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MCV 13/08/10 33 MCV INTERVIEW IAN CHAMBERS, INTERNATIONAL VP & MD, IGN International Gaming Nirvana


IGN maintains its position as one of the world’s biggest online gaming media giants, but international vice president and managing director Ian Chambers is keen to point out that the firm is so much more. James Batchelor speaks with the new exec about its plans for Europe, robust portfolio and more…


You only joined IGN as recently as May. What do you hope to bring to the team?


IGN is already in a great place: our audience size and engagement metrics are second to none. With the recent launch of the My IGN beta – a social networking layer for IGN – we are delivering an innovative service that will change the way consumers interact with entertainment content.


My experience in games publishing at Ubisoft, and more recently heading up console digital distribution at EA, has provided me with a broad spectrum of experience in digital marketing and publishing. The knowledge I’ve acquired through publishing digital content such as FIFA Ultimate Team and Battlefield 1943, along with developing the vision of the Uplay.com service at Ubisoft, will be invaluable in helping form my strategy moving forward.


At IGN, we believe there is always a next level – and my number one goal is to lead the team there, wherever it may be.





In addition My IGN will enable publishers to engage directly with the IGN audience – allowing for a greater degree of influence over the ‘influencers’ through direct community engagement within the heart of our site.


What’s the most important lesson you have learned about digital distribution?


Having published content across many digital business models – free-to-play, micro-transactions, PDLC, and full game downloads – I’ve learned to be constantly surprised about what works and what doesn’t. The formula for success is continually evolving and as an industry I still feel we are scratching the surface in terms of potential. Most importantly I’ve realised that, due to the infancy of digital distribution, we’re operating in a world of limited historical data compared to the games industry as a whole. It’s vital that we all remember this and ensure we keep our minds open as the platform gains momentum and develops around us.


Having published across many digital models, I’ve learned to be constantly surprised by what works.


Ian Chambers, IGN


Is there anything you intend to change about IGN and the way the site operates, and if so what have you got planned?


Recent redesigns have revolutionised the way our users engage with our content, with innovations including in-line video on the homepage and market-leading content search functionality.


The next big evolutionary leap for the site is the social interaction platform My IGN that we’ve just launched as a beta. Through their profiles our consumers can now directly follow games from announcement through to launch and beyond, receive immediate updates in their news feed whenever a new piece of content is released, interact with our editors directly, as well as becoming editorial experts in their own social sphere with new blog tools.


Although he only joined IGN in May, Chambers brings with him huge digital experience, thanks to senior stints at EA and Ubisoft


TARGETING EUROPE


IGN WANTS to grow its presence in Europe and will launch a German site to coincide with Gamescom. The firm already boasts a huge number of users from European markets (eight million unique users), but the German version of IGNmarks its first move into Central Europe. “We can’t simply translate the English content and expect visitors to be engaged and so we have a dedicated editorial team in Germany,” says VP of international Ian Chambers. “Being able to reach gaming





consumers via community activities and events provides our partners with unique opportunities to engage our audience and delivers and compelling experience for local readers. “Germany represents our first fully


localised step into Central Europe. Expect similar rollouts in the future.”


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