Friday, 8 February 2013

IGN Finds a New Home

A familiar face and a full circle for one aspect in particular.

You may remember that a couple of months back I mentioned that the IGN was being put up for sale. Well, they did manage to find a buyer, and it's one that's already a somewhat familiar name in video game related media. J2 Media, the parent company of Ziff Davis Media, which at one point published EGM, one of the larger gaming magazines. Although EGM is no longer under Ziff Davis -- they haven't been since roughly 2010 -- the company still does own a few technology related websites, and now with the acquisition of IGN and its properties it has expanded into the gaming realm once again.

Amusingly enough, this acquisition also means that, which had started as a Ziff Davis property but was then sold to IGN, is now back with Ziff Davis, coming full circle it would seem.

The amount that J2 ultimately paid is undisclosed, but considering that the last number that people heard regarding the IGN sale was roughly $100 million, it would appear that they got it for quite a bargain, especially since as mentioned before, the site was previously acquired by News Corporation for $650 million in 2005. It can only be assumed that the site and its subsidiaries must have been underperforming for the price difference to be so drastic.

With this acquisition there will probably be a few changes, but nothing overly drastic I'd imagine. Granted it has been a while since J2 owned a gaming rag of any kind, but I suppose if anything we'll see how they handle it now that some time has passed.

I doubt that there will be any sort of disruption to IGN's service, it would be hard to imagine that J2 is planning anything extreme, although the full extent will be revealed once the sale is finalized in the spring. Still, I would think that some tweaks are going to be inevitable so that they can try and increase the value of the property to what it was at the high point, rather than for what they bought it for now.

It's hard to say what will remain and what won't. There should be games coverage, one would think, but it's quite possible that if there were any segments or particular facets that weren't drawing a large enough crowd then they could be gone with the wind after everything settles down. As for whether IGN will also keep the same ties to certain gaming companies also remains to be seen, although I doubt that J2 would want to sour any relationships that would get them potential first access to projects and interviews.

All in all, it seems that this will honestly be one of the more downplayed of any potential moves that have to do with video game related news. Still, it's nice to see that IGN didn't have to completely fold.

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