site SB Nation, has revealed plans for a new gaming site - confirming that it's this project which is behind the recent swathe of US gaming journalists leaving their positions to relocate.

Vox unveiled the plan in a feature with Business Insider, which says that the company will launch "a big gaming vertical later this year".

A number of high profile US games journalists have been handing in notice recently, with Kotaku's Brian Crecente and Joel Johnson joining them yesterday.

As stated in that story, Johnson plans to move elsewhere in the Gawker empire, but Crecente is amongst a group of writers selected by Vox to establish and cultivate the new site's editorial tone. Vox's Jim Bankoff confirmed the new hires via Twitter earlier today.

The full list of writers includes Crecente, who was previously editor-in-chief at Kotaku, Joystiq's managing editor Justin McElroy and his brother Griffin, as well as former editor-in-chief and content director of The Escapist, Russ Pitts.

The editorial group was hand-picked by Chris Grant, who was himself tempted away from Joystiq by Vox and given free-reign to select his team, an approach which Vox had successfully employed at The Verge.

"In terms of hiring these editors, I thought it would be harder than it was - I thought the idea of putting a lot of chefs in the kitchen would be unpalatable to a lot of people," Grant told Business Insider.

"But I found the opposite to be true. Everyone was excited about it, and everyone had also sort of felt the same way, that there was this bigger opportunity to take advantage of [the environment] that hadn't really happened yet."

Both Crecente and Grant have also indicated that the technology which Vox was planning to back and power the new project had significant influence over their joining.

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