IGN/GameSpy Merger Creates One of the Internet’s Largest Game and Internet-Focused Companies

Explore this investment 03.05.04

San Francisco — March 5, 2004 — IGN/GameSpy today announced completion of the merger of IGN Entertainment and GameSpy Industries, creating one of the Internet’s largest game and entertainment-focused media and services companies. The combined properties of the new company offer advertisers access to the highest concentrations of 18-24 and 18-34 year-old males online, providing a solution to reaching these key demographic constituencies whose use of television has declined sharply in recent years.

IGN/GameSpy is among the leaders, in nearly every measurement of popularity, of gaming and entertainment sites on the Internet. According to comScore research, IGN/GameSpy websites collectively attracted 25 million unduplicated, unique visitors worldwide and had nearly 1 billion page views in January 2004. That makes IGN/GameSpy the Web’s largest group of destination sites for gamers.

IGN/GameSpy leads in other key metrics as well. The company has:

More than 200,000 active, paying monthly and annual subscribers

The highest volume gaming download service, FilePlanet.com, with 6 to 7 million downloads per month

The most concentrated audiences of males age 18-34 and 18-24 of any sites online, offering advertisers a large and efficient vehicle to promote any product targeted at these market segments.

The two main web properties of the company, IGN.com and GameSpy Network, have built strong – and largely unduplicated – followings based around their different approaches to reaching the same target market. IGN.com provides a full horizontal range of entertainment and lifestyle content for the 18-34-age male who plays games, offering comprehensive editorial coverage of gaming, music, DVDs, sports, cards and gear. GameSpy provides enthusiast gamers with a vertically integrated gaming service, combining premium gaming content with online gaming services, file download services, competition systems and other tools that help gamers get more out of their gaming experience. Additional products and services are planned for the near future.

Because of the distinct audiences and strong loyalties developed by those audiences, the family of brands created by IGN and GameSpy Industries will be retained. These include IGN.com, GameSpy.com, FilePlanet.com, GameSpy Arcade, TeamXbox.com and the Vault and Planet community sites, which provide game-specific sites for the communities that coalesce around leading game franchises.

IGN/GameSpy offers users a broad range of free and paid services. The company’s GameSpy Arcade online gaming service is the industry’s most popular game matchmaking service, matching as many as 600,000 players every day. The FilePlanet and Founders’ Club subscription services provide access to exclusive game demos and beta test opportunities and the largest collections of game downloads available.

IGN/GameSpy is also a significant provider of enabling tools and services for game publishers, ISPs and access providers. The company’s “Powered by GameSpy” products provide matchmaking, community, networking and administrative functions that power online game play and are the de facto industry standard in online gaming tools and services, supporting online gaming capabilities to the PC, PS2, Macintosh and other platforms. The company also offers a wide range of online business services for its strategic partners, including private-labeled subscription services, competition systems and editorial content.

Mark Jung, previously CEO of IGN Entertainment, will serve as CEO for IGN/GameSpy. The company will be organized into three business units: Media/Publishing, Consumer Products and Technology Products and Services. Former GameSpy President Jonathan Epstein will lead the Media/Publishing business unit. Mark Surfas, the founder and CEO of GameSpy Industries, will serve as a strategic advisor to the new company.

IGN/GameSpy’s new company headquarters will be in Brisbane, Calif. (San Francisco). The company will also have operations in Los Angeles and Irvine, Calif., as well as sales offices throughout the United States.

The newly merged company is formally incorporated under the name IGN Entertainment, Inc. and will do business as IGN/GameSpy.

About IGN/GameSpy

IGN/GameSpy provides the Internet’s leading destinations for gaming, entertainment and community for teens and 18-34 year-old males. The company’s properties include IGN.com, GameSpy.com, FilePlanet.com, GameSpyArcade.com, more than 70 community sites, and a vast array of online forums. IGN GameSpy is also the leading provider of technology for online game play in video games and has the largest game-related subscriber base on the Web. The privately held company has its headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area, with offices throughout the U.S.