It was just announced today that Blizzard Entertainment has purchased the IGN Pro League. Although Blizzard mentioned that it has “no plans to continue the operation of the IPL business itself,” it now controls all IPL technology and assets.
Blizzard is bringing onboard members of the IPL staff as the foundation for a new team based in San Francisco, whose primary focus will be on creating high-quality web and mobile content in support of Blizzard games, while other IPL staff have joined Blizzard’s existing eSports team.
Blizzard executive vice president of publishing Itzik Ben-Bassat clarified what this purchase means by stating,“this new team will help us to further develop the rich media experiences that extend the fun and engagement of our games online. This is a team of passionate gamers with a proven track record, and we’re looking forward to now leveraging their expertise and technology to support a variety of online efforts.”
The sale itself is not surprising, after the recent acquisition of IGN by media conglomerate Ziff Davis, who has been “trimming the fat” ever since they purchased the online news site.
Regarding the transaction, Peer Schneider, executive vice president of IGN, stated, “With the continuing evolution of the eSports space and the renewed focus on our core media brand, we made the decision to sell the IGN Pro League technology and assets and become agnostic in our competitive gaming coverage. Following Blizzard’s acquisition of IPL assets, IGN will partner with multiple organizations and cover their events.”
With Blizzard highly interested in expanding their presence in the eSports space after up-and-coming titles like League of Legends have cut into their competitive multiplayer influence, this tech buy is a great way to regain ground.
It will likely be used to buoy the StarCraft 2 brand in the United States and around the world, making it easier for Blizzard to create proper systems for the development and execution of multiplayer events.
How do you think Blizzard will leverage this technology to their benefit? Will this help their long-term goals of staying on top of the competitive gaming world? Let us know!