Tencent Guts Its Gaming News Site, Firing Staff Without Warning

Tencent Guts Its Gaming News Site, Firing Staff Without Warning

Today layoffs hit the respected video game and entertainment website Fanbyte, with the site’s editor-in-chief and head of media among the list of staff who are now out of work. According to Fanbyte employees, the layoffs were a total shock, with some reporting that they had just worked with some of the laid-off staff an hour before the sudden firings.

The layoffs at Fanbyte are the latest bad news in what’s been a horrible week in games media, as Future and G4TV also suffered lay-offs.

At around 12:45 p.m. ET, the first indications of something amiss appeared on Twitter. Around this time, John Warren, the site’s head of media, confirmed that he had been laid off from the site and Danielle Riendeau, the site’s EIC, confirmed she had been let go, too. Since then, multiple members of Fanbyte have announced that the company has let them go. Others are waiting to find out if they will still have a job come tomorrow.

Kotaku spoke to some Fanbyte staff about the layoffs and was told that, as of this moment, nobody really knows how widespread they are. Multiple employees explained that management is contacting staffers one-by-one to deliver the news. As of 2:05 p.m. ET, at least a half dozen staff had publicly announced they no longer had a job. Based on conversations with Fanbyte employees, it’s likely this number will grow.

Fanbyte launched in 2018, though it existed before that in a different form known as Zam. The site and the Zam Network combined are a wholly owned subsidiary of Tencent Holdings Limited, aka Tencent, aka that very large Chinese conglomerate that continues to buy up various studios, publishers, and more.

Since its launch in 2018, Fanbyte strove to create interesting and unique content, including fantastic coverage of professional wrestling and ongoing coverage of popular MMOs and other live-service games.

Update 09/15/2022 Thursday 2:47 p.m. ET: Corrected two job titles.


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