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T O P I C
"We bought Mplayer for their people. :)"
March 11th 2001, 05:06 CET by Morn

Some of you may have already seen the <a href="http://www.fatbabies.com/fatrumors.html">rumour posted on FatBabies.com</a> regarding <a href="http://www.gamespy.com">GameSpy</a> laying off a "sizeable chunk" of <a href="http://www.mplayer.com/">Mplayer.com</a>'s staff (GameSpy <a href="http://www.gamespydaily.com/news/fullstory.asp?id=941">acquired Mplayer.com</a> in December 2000); according to an anonymous (reliable) source, this is very true indeed -- GameSpy will have laid off a very large portion of the Mplayer.com staff by March 31st.

Hey, anyone remember <a href="http://www.stomped.com/published/jcal977347918_1_1.html">this interview</a> on Stomped?

Stomped: In all mergers, there are always thoughts of layoffs from the affected companies. Does Gamespy expect to lay off any MPlayer employees as a resultof the merger?

Surfas: We're working on the organizational plans now. We did the acquisition based on the strengths of the Mplayer team, so it's critical that we keep as many on board as possible. The interesting thing to me is that while the internet is usually seen as being about technology, to me it's really about people. People playing games, interacting, etc. The companies that make up the Internet are no different.... they are people intensive. We bought Mplayer for their people. :)

Rrrright.
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Home » Topic: "We bought Mplayer for their people. :)"

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#1 by "Pablo"
2001-03-11 05:13:57
pflaherty@home.com
You mean that Gamespy is... out to make money?  The nerve!

Quite frankly, they might still have the people they wanted... the networking specialists and the like probably have more of a worth to GSI than the webmasters of avpnews.com.
#2 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2001-03-11 05:25:47
tc10@spam-b-gawrne.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.mornography.com/tomc/
Hmm... we're somehow surprised that GSI have apparently taken a U-turn in policy? We're at all surprised that they appear to be solely in it for the money these days?
#3 by "Morn"
2001-03-11 05:28:33
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
I think I should note at this point that this story isn't really supposed to have a "surprise!" angle. It's just sad to see another (popular) entity of the gaming web scendustry fade away.

Above all, I just really want to know when GameSpy will start laying off parts of their own staff. I refuse to believe that they are actually profitable.

- Morn
#4 by "whoever"
2001-03-11 05:31:12
"We're at all surprised that they appear to be solely in it for the money these days?"

What do you mean, "these days" - they were in it for something else at some point?
#5 by "MikeCy"
2001-03-11 05:33:39
I used to use Mplayer a lot back in the golden days. I got to know a few of the original staffers and they were great people. It doesn't really surprise me that GameSpy would come in and bastardize the place. It was bad enough when Mpath decided that their stupid voice technologies were more important to them than the only thing keeping them afloat.
#6 by "Desiato"
2001-03-11 05:34:39
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
It's classic manager/CEO speak....

"I won't sell you out..."

Unless, of course it's the easiest way...

After the ICQ logs, are we really suprised that they did axe personnel?

Prediction: Gamespy is next on the implosion schedule....stay tuned.


Desiato
#7 by "Desiato"
2001-03-11 05:39:15
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
Er....the ICQ logs statement came out wrong.....what I MEANT to say was compared to how some of the online businsses are run (The efront logs), are we too suprised that cutting staff at Gamespy is a regular thing to do?

Something like that...

It's late....


Desiato
#8 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-03-11 06:02:44
warren@epicgames.com www.epicgames.com
I was sort of half waiting for this to happen.  Oh well ...
#9 by "Chet"
2001-03-11 07:23:26
chet@oldmanmurray.cm http://www.oldmanmurray.com
People liked Mplayer?  I find this hard to believe.

Does anyone remember mplayer's ipo?  They were worth 1 billion dollars - for about 3 days.

Chet
#10 by "Paul"
2001-03-11 07:42:04
paul@shrinkweb.com http://www.webhitzone.com
ad revenues are tight.. cut a finger off to save the body. not a surprise at all.

- Paul
#11 by "Glock"
2001-03-11 07:46:51
glock@avpnews.com http://www.avpnews.com
the networking specialists and the like probably have more of a worth to GSI than the webmasters of avpnews.com


Actually the issues in regards to AvPNews.com and the other sites are a lot more complicated than that.  If you read the recent Fatbabies posting about GameSpy supposedly axeing all the Mplayer employees, and shutting down XN, you would realize there is more issues involved.

