Another day, another string of bad news for popular gaming websites.
After a Facebook post implicating NeoGAF founder Tyler “Evilore” Malka of sexual assault went live 5 days ago, the infamous gaming forum began to eat itself alive from within, with countless moderators quitting, and many members leaving en masse in protest. Shortly afterwards, the site went dark, with a single message explaining its shut down as “scheduled maintenance”.
Malka himself has seemingly disappeared into a ninja-like puff of smoke, with no responses to inquiry from a veritable storm of gaming news outlets, NeoGAF members, and people wondering “what the hell is a NeoGAF?”.
As of this post, NeoGAF has been offline for a day and a half, leaving opinionated gamers suddenly without a home for their carefully articulated, intelligent, witty, and in no way insane hot takes.
Perhaps The Escapist, and its newly “volunteer only” policy could help them out. But who knows how long that will last.
On Friday, October 20th, the staff at The Escapist announced that, aside from Yahtzee, Encaen, and their streaming team, all paid staff has been let go.
From a blog post by moderator Jojo:
We won’t beat around the bush, it is a serious situation. We can’t promise that The Escapist will last forever; it may have years left in it, or it may disappear tomorrow. What we can say is we will do our utmost to keep this site running in an orderly fashion, for as long as it stays online. That said, nearly everything that it does is through volunteer efforts.
With this sad news, though, comes an opportunity. The moderation team has been granted a number of powers to keep the site running. The new community-run Escapist will be looking for your input on how the site operates, and for volunteers in creating content.
A call has been put out for new content, so if your bucket list has always included “published by the Escapist”, now might be the right time. As Jojo points out: a closure could come in years, or it could come tomorrow. And one has to wonder how long The Escapist’s owner, Defy Media, will have any interest in keeping everything afloat.
Christ. This industry gets more and more depressing every year.