IGN – one of the most popular and longest-running gaming websites – has acquired game retailer and publisher Humble Bundle. Humble Bundle is most known for its pay-what-you-want retail model, offering various gaming bundles at discounted rates that often benefit charity. On October 5th of this year, they published their first game, A Hat in Time. They also finance developers to create games for their subscription-based Humble Monthly.
Announcing our biggest bundle ever: Humble Bundle is proudly joining the IGN family! We will continue to bring you all of our humble products, but with more resources and help from IGN.
Humble co-founder Jeffrey Rosen: “We chose IGN because they really understand our vision, share our passion for games, and believe in our mission to promote awesome digital content while helping charity. I can’t think of a better partner than IGN to help Humble Bundle continue our quest.”
This could obviously raise huge conflict of interest issues. It would raise warning flags anytime IGN reviewed or even featured a game that is sold or published by Humble Bundle.
The press release states Humble will still operate independently of IGN, with no large changes to staff or business operations. IGN Executive VP Mitch Galbraith and Humble cofounder John Graham spoke to Gamasutra to state their intent of keeping business as usual.
Galbraith (IGN) :“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. The idea us just to feed hem with the resources they need to keep doing what they’re doing.
Graham (Humble) :”We want to stick to the fundamentals in the short term. We don’t want to disrupt anything we’re doing right already. Because of the shared vision and overlap of our customer bases, there’s going to be a lot of opportunities.”
IGN is owned by J2 Global, who also own PC Magazine, AskMen, and GameTrailers, among many more.
This could be great for Humble, if they are able to expand their service that benefits indie developers and charity organizations, but IGN could see a huge hit to their credibility of games journalism while selling the same games they recommend.