In the Fatbabies report you would also see that GameSpy is holding the domain names and not releasing them to the companies that own the licenses to the content.  For example, FOX Interactive owns the rights to No One Lives Forever and Aliens vs. Predator.  Id Software owns Quake3, Quake 2, and Quake.  According to the report, FI and id want the domain names, and GameSpy won't hand them over.

The reasons for shutting down XN (if it is, Fatbabies could be getting the story wrong) is so that the Planet sites would get all their traffic.  AvPNews.com is the #1 fan site for Aliens vs. Predator in terms of traffic.  It would be horrifying to me if someone were to type in AvPNews.com and ended up redirected to PlanetAvP.

I speak as a person who has volunteered at PlanetAvP.com, and is currently volunteering at AvPNews.com.  I will tell you from my experience that AvPNews.com is the better site.  The people who volunteer at the site (myself included) have been AvP (the game, the comics, the books) fans for years.  We don't bother ourselves with mailbags, useless bits of trivial, post totally non-AvP related news items like the "other" site does.  We post news when it has relevance to the community.

Yes, most of the XN fan sites (such as Starsiege.org) haven't been updated in months.  The reason of course is that the fans left to other networks, such as PlanetStarsiege or TribalWar.  However, I must point out that AvPNews.com is still in existence (although it's been down for the last few days), and we haven't lost any volunteer staff for months.  

In any case, it would be a damned shame if what Fatbabies is reporting is true.  Of course, I have no idea what's going on, since I'm not privy to internal company memos, emails, or anything else within XN/Mplayer or GameSpy.  I'm just as in the dark in this as you guys are.
#12 by "Hambone"
2001-03-11 08:06:43
chief@mucom.org http://www.mucom.org/c
PEOPLE AT A DOTCOM BEING FIRED!!!!!1!
No one can really say they are suprised, can they?
#13 by "Glock"
2001-03-11 09:07:57
glock@avpnews.com http://www.avpnews.com
PEOPLE AT A DOTCOM BEING FIRED!!!!!1!
No one can really say they are suprised, can they?


Now I'm not suprised. *sigh*

Too bad.  I should have gotten into the webmastering game 3 years ago.  Could have made enough money to support me through college, but of course I was Sophomore in high school then. :(
#14 by "BarneyQue"
2001-03-11 09:47:10
I blame webwasher!
#15 by "Greyjack"
2001-03-11 10:44:29
greyjack@greyjack.com http://www.greyjack.com
#14:

<beatdeadhorse>
I actually just installed webwasher a couple days ago--while I've been happily ignoring your standard run-of-the-mill banner ads and the like, and my alt-f4 reflex is pretty sharp for taking out popups, the musical Jekyll & Hyde banners that the Chicago Sun Times was running on virtually EVERY SINGLE DAMN PAGE of their site the other day clinched it for me.
</beatdeadhorse>
#16 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2001-03-11 12:36:57
tc10@spam-b-gawrne.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.mornography.com/tomc/
whoever:
What do you mean, "these days" - they were in it for something else at some point?

Yeah, totally... when Planetquake first started, it was a genuine fan site, and actually had content worth reading the site for. It was at some point after they turned into Critical Mass and started buying up 'Planet*.com' domain names by the Ferrari-load* that they appear to have decided that money and fast cars were more fun.

*Yes, Ferraris aren't all that big. But neither are abstract concepts.
#17 by "Zaccix"
2001-03-11 12:40:12
zaccix@planetunreal.com http://www.planetunreal.com
I just find it funny how everyone seems to want, nay expects, Gamespy to fall. It's almost like "well everyone else has done it, so why haven't they?" Maybe it's spite, maybe it's the British mentality of "if someone's successful, shoot them down".

It was only two years ago that everyone wanted everyone else to succeed. Maybe they still do, but since the money aspect has reared it's ugly head, everyone now wants their slice of the pie, and to hell with everyone else. It's sad.

And before anyone says "yeah you work at PU, you're bound to say this stuff", ahem no. I'm a volunteer there, unpaid and doing it because I love the Unreal series. I'm in no way a Gamespy fanboy (I'll criticize them in a heartbeat if it needs to be done) but I do want them to go from strength to strength. Maybe that attitude is rare nowadays, then again maybe I can be proved wrong.

Excuse me while I go calibrate my CynicismOMeter. It's been working overtime the past few months...
#18 by "Tom Cleghorn"
2001-03-11 13:37:27
tc10@spam-b-gawrne.st-andrews.ac.uk http://www.mornography.com/tomc/
Maybe it's spite, maybe it's the British mentality of "if someone's successful, shoot them down".

