Two of the largest video game websites are joining forces to create a new media company.
News Corp. is apparently planning to spin off IGN.com to create a “standalone Web business that will focus primarily on videogame news, reviews, and culture,” and the media conglomerate has reportedly acquired Hearst’s UGO.com in anticipation of the move. All Things Digital says that an official announcement will be made sometime later in the week, although it may be a while before the IGN/News Corp. split actually takes place.
Unlike other News Corp. properties – like, say, MySpace – IGN is not being abandoned as a failed investment. News Corp. will still own a controlling share in the new company and hopes that it will grow faster as a separate entity. IGN Entertainment is expected to generate profits of $10 million from $100 million in total revenue in 2011.
The IGN umbrella also includes GameSpy and Direct2Drive while the UGO family includes 1up.com and Game Videos, and the details are still fuzzy so it’s not yet clear how all of those various sister sites will factor into new company. Even so, the merger will create a massive presence in the games journalism landscape. Comscore estimates that IGN has an audience of 19.7 million U.S. visitors, so adding UGO’s 13.1 million visitors will only boost the new company’s digital profile.
Source: All Things Digital