I’m sure you did a fine job within imposed constraints. I imagine IGN wanted the site to look active more than be active, and paid accordingly.
To this day I can’t figure out why IGN bought it in the first place. After all, VE was all about Billy’s voice, unconventional to say the least, and he was no longer available. I always figured they were under some critical threshold number of unique impressions to pick up an ad deal.
Ohmwrecker, first of all your are awesome. I enjoyed VE with you and the more recent team.
May I ask what happened to poor Billy “wicked” Wilson? If I recall was it truly due to cirrhosis secondary to chronic alcoholism? Did the final straw culminate in an overdose of medication? I always wanted to know … there were so many rumors circulating at that time.
Is TeamXbox officially shutting down?
How badly affected was Gamespy with respect to these more recent cuts? They Gamespy guys are pretty tight lipped on Twitter.
Finally, is there any news on the future fate of VE?
Well thank you, and yes I enjoyed our 2010-2012 team quite a bit as well.
The loss of Billy was actually a pretty huge shock, we were supposed to meet up the following month, and he had been doing really well. He had opened up in the past about some troubles with painkillers after a martial arts injury, and he was known to enjoy a drink or two, but that stuff had been out of his life for 2-3 years.
I wish everyone else was able to stay in touch with him like I was, I mean I know he did GamingGroove for a bit but as he cleansed himself of all the garbage he really disconnected from public interaction. His main focus was his temple (yep, he got seriously into Buddhism), and Dax. I can’t say I ever knew him to be happier, and more at peace with himself. His focus went from being a successful public figure with lots of money to just really basic family oriented things.
From what I know about his final days, he was visiting his Mom for a family thing, and came down with a nasty headache. He supposedly took some over-the-counter Tylenol, nothing prescription strength or anything, and it was the straw that broke the camels back. As in, his liver already had damage, and for whatever reason just a standard dose of regular Tylenol shut his liver down.
The good news is I’m told he was able to at least have a moment with Dax before he passed. His tombstone has a McBlink on it, and a mention of honey roasted gaming news. The web page he created for his family is still up, and they mention him and Dax from time to time.
I’m fairly certain that IGN plans to keep TeamXbox going with volunteers. Regarding GameSpy, they’re fine. Future fate of VE is just as unknown as TeamXbox. I personally don’t think an all volunteer team is going to work. Not only that, but I imagine that IGN will have some headaches ahead once volunteers start interacting with PR types, especially if they have no prior experience.
VoodooExtreme was probably the most polarizing game news site* and had its fair share of drama, but it was one of my favorite sites back in the day. I still remember the old voodoo doll logo and mascot. There ended up being a lot of versions of that little guy.
But when Billy started posting less and (especially) when IGN acquired it, I dropped off because it felt like it had lost its unique voice. While it still may have been a good source for game news, it didn’t really stand apart from others. It become generic, aside from still calling screenshots “nudies”, which ultimately seemed forced and got old. I don’t know how it was over the past few years, but that’s how it felt after it moved to IGN.
*Maybe EvilAvatar, but it never reached the heights of VE.
Hey, Happy Puppy was purchased by TheGlobe.com, which was one of the most successful Internet IPOs ever. How could they possibly fail? (When I quit CGM, I was offered big chunks of TheGlobe.com stock to stick around. :)
Sad to see VE ending. The name alone brings back memories of such an awesome era. I wonder how many younger site readers didn’t even know what it was referring to?
Wasn’t VE one of the first “news aggregator” sites? Kotaku, Engadget, Gizmodo, etc. all owe a lot to VE, Blues, etc.
I seem to recall that before it covered computer games or anything like that, that Happy Puppy started out with stuff like solitaire and bridge and checkers. I remember being disappointed when I found out what kind of “games” they covered.
Sure. All those sites began to basically catalog id .plan updates and exploded from there.
They were truly exciting times, each generation of 3d acceleration introduced insanely improved visuals, community members were getting snatched up by game companies left and right, the community was small and sufficiently immature that juicy scandals popped up every month or two, quakeworld introduced the first true functional worldwide multiplayer deathmatch, the barrier to entry wasn’t too high so you had everybody experimenting with weird alternative hardware and peripherals, and small teams could produce successful AAA games with some degree of independence, beholden only to milestones.
We’ve seen a similar but lesser situation with cellphone apps and indie games lately. Mobile and indie games aren’t hardcore like the 3d PC gaming scene was back in the late 90s. It’s more of a talking dog (it’s a talking dog, who cares what he says) kind of scenario, but still, it captured some of that same spirit.
What was the name of that other gaming gossip site – think it had a woman or woman’s name in the title? It really had a brief moment in the sun and then flamed out. I think the rumor was the person behind the site was the girlfriend of some developer and got fed some interesting gossip.
Just to help jog memories, Old Man Murray had a dead president alert icon that glowed whenever that gossip site was updated.