Sam Kennedy on 1Up & UGO

The NeoGAF Forums have a post from Sam Kennedy, director of the 1Up Network, commenting about yesterday's news that UGO has acquired 1Up (thanks Rosenberg’s Ramblings & Joystiq). A good deal of anger has been expressed at UGO (who supply the advertising for this site), but Sam tries to make it clear that he feels UGO are not the bad guys here, as 1Up was losing money for years, a situation that has been exacerbated by a bad economy, and that UGO did their best to "save" the network. To be clear, he is not happy about the situation, calling yesterday the worst day in his life, but here's a bit offering is outlook on what happened:
And I'm not here to defend this. It freaking sucks. But from my vantage point, UGO did what they could to, what I consider, "save" 1UP. Obviously, all of us would have wanted to see things go differently -- most of all me, considering I just lost many of my closest friends as coworkers and employees today.

A couple of things to realize, though:

Fact: 1UP was a business that was losing money.

Fact: This economy sucks and the ad market is diminished.

Fact: Ziff Davis has been trying to offload 1UP for years.

With those sorts of factors playing against us, something had to give. Everyone loved the stuff we did, but our business wasn't in the best of shape (see: Ziff-Davis files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last summer).

My hope in all of this, over the last year or so, was that some company would come along and be able to buy 1UP -- the entire operation -- and run with it. And I think UGO had actually originally approached 1UP with those same hopes.

But the reality of the market was that no company, including UGO, was willing to sustain 1UP as it was. And that includes Ziff Davis. I hate to to break it to you, but the sad fact was that there was little hope for 1UP to continue as it had been. Not in this economy. If any company out there would have been willing to support us as we were, they certainly didn't step up.

The only company that really did was UGO, and they did their very best to continue 1UP.

So like I said, while UGO may appear like the bad guy here, in a lot of ways, they just did what few, if any, other companies would. And, from everything they've indicated to us, they are completely supportive of 1UP and its people. Believe me, they were in the office today and were just as distraught about the losses of any of these shows and the people.

Of course, that doesn't make things any better for any of us. Fact is, we -- as in, the games industry, not just 1UP -- are losing some great things today. I'm with you in mourning. But I have a commitment from the UGO guys that they -- now, actually, we -- are going to do whatever we can to help these guys out and look for ways to continue these shows with them and/or to look into possibilities for new shows in the future. I'm not saying everything will be back to "normal" as you knew it anytime soon, but I am saying there should be some good things to look forward to in the future.