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34 MCV 13/08/10


MCV INTERVIEW IAN CHAMBERS, INTERNATIONAL VP & MD, IGN


What plans does IGN have for expansion in the UK?


Expansion this year will see us focusing on connecting with consumers wherever they interact with games, movies and other entertainment content. For example, our YouTube channel now has over 315,000 global subscribers, 260m video views and during E3 it was the No.1 channel on YouTube across all categories. We’re reaching out beyond our borders and enabling consumers to engage with our content in the way that suits them best whilst providing advertisers with the ability to reach active communities of gaming consumers aligned with the IGN voice across all areas of digital engagement.


Why is the UK such an important market to an online media company?


The UK is home to some of the most creative development studios in the world and many global franchises such as Burnout and Fable were conceived in their corridors. Having a full-service media team on the ground to connect with these studios is a key strategy for us as we develop relevant content for our UK readers and beyond into our European territories. Reaching out and


IGN’S PORTFOLIO


engaging the influential UK consumer opinion leaders is a key element of any consumer marketing campaign. IGN has the audience and tools to enable publishers and studios to do just that.


How will IGN establish itself as more than just a media company? IGN is an essential part of the UK games industry. Our market-leading media brands touch more consumers in the UK than any other media provider with the most innovative, influential and informative editorial.


Alongside our respected editorial activity, we work with publishers and


developers through our Gamespy and Fileplanet services, delivering middleware solutions for multiplayer, community engagement, beta programs and patch distribution.





And at the forefront of consumer interaction, Direct2Drive retails PC games direct to consumers through digital distribution, closing the loop and bringing revenue directly back to publishers and developers. Going forward our focus is to continue delivering more for our partners across all areas of our business.


IGN The heart of the IGN empire, the website delivers news, previews, reviews, features, quality video content and more – not only for games, but also for TV, movies and comics. It is read by a strong consumer community of over 28m users globally. uk.ign.com


What challenges does IGN face as a result of the crowded online space – and how will it overcome them? Continually adapting to the ever- changing online space is a key challenge for any online business. IGN’s unique position of having the largest audience of gamers anywhere on the internet and the strength of our presence on other platforms enables us to quickly adapt to


Our brands touch more consumers than any other media provider, with the most influential editorial.


Ian Chambers, IGN


these changes. IGN attracts 28 million unique users every month, and is quite simply the largest global platform through which to engage the gaming audience.


Where do you think IGN will be in five years time? Will it still operate in its current form?


Five years is an eternity in online. Think back five years and Facebook was still in its infancy, YouTube was six months old and Twitter was nothing but a glint in the eye.





GAMESPY In addition to wider gaming editorial content, GameSpy hosts a vast collection of ‘Planet’ websites: portals dedicated to particular games, franchises or genres. It also provides the online matchmaking and other technology found in several multiplayer games. www.gamespy.com


TEAMXBOX Purchased by IGN in 2003, TeamXbox is a gaming media website dedicated to fans of Microsoft’s Xbox and Xbox 360. Like IGN, it also has a strong consumer community, largely through its TXBase social network. The site was formed by enthusiasts and has retained that focus. www.teamxbox.com


With this in mind, IGN as a business has been built to continually adapt to excel in all forms of audience engagement and it is our goal to remain at the forefront of innovation and influence of the gaming consumer. In five years, expect to experience an IGN that will exist across all platforms and areas of gaming – from online media, in-game user engagement through to retail (on and offline) and beyond. By keeping in-step with the needs of the consumer we will continue to provide partners with unique opportunities to reach the gaming audience no matter what the shape of the


industry in years to come.


What do you think has made IGN so popular to date, and how has the site – and the company – lasted so long? We’re incredibly passionate about what we do and we believe this rubs off on our audience. The company is full of gamers, movie enthusiasts, musicians and comic writers that quite simply love working on their passion. We all live and breathe the same excitement for entertainment as our audience.


WWW.MCVUK.COM


FILEPLANET A video game download service. Run by GameSpy, this provides free game patches, mod files and media downloads for PC consumers. Unlike most download sites, registration is mandatory, and there is an optional fee that grants access to high-speed servers. www.fileplanet.com


DIRECT2DRIVE IGN’s digital distribution service and a major competitor to Valve’s Steam. Launched in 2010, the site now offers over 1,000 PC titles from more than 300 games publishers, including Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, Sega and 2K Games. www.direct2drive.com


WHAT THEY PLAY A video games website designed to educate parents about video games and their content, offering advice on what children should be playing. Launched in 2007, it was purchased back in September by IGN Entertainment’s parent company News Corporation. www.whattheyplay.com


ASK MEN Ask Men was acquired by IGN in 2005. Originally, founded way back in 1999, this men’s lifestyle website covers a multitude of subjects, including gaming, cars, sports, sexuality and dating, women, fashion, fine living – and even amateur hypnotism. www.askmen.com


ROTTEN TOMATOES A hugely popular film site, best known for its reviews, forums and film review aggregator. Acquired by IGN in 2004, Rotten Tomatoes is often used as a reference point for particularly bad films thanks to its widely-read, highly critical reviews. www.rottentomatoes.com


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