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Merging = Yielding to Oncoming Traffic
December 6th 2003, 07:27 CET by crash

Breaking news: IGN and GameSpy are "merging." The Yahoo press release. Any tasty tidbits? Why, certainly. First question is "Who gets to be the bitch?" From the writeup, it would appear to be GameSpy:

Mr. Jung [IGN's current CEO] 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.

Second point of note: When has a merger ever resulted in parallel companies, especially when said companies compete for the same mindshare? Hrm. I can't think of one, but I'm sure someone will, so I can't say, "It has never happened." All I can do is qualify that with "...to the best of my recollection." Which isn't so hot any more, come right down to it.

Third: Why's the merger happening? Simple: IGN wants better writers [difficult to get worse than they have, honestly -ed], a better PC-game presence, and FilePlanet:

"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."

IGN's "VN Boards" are staggeringly successful in terms of retention and traffic. Checking their front door, at 8:40 Pacific time on 4 December, they're sporting 557 total messageboards, nearly 71 million messages, and almost 54 thousand posted in the last 20 hours... which comes out to 45 messages every second all day long. Probably every day, too. Sure, they're a pit of idiots, and a lot of 'em, but the idiots come back, read the ads, and pay the "Insider" fees to get icons and colored text in their posts. And that looks real good on the bottom line.

IGN has a lot of real good reasons to want to field-strip GameSpy's assets, and the clout to do it. Can GameSpy be dealing from a position of strength on this one? If they are, why's Bastard playing second fiddle to a guy heading a company who's stock was trading at a nickel a share not so very long ago?

What's gonna happen now, do you think?
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Home » Topic: Merging = Yielding to Oncoming Traffic

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#1 by Bailey
2003-12-06 07:28:53
BLARGH.

re: Avatar Icon
#2 by Squeaky
2003-12-06 07:28:55
GSI SUXORS!

it's my onion and you can't change it!
DVDs
#3 by Squeaky
2003-12-06 07:29:18
2 lousy seconds.


fucker.

it's my onion and you can't change it!
DVDs
#4 by Sgt Hulka
2003-12-06 07:34:33
forth!

#5 by Bailey
2003-12-06 07:36:28
The key is minimalism.

re: Avatar Icon
#6 by yotsuya
2003-12-06 07:44:22
Meh.

"YES!!  You see people, THAT'S why he's the Vice-President of A/V Services here at Respawn Games.  Yotsuya ALWAYS unleashes the fucking fury!" - Warren Marshall
#7 by Bailey
2003-12-06 07:46:22
yot's got it.

re: Avatar Icon
#8 by jafd
2003-12-06 07:59:39
The only time I ever go to those sites is when Google presents me with a link to them after I type in "<name of game> review".

I wonder how the people at Gamespot care about this? I don't see this merger effecting their revenue stream much at all.

"It was fucking RPGotY, fucker!"
#9 by Ryslin
2003-12-06 08:21:55
(waves piece of paper)
Ha! Crappy topics reign.

However, Nothing ever is good about a merger. Different corperate cultures will clash. More than half your employees jump ship(unless thats what you want.)


Witness the death of Mindspring.


Play through please.

Zang! Who is that, running over the desert! It is Ryslin, hands clutching a bladed baseball bat! And with a spectacular grunt, her voice cometh:

"I'm going to spank you beyond mortal comprehension, then bake cookies!"
#10 by UncleJeet
2003-12-06 08:41:38
Wow, unless it "grows on you" in some way, it would appear that Unreal XMP sucks almost as much as Unreal 2 itself does.  You have been warned.

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#11 by Creole Ned
2003-12-06 08:50:49
Another well-reasoned critique. Thanks!

"I don't bemoan the great paste" - LPMiller
#12 by Rodzilla
2003-12-06 09:09:21
http://www.seriouszone.com
http://www.penny-arcade.com/images/2003/20031205l.jpg

Seriously! Director of Operations
#13 by BobJustBob
2003-12-06 09:46:50
From the IGN PC mailbag tonight:
Insider will remain the same and IGN Downloads will also continue to operate as usual even with the addition of Fileplanet to the network.


To paraphrase, "We're going to keep fighting with spitballs even after the M16s get here."

