Some awfully sad news for the Australian gaming scene this morning: GameSpot Australia, which contains some of the longest-serving writers and video editors servicing the Australian gaming community, has been shut down.
The shutdown affects the site’s editor in chief, Edmond Tran, who has been with GameSpot Australia for 12 years. Jess McDonnell, the long-serving face of GameSpot’s video content and one of their most veteran writers, has also been let go after nearly 9 years with the website. Eddie Makuch, who was working as an associate editor for GameSpot out of the GameSpot Australian office, is still with the team.
After 12 and a half long years of good times and great work, my role with GameSpot has been made redundant.
If anyone out there could use the skills of someone with this much senior editorial and video production experience, well, my schedule is looking pretty free right now.
— Edmond Tran (@EdmondTran) October 8, 2020
After almost 9 years I'm sad to announce I have been made redundant from GameSpot. It really was the most fulfilling job with the most incredible people. Please keep me in mind if you know of anyone looking for a host, video producer, games journo, etc. ❤️
— Jess McDonell (@JessMcDonell) October 8, 2020
Both were frequent faces in the Australian community, and made regular appearances hosting panels and shows at the Gamespot Theatre during PAX Australia.
McDonnell, Tran, the remainder of GameSpot Australia’s staff and writers and those who have written for them before have always been incredibly gracious and hard-working throughout the years.
The site’s coverage of the R18+ campaign in the early 2010’s was of huge help in getting the classification regime changed, and they have continued to peerlessly break stories and cover events for as long as I’ve been in this industry. Australia’s gaming scene will be infinitely poorer for their experience, talent and wisdom, especially in a year as frantic and as busy as this.
The layoffs are not isolated to Australia, but tied to a broader round of redundancies tied into CNET Media Group’s $US500 million sale to Red Ventures — which is yet to be finalised. A post on TheLayoff, an anonymous forum for employees to communicate about upcoming redundancies, indicated that all of the CBSi properties will be affected in the coming days, although for now only redundancies impacting GameSpot staffers in Australia and abroad that are publicly known. (Update 4.10pm: The Desk is reporting that around 50 to 100 employees will receive redundancy notices by the end of next week, although not all of those are necessarily targeting editorial.)
I've officially been laid off, so please do let me know if you have any job ideas https://t.co/hiOmbFcT8K
— Will Fulton (@thewillennium) October 8, 2020
Our hearts and thoughts go out to McDonnell, Tran and all those affected. They have served Australians and the broader gaming community tirelessly for almost two decades combined, and the loss of more Australian voices in the gaming world is never a good day.