UGO in crisis
Another online network feels the pinch, and gaming sites are amongst the first to suffer
, which covers everything from music and wrestling to video games and movies, seems to be the latest company to face the pinch as the online advertising market continues to collapse around their ears. UGO hosts or supplies ad banners to many of the biggest gaming sites on the net, including Blue's News, Shack News and the extensive Telefragged network, as well as many smaller fan sites dedicated to particular games or console systems.
Earlier today Stephen "Blue" Heaslip, founder and editor-in-chief of Blue's News, revealed that their site has "been in a 'the check is in the mail' situation for a while now", after commenting that he was going to remove the ad code from his site if UGO didn't remove annoying pop-up windows from rotation as "it's not like we're being paid extra for them, or at all, for that matter". Soon afterwards Steve "sCary" Gibson of Shack News posted a desperate plee asking readers to donate money to them to help keep the site afloat. "After carefully evaluating the financial situation surrounding this website we're in an economical jam. Money that was contractually owed to us got yanked out from under our nose and we got burned pretty good."
Whether the Shack will survive, and if so in what form, remains to be seen. But it's all further evidence that the melt down currently taking place in the internet advertising market is having a drastic effect even on the biggest of the commercial gaming sites. Unless things improve soon, even the largest websites and networks are going to have come up with a new revenue model, with monthly subscription fees for readers perhaps the most likely solution. Sooner or later people are going to have to get used to paying for things on the internet...