You mean one of three things:
- Most of the people criticising GSI are British (patently untrue);
- GSI are British (clearly not);
- or, you're making blanket statements about British people's approach to life. Don't. We have the world's best approach to life, ever. Full stop. No more need be said.

What? Me? Trying to start a US/UK flamewar? With my reputation?
#19 by "Phallen"
2001-03-11 13:39:26
phallen@voodooextreme.com
#18, hahahaha... it is a well known fact that Australians have the best approach to life in the world.
#20 by "Morn"
2001-03-11 13:42:08
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
Tom Cleghorn (#18):
or, you're making blanket statements about British people's approach to life.

Maybe the way I spelled rumour made him think I was British? :)

- Morn
#21 by "burn1"
2001-03-11 13:56:19
#18 and #20,

#17 posted from an IP number in the UK.  Duh
#22 by "Desiato"
2001-03-11 15:18:43
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
All I can say is that I'm not british (unlike the origin of my nickname) and I still think that Gamespy will implode, not because of the staff cutting measure, just the general attitude and actions of their grand poobah, Mark Surfas. (Unless someone else is holding the reigns through financial commitments, who knows.) Remember the investment that Ovitz made into Gamespy? Where has that all gone? Also - I used to love PlanetQuake before it turned into a "lets-run-every-story-on-the-news-page-from-all-our-other-sites" site. It isn't PlanetQuake, its PlanetLink - with occaisional smatterings of "interest stories" that get slapped up in between the news of a new Tribes mod, or the latest Lara Croft shots.

Okay, I'm rambling...but I think they moved off-target a long time ago and that will only accelerate their demise.

If I'm wrong -- whoop-de-do, I still wouldn't go to their network sites anyay. They're all too cookie-cutter knockoff for my taste.


Desiato
#23 by "Desiato"
2001-03-11 15:20:59
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
Wow, Planetcrap doesn't like multiple hyphens...

I was trying to say:

"Lets run every story on the news page and copy it to every planet hosted site, regardless of actual content on that page."

Something like that.

Bah.

Desiato
#24 by "deadlock"
2001-03-11 15:47:05
deadlock@eircom.net
GAH! I just hate the inanity of some of the crap they post on the Planet* sites.

deadlock
#25 by "Zaccix"
2001-03-11 15:59:10
zaccix@planetunreal.com http://www.planetunreal.com
Whoa, whoa. I wasn't implying that the majority who criticise Gamespy are British, nor that Gamespy are British - both those statements are indeed untrue. I meant that Britain has a mentality where if someone is successful, they get shot down, and was using that to illustrate what I see as the current mentality surrounding Gamespy and those watching it. It's not a statement I pulled out of my ass. I was born and raised in London and have seen it done many times.

#18: We have the best approach to life? Are you sure?
#26 by "deadlock"
2001-03-11 16:08:30
deadlock@eircom.net
Zaccix - that's not just a British trait, it's a global one. Everytime anyone in Ireland gives out about idiots like Boyzone, for example, some biddy rings 2fm and complains about Ireland being a nation of begrudgers. The same thing happens everywhere. You're not allowed to criticise anyone famous because really you're just jealous and anyway that Ronan Keating worked really hard to get where he is today (yeah, so did Genghis Khan missus). And it's true even if you genuinely think that U2 are over-rated and The Manic Street Preachers are the most hypocritical band in the world.

/end rant.

deadlock
#27 by "Chella Kline"
2001-03-11 16:12:06
News flash

While Planet Crap version 0.5  is still rather young, they have already returned to "Don't buggy games suck" and "Game spy is evil" stories to drive the conversation.

Chella Kline comments "Yawn"
#28 by "Morn"
2001-03-11 16:59:56
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
Zaccix (#25):
I meant that Britain has a mentality where if someone is successful, they get shot down, and was using that to illustrate what I see as the current mentality surrounding Gamespy and those watching it.

I think that mentaly can't be linked to a specific nation/group of people -- it's just there. Once something is popular, people will start attacking it. (One of the reasons why I find the Linux zealot "put Linux into the mainstream" movement so deeply ironic.)

I guess my GameSpy "slamming" days are long gone, too. I freely admit I don't like GameSpy much; I know (and am friends with) some of the people who work there, and in the end GameSpy is really just another company who does what every other company does (it tries to make money). No big deal by itself. The reason why I don't like GameSpy is the same reason why I don't like most other gaming site networks: the sites suck. Yeah, it's great that you guys put a lot of work and love into them, but in the end they're cookie cutter sites which are hard to navigate or use for anyone but the most hardcore game fans who read them every day, and most of them are simply downright boring.

Whenever I say something like this, some GameSpy zealot kids will flame me (I'm not talking about you), which is another reason why I don't like GameSpy. Oh the irony!

- Morn
#29 by "Morn"
2001-03-11 17:01:45
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
Chella Kline (#27):
Chella Kline comments "Yawn"

"NEWS FLASH: Chella Kline, world famous message board opinionist, bored by PlanetCrap; participates anyway. World in awe!"

- Morn
#30 by "PiMuRho"
2001-03-11 17:03:54
Chella:

Post a topic then.
#31 by "Kayin"
2001-03-11 17:51:05
kayin@infinet.com http://my.ohio.voyager.net/~keichena
i remember when mplayer was being featured on msnbc as the "world revolution" of internet gaming and it was THE next BIG THING. (tm)  you should have seen everyone ooohing and aaahing as they used wizbang go-go-gadget voice technology over the internet to "bring people together."

the head honcho of mplayer even went as far to say he thought mplayer would replace everything from board games to family reunions and become the gathering place to catch up with friends, relatives, etc.

here we are, five years later, my how the tune has changed.

as for GSN and PQ:

i think this sums it up nicely.
#32 by "PHroot"
2001-03-11 22:46:06
phroot@ntlworld.com
I check planetdaikatana every now and again just to see if those guys can find anything to write about.  If they do update its generally drivel.
#33 by "Mark Asher"
2001-03-11 23:11:40
marka@cdmnet.com www.quartertothree.com
MPlayer, TEN...just two more companies proving that paying for content is a tough sell. Maybe if they had really put a lot of money into Dark Sun Online they could have had the first big MMORPG.
#34 by "burn1"
2001-03-11 23:16:09
Morn "I know (and am friends with) some of the people who work there"

Gee, some friend you are.
#35 by "Craig"
2001-03-11 23:18:52
craigl@globalnet.co.uk http://www.planetcrap.com/crapspy/
test...
#36 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-03-11 23:32:28
warren@epicgames.com www.epicgames.com
Craig:

Morn sent me the new script, sorry I wasn't around last night to test it.  :(  But it seems to work great ... This is posted with CrapSpy.  :)
#37 by "Creole Ned"
2001-03-11 23:37:03
cned@telus.net
I liked PlanetQuake back when Gestalt handled the mailbag there. But I actually played Quake back then, too. :)

The only Planet* site I check regularly now is PlanetUnreal. It updates frequently and generally covers all the major stuff in the Unreal/UT community. Works for me. Plus, a lot of the other major Unreal sites have either gone under or into limbo (Unreal Universe, etc.), so there's not much choice in the matter.

What Gamespy is doing now is not surprising nor especially newsworthy, but if it prompted another one of Chella's snide comments, it's all good.
#38 by "Mark Asher"
2001-03-12 01:08:54
marka@cdmnet.com www.quartertothree.com
Gamespy has a lot of good content. My only real problem is that they have too many websites and it dilutes their brand. They should really cut it down to a solid dozen or so and get rid of a lot of the "planet" sites devoted to individual games. It's just too confusing. Gamespy, Gamespydaily, actionplanet, strategyplanet, rpgplanet, and a few more and pare down the rest.
#39 by "Anonymous"
2001-03-12 01:34:25
Good to see that PC checks their facts about as well as FB does. $1 to the anyone who can name a single mplayer person layed off by Gamespy. The fact is no one from mplayer has been let go by gamespy.
There may be some confusion because gamespy did not hire everyone from hearme that used to work on mplayer- some were kept on by hearme, some were let go by hearme. None were hired by gamespy then let go - that would be crazy. Gamespy didn't buy all of hearme - just the parts they were interested in. The rest remains with hearme and is theirs to do what they want with.
#40 by "Tim Sweeney"
2001-03-12 01:38:21
tim@epicgames.com
There is a huge shakeout among gaming web sites, and I don't think anybody can avoid the turmoil.

I do think that, in general, the web networks are being just as undervalued nowadays as they were overvalued by investors a couple years ago.  The best Planet<whatever> sites are really great community resources with a large and loyal following of readers.

