Out of the crash comes innovation

I lost my earphones for my smartphone just before Christmas, and with all the busy-ness of the holidays, I never managed to buy a new pair. I do all my podcast listening from my phone on my daily train commute, or while I’m running errands on the weekends, and I didn’t listen to anything from about mid-December until this week.

During that time, EGM folded, 1UP laid off a ton of people, and the my podcast landscape changed. I finally got new earphones, and I spent part of my afternoon rounding up some of the refugee podcasts from the EGM/1UP fallout. I gotta say, it’s pretty damn encouraging to see the former EGM and 1UP employees getting so much love and attention for their new ventures.

First, I was stunned to see that the guys at eat.sleep.game (Anthony Gallegos, Arthur Gies, Phillip Kolar and Nuck Suttner) amassed $11k in donations to support their ongoing content creation. I think they were stunned as well. There’s already a couple podcast episodes up, called Rebel FM, and they’re buying equipment with the donated money to make more stuffs.

Second, I’m happy to see the old producers of the 1UP show in a new home, Area-5, and launching a new show called CO-OP.

Third, Ryan Scott dusted off his seldom-updated blog, The Geekbox, and has recorded the first episode of a new podcast, with lots of friends. They’ve received great community support, over 10,000 downloads in the first 29 hours, the #1 podcast in iTunes Video Games category, and the #8 podcast on iTunes overall.

*Edit* And while I was posting this, Dan “Shoe” Hsu announced a new startup with other EGM/1UP alumni. It’s so new it doesn’t have an official home yet, but it will be announced on Shoe’s blog, if you want to pop in into your RSS reader and keep an eye out for a launch.

I hope some smart person with deep pockets is noticing how much support these folks have in the gaming community, and they can figure out a way to fund their continued content creation without requiring them to work in some sort of dead-media old school format. The King is dead, long live the King. Hopefully we’ll see some innovation and great new media ideas arise from the ashes of the old print business. We could give a damn about the old magazine or website now, to be honest. We fell in love with the personalities who worked for the magazines or websites, and I’m excited that so many of them are already back doing what they love.

There was a great comment on Twitter (username justinmcelroy) that said “I wonder was it was, exactly, UGO was buying if not 1UP’s personalities? Aren’t they what made the whole network?” Hell yes, Justin. UGO’s gonna be wondering the same thing soon. It’s like Circuit City firing all their top sales staff to “save the company”. Yeah, that worked out well, didn’t it?

Speaking of Twitter, I saw that comment on a YouTube video that collected a bunch of Twitter comments about the EGM/1UP debacle. It’s worth watching, to get an idea of the scale of the impact the EGM and 1UP personalities had on the lives of the gamers (and game developers) who listened and watched them. Obviously, there are a ton of people happy that the end of EGM and 1UP isn’t the end of great video game commentary, and I’m one of ‘em. I’m already looking forward to my train ride home!

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