The best part of the deal: Bitmob co-founder Dan “Shoe” Hsu, an industry veteran with significant street cred with gamers, will become the Editor-in-Chief of GamesBeat. He’ll join Dean Takahashi, our lead games writer, who has done an incredible job getting GamesBeat off the ground over the last couple of years.
Together, along with Sebastian Haley, who is GamesBeat’s review editor and will lead our video coverage, this is the perfect powerhouse trio to help GamesBeat become the bible of the games industry.
Shoe just posted about the merger.
The GamesBeat channel will expand significantly over the coming months, after Shoe starts with us Feb 1. This will include a “relaunch” of GamesBeat, which will essentially give GamesBeat its own identity separate from VentureBeat. It will also mean the integration of Bitmob’s community features. Most importantly, it will bolster GamesBeat’s mission to cover the most disruptive and interesting stories in the games industry — everything from the amazing saga around social gaming companies like Zynga and Crowdstar, to how giants like Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are responding. GameBeat will also expand its reviews of top games that define the industry.
To be clear, it was Dean who first approached me saying he wanted us to acquire Shoe and Bitmob, so that Shoe could run GamesBeat, while Dean focuses on writing. Shoe has a 16-year track record. He communicates well and has managed big teams, including at EGM, 1UP and Gamers.com. Dean has already attracted some promising new writers to GamesBeat, including Haley. It’s all a perfect fit. Though Shoe is justifiably “freaked out” at the thought of managing a veteran like Dean.
The merger continues the momentum we’re seeing at VentureBeat. Today we’re also announcing the hiring of Ben Popper, founding editor of Betabeat, the influential Silicon Alley blog from The New York Observer. He will be VentureBeat’s East Coast Editor. He’s done an excellent job covering the New York start-up and wider technology scene there and quickly caught our attention by the scoops he was getting about the New York scene. He’s got a “comer” reputation. We’re super excited about him joining us. Ben just blogged about the move here.
Ben will join Devindra Hardawar and Sean Ludwig, our two other New York-based writers. Devindra becomes our national editor. While Ben will wake up early, and break East Coast news and focus on taking the New York scene by storm, Devindra will start shaping our national coverage for us early in the day. He’ll work closely with executive editor Dylan Tweney and senior editor Heather Kelly as they wake up on the West Coast, to guide coverage through the rest of the day.
VentureBeat plans to open an office in Manhattan next month. Ben will lead the local expansion there over the next two years. Expect more hires.
Previously, Ben has written about the culture and business of technology for The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Slate, and Fast Company. Prior to Betabeat and the Observer, he was a blogger at CBS Interactive.
We just can’t wait until both of them get started. While Shoe officially starts Feb 1, he’ll be working hard to get ready for the transition in the meantime. We’ll plan to syndicate the best of Bitmob’s content in the meantime, so readers can track all of the best stuff on GamesBeat beginning today.
Ben Popper starts Monday.