The latest big-company-acquires-another-big-company news isn’t about Embracer or Tencent — instead, it’s all about Fandom. a purchase that surprised many.
Fandom announced in a post on Monday, Oct. 3 They announced that they had acquired a “portfolio of entertainment and gaming brands” for $55 million. The Wall Street Journal (paywall). The deal includes GameSpot, Giant Bomb, GameFAQs and Metacritic from Red Ventures, the previous owners of which acquired the portfolio from ViacomCBS.
Metacritic is an aggregator site for game review scores, notable for providing an average score for games – often used by development studios as a benchmark for a game’s success.
GameFAQs has been around since the 90s, perhaps one of the most memorable places to find ASCII walkthroughs and answers to obscure questions about puzzles and boss battles.
Names like GameSpot are notable for launching their careers Greg Kasavin – now mostly known as a writer and creative director at Supergiant Games – and Jeff Gerstmann, Fired from GameSpot in 2007 on negative feedback Kane and Lynch: Dead Menwhich caused publishers to threaten to remove their ads from the site.
Gerstmann went on to found the gaming website Giant Bomb in 2008 with former GameSpot editor Ryan Davis. In 2012, Gerstmann was brought back when GameSpot was acquired by parent company ViacomCBS as part of the combined gaming portfolio Giant Bomb, but ViacomCBS later sold the site to Red Ventures.
Ever since the massive departure of talent from the cast of the veteran ‘Bomb’ in mid-2021, rumors have been swirling around the Giant Bomb. Vinny Caravella, Alex Navarro and Brad Shoemaker all went at once start your own project, Nextlanderwhich was in Giant Bomb from the start. Gerstmann himself left the team in 2022.
Fandom spoke in its announcement post On its plans for the sites, which revolve around providing “immersive content for our partners, advertisers and fans” as well as expanding “a global fan platform to provide super-service to entertainment and gaming fans”:
The new unified platform will increase engagement across every step of the consumer journey – reference, community, trends, ratings, reviews, news and commerce.
With the addition of these gaming, film and television platforms, Fandom will expand its 360 programs for its advertising partners – including game publishers, studios and streaming services – and enhance data and insights within Fandom’s proprietary data platform, FanDNA.
In addition, the deal will strengthen Fandom’s affiliate and merchandising efforts, including accelerating revenue at Fanatical, its game merchandising business.
The acquisition, which includes Comic Vine, Cord Cutters News and TV Guide, is the latest in a series of acquisitions for Fandom, following Screen Junkies, Gamepedia, D&D Beyond and Focus Multimedia.
Let us know your thoughts on these latest purchases in the comments.