Source - FT.com

In the end it wasn't enough that GameCenter was a well-written, content-driven gaming website. Like so many others, CNet's popular gaming destination has been axed due to a lack of success in the banner revenue business. The cuts at CNet focus heavily on GameCenter, with 190 jobs going in total across the company. Like so many dot.coms, CNet is taking care to plug the loss-making cracks in its business strategy, and what with last year's acquisition of ZDNet, GameCenter, is surplus to the company's requirements anyway. It is thought, however, that very few if any of the website's staff will move sideways into jobs at GameSpot, now the company's other gaming asset. As we reported last month, GameCenter have already scaled back on their banner-ad-dependant "Alliance" network, which hosted and supplied revenue to a plethora of gaming websites. Although CNet's steps may seem drastic to many, and the redundancies are unfortunate, this move once again demonstrates the climate of despair that envelops much of the ad revenue-dependant sector (i.e. content-driven dot.coms). There is no money in advertising any more, thanks largely to the lack of interest from advertisers due to the poor rate of click-throughs. As an example of this, CNet lost approximately $400m last quarter, and forecasts revenue for 2001 at just over that. The company's stock has also plummeted. Ironically, following the closure of the "Gamecenter Alliance" just a month ago, CNet spokesman Josh McCloskey told PCShooter that the company had shut down the network (which hosted popular sites such as Stomped and the Crossroads sites) "to concentrate on making Gamecenter and Gamespot the strongest gaming sites on the Internet". Today it appears that they have decided to shut down Gamecenter itself to focus on ZDNet's better known GameSpot. No doubt this won't be the last gaming website to shut down this year, as the collapse of online advertising is leaving everybody without an alternative source of revenue strapped for cash. Related Feature - Another Gaming Network Hits the Dust

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GameCenter in all its glory

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Tom Bramwell

Tom Bramwell

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Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.

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