Joystiq is reporting that Ziff Davis will be shutting down popular and long-running gaming sites 1UP, GameSpy, and UGO. The new owner of IGN also laid off the editorial staff at all three sites, as well as some employees at IGN. Ziff Davis's parent company J2 Global bought IGN and its various web properties earlier in the month, and today it has decided to focus on its core brands – IGN and AskMen. How many employees were laid off today is unknown as of this writing.
"We are focusing on our two flagship brands, IGN and AskMen. Unfortunately, as a result, we have made the decision to close sites and restructure our teams accordingly," a company spokesperson confirmed to Joystiq.
Kotaku has also obtained a lengthy internal memo sent to IGN staffers by Ziff Davis CEO Vivek Shah. In it he details the company's focus on Ask Men and IGN. After briefly explaining this new focus on "core brands," Shah said that the company would be "winding down 1UP.com, UGO.com and GameSpy.com."
You can read the entire memo here.
On a personal note, it is sad to see GameSpy come to such an end, having spent three years of my professional career working there prior to IGN acquiring the site and its technology. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who lost their jobs today.