After a prolonged, somewhat tortured sales process, News Corp. has finally unloaded IGN Entertainment to technology publishing company Ziff Davis, a subsidiary of j2 Global.
The deal, first reported to be in the works on Friday by Pando Daily, places the IGN properties AskMen.com, IGN.com and its sister video games site 1UP.com within Ziff Davis' complementary portfolio of sites like Geek.com and PCMag.com.
The expanded roster will undoubtedly widen the publisher's footprint in the younger, tech-friendly male demographic. According to j2, the acquisition is projected to more than double the company's digital revenues and bring roughly 53 million global monthly unique visitors to Ziff. "This is a game-changing deal for us, placing us in the upper echelon of digital media companies," Ziff Davis CEO Vivek Shah told Adweek via email.
While the acquisition is a big one for Ziff Davis, it marks the end of a tumultuous period for News Corp., which acquired the IGN network in 2005 for $650 million amidst a string of high-profile digital purchases like MySpace. Similar to MySpace, which is reported to have saddled News Corp. with a loss of over $500 million, IGN's sale will mark another failed digital investment for the media behemoth.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting the deal will be around $100 million, which would put News Corp.'s loss at about $550 million on the sale. It's been no secret that News Corp. was ready to unload IGN. In September the media conglomerate began actively shopping the company, talking to potential partners such as Break Media and Machinima. Prior to that public auction, former IGN president Roy Bahat had been trying to engineer a sale for a year, according to AllthingsD. Bahat left the company in August.