Confirming plans that were first leaked last Sunday, the game oriented media company IGN Entertainment has now officially announced it has acquired UGO Entertainment, which also adds the popular gaming web site 1Up.com to IGN's already large collection of web sites. Hearst Corporation, the previous owner of UGO and 1Up.com, will now be a shareholder in IGN Entertainment, which itself is a part of News Corporation. Financial details of the acquisition today were not announced.
IGN Entertainment said in its press release that the addition of UGO and 1Up.com will create a network of web sites with a combined readership of 70 million. In a statement on the 1Up.com web site, its editor-in-chief Sam Kennedy said that this new move, " ... means we have a corporate parent that truly understands what we do and wants to help us do more of it." IGN already operates the IGN.com web site along with GameSpy.com, TeamXbox.com, the Direct2Drive PC game download service, the FilePlanet download site, the AskMen.com site and others.
While not mentioned by IGN in today's announcement, AllThingsDigital.com's site said last Sunday that the acquisition of UGO was possibly the first step in breaking IGN Entertainement away from News Corporation to form a new stand alone company. The possible move, which will likely take months to complete, is supposed to be designed to let IGN Entertainment grow faster than it would under News Corporations' direct control. It's also possible that IGN could acquire even more web properties before the spin-off happens.