Tuesday was grim at Game Informer headquarters in Minneapolis' North Loop.
Sweeping layoffs were announced for the video game magazine, whose circulation ranks 4th among U.S. print publications. In total, Texas-based parent company GameStop Corp. axed seven of GI's 19 editorial staffers, along with more than 120 workers at its corporate offices. The struggling video game retailer's stock has plunged from above $15 per share in January to $3.46 as of Wednesday morning.
The bloodletting is "part of the previously announced GameStop Reboot initiative to transform our business for the future and improve our financial performance," a GameStop spokesperson said in a statement, noting that 14 percent of the company's corporate HQ positions were eliminated.
Game Informer employees appeared stunned by the move.
"I was laid off from Game Informer this morning which was surprising and heartbreaking," tweeted senior associate editor Kyle Hilliard, who confirmed with City Pages that he and six coworkers lost their jobs. "Writing for the magazine gave me some of the best experiences of my life. I absolutely adore everyone I worked with and consider them genuine friends."
The news blindsided another now-former editor, Jeff Marchiafava, while he was on vacation.
"I am trying to get things right with my people," tweeted editor in chief Andy McNamara. "I love Game Informer, its people and its readers more than any corporation could, and I will address all the issues when I can, but for now I need to focus on my GI family."
Founded in 1991, Game Informer currently has over seven million paid monthly subscribers. GameStop's 35-year-run has coincided with the rise of video games, though a recent shift toward downloading/streaming and away from physical copies is gutting company profits.