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UGO buys from Ziff-Davis, major redundancies follow

By on January 7, 2009

UGO acquires

UGO has today acquired gaming website from Ziff Davis. Some of the key elements of the deal:

  • Ziff-Davis is getting out of the games space in order to “pay down debt and shift our full focus to our core PCMag Digital Network business” (according to Ziff Davis Media CEO Jason Young).
  • Print magazine EGM will be closed. Young cited the decline in the demand for print from both consumers and advertisers as a key reason. Plus with 1Up now owned by Hearst, there is no opportunity for content to be used on the website or in the magazine (which clearly suggests that Hearst was not interested in buying a games-focused print magazine.
  • 30 jobs were lost, including staff who worked on the print magazine but also web staff such as video producers. These have been added to the GameOverZone.

UGO is a blended entertainment site that covers music, film and sports as well as games. It will have more reach and traffic through this acquisition, although the integration of the sites will be an interesting challenge. But with pressure on advertising revenue and an increasing desire amongst major advertisers to reach a significant audience via a small number of large sites, expect more of these deals to follow.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: