|Foundation date||September 1996|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|Key people||David Martin (President)
Peer Schneider (Senior Vice President for Content and Publisher)
|Industry||Video game and media journalism|
|Alexa rank||323 (March 2012[update])|
|Available in||English, German, Swedish, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Russian. To be launched in Turkish, French, Portuguese, and Japanese|
IGN (formerly an initialism for Imagine Games Network) is an American entertainment website that focuses on video games, films, music and other media. IGN's main website comprises several specialty sites or "channels", each occupying a subdomain and covering a specific area of entertainment; including major video game platforms (such as the PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Portable and Vita, smartphones and tablets, and retro games), and other forms of entertainment such as television, comic books, and films.
IGN is the flagship property of IGN Entertainment, which owns several other websites oriented towards male interests and gaming, such as GameStats, VE3D, TeamXbox, Vault Network, the now-defunct FilePlanet, and AskMen.
Created in September 1996 as the Imagine Games Network, IGN was founded by publishing executive Jonathan Simpson-Bint and began as five individual websites within Imagine Media: N64.com (later renamed ign64.com), PSXPower, Saturnworld, Next-Generation.com and Ultra Game Players Online. Additionally, Imagine contracted with several well established independent websites such as PSX Nation.com, Vidgames.com, Sega-Saturn.com and Nintendojo.com which gave its launch a significant user base to build on. In 1998, the network consolidated the individual sites as system channels under the IGN brand. Next-Generation and Ultra Game Players Online were not part of this consolidation; U.G.P.O. dissolved with the cancellation of the magazine, and Next-Generation was put "on hold" when Imagine decided to concentrate on launching the short-lived Daily Radar brand. Then-parent company Snowball.com held an IPO in 2000, which subsequently failed with the burst of the dot-com bubble.
In June 2005, IGN reported having 24,000,000 unique visitors per month, with 4.8 million registered users through all departments of the site. IGN is ranked among the top 200 most-visited websites according to Alexa. In September 2005, IGN was acquired by Rupert Murdoch's multi-media business empire, News Corporation, for $650 million. IGN celebrated its 10th anniversary on January 12, 2008. IGN was headquartered in the Marina Point Parkway office park in Brisbane, California, until it relocated to a smaller office building near AT&T Park in San Francisco on March 29, 2010. On May 25, 2011, IGN sold its Direct2Drive division to Gamefly for an undisclosed amount.
Acquisition of UGO, sale to Ziff Davis 
In 2011, IGN Entertainment acquired its rival UGO Entertainment (owners of 1UP.com) from Hearst Corporation. Ultimately, News Corp. planned to spin off IGN Entertainment, continuing a string of divestitures for digital properties it had previously acquired (including MySpace and Photobucket).
On February 4, 2013, after a failed attempt to spin off IGN as a separate company, News Corp. announced that it had sold IGN Entertainment to the publishing company Ziff Davis, who was recently acquired by J2 Global. Financial details regarding the purchase were not revealed. Prior to its acquisition by UGO, 1UP.com had previously been owned by Ziff Davis. Soon after the acquisition, IGN announced that it would be laying off staff and closing GameSpy, 1UP.com, and UGO in order to focus on its flagship brands, IGN.com and AskMen.
Subsidiaries and spin-offs 
The role-playing video game interest website Vault Network was acquired by IGN in 1999. GameStats, a review aggregation website, was founded by IGN in 2002. GameStats includes a "GPM" (Game Popularity Meter) rating system which incorporates an average press score and average gamer score, as well as the number of page hits for the game. However, the site is no longer being updated. The Xbox interest site, TeamXbox, and the PC game website VE3D were acquired in 2003. IGN Entertainment merged with GameSpy Industries in 2005. The merger also brought the game download site FilePlanet into the IGN group; as of 2011 both FilePlanet and the GameSpy website still operate as video game-related web sites. IGN Entertainment acquired the online male lifestyle magazine AskMen.com in 2005.
Scoring systems 
Original scale 
A member of the IGN staff writes a review for a game and gives it a score between 0.1 and 10.0, which is assigned by increments of 0.1 and determines how much the game is recommended. The score is given according to the "individual aspects of a game, like presentation, graphics, sound, gameplay and lasting appeal." Each game is given a score in each of these categories, but the overall score for the game is an independent evaluation, not an average of the scores in each category.
20-point scale 
On August 3, 2010, IGN announced that the site would be changing to a new scoring scale. Instead of a 100-point scale, where games are scored in increments of 0.1, all future reviews will use a 20-point scale where games are scored in increments of 0.5. Under both systems, the maximum possible score a game can receive is 10.0. The scoring change is not retroactive: all scores on reviews written before the change will remain the same. This change also does not affect the scoring system for reader reviews.