Dood.
#14 by G-Man
2003-12-06 11:00:45
jafd in #8 said:
I wonder how the people at Gamespot care about this? I don't see this merger effecting their revenue stream much at all.
According to messageboard posts attributed to Lowtax, Gamespy was going to merge with C-Net/Gamespot in a $60 million deal (including a $20 million payout to Surfas), but it fell through. My source for this was QT3.

Personally I think Gamespy is almost worth it. Check out their press room and see what their big picture strategy looks like. In this past year or so they have landed multi-year multi-title licensing agreements with: Take Two, EA, Vivendi, Infogrames/Atari, Microsoft, Activision, Codemasters, and Dreamcatcher (Is there anyone missing from this list?). And they are taking baby steps into cable television with a weekly gaming segment on the Game Show Network. All of this is gravy on top of their advertising revenue and their reputed 400,000 Fileplanet subscribers.
#15 by G-Man
2003-12-06 11:07:11
Oh and now that crash's topic is posted, can someone delete mine? (Gabe, Morn, etc.) Or if anyone hasn't voted yet, just vote no to mine. What with the delay in getting these topics through and general apathy regarding the merger, there is barely enough to talk about in one topic, let alone two.
#16 by jafd
2003-12-06 11:09:00
You can delete your own topics. It's complicated though.

"It was fucking RPGotY, fucker!"
#17 by G-Man
2003-12-06 11:10:27
Sweet. I never noticed that before. I thought once you submitted the bastard it was completely out of your hands.
#18 by BabiG
2003-12-06 12:14:31
#0
Simple: IGN wants better writers [difficult to get worse than they have, honestly -ed], a better PC-game presence, and FilePlanet:

Just curious, who's this editor that's editing topics? Or is it some multiple personalities thing?

"Yall don't wanna to hear me, ya just wanna dance..."
#19 by Warren Marshall
2003-12-06 14:47:03
http://www.wantonhubris.com/
Jeet

XMP has been getting a really good reception actually.  Even the the ShackNews people are posting positive things about it.  Spooky.

Respawn Games
Open your mind, let the beatings begin.
#20 by Desiato
2003-12-06 16:33:15
desiato_hotblack@hotmail.com http://www.spew2.com/
Aren't mergers usually a bad idea? Not many companies maintain their momentum once they are mashed together. Of course, it helps when one company is already friggin huge and can cruise over a speed-bump-of-acquisition more than the other.

I look forward to when Fileplanet looks like the Grimace crapped all over it, that would be an improvement.

...like the color of a tv screen tuned to a dead channel.
#21 by mnemonic
2003-12-06 17:01:07
xmnemonic@softhome.net http://jti.developer.graphyx.net
#20,
"Not many companies maintain their momentum once they are mashed together."

Actually, in an inelastic collision, momentum is conserved.  It is kinetic energy that is not maintained.

Sorry, physics final today...
#22 by UncleJeet
2003-12-06 17:12:33
Warren -
   Well, that's why I clarified with the unless it grows on you bit.  My first reaction to it is bleh, though - but that could very well change if I spent some time with it.  Come to think of it, almost every game I dearly love now I hated when I first tried.  Go figure.

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#23 by jjohnsen
2003-12-06 17:24:16
http://www.johnsenclan.com
And they are taking baby steps into cable television with a weekly gaming segment on the Game Show Network.


If you had seen this you wouldn't be listing it as a step in the right direction.  You thought Xplay on TechTV was mediocre?  After watching the GSN show you'll be praising TechTV's name.
#24 by Squeaky
2003-12-06 17:45:30
Oh. My.

They're worse than the scientologists.

it's my onion and you can't change it!
DVDs
#25 by jjohnsen
2003-12-06 18:03:56
http://www.johnsenclan.com
After watching the UT2004 trailer, I have to say I'm fairly excited to be able to drive in a vehicle that chops bodies in half.
#26 by BobJustBob
2003-12-06 18:21:05
Come to think of it, almost every game I dearly love now I hated when I first tried.  Go figure.


Do you ever love a game at first and then grow to hate it? And if not, does that mean you hate every game when you first play it?

Dood.
#27 by BobJustBob
2003-12-06 18:22:55
You have to pay for software from the Free Software Foundation? Now that's marketing.

Dood.
#28 by UncleJeet
2003-12-06 20:28:50
Do you ever love a game at first and then grow to hate it?


Three words: Black and White

I'm fighting terrorism by playing violent video games!
#29 by bago
2003-12-06 21:05:49
manga_Rando@hotmail.com
Hey, I've got an XMP topic!

