IGN Launches Its Own Social Platform for Gamers

Online publishing company IGN Entertainment is taking a step beyond its venerable (by web standards) gaming editorial content today by opening its own social platform for gamers, called My IGN.

IGN’s theory is that, while Facebook has unlocked the idea of social collaboration around gaming, many gamers prefer not to talk about their hobby on their public profile — especially long-time gamers, who may be accustomed to hiding their habit from their wider social circle.

Facebook’s own method of letting games post updates to users’ walls doesn’t help the situation. “It feels odd to put in a lot of automation, and share information that’s not interesting,” says Peer Schneider, IGN’s senior VP and publisher.

The company also wants to differentiate from earlier traditional-gaming sites, which Schneider says were “very focused on creating a closed community around a certain game or genre of games.” Instead, IGN’s platform will seek to have members talk about all of their gaming activities, interacting with content both from each other and from the site’s editorial side.

We’ve seen a number of companies turning to create their own gaming social platforms of late; last week a half-dozen launched during Casual Connect. Each new effort varies, but there does seem to be a common thesis — namely, that Facebook is not the right place for gamers, whether casual or hardcore (IGN’s current coverage spans both).

Facebook itself is still working on automating user feeds so that everyone only sees what they’re interested in. Ultimately, that should make gamers more comfortable. But it may also be that Facebook is just a temporary stop for the social side of games; as ever more gaming move on, a parallel growth in sites and mechanics to learn about and share games, across many different web sites, could take place. At least, that seems to be the hope, both for IGN and others.