Videogame website networks GameSpy and IGN are set to merge, in a move which they claim will create the largest network of gaming websites on the Internet, with traffic exceeding 673 million pageviews per month.
The two American site networks are expected to complete the merger in the first half of 2004, with IGN chief executive Mark Jung serving as CEO of the new company, while GameSpy founder and chairman Mark Surfas will be chief strategy officer.
Both of the major corporate identities will be retained, as the GameSpy and IGN brands are both considered to be very strong - although we can presumably expect to see some rationalisation of the new company's operations where overlaps in content occur.
The two networks, which have a combined 22 million unique visitors per month, share (we're not sure if "enjoy" is the right word) a similar reputation, and both have often been accused of following a "quantity over quality" approach to content production - although given their traffic figures, it's unlikely that such criticisms bother them greatly.
"Combining IGN and GameSpy will create value for both our audience and our clients," according to Surfas. "For the gamer, this merger will provide the broadest array of information, services and content choices. For game publishers and advertisers, it creates a platform with the widest reach and the deepest set of marketing tools to target gamers and young men in general."