G4 Shuts Down After Layoffs, High-Profile Talent Departures

A report from Deadline cites an email from Comcast Spectacor CEO Dave Scott saying that the video game-focused TV and online network G4, which was brought back by Comcast less than a year ago, is closing down.

“We worked hard over the past few months to get people interested in G4, but viewership is low and the network hasn’t made enough money to keep going,” Scott wrote. “This is definitely not what we wanted, so we’ve made the hard decision to shut down G4 right away.”

Even though G4 has been having trouble all through 2022, the shutdown came as a surprise. The Washington Post looked at an email that G4 boss Joe Marsh sent to employees on Sunday. In it, he said that the G4 office in Los Angeles would be closed until Oct. 18 and that all streams would be put on hold until then.

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But that email didn’t say anything about the network being turned off. Also, former G4 workers who asked to remain anonymous because they had signed non-disclosure agreements told The Post that employees were locked out of internal communication services like Slack and Google Drive with no explanation. Ex-employees say this happened because the crew of the show “Arena,” which was made as part of a key deal with the WWE, quit last week.

G4 Shuts Down After Layoffs
G4 Shuts Down After Layoffs

G4 is Comcast’s attempt to bring back a network from the early 2000s that envisioned what video game coverage and entertainment on TV could look like years before content creators on YouTube and Twitch started getting millions of viewers. Even though the network tried many times to bring these creators into the fold—”Name Your Price” was hosted by Twitch stars like AustinShow, whose full name has never been made public—it could never compete with individual influencers, who were themselves inspired by G4’s 2002–2014 version.

Costs for guest stars may have had something to do with the end. Several G4 employees who were interviewed by The Post said that some famous creators wanted to be paid between $25,000 and $30,000 per day to be guests on G4.

Several things led up to the end of G4. When Russell Arons, who was president at the time, left G4 at the end of August, it was the first sign that things were going downhill. In September, G4 fired more than 20 people. Many of them worked on shows like “X-Play,” which reviews and talks about video games. A week later, Kotaku reported that “X-Play” host Indiana “Froskurinn” Black was no longer with the network. Black was one of the most well-known people on G4 after it was brought back to life. Later that same month, Kevin Pereira also left. He was one of the biggest names from the original run of “Attack of the Show” from 2005 to 2013, and he also hosted the show’s reboot.

In the memo he sent on Sunday, Scott said he was sorry.

“I know this is bad news, and I feel the same way,” he wrote. “I want to thank you and everyone on the G4 team for all of your hard work and dedication to the network.”

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