The gaming website that everyone loves to hate, IGN, has a new owner. After a few years under the umbrella of News Corp, the site has been acquired by j2 Global through its Ziff Davis subsidiary. Whatever the details may be regarding parent companies and subsidiaries, the simplest way to put it is that this was a sale from one mega corporation to another.
Although IGN may be a better fit at Ziff Davis, the amount of money involved in the latest deal is dwarfed in comparison to the original New Corp deal. The Fox News and Wall Street Journal owner bought IGN in 2005 for an estimated $650 million dollars. The figures were not disclosed, but it is realistic to assume that Ziff Davis bought IGN at a steep discount, possibly below the $100 million dollar asking price. Still a huge sum, but the drop in price is astounding.
So what does this all mean for IGN? Hopefully it puts the focus back on games and less on, well, everything else…The past few years have seen IGN move from a pure game site to a full-spectrum entertainment brand that started to include more and more posts on movies, comics and television shows. Since Ziff Davis is known by the gaming community as the former owners of 1up.com and Electronic Gaming Monthly, it is possible that we will see a return to a more game-centric site.
Maybe a quote from the CEO of the new owner will shed some light:
“This is a transformative deal for our digital media business,” said Hemi Zucker, CEO of j2 Global. “By combining two of the most storied organizations in tech, gaming and entertainment, we have created a very powerful company capable of producing and delivering content in all forms to an audience that marketers highly value.”
All I read was “content…marketers…value.” Yikes. Maybe we wont see that much change.
Although it is hard to tell how this will work out, what does IGN need to do in order to become a respected gaming web site once again?