News Corporation's IGN Entertainment, the parent company of IGN.com, has acquired Hearst Corporation's online media company UGO Entertainment in a cash and stock transaction. IGN Entertainment will thus operate its existing properties along UGO's entire network of properties, which includes ugo.com, 1up.com, and a network of owned and affiliated web properties.
Together, they will reach a global audience of more than 70 million monthly visitors. IGN has nearly 40 million monthly visitors worldwide with its various media sites, including IGN, GameSpy, FilePlanet, Direct2Drive, TeamXbox, AskMen, and its retail partner GameStop. UGO Entertainment properties, which include well-known gaming and entertainment sites ugo.com and 1up.com, will add more than 30 million unique users to that total.
IGN is thus broadening its spectrum of men's entertainment content, allowing it to reach the highest concentration of men 18-34 online. More specifically, IGN Entertainment estimates that its visitors will consist of one in four men online every month.
Under the terms of this new agreement, Hearst will become a shareholder of IGN and will be an active participant in the development of the business. UGO Entertainment, a website providing coverage of online media in entertainment, was first acquired by Hearst in 2007.
UGO started in 1997 as Unified Gamers Online, and marketed itself as a "hand-picked network of professionally managed gaming sites and services." In 1998, UGO was described as "the largest independent gaming community on the Internet. In January 2009, UGO acquired 1up.com, which launched in 1999, from Ziff Davis. Now IGN Entertainment owns them both.
"The combination of IGN and UGO will create the complete 'go to' online destination for video game enthusiasts," Ken Bronfin, President of Hearst Interactive Media, said in a statement. "The breadth, depth and quality of the content available through these sites will be unparalleled. This is a terrific combination for our viewers and our advertisers."