The Truth v6 - The End of Innocence - Page Five

The shock of receiving such a email from our hosts without proper notice was bad enough, in fact, I went and woke my wife up, to tell her the news. GameSurge meant a lot to me, for I was proud of my accomplishment, and my contribution to the site. Panic and loss set in, as the true implications of losing my site fully hit me, and the sense of all that we have achieved as a website would all go for nothing. We did not have great success, like Voodoo Extreme or Vintage Gaming, but we were proud of the small success we had. There was nothing else to do, but to go to bed.

The next day, I announced the news to our viewers, and then went to some of the other affiliate sites, to see what their reaction was. I started with the big boys, because I was curious in what they had to say on the matter, and also curiosity, in that I needed to answer a long suspicion that there were 2 separate servers, and two separate deals within the network. One for the large, high viewership sites, and one for us small boys, just getting established. I at least confirmed one of them, for as I went from one big site to another, they were all down.

And they have remained down as well. Only today is there a message, a rather ironic one at that, that states in a blanket message on several down sites, including GameFan themselves, that they were having technical difficulties, and that their "crack team" of experts were working on it. Ironic in that judging from our own personal experiences, and the stories from other webmasters, that they had a crack team in the first place. It also shows, as clear a shining beacon in the depth of darkness, how the company cannot even admit to what has happened, even though it is now common knowledge among the gaming community.

In a message in the planetcrap forums, Michael Levesque, EGN/BrainScan Project Leader, and part of touched lightly on this subject:

"I was in the meeting when that e-mail was sent out. I really don't think they meant to kill everyone (including my servers) early like that. I have a feeling there was a miscommunication between upper management and IT. I plan to find out tomorrow. Either way, I personally believe more advance notice would have been nice. "

If you read the email I sent the network administrator, you will have noticed a couple of items, one being the fact that we have not received any revenue, even though it was clearly stated on our contract. It has now come to light that several affiliate sites haven't been paid, and in a brief interview with, Daniel Wool, director of public relations for, answered some questions about the situation. Here are the key quotes from that interview: Does the GameFan Network/ owe money to hosted sites for back payment of ad revenue?
Wool: has met or exceeded all financial obligations for its GameFan Network Associates. We are currently reconciling payments against true contractual obligations and will be issuing notice to Associates shortly. How did hosting sites fail to fit the business model? What is the business model?
Wool: As you can imagine, hosting 40 independent web sites as a courtesy is very expensive. Costs were significantly exceeding revenues the sites were generating. While we did everything we could to contract advertisers and make it work, it wasn't making good business sense anymore. Why not just drop non-profitable sites and keep hosting popular sites like Voodoo Extreme?
Wool: This is, in effect, what is happening. There will be a core of proprietary videogames content and community sites including,, and a couple others, that intends to profitably grow (mostly in-house) and better position among the leaders in the space.

Like a lot of other people, I am wondering what exactly Mr. Wool meant by " has met or exceeded all financial obligations for its GameFan Network Associates." The confusion of this statement, also expressed by other people, including a former GFN affiliate, Something Awful, would make it appear that all was well at, that the small fact that they dropped all their affiliates with sudden notice while yet, somehow meeting or exceeding their financial obligations. This is certainly not the case, as GameSurge never received any form of monetary value what so ever, and certainly was never overpaid, which would have been a little difficult considering. Something Awful even stated that they were never paid for their last 2 months, and now, other affiliates have been making statements that they too haven't received any money from Express. Something Awful is already in the process of launching a lawsuit, and others, including my site, GameSurge, will be following shortly.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg, as in a second article on, they continue with more news on trouble for GFN and express, as there is now indication that Express may be in more serious trouble than earlier said. Speculation that Voodoo Extreme is owed money close to 100,000 dollars, and other sites may be owed in the tens of thousands, is starting to arise. Once again, I will quote directly from the above statement by Mr. Wool: " There will be a core of proprietary videogames content and community sites including,, and a couple others, that intends to profitably grow...".

Though I have no actual knowledge of when this interview was done (I believe it was on Monday) all credibility that Mr. Wool may have had, and it was very small in the first place, just ended up destroyed totally. The fact that he made such a statement in the first place showed that there had been a confirmation of my early suspicion about separate deals with certain sites, and I now had the answers to my suspicion.

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