You DARE to worship a god other than Allah? Allah does not know who this "Ctulhu" character is, kufr, but when he finds out he is going to kick that Jew deity down a flight of fucking stairs.
#30 by BobJustBob
2003-12-06 21:16:55
Yeah, welcome to last night.

Dood.
#31 by Creole Ned
2003-12-06 23:59:38
IGN seems to be driving this merger. I find it hard to believe both the IGN and Gamespy identities will be kept separate, but I'm not sure how they would be merged or sorted out otherwise. Some have suggested that Gamespy might be positioned as the PC portal and IGN as the video game one, which makes sense, but where does that leave sites like Voodoo Extreme, which was more or less destroyed when IGN took it over, anyway?

And layoffs, of course. A lot of duplicate content and staff will be going bye-bye. How will actual gamers benefit from this? I suppose there might be fewer pages with McGriddle ads festooning them after the consolidation so...yay, I guess.

"I don't bemoan the great paste" - LPMiller
#32 by crash
2003-12-07 00:58:17
BabiG:

Just curious, who's this editor that's editing topics? Or is it some multiple personalities thing?

The latter, more than likely. Wrote it a couple ways, thought that way was the most amusing, left it in there. Clearly guessed wrong.

Desiato:

Aren't mergers usually a bad idea?

Only if your company is the bitch. If you're the top dog, mergers are real fun. "Woo, cheap assets and we kill a competitor at the same time! Sweet!"

jafd:

I wonder how the people at Gamespot care about this?

Probably little to none, if any at all. It depends on how they view GameSpy and IGN. I would imagine they'd view IGN as a much stronger "competitor" than GameSpy, which--despite all its protestations to the contrary--enjoys a much more "niche-y" market and mind-share. And they probably don't like the idea of IGN making this move, for a variety of reasons, one of which is "Woo free assets and we missed that gravy train."

I'm of the mind that it's gonna go something like this:

"Merge"? At first, sure. Then IGN realizes they're running two sites instead of one (because you'll note the CEO of this "merged" company is an IGN employee), pushing double the bandwidth for no real good reason, and they fold GameSpy's download method into their main site to save costs.

Then they "strategically restructure" the PC side of IGN.com, moving all of GameSpy's PC assets into the only weakness IGN claims to have currently (PC coverage) and laying off all of IGN's staff. Which, from what I've seen of IGN's PC coverage, isn't all that much of a real loss.

Then they slowly revamp the look of the IGN PC site to more closely match GameSpy's, and four months later, www.gamespy.com redirects (with an ad, of course) to www.ign.com's PC section, and GameSpy's editorial staff works for IGN directly.

Then GameSpy announces they're getting out of the editorial business completely to focus on their multiplayer software suite that they sell to developers, or whatever business venture they wanna do next. Surfas cashes in by selling everything to IGN, gamespy.com goes belly-up, and IGN goes ticking along with the subscriber base they've managed to move over from gamespy.com in the first place--since the PC editorial staff is the same on IGN as it used to be on GameSpy.

And why do I think this? Because I've heard that merger bullshit before, and I've heard the "Well, we both have separate audiences so we'll keep the separate brands" bullshit, and I've seen what happens when these events occur. And there can be only one, despite the PR spew.

Don't think so? Click here.

By this time tomorrow we can be doing BODY SHOTS off HOOKERS in some MEXICAN HELLHOLE
#33 by Hugin
2003-12-07 01:04:03
lmccain@nber.org
I mostly agree with you, except I'd argue that mergers can be plenty bad for the "top dog" company as well, if they aren't careful and absorb the bloat and sickness of the other company. (Assuming the other company was bloated and or sick, which isn't always the case).
#34 by G-Man
2003-12-07 03:03:25
Creole Ned in #31 said:
IGN seems to be driving this merger.
Yes but it isn't really IGN at the helm anymore. A little recap: IGN starts out strong as part of Snowball, gets $150 million in investment to go public, then tanks horribly. Even while most investors are running as far away from IGN/Snowball as they can, GHP, a venture capital group funded by universities and banks acquires IGN for $26 million (about $10 more than market valuation). Part of the agreement is that IGN CEO Mark Jung remain in his position (because they identify him as the single most valuable asset the company has - really!) but GHP otherwise assumes majority control of the now private corporation. GHP/IGN then buys out teamxbox.com and now buys Gamespy. No one knows what their strategy really is at this point, but usually it involves buying an underperforming company, reconditioning it, and then selling the spruced up company off to the highest bidder. Meanwhile I have no idea why Gamespy was looking to be acquired (except for the obvious benefit to Surfas).

