by Craig Donaldson
It all started November 6th, 2023, when Gamurs Group, owner of the Escapist, fired its editor and chief Nick Calandra, and a number of other employees. Calandra posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, immediately after his firing.
I was let go for “not achieving goals” that were never properly set out for us, and lack of understanding of our audience and the team that built that audience.
I’ve watched many colleagues let go for the same reasons, and today was my day!
— Nick Calandra (@nickjcal) November 6, 2023
After Nick was let go, Gamurs Group fired a number of other journalists and editors who worked on the Escapist as well. This resulted in a number of other workers for the Escapist resigning in solidarity. This includes Yahtzee Croshaw, the host of the Escapist’s #1 show Zero Punctuation. The video series had Yahtzee ranting and raving about the latest video game releases.
The Rise of Second Wind
Just two days after the mass departures from the Escapist, Nick Calandra, and Yahtzee Croshaw announced Second Wind. An independent media outlet that is supporter-funded.
“Second Wind will be focused on creating content that’s informative, interesting and fun, and everything that you came to expect from the team behind The Escapist,” the group said on their Patreon page.
Second Wind received an outpouring of support from the gaming community and Escapist viewers, amassing 100,000 subscribers in just three days. As of this article’s writing it stands at 323,000.
YouTuber and a former editor for Escapist thrilled to see success
Parkes Harman is a content creator and video editor. He runs his own YouTube channel ArTorr. He is a former editor for the Escapist, and supporter of Second Wind, and is thrilled to see Second Wind take off.
“It brings me a lot of personal pride and even thrill to see the firestorm of support Second Wind has received in just the last couple weeks,” Parkes said. ” I sensed a lot of what Nick truly wanted to achieve at The Escapist while he was my boss, and though I haven’t yet been directly involved with Second Wind’s operations since it launched, I really do hope he and the team achieve everything they set out to do. These aren’t just my former colleagues, but dare I say my friends, and they deserve every bit of the spotlight they’re getting right now.”