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February 4
2013

IGN Sold To Ziff Davis

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IGN: A site that, as we denizens of the international e-village have noticed, inspires the polar opposite of what the kids these day don’t call, “intense, undying love.” The object of many barbs, held in a regard typically reserved for syphilis, and home to a comments section that, for the most part, forms an ongoing case for the annihilation of mankind, its safe to say that some of my fellow gamers don’t much care for IGN. Yet still it prevails, providing news, reviews, and as you will recall from the previous sentence, a thriving comments section/manifesto against humanity. Incidentally, it is also worth a vast amount of money.

Indeed, IGN Entertainment – owner of Askmen.com, Gamespy, and File Planet, aside from IGN.com – has managed to dislodge itself from beneath Rupert Murdoch’s jowls, and into the warm, loving arms of Ziff Davis: a subsidiary of j2 Global, which owns pcmag.com and geek.com, among others. IGN’s sale comes at a time when the Murdoch-owned News Corporation brand is undergoing a transition: The news division will retain the name “News Corporation,” while its entertainment-centric counterpart will be called “Fox Group.”

While the cost of the sale has not been divulged, Bloomburg states that IGN Entertainment was acquired for less than the $100 million asking price. In a statement, j2 Global CEO Hemi Zucker called the acquisition “a transformative deal for our digital media business,” and said that “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.”

As Joystiq notes, the whole deal gets a tad confusing. Rather than exploring the winding labyrinth that is the world of business – thus running the risk of becoming lost, or encountering a towering Rupert Murdoch, in Minotaur form, seated upon a throne of skulls at its center – i’ll let Joystiq’s Alexander Sliwinski explain:

“The historical context for all this gets crazy and incestuous, so strap in, we’ll try to make this easy. The zombie Ziff Davis at the heart of this current deal was acquired by j2 Global for $167 million in late 2012, after Ziff’s years of financial difficulty and bankruptcy.

The incarnation of Ziff Davis that game industry watchers probably remember is the one that once upon a time ran 1UP and EGM. Those properties were sold in 2009 to the Hearst corporation, which had also acquired UGO earlier. This led to the death of EGM and reinterpretation of 1UP.

Two years later, News Corp., which owned IGN, took over the Hearst properties and, thusly, the former Ziff Davis site 1UP and Hearst’s UGO.”

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About Jesse Gmitro

(Writer) Jesse Gmitro is the self-proclaimed "resident ally/lady-fancier" of gaygamer.net -- a position he has held since 2011 - and a shameless fanboy of Metal Gear, pre-Homecoming Silent Hill, and Final Fantasy. He plays drums in a local post-rock band called "Between Two Skies," and is currently working on a black comedy novella, "The Madcap Laughs." He currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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