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IGN Entertainment’s acquisition of the Gamer Network shows we need a strong gaming press now more than ever

IGN Entertainment acquired the Gamer Network, laying off a number of journalists.

 

Steven Asarch

Passionfruit

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On May 20, gaming website IGN Entertainment announced that it had acquired the Gamer Network and its catalog of websites, including GamesIndustry.biz, Eurogamer, Rock Paper Shotgun, VG247, and Dicebreaker.

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The announcements of layoffs and redundancies in the wake of the IGN acquisition quickly hit X. Managing editors, deputy editors, and news editors with dozens of years of experience in the gaming journalism space lost their jobs. Many, if not all, employees outside the U.K. who worked for the Gamer Network have been made redundant, according to Aftermath. 

Video game journalism is a crucial part of the media ecosystem, but it’s at risk of disappearing entirely. Though some content creators scream for the death of the industry, it would be bad for them, as well as every gamer around the globe. 

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IGN Entertainment

IGN is already the biggest English gaming news site and the ninth-largest gaming website in the world, according to SimilarWeb. It focuses on getting news out quickly to its gigantic following of 114 million monthly readers to maximize clicks, which can sometimes lead to retractions and apologies.

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In May 2021, IGN retracted an article urging readers to donate to Palestinian aid, though it reinstated the article in August after public outcry. Earlier this week, IGN pulled a tweet about streamer Kai Cenat’s Elden Ring marathon admitting they “messed up.” 

The site also has a culture of paying freelancers on the low side of the market, admitting on their website for a “base rate of $30” for stories with a quick 20-30 minute turnaround. To make a living this way, you’d have to grind out as many stories as you can in a day. That doesn’t bode well for quality or content vetting.

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In short, IGN is the fast food of games journalism, and it could have its newly acquired publications follow its successful model. 

GamesIndustry.biz focuses on where the money of a $347 billion industry goes, publishing well-researched, unbiased news. Eurogamer and Rock Paper Shotgun are some of the oldest gaming media brands and have a voice all their own. Now, they are all at risk of turning into just another click farm. …

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