Dicebreaker’s future remains unclear as silenced site makes editor-in-chief, senior staff writer redundant after IGN takeover

Update 13/6/24: Dicebreaker head of video Michael Whelan and video producer Liv Kennedy have also confirmed they have been made redundant. The site’s final permanent staff member, video producer Maddie Cullen, has not commented on her own job status, but Kennedy tweeted on June 13 to say Dicebreaker was “over”. There has still been no official update from IGN about the redundancies or the site’s future.

Board game news website Dicebreaker has made its editor-in-chief Matt Jarvis and senior staff writer Alex Meehan redundant, following three weeks of silence on the website in the wake of its parent company’s takeover by IGN.

Jarvis, who has been EIC almost since the site’s inception in 2019, emailed contributors today to announce that his last day will be Friday, and apologised for his unavailability during his redundancy process – saying he has been “as frustrated as you with the silence”.

Meehan took to Twitter today in the wake of Jarvis’ announcement to confirm she had also been made redundant after almost five years at Dicebreaker.

Dicebreaker has posted just a single sponsored article to the site since its parent company Gamer Network was bought by video games website giant IGN on May 21.

The site’s YouTube channel, which has 108,000 subscribers, has also received no new uploads in the past three weeks.

BoardGameWire has made repeated requests for information about the site’s future to IGN’s owner Ziff Davis, but is yet to receive any kind of response.

It is understood, however, that several of the team’s five-strong permanent staff have been facing redundancy processes, and that communication to employees from both the former and new owners has been extremely minimal.

Neither Dicebreaker, Gamer Network or IGN has made any public statements about the site’s future since the takeover three weeks ago, and has not officially announced Jarvis’ or Meehan’s departure.

Dicebreaker’s permanent team at the time of IGN’s takeover also consisted of head of video Michael Whelan and video producers Olivia Kennedy and Maddie Cullen.

Jarvis said in the email to contributors, “I’m not able to say exactly what the future holds for the Dicebreaker website and wider brand – mostly because I am now not in the position to know myself.

“My understanding is that the website will remain live for the time being. Needless to say, I would recommend archiving your work if you haven’t already, just in case.”

He added, “Thank you for helping create what I honestly believe was a place that represented and championed the best that tabletop gaming journalism and coverage has to offer, all while bringing deserving, welcoming work to as great an audience as possible.

“I hope you’ll all remain as proud as I am with everything you brought to the site and the success and reputation Dicebreaker built in the industry and beyond thanks to your hard work.

“A particularly huge thanks to Chase [Carter], Jason [Coles], Alicia [Haddick] and Caelyn [Ellis], whose monthly coverage across news, MTG, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Warhammer was consistently outstanding and helped take the site in directions it would’ve never travelled so ably without your expertise and efforts.

“I really can’t thank you enough for everything you did over the last few years. You are as much a part of the Dicebreaker team as anyone.”

Dicebreaker’s launch in 2019 was something of a watershed moment for the tabletop games industry, with the creation of a dedicated site staffed by professional reporters underlining the booming nature of the hobby.

The site has also been one of the vanishingly few board game journalism outlets whose reporting goes beyond new game announcements and reviews – something BoardGameWire believes is hugely important for an industry which has quickly grown from a relatively small niche hobby into a multibillion-dollar sector.

Articles published on the site that otherwise may not have seen the light of day include an exposé of alleged toxic workplace culture at Pandasaurus Games (which the firm has denied), an investigation into the impact of Twitter’s decline on tabletop creators and the reporting of a wave of redundancies at Dark Souls and Elden Ring board game maker Steamforged.

All of those investigations were the work of Carter, who in February launched TTRPG-focused journalism site Rascal News alongside award-winning reporter Lin Codega, who broke the news on D&D’s OGL controversy, and TTRPG and actual play journalist Rowan Zeoli.

Jarvis and Meehan have both tweeted to say they are actively looking for work, and can be contacted on jarvisfreelancing@gmail.com or alex.meehan.uk@gmail.com respectively.

Editor’s note: Hi, Mike Didymus-True here, the Editor of BoardGameWire. I’m taking off my BoardGameWire reporting hat here to editorialise a bit, because I think it’s vital to say: I think it’s disgusting the way the Dicebreaker team have been treated in the wake of this acquisition. The redundancies are bad enough, but for them to have also been kept so out of the loop about what’s going on with the site, and for neither the previous or current owners to make any kind of statement about the team’s hard work and professionalism over the last few years is absolutely reprehensible.

I’m beyond delighted to see Chase thriving with Rascal News, and I hope Matt and Alex both manage to find new roles quickly – hopefully within board gaming, as it will be a loss to the industry to see them disappear off elsewhere. Their redundancies inevitably put more pressure on the remaining team members in what’s already a tough job, and I hope they manage to keep fighting for the high quality work Dicebreaker has done – or that they manage to find other, better opportunities elsewhere. All of the team’s work on Dicebreaker has been hugely important to the industry, and they deserve better than to be dumped in the trash by IGN.


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