After years of languishing under Defy Media’s possession, The Escapist video-sport website is beneath new control.
Defy bought the belongings, founded in 2005, to Toronto-based totally Enthusiast Gaming, which operates a community of websites dedicated to video gaming and Canada’s largest video-gaming expo. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
With the deal, Enthusiast Gaming is bringing back The Escapist’s former editor-in-leader, Russ Pitts, who had departed in September 2011. In obtaining The Escapist, Enthusiast mentioned its YouTube channel, which has 1.1 million subscribers. Its YouTube shows include popular recreation-overview series “Zero Punctuation” hosted with the aid of Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw, who has a social media following of nearly 2 million customers.
For Defy Media, it’s some other circulate to pare lower back its business to focus on middle manufacturers, led by means of Smosh and Clevver. This month, Fandom announced a address Defy Media to acquire Screen Junkies, the entertainment news and parody belongings. Earlier inside the year, Defy laid off 8% of its workforce, exiting its programmatic marketing and video licensing and syndication corporations.
Model Iskra Lawrence to Host ‘Mirror Challenge’ Docu-Series on Facebook Watch
Defy Media CEO Says eight% Layoff Is Related to Exit of ‘Tactical’ Businesses
In a announcement, Defy stated it had discontinued investment The Escapist over a 12 months ago. “When offered with the opportunity to sell it to Enthusiast Gaming, a popular gaming network with comparable sensibilities, we had been open to it with the expertise that the emblem alignment could ensure persevered growth for the website,” Defy Media said.
According to Pitts, he had tried to put together a deal to acquire The Escapist himself after mastering in the direction of the stop of 2017 that Defy turned into trying to dump the web site, before ultimately teaming up with Enthusiast.
The Escapist “have been critically ignored,” Pitts wrote in a weblog put up. “Almost anybody who had worked there had been laid off. The offices in North Carolina were closed. Nobody become even bothering to sell advertisements on the aspect. It changed into a derelict.”
Moreover, Pitts said, Escapist’s former publisher had “allowed the internet site to turn out to be a home to political extremists,” a connection with the web page’s leanings toward Gamergate, a movement ostensibly about retaining video-recreation reporters accountable however which has led to harassment campaigns usually directed at girls and minorities. Under the new management, he wrote, “We’re leaving politics at the door.”
In 2012, Alloy Digital (which might later merge with Break Media to shape Defy) acquired The Escapist from Themis Media.
According to Enthusiast Gaming, The Escapist has averaged 6 million monthly visits due to the fact that 2008. The corporation is adding the book to its network of gaming sites, which incorporates Destructoid.Com (acquired in 2017). Enthusiast Gaming claims it serves 1 billion ad requests in line with week even though Enthusiast Gaming Media and affiliated partners.
“The acquisition of Escapist is instrumental as we continue to grow our network of game enthusiasts,” Menashe Kestenbaum, founder and CEO of Enthusiast Gaming, stated in saying the deal. “Russ is a true visionary in on-line gaming journalism and we are thrilled to carry him again to lead Escapist.”
After Pitts left Escapist in 2011, he helped Vox Media launch Polygon, a rival video-sport news and opinions site. He maximum currently has run Flying Saucer Media, an internet media production firm in Durham, N.C.
“The possibility to sign up for with Enthusiast to help carry Escapist back to its authentic cultural relevance is a large possibility not simplest for me and my crew, but for the numerous fanatics of Escapist who’ve been so supportive of the logo for over thirteen years,” Pitts stated in a statement.