Machinima officially closed; 81 lose jobs

When a whole bunch of Transformers cartoons disappear from YouTube, the Toy Wizards know that something funny is happening out there. Now, it’s been reported that Machinima is officially closed, with 81 employees having lost their jobs. Parent company confirms shutdown two weeks after everything went offline.

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Machinima, which rose to prominence as an influential and lucrative multi-channel network catering to gamer culture, has laid off 81 employees and ceased operations. The company, which was acquired by Warner Bros in 2016 and at the beginning of 2019 was folded into WarnerMedia’s Otter Media, confirmed the moves Friday.

Two weeks ago, all of Machinima’s YouTube content — a catalog stretching back 12 years — was taken offline. That followed Machinma being shuffled over to Otter Media by AT&T, the parent company of both properties, in a reorganization of digital assets following AT&T’s $81 billion acquisition of Time Warner.

A Machinima spokesperson confirmed the firings but said a “select number” of employees were still aboard Otter Media to “supercharge” its holdings.

“Machinima has ceased its remaining operations, which includes layoffs,” the statement said. Russell Aarons, who came in as Machinima’s chief executive in 2017, is “assisting with transitional activities as she explores new opportunities.”

Machinima’s history dates to 2000, when Machinima.com launched as a resource for those making videos using video game assets as their medium. It grew substantially with the advent of YouTube in the middle of the decade, and evolved into a major multi-channel network spotlighting dozens of creators with hundreds of thousands of subscribers each. Machinima was also home to major original series such as Halo 4: Forward Unto DawnStreet Fighter Assassin’s Fist and Mortal Kombat: Legacy, both live-action series of their franchises; and Terminator Salvation: The Machinima Series. It was acquired by Warner Bros. in 2016.

SOURCE: Deadline/Polygon

 

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