Word slipped out over the weekend that the News Corp.-owned IGN.com would be acquiring UGO.com and ultimately spinning out into a gaming-focused website operating outside of the Rupert Murdoch company’s domain. That news has been officially confirmed today by IGN president Roy Bahat, in an interview with TechCrunch.
Bahat describes the new development as a “Go Big moment for us,” explaining that this situation doesn’t compare with News Corp.‘s recent efforts to sell off MySpace. IGN is expecting to bring in profits of more than $10 million this year, a number that is expected to grow significantly the following year.
The website’s ad revenues are up 30 percent year over year and web traffic has risen by 80 percent over the last two years. Those numbers will only grow with UGO’s traffic added to the mix, especially when you account for the fact that the Hearst Corporation-owned website purchased 1UP.com in 2007.
Bahat said that News Corp. is “behind us 100 percent” even though the new IGN/UGO beast will be spun out into its own company. He wouldn’t discuss any of the deal specifics, but Hearst will hold equity and a seat on the board of this new company. Reports suggest that the deal included a mix of cash and stock. Bahat also said that no major layoffs are expected as the two companies are integrated.