It’s a sad day over at the leader of streaming services, Twitch.
As reported by Rod Breslau over 25 members from Twitch, from the Twitch Studio, Community and Marketing teams have been let go. This includes several well-known employees who had been with the company ever since day one. We’re talking about the days of Justin.TV. Members who have their hands in multiple gaming scenes, both competitive and esports. A move like this can easily disrupt the relationship that Twitch has within these communities.
More sources have come forward and have confirmed the news with various outlets, including Polygon.
Among the high profile names who have been let go or left Twitch, many work in or have their roots in esports and competitive gaming. This includes FishStix, Adam Contini, TosspoT, Justin Wong, and Jon Carnage. Unbelievable to me Twitch would compromise its core audience.
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) March 30, 2018
Some Twitch employees were fired by new Twitch VP of Content Michael Aragon who wasn't even in the office and did this via a remote Google Hangouts call. Employees were told to leave immediately. Morale is at an all-time low at Twitch, with one saying "We got amazon'd. Sad day."
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) March 30, 2018
Sure, firings are commonplace and they seem to happen at the worst times. Apparently, some of the firings were handled via the VP of Content, Michael Aragon (VRV and Sony PlayStation), via Google Hangouts. Yes, this was done remotely. Afterward, those affected were told to leave immediately. On a Friday of all days as well… and right before Easter. I’m literally shaking my head right now.
Update: It has been stated that Michael Aragon was actually out of the office and took on the responsibility on handling the issue. He didn’t want to let this fall on anyone else. So while having the deed done remotely still feels bad. At least we have a reason why this happened.
“We got amazon’d. Sad day.”
Employees like this man right here, Ben Goldhaber. Better known as FishStix, who was a pivotal component with developing the relationship with the fighting game community over at Twitch. With him out of the picture, how is this going to affect Twitch’s standing with the FGC? Not counting Mike Ross, who left Twitch some time ago and recently hosted an AMA over at Reddit about this experiences with the company.
From 25 employees to 1200. 5 million monthly uniques to 100. 0 partnered creators to tens of thousands. Millions of lives changed, hopefully for the better.
It was a pretty good run, I'd say :')
— Ben Goldhaber (@FishStix) March 30, 2018
Twitch cites this fires due to ‘Overhiring’, yet they plan to increase their headcount by 30% this year. I’m not in management, but I’m not sure that’s being productive. Unless the recent drop in headcount was to get rid of people you didn’t want at the company anymore.
I’ve had my fair share of being fired in my lifetime, but I can’t imagine the hurt of those who were fired via a remote session. Even worse, how or why the upper management of Twitch was onboard with this. You simply don’t go and fire that many people, people that were important to your daily operations. That was planned and I’m ashamed of how Twitch allowed this to go down.
If Twitch can’t even manage it’s own house and is letting go of their own creators. What message is that going to send to those who want to attempt to make a name for themselves over at Twitch? This especially comes at a bad time as there’s a mass exodus of content creators over at YouTube who was looking to make the switch to Twitch. You have to wonder if this recent chain of events is going to deter many of those.
As you can imagine, the morale over at Twitch is pretty low, but that’s not surprising. Between this and the rumors that the company has been having their fair share issues, I believe that. Compounded by several unfavorable reviews over at Glassdoor, the streaming leader is definitely sailing some rough waters.
For a company that averages anywhere from 15 to 20 million unique visitors a day, with countless partners, you got to wonder what else is going on over there. Hopefully Twitch can get this all handled, otherwise, we’re going to be hearing more headlines like this in the future.
As for those who were let go, I noticed that Microsoft’s Mixer team is extending an invitation. Hopefully, they manage to scoop up some of the misplaced members. That said, Mixer could benefit from their expertise and experience.
We're always looking here at @WatchMixer for rock stars to help us on our great community streaming platform!
— Josh Stein (@steinekin) March 30, 2018
— Mike Ybarra (@XboxQwik) March 30, 2018
In any event, here’s to hoping those effect will land on their feet. The sooner the better for everyone.