This weekend Humble Bundle announced that it had been acquired… by IGN. And no, this isn’t a sensationalised headline, it’s not IGN’s parent company, it’s actually IGN themselves.
With the state of journalism today, I immediately saw this news and thought everyone was jumping on the bandwagon of claiming IGN had acquired Humble Bundle when really it was its parent company Ziff Davis or j2 Global, however looking at Humble Bundle’s official announcement it seems to be the publication itself that’s acquired the bundle website.
“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,” CEO and co-founder Jeffrey Rosen wrote in an announcement.
However that doesn’t seem to be the case. On reddit, IGN’s Reviews Editor Dan Stapleton left a comment on a thread stating that IGN and Humble Bundle will be sister companies owned by the same parent.
“Technically we’re sister companies now, owned by the same parent. We’ll both continue to operate completely independently,” he wrote.
“We’ll have a disclosure next to anything Humble punishes (sic) that we review, and we’re definitely not planning on giving any special consideration or promotion to any of their games. I’ve been personally assured we won’t be pressured to do so – and you’ll know if they go back on it because I’d quit in protest and tell people why.”
He then went onto add: “My understanding is that Ziff Davis bought Humble because they like what they’re doing and want them to keep doing it, not to change it dramatically.”
They didn’t disclose how much IGN purchased the pay-what-you-want storefront, but at this point it doesn’t matter because one of the biggest gaming publications in the world, with millions of users a month, has just become a video game publisher.
Do you realise how actually bizarre and unethical that is? The fact that IGN still plan to review games published by Humble is just wrong, in my opinion.
The announcement goes onto state how this partnership will help raise more money for charity, and that’s fantastic, but at the same time it blurs the line between being an “honest” publication, and earning revenue from game sales, regardless of the charitable causes they may support.
That being said, GameSpot is a subsidiary of GameStop and that relationship seems to go pretty much unnoticed at this point so there is every possibility that this relationship could go along the same path. That hasn’t stopped the Internet from raging however with several choice comments being made on Twitter about the whole ordeal.
Just woke up this morning to find out IGN acquired Humble Bundle. A review site owning a store seems like it'll go terribly wrong.
— Sam Earl (@SamEarl13) October 14, 2017
— PHiAX (@PHiAX) October 14, 2017
— Sam Bunting (@_sambunting) October 14, 2017
IGN bought Humble Bundle?? Ughhh…
— Jason K. (@silvernome) October 14, 2017
is nothing sacred anymore https://t.co/DCS9gLjQ5P
— Bad Game Reviews (@BadGameReviews) October 14, 2017
humble may not change but i guarantee you you'll see a massive shift in ign's advertorial output and post-review calls to action
— comic stans (@failnaut) October 14, 2017
— iChargeBanshees (@iChargeBanshees) October 14, 2017
RIP, you had a good run.
— Doc On Trials (@Solid_021) October 14, 2017
This will likely be the talk of the town until Monday, when the world will continue to move and everyone will forget about this acquisition…