Giant Bomb, a community-focused video game website started up by ex-GameSpot staff, has announced that Brad Shoemaker, Vinny Caravella, and Alex Navarro are all leaving the site. This comes after Jeff Gerstmann, the site’s founder, tweeted vaguely about the Giant Bomb’s future.
Many Giant Bomb staff members leave
We'll have some stuff to say about where Giant Bomb goes from here a little later this week or next. Kind of a lot going on over here right now!
— Jeff Gerstmann (@jeffgerstmann) May 4, 2021
The four aforementioned people spoke about the site’s future on the most current (and livestreamed) episode of the Giant Bombcast. The show, which will be archived later, has the four reminiscing about the site’s past, troubles they’ve endured, processes making the video-focused site during the early days of video, and their long history together. More details will undoubtedly emerge when the episode goes up after the stream on Twitch, YouTube, and podcast services.
Caravella and Navarro were the site’s New York team so their departure effectively closes that studio. It is not clear if Video Producer Jan Ochoa or Senior Video Producer Jason Oestreicher are also moving on, as they are two of the other staff members in the California office with Gerstmann and Shoemaker, the latter of which is obviously leaving. None of the three have announced their future ventures, if such plans are in place.
“It’s [been] a very long time at this place,” said Caravella. “And I am so proud of the stuff were accomplish and build and do and the vision that we had for this thing, it’s kind of amazing. And I am very thankful that we got to do it for this long and I was able to be a part of it.”
The others echoed similar sentiments to their audience, which was a focus for the team and their community-centric shows and streams.
“We cannot express enough gratitude to the people that supported us the whole because we would not be sitting here without them,” said Shoemaker as Navarro nodded.
Gerstmann vaguely recounted the times the site almost didn’t make it through the years after its inception.
“This thing has been pulled back from the brink, I think [ex-Giant Bomb designer] Dave Snider alluded to it when we hit that 10-year thing that this thing shouldn’t have lasted as long as it did,” said Gerstmann. “In a very real life, this thing has almost spun apart… I can’t even count. Not long after the sale to CBS, we started having increasingly real conversations about, ‘Let’s move to Ohio, just buy cheap houses or a city block for the amount of money it takes to live out here.'”
The Red Ventures acquisition back in October 2020 seems to be a big factor in all of this. Small law firm Hoeg Law explained on Twitter that this was probably a “six month key employee service requirement/bonus concept attached to the sale of the CNET.”
These are not the only departures that Giant Bomb has seen in the past few months. After telling MinnMax that she had been wanting to leave for a while because there were not many opportunities to move up at the site in addition to wanting to find something new, Abby Russell departed right after the buyout and has since been streaming on Twitch. Ben Pack, who also used to intern at Giant Bomb, left the site at the beginning of 2021, also telling MinnMax that he wanted to have a slightly more private life.
Caravella, Gerstmann, Shoemaker, and Navarro have worked together for quite some time. The four worked at GameSpot together for years until Gerstmann was unceremoniously fired for his Kane and Lynch review. The other three eventually followed Gerstmann when he officially started Giant Bomb in 2008 along with Ryan Davis, who sadly passed away in 2013.