100-point scale 
On September 13, 2012, IGN revealed that as part of their new review format all future reviews would now follow a 100-point scale again, but this time without using decimals, meaning a score of 79 or 85 would be used instead of 7.9 or 8.5. Unlike the previous conversion to the 20-point scale, this latest scoring system change will be retroactive and all previous IGN review scores will be updated to follow the new system. However, despite the announcement, the article included a short addition, post release. It stated that after much discussion, they have decided to retain the decimal point in all upcoming scores.
Perfect scores 
IGN rarely gives a game a score of 10. Since the 1990s, IGN has awarded 10s to the following games:
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (Nintendo 64, 1998)
- Pokémon Red and Blue (Game Boy, 1999)
- Checkered Flag (Atari Lynx, 1999)
- Joust (Atari Lynx, 1999)
- Shanghai (Atari Lynx, 1999)
- Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (Game Boy Color, 1999)
- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX (Game Boy Color, 1999)
- Soulcalibur (Dreamcast, 1999)
- Mario Golf (Game Boy Color, 1999)
- Pokémon Yellow (Game Boy, 1999)
- Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure (NeoGeo Pocket Color, 1999)
- SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium (Neo Geo Pocket Color, 2000)
- Magical Tetris Challenge (Game Boy Color, 2000)
- Metal Gear Solid (Game Boy Color, 2000)
- Pokémon Gold and Silver (Game Boy Color, 2000)
- The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages (Game Boy Color, 2001)
- Dragon Warrior III (Game Boy Color, 2001)
- Tornado Mania! (Mobile phone, 2006)
- Grand Theft Auto IV (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, 2008)
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PlayStation 3, 2008)
- Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii, 2010)
- Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, 2010)
- Pac-Man Championship Edition DX (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, 2010)
- Chrono Trigger (Wii Virtual Console, 2011)
- Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (PlayStation 3, 2011)
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii, 2011)
- Infinity Blade II (iOS, 2011)
Other sections 
In 2000, Snowball.com purchased an E-federation called the Internet Wrestling Organization (IWO). Since Snowball owned both IWO and IGN, IWO would go on to become IGN's first official E-Fed, even doing a column on the website. IGN For Men: This section officially closed down on October 2, 2001. It is no longer updated. IGN has sites such as IGN Stars and AskMen.com that fulfill much of the function of the old IGN For Men site. IGN Wrestling met its end in early 2002, when many of the staff departed. Interviews with professional wrestling personalities and coverage of wrestling games has been folded into IGN Sports, currently headed by Jon Robinson. IGN Sci-Fi: Largely dead since 2002, this section of the site included movie news, comic book reviews, anime coverage and other associated items. It has since been discontinued. The site, SciFI.ign.com, now redirects to the recently created SciFiBrain.ign.com, which covers some of the content of the old Sci-Fi site.
In 2002, IGN launched a dedicated videogame FAQs site specifically designed to host user-submitted guides. This was launched following the cancellation of affiliation with GameFAQs. In 2004, IGN launched GameStats, which serves as a more unbiased rating network, as it takes in scores from every corporately owned game rating site and averages them all into one score to give a general idea of the quality of a game. IGN also launched Direct2Drive.com in 2004. Its primary focus is selling digital downloads of full PC and Mac video games, as well as anime, comics and game guides. In 2005, IGN launched its comics site, which is devoted to not just the staple Marvel and DC titles, but also manga, graphic novels, statues and toys.
In 2006, IGN launched its television site. It provides interviews with various television celebrities, in addition to a TV schedule, TV trivia and TV news. Akin to IGN FilmForce, IGN's TV section has a variety of exclusive clips from upcoming television shows.
On May 30, 2006, IGN Dreamcast was restarted; however, none of the Dreamcast updates were posted on the main IGN webpage.
In 2007, IGN launched its anime site. It provided features on anime and manga, including trailers and free episodes. It also included reviews of manga and anime from other sections of IGN, such as IGN Comics and IGN DVD. The anime channel was dropped after IGN redesigned the site. In 2008, IGN launched its Retro channel to mark IGN's 10th anniversary. To coincide with the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, IGN created Super Smash Bros. World Site. On the site, people can submit their user created stages from the game and download ones made by other people. IGN subsequently launched a similar website called GTA 'Hood on April 29, 2008, for Grand Theft Auto IV.
