It's never a pleasant thing to have to report on the demise of a fellow website, so it's especially distressing when an entire network is forced to close up shop. C|Net, the company responsible for the recent acquisition of ZDNet, has closed down the hosting side of its gaming operation, GameCenter. The gaming portal itself will remain open, but its many hosted sites, including Stomped.com, Counter-Strike.net and Unreal Universe will all either be forced to close or look for hosting elsewhere. There has been much debate over the reasons for the closure, and in an interview today on GameSpy.com, GameCenter representative Josh McCloskey answered a few questions on the topic. His answers are deliberately vague, but he did point out that the Alliance's main aims were "to increase traffic to Gamecenter, and to promote independent Web sites that offered high-quality gaming editorial," and that C|Net "will now be able to re-dedicate resources from the Alliance directly back into Gamecenter, thus making Gamecenter more profitable in the future." It seems likely that C|Net chose to abandon the program once they had discovered that the advertising revenue streams didn't pay the rent, so to speak. The same was true of the GameFan Network, which also shut up shop quite recently. Industry analysts suggest that without a radical shakeup, many more networks will go the same way in the coming year. In similar news, it seems that content staff returning to GameLoft this morning the world over were told that there was no longer a job there for them. Rumour has it the content staff from every territory in the world is being laid off, with cutbacks scheduled for other parts of the business soon.
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