IGN (formerly Imagine Games Network) is an American video game and
entertainment media company operated by
IGN Entertainment Inc., a
Ziff Davis and wholly owned by j2 Global. The company is
located in San Francisco's SOMA district, and is headed by its former
editor-in-chief, Peer Schneider. The
IGN website was the brainchild of
media entrepreneur Chris Anderson and launched on September 29, 1996.
It focuses on games, films, television, comics, technology, and other
media. Originally a network of desktop websites,
IGN is now
distributed on mobile platforms, console programs on the
PlayStation, FireTV, Roku, and via YouTube, Twitch, Hulu, and
IGN was the flagship property of the parent company IGN
Entertainment, which owned and operated several other websites
oriented towards players' interests, games, and entertainment, such as
Rotten Tomatoes, GameSpy, GameStats, VE3D, TeamXbox, Vault Network,
FilePlanet, and AskMen, among others.
IGN was sold to publishing
Ziff Davis in February 2013 and now operates as a J2 Global
1.1 Acquisition of UGO, sale to Ziff Davis
1.2 Subsidiaries and spin-offs
1.3 Scoring systems
1.3.1 Original scale
1.3.2 20-point scale
1.3.3 100-point scale
1.3.4 Re-review policy
IGN 'Best of' awards
3 Other sections
4 Regional websites
IGN Pro League
7 External links
IGN Entertainment's former headquarters in Brisbane, California
Created in September 1996 as the Imagine Games Network, the IGN
content network was founded by publishing executive Jonathan
Simpson-Bint and began as five individual websites within Imagine
Media: N64.com (later renamed ign64.com), PSXPower, Saturnworld,
Next-Generation.com and Ultra
Game Players Online. Imagine expanded on
its owned-and-operated websites by creating an affiliate network that
included a number of independent fansites such as PSX Nation.com,
Game Sages, and GameFAQs. In 1998, the network
launched a new homepage that consolidated the individual sites as
system channels under the
IGN brand. The homepage exposed content from
more than 30 different channels. Next-Generation and Ultra Game
Players Online were not part of this consolidation; U.G.P.O. dissolved
with the cancellation of the magazine, and Next-Generation was put "on
hold" when Imagine decided to concentrate on launching the short-lived
Daily Radar brand.
In February 1999, Imagine Media incorporated a spin-off that included
IGN and its affiliate channels as Affiliation Networks, while
Simpson-Bint remained at the former company. In September, the newly
spun-out standalone internet media company, changed its name to
Snowball.com. At the same time, small entertainment website The Den
IGN and added non-gaming content to the growing network.
Snowball held an IPO in 2000, but shed most of its other properties
during the dot-com bubble.
IGN prevailed with growing audience numbers
and a newly established subscription service called
IGN Insider (later
IGN Prime), which led to the shedding of the name "Snowball" and
IGN Entertainment on May 10, 2002.
In June 2005,
IGN reported having 24,000,000 unique visitors per
month, with 4.8 million registered users through all departments of
IGN is ranked among the top 200 most-visited websites
according to Alexa. In September 2005,
IGN was acquired by Rupert
Murdoch's multi-media business empire, News Corporation, for $650
IGN celebrated its 10th anniversary on January 12,
IGN was headquartered in the Marina Point Parkway office park
in Brisbane, California, until it relocated to a smaller office
building near AT&T Park in
San Francisco on March 29, 2010. On May
IGN sold its
Direct2Drive division to
Gamefly for an
Acquisition of UGO, sale to Ziff Davis
IGN Entertainment acquired its rival UGO Entertainment
(owners of 1UP.com) from Hearst Corporation. Ultimately, News Corp.
planned to spin off
IGN Entertainment as a publicly traded company,
continuing a string of divestitures for digital properties it had
previously acquired (including
MySpace and Photobucket).
On February 4, 2013, after a failed attempt to spin off
IGN as a
separate company, News Corp. announced that it had sold IGN
Entertainment to the publishing company Ziff Davis, which was recently
acquired by J2 Global. Financial details regarding the purchase were
not revealed. Prior to its acquisition by UGO,
1UP.com had previously
been owned by Ziff Davis. Soon after the acquisition,
that it would be laying off staff and closing GameSpy, 1UP.com, and
UGO in order to focus on its flagship brands, IGN.com and AskMen.
Subsidiaries and spin-offs
The role-playing video game interest website
Vault Network was
IGN in 1999. GameStats, a review aggregation website,
was founded by
IGN in 2004.
GameStats includes a "GPM" (Game
Popularity Meter) rating system which incorporates an average press
score and average gamer score, as well as the number of page hits for
the game. However, the site is no longer being
Xbox interest site, TeamXbox, and the PC game website
VE3D were acquired in 2003.
