Most USGamer staff laid off due to budget cuts

Most of the remaining USGamer staff has been laid off as part of “ongoing layoffs,” making for the second round of layoffs at the Reedpop-owned gaming site serving as one of many members of the Gamer Network and possibly signaling the closure of the site.

Editor-in-Chief Kat Bailey and News Editor Eric Van Allen broke the news this morning, shortly followed by Reporter Mathew Olson and Staff Writer Nadia Oxford. The gaming site lists a crew of nine active writers, although Joel Franey announced that he was leaving back in September 2020. This most recent round of layoffs potentially began a few days earlier with the departure of Reviews Editor M.H. Williams who has since moved to PCMag.

Second round of USGamer layoffs leaves few writers remaining

The five people announcing their layoffs at Reedpop-owned USGamer is actually the second round for the company; earlier this year, Joel Franey and Caty McCarthy signaled that they would be leaving the company before the end of 2020. The severity of this second round of layoffs may mean the closure of the site.

Joel Franey’s announcement, in particular, stated that these were part of “budget and staff cuts” at the company. As for Caty McCarthy, her tweet on the matter referred to the process as “ongoing layoffs,” ominously hinting at what was ultimately announced this morning.

2020 has been a difficult year for many people and online media is no exception. CollegeHumor, Dorkly, and Drafee laid off over 100 people before the pandemic even began. A few months later, the UK’s National Videogame Museum was in danger of closing after being open for only a year and a half, owing to the closure of non-essential businesses in the country. Thankfully, a successful fundraiser brought in 251% of the museum’s goal and saved it from closing its doors for good.

Even some of the gaming world’s biggest events have been affected by the pandemic. E3 2020’s physical show was shut down three months before it was set to begin; an online show was announced to replace it — but that too was canceled, ultimately forcing game publishers and console makers to create their own independent shows for 2020.

USGamer is one of several sites that are a part of Gamer Network, a Reedpop-owned network of gaming media properties. Other sites owned by the company include EuroGamer, GamesIndustry.biz, and Rock Paper Shotgun.