San Francisco and Irvine, CA - December 4, 2003 - IGN Entertainment, home to IGN.com, the Web's largest gaming and entertainment destination for young males, and GameSpy Industries, a leading online entertainment and technology company serving game enthusiasts and game developers, today announced that they have signed a definitive merger agreement creating the Web's largest network of destination sites for gamers.
The combination will create the Internet's largest gaming audience and its highest traffic PC and console game content network with 673 million page views per month. According to comScore NetScore data, the two networks attract more than 22 million unduplicated unique visitors per month worldwide, and they rank number one in unduplicated U.S. audience reach with both comScore Media Metrix and Nielsen//NetRatings in the gaming information category.
Additionally, the combined companies service the biggest gaming information subscription base with 194,000 active paying subscribers and have registered over 26 million users. They also operate the highest volume download service with 6.1 million downloads per month and are the industry leader in online gaming tools and services.
"This combination offers tremendous synergies as GameSpy and IGN have very complementary strengths," said Mark Jung, IGN's CEO. "GameSpy is the market leader with the PC game audience, game downloads and online gaming technology. IGN is the market leader with the console game audience and in community services such as message boards. Both companies have very strong subscription acquisition and retention programs."
Each company's customer base should find advantages with this strategic grouping. Gaming and consumer advertisers will be able to reach the world's largest concentration of young males - predominantly the key 18-34 year old male demographic - addressing the recent decline of male TV viewership. GameSpy's game developer clients will have expanded access to the large IGN audience for game demos and beta testing. Video game enthusiasts will benefit from the combined efforts of two leading editorial teams, who together generate an average of over 4,400 pieces of original gaming content per month.
"Combining IGN and GameSpy will create value for both our audience and our clients," said Mark Surfas, founder and chairman of GameSpy. "For the gamer, this merger will provide the broadest array of information, services and content choices. For game publishers and advertisers, it creates a platform with the widest reach and the deepest set of marketing tools to target gamers and young men in general."
Mr. Jung will serve the new company as CEO, and Mr. Surfas will serve as the Chief Strategy Officer and will join Mr. Jung on the Board of Directors. Because of their distinct audiences and strong loyalties, both the IGN.com and GameSpy.com brands will be retained. The companies expect to complete the merger in the first half of 2004.
About IGN Entertainment
IGN Entertainment, through its IGN.com® network, is the Internet's leading information and entertainment destination for teen and young adult gamers. IGN serves its audience by providing both free and subscription-based content, services and gameplay. IGN offers its business customers a full spectrum of integrated marketing solutions to reach this large Web-centric audience, including fixed placement and impression-based advertising, sponsorships, permission marketing, custom publishing, e-commerce, direct e-mail marketing and content licensing. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, with sales offices in New York and Los Angeles. For more information, please visit www.ign.com.
About GameSpy Industries
GameSpy is the Web's leading destination for online information, entertainment and communities serving the enthusiast gamer worldwide. The GameSpy network includes GameSpy.com, FilePlanet.com and GameSpyArcade.com, more than 60 Planet community sites and 7,000+ hosted sites. GameSpy is also the leading provider of technology for online game play in video games and has the largest gaming information subscriber base on the Web. Founded in 1995, privately held GameSpy is headquartered in Irvine, California. For more information, please visit www.gamespy.com.