IGN Entertainment merged with
GameSpy Industries in 2005. The merger also brought the game
download site FilePlanet into the
IGN group; as of 2011 both
FilePlanet and the
GameSpy website still operate as video game-related
IGN Entertainment acquired the online male lifestyle
AskMen.com in 2005. In 2004,
IGN acquired film review
Rotten Tomatoes and in 2010, sold the website to
Flixster. In October 2017,
Humble Bundle announced that it was
being acquired by IGN.
A member of the
IGN staff writes a review for a game and gives it a
score between 0.1 and 10.0, which is assigned by increments of 0.1 and
determines how much the game is recommended. The score is given
according to the "individual aspects of a game, like presentation,
graphics, sound, gameplay and lasting appeal." Each game is given a
score in each of these categories, but the overall score for the game
is an independent evaluation, not an average of the scores in each
On August 3, 2010,
IGN announced that the site would be changing to a
new scoring scale. Instead of a 100-point scale, where games are
scored in increments of 0.1, all future reviews will use a 20-point
scale where games are scored in increments of 0.5. Under both systems,
the maximum possible score a game can receive is 10.0. The scoring
change is not retroactive: all scores on reviews written before the
change will remain the same. This change also does not affect the
scoring system for reader reviews.
On September 13, 2012,
IGN revealed that as part of their new review
format all future reviews would now follow a 100-point scale again,
but this time without using decimals, meaning a score of 8.5 would now
be an 85. Unlike the previous conversion to the 20-point scale, this
latest scoring system change will be retroactive and all previous IGN
review scores will be updated to follow the new system. However,
despite the announcement, the article included a short addition, post
release. It stated that after much discussion, they have decided to
retain the decimal point in all upcoming scores.
In early 2014,
IGN introduced a new policy, in which a game's review
score can be re-reviewed and improved, provided that continuous
updates form a significant change in the game compared to how it was
at launch. Examples of games in which they are were re-reviewed were
League of Legends
League of Legends and the pocket edition of Minecraft.
IGN 'Best of' awards
See also: List of
Game of the Year awards § IGN
IGN's 'Best of' is an end-of-year event to annually honor the year's
best games, films, television shows and comics. Winners of each
award category is selected by
IGN staff from a list of nominees, while
readers are able to cast their own votes online to determine the
'People's Choice' award for each category.
In 2000, Snowball.com purchased an E-federation called the Internet
Wrestling Organization (IWO). Since Snowball owned both IWO and
IGN, IWO would go on to become IGN's first official E-Fed, even doing
a column on the website. The
IGN For Men section officially closed
down on October 2, 2001 and is no longer updated.
IGN has sites such
IGN Stars and
AskMen.com that fulfill much of the function of the
IGN For Men site.
IGN Wrestling met its end in early 2002, when
many of the staff departed. Interviews with professional wrestling
personalities and coverage of wrestling games has been folded into IGN
Sports, currently headed by Jon Robinson.
IGN Sci-Fi: Largely dead
since 2002, this section of the site included movie news, comic book
reviews, anime coverage and other associated items. It has since been
discontinued. The site, SciFI.ign.com, now redirects to the recently
created SciFiBrain.ign.com, which covers some of the content of the
old Sci-Fi site.
IGN launched a dedicated videogame FAQs site specifically
designed to host user-submitted guides. This was launched
following the cancellation of affiliation with GameFAQs.[citation
needed] In 2004,
IGN launched GameStats, which serves as a more
unbiased rating network, as it takes in scores from every corporately
owned game rating site and averages them all into one score to give a
general idea of the quality of a game.
IGN also launched
Direct2Drive.com in 2004. Its primary focus is selling digital
downloads of full PC and Mac video games, as well as anime, comics and
game guides. In 2005,
IGN launched its comics site, which is devoted
to not just the staple Marvel and DC titles, but also manga, graphic
novels, statues and toys.
IGN launched its television site. It provides interviews with
various television celebrities, in addition to a TV schedule, TV
trivia and TV news. Akin to
IGN FilmForce, IGN's TV section has a
variety of exclusive clips from upcoming television shows.
On May 30, 2006,
IGN Dreamcast was restarted; however, none of the
Dreamcast updates were posted on the main
IGN launched its anime site. It provided features on anime
and manga, including trailers and free episodes. It also included
reviews of manga and anime from other sections of IGN, such as IGN
IGN DVD. The anime channel was dropped after
the site. In 2008, the
IGN Retro channel was launched to mark IGN's
10th anniversary. To coincide with the release of Super Smash
IGN created the Super Smash Bros. World site. On the
site, people can submit their user created stages from the game and
download ones made by other people.
IGN subsequently launched a
similar website called GTA 'Hood on April 29, 2008, for Grand Theft
Along with their popular website content,
IGN also publishes many
different podcasts on both their website and on iTunes. Some of their
podcasts include "Podcast Beyond" which is their
with Max Scoville, Marty Sliva, Brian Altano and Andrew Goldfarb.
