IGN's Purchase of Video Game Publisher Humble Bundle Raises Business Concerns [Update]

IGN's Purchase of Video Game Publisher Humble Bundle Raises Business Concerns [Update]

A video game outlet owning a video game publisher could spell trouble.

Update: IGN has clarified its editorial stance regarding the Humble Bundle purchase. You can find the full statement and our take here.

Today, Humble Bundle announced that it will be acquired by media publication IGN in a move that could raise a lot of questions going forward.

According to a press release for the deal, Humble will continue to operate independently with IGN promising some degree of support in regards to Humble's growth. "If it's not broken, don't fix it," said IGN executive vice president Mitch Galbraith in a conversation with Gamasutra in regards to the deal.

Humble Bundle began as a pay-what-you-want video game bundle service that split the profits made from its bundles to the developers, charity, and operation costs for the company. Humble branched into other services including a digital storefront, a monthly subscriptions service for games, and most recently as publisher for games like A Hat in Time.

For its part, IGN is a video game media service owned by digital media company J2 Global. With recent forays into cable television (IGN has a show on Disney XD) and a strong web video presence, the acquisition of now-video game publisher Humble Bundle practically makes IGN more of a media entity than journalistic outlet.

There are several questions raised by this deal, with a few that could pose problematic to IGN. It's unclear how owning a video game publisher will affect IGN's video game coverage, but it could raise some conflicts of interest until Humble and IGN clearly outline how the two entities will maneuver around this situation.

We've reached out to Humble for further statements and clarification.

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Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

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