So, it's been more than two years since I actually wrote something on my GameSpot blog, and that was when I was still an employee of the site. Crazy how time flies.
As everyone is fully aware, this wonderful site had some pretty heart-breaking news this week when I sizable chunk of the staff was let go. It's a really tough thing to swallow for everyone. It's never fun losing your job, especially when it happens so suddenly, and sometimes without warning. Most, if not all, of the people let go this week were people I used to work with so it I felt doubly disappointed when they all started tweeting (or facebooking) that their employment was over.
I was a victim of one of the previous layoffs two years ago and it definitely bothered me. For starters, because I was working in the US as a foreigner, I was deported back to my native Canada. Having just lost a job I loved then being forced to immediately leave the country was no easy task. I had just moved into a new place the month before and had just settled in when the hammer dropped. Luckily, my landlord was understanding and I wasn't put in any awkward scenario as a tenant.
When I was laid off, GameSpot and CBSi was going through a lot of changes. It was only days prior that they announced the Giant Bomb acquisition. It was incredible news. I thought I would finally get the opportunity to work on the same floor as the same former GS editors I grew up reading. While that didn't come to fruition, I still visit the site on the regular and enjoyed seeing how the site (and Giant Bomb) has evolved since then.
The point of this blog isn't to look back at the disappointment of the last few days, but rather highlight the potential of the future. There isn't a single person who was let go that isn't talented at what they did. You may have disagreed on their views on a particular game, or felt that they appeared awkward/uncomfortable in front of the camera, but they all excelled at something so many strive to do but only few have the raw talent to do on a regular basis.
If you look back at the (long) list of former GameSpot "personalities", from editors to producers and everything in between, that have have called 235 2nd St. their home, you will notice one thing. Most, if not all, have gone on to doing bigger and better things.
My experience as the (short-lived) Sports Editor for the site helped me get at job doing sports full time with EA (my current role is the Content Manager for EA SPORTS). The stuff I did on this site helped my name get out there and it's crazy when people at my current place of work stop me to let me know they enjoyed the stuff I did while an editor here (even if that was now more than two year ago). At the same time, I got to work with some wonderful people and learned a lot of cool things which have helped me in my current role.
I am certain that everyone who suffered a loss of employment this week will bounce back stronger than ever. Regardless if they continue to do similar work for a different site, or move into a new role within the Games Industry, the resume they have built over the last few years will put them above others. For some, I hope they take advantage of "funemployment" and enjoy the time away from the "internet spotlight". At the same time, I don't think we'll be waiting very long for them to tweet out "Hey, guess what?! I'm now doing X at company Y!"
If you follow any of these incredible people here, on Facebook and/or Twitter, please let them know just how thankful you are for their service. Letting them know that you appreciate what they've done will put a smile on their face; even the smallest of gestures can go a long, long way.
At the same time, don't be discouraged if you're one of the thousands (if not millions) of people who aspire to work in this field down the road. Yes, it's really tough; yes, there is little job security (but that's applicable for pretty much any job outside of the government), but there are things to be learned from all of this. Like so many things, jobs evolve and learning how to stay head of that evolution is what will make you stand out. Hard work pays off, believe me!
I look forward to what the present staff at GameSpot churn out in the coming weeks and months. I expect fantastic things from the staff because there are still some pretty awesome people here. This site isn't going anywhere, regardless of what smaller sites will speculate. As for those who are no longer GameSpot employees, welcome to the club! ;-) But, in all seriousness, I cannot wait to hear what you do next and I would not be surprised if we bump into each other here at EARS (EA's Redwood Shores campus) or at an industry function in the city (eg. the monthly boardgame nights a few of us have been attending lately!)