The GameSpy guys have always struck me as prudent people who will survive whatever industry downturns are thrown their way.  While I do tend to doubt there's real value in MPlayer and the me-too PlanetSomeGameThatBombedButWereCoveringItAnyway.com sites, if you strip out the crap, there is a really strong team and brand at the heart of GameSpy.
#41 by "Morn"
2001-03-12 01:40:30
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
Anonymous (#39):
$1 to the anyone who can name a single mplayer person layed off by Gamespy.

Come on, only $1? How insulting.

- Morn
#42 by "Mark Asher"
2001-03-12 01:59:58
marka@cdmnet.com www.quartertothree.com
The GameSpy guys have always struck me as prudent people who will survive whatever industry downturns are thrown their way. While I do tend to doubt there's real value in MPlayer and the me-too PlanetSomeGameThatBombedButWereCov...com sites, if you strip out the crap, there is a really strong team and brand at the heart of GameSpy.


Yeah, I agree, and they have a nice product they offer too in their matching service, even if they provide little incentive for players to register it. They're pretty sharp. Their challenge is the same one other sites have, though -- how do you monetize your traffic?
#43 by "LPMiller"
2001-03-12 02:04:21
ratboy http://www.gotapex.com
I do think that, in general, the web networks are being just as undervalued nowadays as they were overvalued by investors a couple years ago. The best Planet<whatever> sites are really great community resources with a large and loyal following of readers.


Typical of market conditions in general.  Tech got overvalued, now it is going the other way.  I'm not so sure that the banner ad market sucked as much as it was that too much money - and expectation - was placed in them.   Nobody ever accuses marketing guys of not having great ideas, just thinking they are greater than they actually are.
#44 by "TheToadWarrior"
2001-03-12 02:38:29
toadwarrior@hotmail.com http://www.toadwarrior.org
Yay, Crapyspy!
#45 by "Kayin"
2001-03-12 02:45:33
kayin@infinet.com http://my.ohio.voyager.net/~keichena
Gamespy lifts the chatroom / voicechat code from Mplayer, integrates it into Gamespy Arcade, slowly dissolves Mplayer, moves Mplayer's userbase to Gamespy Arcade.

you heard it here first!

</eof>
#46 by "nutstain"
2001-03-12 03:47:21
#45 - Or they keep taking the hit of mplayer's huge technical backbone and fall like everyone else thinking above their head. Geee, I'd hope if my company just acquired someone, they'd take the positives and do away with everything that didn't make money or that they already have. Hello McFly!

So yeah, we heard it from you first-  I think everyone here is smart enough to realize that this is a non-discussion.
#47 by "RightSaidFred"
2001-03-12 03:55:02

Gamespy lifts the chatroom / voicechat code from Mplayer, integrates it into Gamespy Arcade, slowly dissolves Mplayer, moves Mplayer's userbase to Gamespy Arcade.

Well, I guess that's better than Hearme turning off Mplayer, leaving no where for the players to go, and firing everyone who worked on it, which is probably what would have happened had Gamespy not bought them (everyone knows hearme had been trying to get rid of mplayer forever, it was just sucking money for nudie chat). If gamespy ends up moving the people off mplayer and into arcade they should be grateful - it's a move up imho.
#48 by "Kaya"
2001-03-12 04:11:51

While I do tend to doubt there's real value in MPlayer and the me-too PlanetSomeGameThatBombedButWereCov...com sites,

Hey tim - what sites are you referring to? I mean, aside from maybe the old lith games (er, and drakan), gamespy hasn't really launched any planet sites for games that bombed.. I mean, a lot of ppl give them shit for planetdeerhunter, but it's a really popular game with multiplayer and a community around it.
#49 by "Kayin"
2001-03-12 05:11:50
kayin@infinet.com http://my.ohio.voyager.net/~keichena
nutstain (#46):
#45 - So yeah, we heard it from you first- I think everyone here is smart enough to realize that this is a non-discussion.


sorry, i forgot my <sarcasm> tags. ^_^
#50 by "TheToadWarrior"
2001-03-12 09:22:50
toadwarrior@hotmail.com http://www.toadwarrior.org
PlanetDuke is dead(came way too early) and if the game bombs(I hope not), it'll be an even  bigger waste.

Planetcheats or whatever it's called is a waste

Planetdreamcast

planetplaystation2(sorry but real console folks go to the sites they've been going to, not some crap thrown up quickly by GS)

PlanetWOT is pretty much dead

Planetdaikatanna

and so on. Check their list of sites, no one mentions most of them because they don't care for them.
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