j2 Global acquires IGN Entertainment from News Corporation, doubling its digital media empire

j2 Global acquires IGN Entertainment from News Corporation, doubling its digital media empire

IGN Entertainment has been snapped up today by the American publisher and Internet company Ziff Davis, a subsidiary of j2 Global.

IGN is one of the leading websites for video games, with content published not only on IGN.com but also its sister site, 1UP.com. The company, owned by News Corporation until now, also includes the entertainment-focused UGO.com and lifestyle website AskMen.com.

The multimedia juggernaut that is News Corporation has been looking to sell IGN Entertainment for a little while now. It acquired the firm’s portfolio of websites back in 2005 for $650 million, when it was still a very successful outlet for content on video games, as well as other offshoots including television, comic books and gadgets. However, in October last year it was revealed that News Corporation was working with investment bank Allen & Co. to sell off its IGN Entertainment division.

IGN grew back in May 2011 when it bought the UGO portfolio of websites from Hearst, which included the smaller but well-respected video game publication 1UP.com. Since then the two websites have run in tandem with one another, although at one point there were rumors of a merger that would make IGN its own company. That never came to fruition, however.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that News Corporation will be making around $100 million as a result of the deal with j2 Global. In a press release issued today, however, no figure was disclosed.

Ziff Davis, on the other hand, has a number of websites in its portfolio that aren’t too dissimilar to those owned by IGN Entertainment. PCMag.com covers product reviews, buying guides and technology news, while Geek.com is focused solely on the latter.

IGN Entertainment has more than 600 advertisers and 53 million global monthly unique visitors, which j2 Global says will “more than double” its revenues as a result of the acquisition.

“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.”

Ziff Davis was its own digital media company before it was acquired by j2 Global in November last year for $167 million. Today’s deal with News Corporation should therefore be seen as a much wider move by j2 Global to expand its role as a digital media company; before the acquisition of Ziff Davis, the firm was known only as a business cloud services company dealing with Internet fax, virtual phone, hosted email, email marketing, online backup, unified communications and CRM solutions.

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