A few weeks ago e-mails from the Games Journo Pros were leaked to the public showing Patrick Klepek and Alex Navarro from Giant Bomb allegedly blacklisting industry professional Kevin Dent by requesting other competing websites not to report, quote or interview him anymore. The article went live on December 17th, 2014. Two days after the news broke, Patrick Klepek – a former member of the secret Game Journo Pros list – was no longer with Giant Bomb.
Patrick Klepek, a news editor at Giant Bomb, recently made the news public in an article, stating…
“Moments ago, I finished watching the final episode of The Colbert Report, and it seemed fitting to head upstairs, pour some scotch, sit down, and write my final post for Giant Bomb. This, my friends, is it.
“Spoiler alert: my last day at Giant Bomb was, in reality, a few weeks ago. December 19, to be exact. I wanted to say something at the time, but due to reasons neither exciting nor very interesting, I had to sit on the news.”
Some took this that Klepek was moving on to a bigger, better gaming site. Although, one would have to question what’s bigger than Giant Bomb and what site offers more freedom? Unless it’s for a mainstream news organization.
There are rumors floating about that Klepek may be heading to a subsidiary under Vox.
Klepek was actually in the middle of building a new studio, according to his Twitter, on December 19th, 2014 he posted a photo of the studio space. As recent as December 28th, 2014 he posted another photo of the studio, which is still under construction.
I reached out to Jeff Gerstmann, the co-founder of Giant Bomb, to ask if Klepek had been intending to use the studio space for Giant Bomb, but at the time of the publishing of this article I have not received a response.
Back on December 3rd, 2014 news went out that Giant Bomb was hiring a news editor for the GB East staff, as noted on a LinkedIn post. Some people speculated that the new editor could replace Klepek, but this was neither confirmed nor elaborated on.
Of course, all the talk about members of the Game Journo Pros leaving and finding new jobs does look awfully suspect following the Breitbart leaks back in September in conjunction with the media’s attacks against their own gaming audience. Casey Johnston left Ars Technica, Corey Banks is no longer with PC Gamer, Dale North stepped away from Destructoid, and now Patrick Klepek is departing Giant Bomb.
Nevertheless, I did try reaching out to Klepek and Navarro about their involvement in the Game Journo Pros multiple times. However, neither opted to respond, especially in regards to the recent news that the FTC has been contacted regarding the alleged blacklisting of Kevin Dent. The information about the FTC also happened to be posted the day that Klepek left Giant Bomb.
Klepek did make mention on his Tumblr blog that he may be heading to the Cards Against Humanity offices, stating…
“Vinny, Alex, and myself all left on Wednesday, sadly. It was awesome to have everyone out for game of the year, and hopefully it’s not the last time.
“If you want to send something my way, hold onto it. Cards Against Humanity is switching offices in the next few weeks, and I’ll have an updated address for you shortly. (The office is super impressive, by the way!)”
In the farewell editorial about his departure, Klepek did make it known that he’s “not leaving editorial”, so we can expect that he’ll land someplace where he can still write out thoughts and engage with an audience. He wrote that…
“I can't say where I'm going yet, but I'm not leaving editorial, and I'm definitely not working for Dave Lang. Keep tabs on Twitter, and you'll have an idea of what's happening soon.”
It doesn’t sound as if Klepek left on bad terms with the crew, especially given his positive parting words to the rest of the staff at Giant Bomb. Alex Navarro also took to Twitter to state…
“I've been thinking for a while about what I wanted to say re: the just-announced departure of @patrickklepek, and not coming up with much.”
It’s interesting that he doesn’t exactly say what his reasons are for leaving, but going from Giant Bomb to Cards Against Humanity seems like a mighty big step backwards… career wise.
[Update: The word “coincidence” was removed from the opening lede at the request of readers.]
[Update #2: Patrick Klepek has joined Kotaku]
(Main image courtesy of Giant Bomb)
[Disclosure: I was a former member of the Game Journo Pros e-mail group]