VE eventually got too big in that era where great sites got expensive to run and the advertising dollars just couldn't cover the expense. I don't know the specifics, but apparently he nearly lost everything, got divorced and the domain was eventually sold to IGN. Some of the stuff I've found indicates he was too proud to ask his audience for money. He fairly recently co-founded Gaming Groove, where you'll find several postings about his death.
Billy's version of VE really inspired me, and honestly it was the reason that I started CoasterBuzz. This site would not exist if it weren't for his. He demonstrated that you didn't have to be a corporate tool or follow traditional media conventions to attract, entertain and retain an audience. It was editorial-journalism about the journalism and the gaming industry.
Details on his death aren't clear, but he was apparently sick in the hospital for a few days. Regardless, it sucks. He is survived by his ex-wife and son.
Jeff, I just realized you have a book out. Congratulations. According to the amazon reviews it looks like it's doing great!
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