The latest casualty in the gaming network meltdown is eUniverse, whose affiliate program includes a number of gaming fan sites such as Loose Cannon Zone, DungeonSiege.org, 3DGPU and The Croft Times. In an e-mail to affiliate sites, the company said that "it is with deep regret that I inform you that eUniverse.com will end its affiliation program on March 15, 2001", adding that "we feel it important to note that this decision should not imply any sort of dissatisfaction on our part with the excellent work and long hours many of you have put into your sites". Instead the decision was put down to the total collapse of the internet advertising market over the last couple of years.
"The simple fact is that in spite of repeated and intensive efforts by the eUniverse sales staff to fill your collective inventories with profitable advertising campaigns, the wildly fluctuating internet market is no longer able to support banners or popups. It's not that eUniverse is faltering, it's just that banner advertising is no longer a viable option for anyone in this economy. Times have indeed changed. I'm sure you have seen (some of you firsthand) a few of our competitors come to a similar conclusion - given the current economy, it is no longer possible to maintain a profitable affiliate program."
eUniverse also owns the wildly popular online gaming site Case's Ladders, as well as the Gamer's Alliance Network, which includes sites such as GA-RPG, GA-Strategy and GA-Source. It's not clear at this point how these sites will be effected by the cut-backs, but given that eUniverse spent a small fortune on buying Case's Ladders just a couple of years ago it seems fairly unlikely that they will shut it down. One thing is sure though - eUniverse won't be the last of the gaming networks to hit the rocks, and we can expect far more doom and gloom over the coming months. ®
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