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IGN is a website containing video game-related news, cheats, reviews and media.
In September 1996, the Imagine Games Network was founded by Jonathan Simpson-Bint for the gaming websites PSXPower, Next-Generation, Saturnworld, Ultra Game Players Online and N64.com. In 1998, many of the sites consolidated to become channels at IGN.com.
Acquisition & Sales
In 1999, IGN purchased the role-playing video game website Vault Network. In 2005, Australian businessman Rupert Murdoch’s multimedia business empire News Corporation acquired IGN for $650 million. In 2011, News Corporation’s IGN Entertainment acquired its rival network UGO Entertainment, the parent company of 1UP.com, from Hearst Corporation, for an undisclosed amount in cash and stock with a plan to re-launch the website into a standalone, spin-off video game review site. On May 25th, 2011, IGN’s online game store Direct2Drive was sold to the video game rental service GameFly. In February 2013, News Corporation sold IGN to the publishing company Ziff Davis.
In 2006, IGN began launching regional variations of the website and licensed publishers in other countries under the IGN brand. If a user visits the IGN website from supported area, the website automatically redirects to that the custom regional version of the site. As of June 2014, there are 17 total supported regions on IGN World (shown below).
April Fools Pranks
IGN has participated in several notable April Fool’s Day pranks over the years. In 2008, they released a fake trailer featuring a live-action film for The Legend of Zelda franchise (shown below, left). In 2010, IGN posted a fake trailer for a Halo-themed Bollywood musical film (shown below, right).
In 2011, the IGN YouTube channel released a fake trailer for a Harry Potter-themed television show titled “The Aurors” (shown below, left). In 2012, the site posted a mock trailer for a Mass Effect-themed Saturday morning cartoon series (shown below, right).
In 2013, IGN released a parody advertisement for a fake Apple video game console called the “iPlay,” which is only capable of playing the game Angry Birds (shown below, left). In 2014, the site featured a mock trailer promoting a Transformers-themed DLC package for the battle game Titanfall (shown below, right).
IGN contains video game news, information, podcasts and videos for a variety of platforms, including PlayStaion, Xbox, PC and Nintendo. In addition, the site contains sections for movies and television entertainment. The IGN Forums provide community boards for video games and other entertainment media discussions.
The original IGN scoring system gave games a score between .1 and 10.0 based on its performance in a variety of categories, including graphics, sound and gameplay. In August 2010, the scoring system was revised to increments of .5. In September 2012, IGN reverted back to a 100-point scale from .1 to 10.0 in .1 decimal increments. In 2014, a new policy was introducing allowing review scores to be revised in light of game updates and fixes.
Perfect Score Reviews
- 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)
- The Last of Us (PlayStation 3, 2013)
- Grand Theft Auto V (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, 2013)
Gaijin 4koma (Japanese: 外人四こま, “4-frame foreigners”) is a series of four-paned comics based on two photographs of IGN employees reacting to Nintendo’s announcement of new titles at the E3 conference in 2003 and 2004 respectively. The multi-pane set up is typically used to express one’s disappointment and excitement over two separate things, in similar vein to the “At first I was like X, but then I was like Y” snowclone.
Operation Rainfall was an online campaign orchestrated by gamers on the IGN Forums urging Nintendo to release North American versions of the games Xenoblade, The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower.
Didn’t Read LOL
"Didn’t Read, LOL” is an expression commonly used to taunt others online by announcing their comments and posts have been ignored. The first known GIF featuring the phrase surfaced on the IGN Forums in July 2008.
Video Game Scoring
IGN video game review scores, which rank games on a scale from 1-10, are often mocked online for being overly generous in light of the actual review commentary. On February 6th, 2012, the gaming blog Twenty Sided published an article criticizing IGN, which accused the site of “review-score prostitution.” On December 25th, an anonymous 4chan user replied to an illustration of a phallus with the comment “8/10 it’s okay – IGN,” mocking the lackluster reviews accompanied by above-average scores on the site. On October 16th, 2013, IGN reviews editor Dan Stapleton participated in an “ask me anything” (AMA) post on the /r/Games subreddit. In the comments section Redditor recklessfred pointed out that many people perceived IGN reviews being on a 7-10 scale rather than the stated 0-10 scale. On November 17th, a post was submitted to the /r/OutOfTheLoop subreddit about IGN scoring jokes. On December 5th, Redditor cyanghost109- submitted an infographic accusing IGN of giving unfair favorable reviews to games in the Call of Duty franchise, gaining over 2,300 upvotes and 300 comments prior to being archived (shown below).
In June 2005, IGN reported that the website was receiving 24 million unique visitors per month, with 4.8 million registered users participating across different sections of the site. As of June 2014, IGN has a global rank of 312 and United States rank of 167 on the traffic analytics site Alexa.
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