And layoffs, of course. A lot of duplicate content and staff will be going bye-bye. How will actual gamers benefit from this?
IGN and Gamespy don't really have that many employees. That is one of their core strengths - that they use so much volunteer labor. I would anticipate a lot of layoffs, except maybe in their advertising sales or public relations departments.
#35 by G-Man
2003-12-07 03:06:54
Also crash keeps mentioning "free assets" in relation to this merger. Usually that refers to actual cash or other capital assets that the acquired company has when it is bought. Gamespy probably doesn't have a lot of working capital or other assets on hand, certainly not enough to justify the purchase alone.
#36 by crash
2003-12-07 04:48:57
For the web, it's eyeballs, G-Man. And GameSpy has a lot of those.

By this time tomorrow we can be doing BODY SHOTS off HOOKERS in some MEXICAN HELLHOLE
#37 by LPMiller
2003-12-07 04:51:54
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
And a lot more assest than I think the bitter and jaded here realize.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#38 by LPMiller
2003-12-07 04:52:21
lpmiller@gotapex.com http://www.gotapex.com
asset.

I believe I can fly......urk.
#39 by "jelly boyos"
2003-12-07 04:54:49
boyos@jelly-universe.com www.jelly-universe.com
Hey its jelly boy representin from the double douce steel cagin compton stylin yoooo

The original postar asked about a merger resuling in parallel companies or brands, and i must say BP / MOBIL.

Respect.
#40 by "jelly boyos"
2003-12-07 04:55:37
boyos@jelly-universe.com www.jelly-universe.com
Also, LPMILLER you just made an ASS "ET" of yourself.
#41 by "jelly boyos"
2003-12-07 04:56:11
boyos@jelly-universe.com www.jelly-universe.com
And yes, that stands for ASS EXTRA TERRESTRIAL.
#42 by "jelly boyos"
2003-12-07 04:56:38
boyos@jelly-universe.com www.jelly-universe.com
Think of it as that ASS that came from space.
#43 by Darkseid-D
2003-12-07 05:11:38
rogerboal@hotmail.com
to smoothly distract from `jelly`, heres a video of a clothes folding technique that will make you go `how the f does that work`

http://www.fazed.net/common/content/out.php?id=2877

Do not go gently into that good night.
Old age should burn and rage at the close of day.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
#44 by Duality
2003-12-07 05:39:24
Dualipuff@yahoo.com http://stratoscape.ath.cx/
How the hell ...

Maybe my shirts are too big or something, but I cannot do that right!

Duality [bunge shot bonus] +10G
#45 by "jelly boyos"
2003-12-07 07:13:17
boyos@jelly-universe.com www.jelly-universe.com
i want to take that smile off your face miller.
#46 by "jelly boyos"
2003-12-07 07:14:27
boyos@jelly-universe.com www.jelly-universe.com
you too darkseid, i mean, that weirdo expression on your face, looks like youre that guy from big problem in little china or whatever

know what i mean?

respect yo.
#47 by G-Man
2003-12-07 08:12:20
People who work in clothing stores use specialized folding boards. I guess whoever makes those folding boards should be worried.
#48 by Dethstryk
2003-12-07 09:45:46
jemartin@tcainternet.com
I look at the news of this merging, and all I can say is... what? Two shit companies are being merged together to form more shit. I can't bring myself to really care.

sunny days have funny ways of quieting the roar
#49 by Neo-Reaper
2003-12-07 11:29:22
neoreaper@excite.com http://octobermoon.homeip.net
How the hell ...

Maybe my shirts are too big or something, but I cannot do that right!

No?  I just tried it on one of my XL shirts, and it works great.  Not as perfect as some of the ones in the video, but actually pretty dang close.  Now I just have to find someone to show this off to...

"Dream of me... and maybe, just maybe, this nightmare will end."
#50 by bago
2003-12-07 11:32:43
manga_Rando@hotmail.com
The topic was in the pipeline before Warren mentioned it!

You DARE to worship a god other than Allah? Allah does not know who this "Ctulhu" character is, kufr, but when he finds out he is going to kick that Jew deity down a flight of fucking stairs.
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