Xbox oriented podcast is "Podcast Unlocked" with Ryan McCaffrey,
Alanah Pearce, Destin Legarie, and Marty Sliva as the hosts. Nintendo
Voice Chat is IGN's Nintendo podcast, hosted by Filip Miucin,
accompanied by Peer Schneider, Brian Altano, and Zachary Ryan. Game
Scoop! is another popular podcast where they discuss news and topics
surrounding the video game industry with host Daemon Hatfield, regular
panelist Justin Davis and a variety of other
This section may be better presented in list format to meet
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converting it into a stand-alone or embedded list. (September 2016)
IGN Entertainment began launching regional versions of the
website for various countries and pan-regions. Initially,
opening new offices outside the
United States in order to support
those regional websites, but later
IGN began franchising its brand as
a more cost-effective means of globalization, wherein it licensed
various media publishers in many countries to use the
IGN brand and
manage regional websites on their own. When visiting www.ign.com from
an IGN-supported region, the site automatically redirects visitors to
their localized version using geolocation software, based on their
countries' IP addresses. Each version of the site has a modified logo
with their country's/region's respective flags near the
However, it is still possible to access the original American website
using a navigation bar on top or below (depending on regional website)
the page's master template.
IGN opened its first offices in the UK and Australia in 2006, which
both share the same information as the American site but with added
content authored from editors within each respective region. Other
licensed regional publishers work on their own servers, albeit can
link to IGN's HQ database, where they can import or translate
articles, and use videos uploaded on IGN's servers that use IGN's own
hosted video player.
On May 16, 2012, in collaboration with the Emirati-based company
IGN Middle East was announced for the
community. The site replaces t-break Media's own ME Gamers website,
which was formerly one of the largest Middle Eastern-based gaming
media outlets that was originally launched in 2006. ME Gamers' entire
staff converted their duties to
IGN Middle East, importing or
translating many of IGN's English articles, whilst writing up their
own articles, especially for Middle Eastern-specific events. IGN
Middle East is available in both English and Arabic languages.
Whilst the site was initially launched to cover only video games,
t-break Media announced in September 2012 that they started posting
movie-related articles under the
IGN brand as
IGN Movies Middle East,
merging most of the duties from their own ME Movies website, which was
originally established in 2009, under a similar manner to their video
game content. Unlike video games, however, most movie-related
content will be in English only.
In September 2012 the Italian edition of
IGN launched, managed by a
local team, providing both original and translated contents.
On October 9, 2012, in collaboration with the Spanish-based media
IGN Spain was announced. The site effectively replaces
Marca's own Marca Player gaming news website. Marca Player's editors
converted their duties to
IGN Spain, translating many of IGN's English
articles, whilst writing up their own Spanish articles as well,
covering various topics including video games, movies, TV series and
In March 2013,
IGN Russia was launched. Russian version is managed by
Gameland publishing house, and its staff was initially completed by
former editors and writers from Strana Igr, Gameland's printed video
game magazine that was closed later that year.
On December 2, 2013,
IGN Africa was launched.
On December 17, 2013, in collaboration with Times Internet,
was launched. The Indian edition takes AAA game reviews from its US
counterpart and focuses more on coverage of gaming news and events in
the country, apart from writing about comics, movies, technology.
On September 1, 2014,
IGN Latinoamérica was launched in collaboration
with Publimetro and cover the whole Central and South American region
(except Brazil) with content in Spanish.
On February 23, 2015,
IGN Brazil was launched.
On June 2015,
IGN Romania was launched.
On November 6, 2015,
IGN Poland was launched.
On January 4, 2016,
IGN Adria was launched.
IGN Adria covers countries
of ex Yugoslavia region: Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Montenegro and FYR Macedonia.
On April 11, 2016, in collaboration with Sankei Digital, the online
publishing arm of Japanese newspaper publisher Sankei Shimbun, IGN
Japan was publicly launched, and is expected to have a full scale
release by summer 2016. The launch of
IGN Japan is considered a
critical development: In addition to translation of English articles,
IGN Japan is hoping to also contribute much original content for other
IGN editions from the Japanese end of the gaming industry, one of
the world's largest video game markets with little mainstream
journalism for Western media.
On April 12, 2016, in collaboration with Pakistani-based Express
IGN Pakistan was publicly launched. Pakistan originally
shared some media coverage with
IGN Middle East, and later
before spinning off to a completely independent
IGN edition with focus
on local gaming and pop culture events in Pakistan.
is initially only available in English, but an
Urdu language version
is expected to launch later in 2016.
IGN Pro League
IGN Pro League, a professional e-sports circuit
that ran tournaments for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, ShootMania
Storm and League of Legends. On March 6, 2013, only weeks prior to
IGN abruptly cancelled the finals of IPL 6—which were to
be held in Las Vegas from March 28 through 31, and discontinued the
IGN indicated that it was no longer in a position to commit to
competing with the increased number of e-sports events that were now
being held. On April 8, 2013,
Blizzard Entertainment announced
that it had acquired the staff and assets of the IPL from IGN; its
former staff were reassigned to work on in-house e-sports
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Computer Gaming World
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