G4 shuts down less than a year after relaunching cover image

G4 shuts down less than a year after relaunching

The G4 network, a video game-themed television channel, is ceasing operations and shutting down less than a year after its relaunch

Gaming focused TV network G4 has shut down, as per a memo released by parent company chairman and CEO Dave Scott. The closure comes less than a year after the relaunch, and a year and a half after the announcement of the launch. The memo was obtained by Deadline from an unnamed source.

In the memo, Scott explains some of the reasoning behind the closure. “As you know, G4 was re-introduced last year to tap into the popularity of gaming. We invested to create the new G4 as an online and TV destination for fans to be entertained, be inspired, and connect with gaming content.”

“Over the past several months, we worked hard to generate that interest in G4, but viewership is low and the network has not achieved sustainable financial results. This is certainly not what we hoped for, and, as a result, we have made the very difficult decision to discontinue G4’s operations, effective immediately.”

G4’s legacy

G4 was a cultural touchstone for many in the US during the 2000s. A gaming-focused TV network, it was sometimes described as the “MTV of video games.” Nostalgia for the network was high, with some series such as Attack of the Show! becoming cult favorites. The original network ran between 2002 and 2014.

G4’s relaunched in November 2021, with content centered around a combination of oldschool G4 shows, and new shows. But the relaunched network struggled to find its niche in a post-streaming and online video world. Its target audience was uncertain, attempting to garner millennial nostalgia, and youthful new viewers, with mixed results. 

Name Your Price was one of G4's streamer-led productions (Image via AustinShow)
Name Your Price was one of G4's streamer-led productions (Image via AustinShow)

G4 eventually switched from its own content to having streamers and other online personalities do it for them. AustinShow’s Name Your Price, a mock-70’s game show based on The Price Is Right, and Vtuber CodeMiko’s interviews with content creators were some of the most notable of these.

However, in a more connected, global entertainment world, the nostalgia of North American millennials was not enough to create a brand identity. What’s more TV viewership across the board has fallen, and niche interests struggle to return on investment. Unlike traditionally television, streaming has a far more disseminated audience, and G4 struggled to capitalize on that before its shut down.

As per the memo, G4 will cease operating “effective immediately.”