G4 shut down after layoffs, Frosk firing, WWE contract falling through

After mass layoffs Less than a year since returningComcast’s video game-focused television and online network G4 is closing, according to A report from Deadline Quoting an internal email from Comcast Spectacar CEO Dave Scott.

“Over the past several months, we have worked hard to generate interest in G4, but audiences have been low and the network has not achieved consistent financial results,” Scott wrote. “This is certainly not what we expected, and as a result, we have taken the very difficult decision to immediately cease operations at G4.”

With the G4 struggling throughout 2022, the shutdown was sudden. The Washington Post saw another email from G4 president Joe Marsh to employees on Sunday saying that G4’s Los Angeles facility would be closed until Oct. 18 and that all streams had been postponed. But the email did not mention the shutdown of the network. Additionally, employees were locked out of internal communication services like Slack and Google Drive without immediate explanation, former G4 employees who requested anonymity because they signed non-disclosure agreements told The Post. The crew of “Arena,” produced as part of a landmark deal with WWE, walked out last week, according to former employees.

G4 is Comcast’s attempt to revive a network from the early 2000s that envisioned what televised video game coverage and entertainment would look like years before content creators on YouTube and Twitch began amassing millions of viewers. Despite repeated attempts to build said creators — shows like “Name Your Price” hosted by Twitch stars like Austinshow (who has not publicly released his full name) — the network has lost its footing when competing against individual influencers. They were inspired by the original, 2002-2014 iteration of the G4.

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Costs for guest talent appear to have played a role in the closure. According to several G4 employees interviewed by The Post, some high-profile creators demanded $25,000-$30,000 a day when invited to appear as guests on G4.

Several events foreshadowed the demise of the G4. The shutdown that culminated Sunday began with then-President Russell Aarons Dropped out of the G4 at the end of August. In September, G4 laid off more than 20 team members, many of whom worked on shows such as video game review and commentary flagship “X-Play.” After a week, Kotaku said One of the most prominent faces of the revived G4, “X-Play” host Indiana “Froskurinn” Black, is no longer with the network. Later that month, Kevin Pereira — one of the biggest names to emerge from the original 2005-13 run of geek culture variety show “Attack of the Show,” which also hosted its reboot — also left.

In Sunday’s memo, Scott expressed his regret.

“I know this is disappointing news, and I’m disappointed too,” he wrote. “I want to thank you and everyone on the G4 team for your hard work and dedication to the network.”

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