Along with their popular website content, IGN also publishes many different podcasts on both their website and on iTunes. Some of their podcasts include "Podcast Beyond" which is their PlayStation podcast with hosts, Greg Miller, Colin Moriarty, and Andrew Goldfarb. Their Xbox oriented podcast is "Unlocked" with Ryan McCaffrey, Mitch Dyer, and Destin Legarie as the hosts. Also "Game Scoop" is another popular podcast where they discuss news and topics surrounding the video game industry with their host Daemon Hatfield and a panel of IGN employees. 
Regional websites 
Since 2006, IGN Entertainment began launching regional versions of the website for various countries and pan-regions. Initially, IGN began opening new offices outside the United States in order to support those regional websites, but later IGN began franchising its brand as a more cost-effective means of globalization, wherein it licensed various media publishers in many countries to use the IGN brand and manage regional websites on their own. When visiting
www.ign.com from an IGN-supported region, the site automatically redirects visitors to their localized version using geolocation software, based on their countries' IP addresses. Each version of the site has a modified logo with their country's/region's respective flags near the IGN logo. However, it is still possible to access the original American website using a navigation bar on top or below (depending on regional website) the page's master template.
IGN opened its first offices in the UK and Australia in 2006, which both share the same information as the American site but with added content authored from editors within each respective region. Other licensed regional publishers work on their own servers, albeit can link to IGN's HQ database, where they can import and/or translate articles, and use videos uploaded on IGN's servers that use IGN's own hosted video player.
On May 16, 2012, in collaboration with the Emirati-based company t-break Media, IGN Middle East was announced for the MENA gaming community. The site replaces t-break Media's own ME Gamers website, which was formerly one of the largest Middle Eastern-based gaming media outlets that was originally launched in 2006. ME Gamers' entire staff converted their duties to IGN Middle East, importing and/or translating many of IGN's English articles, whilst writing up their own articles, especially for Middle Eastern-specific events. IGN Middle East is available in both English and Arabic languages. Whilst the site was initially launched to cover only video games, t-break Media announced in September 2012 that they started posting movie-related articles under the IGN brand as IGN Movies Middle East, merging most of the duties from their own ME Movies website, which was originally established in 2009, under a similar manner to their video game content. Unlike video games, however, most movie-related content will be in English only.
In September 2012 the Italian edition of IGN launched, managed by a local team, providing both original and translated contents.
On October 9, 2012, in collaboration with the Spanish-based media company Marca, IGN Spain was announced. The site effectively replaces Marca's own Marca Player gaming news website. Marca Player's editors converted their duties to IGN Spain, translating many of IGN's English articles, whilst writing up their own Spanish articles as well, covering various topics including video games, movies, TV series and comics. Marca also plans in the long run to eventually release another Spanish IGN website specifically for the pan-regional, Spanish-speaking gaming community in Latin America.
IGN Pro League 
In 2011, IGN launched the IGN Pro League, a professional e-sports circuit that ran tournaments for StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty , ShootMania Storm and League of Legends. On March 6, 2013, only weeks prior to the event, IGN abruptly cancelled the finals of IPL 6—which were to be held in Las Vegas from March 28 through 31, and discontinued the league. IGN indicated that it was no longer in a position to commit to competing with the increased number of e-sports events that were now being held. On April 8, 2013, Blizzard Entertainment announced that it had acquired the staff and assets of the IPL from IGN; its former staff will be re-assigned to work on e-sports productions and online content for Blizzard's own events.
April Fools pranks 
On April 1, 2008, IGN released a movie trailer for the hit video game series The Legend of Zelda that prompted many Zelda fans to believe that a live-action motion picture was on the way. Other movie websites reported that IGN was showing the world premiere of the Zelda trailer that day. The supposed release date of the film was April 1, 2009. The trailer had 3.5 million views that day. IGN released a statement the following day stating that the trailer was an elaborate April Fools joke. IGN was flooded with calls and e-mails about the joke but said it was done with good intentions, and to show Nintendo that a Zelda movie could be made and that fans would go see it. In a behind-the-scenes documentary posted the following day, a camera operator stated that they could have cut together a small mini-series with all the footage shot. On April 1, 2010, IGN made a mock trailer for a possible movie based on the Halo video game series but with an Indian Bollywood theme, which gave away the prank. On April 1, 2011, another mock trailer was made for a television spin-off of Harry Potter. On April 1, 2012, another mock trailer was made for a Saturday morning cartoon based on the Mass Effect trilogy. On April 1, 2013, IGN posted a mock tralier for an Apple game console known as the "iPlay", whose launch lineup only consisted of Angry Birds games (including the non-existent Angry Birds: The Fast and the Furious).
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See also