Created in September 1996 as the Imagine Games Network, IGN was founded by publishing executive Jonathan Simpson-Bint and began as five individual websites within Imagine Media: N64.com (later renamed ign64.com), PSXPower, Saturnworld, Next-Generation.com and Ultra Game Players Online. Additionally, Imagine contracted with several well established independent websites such as PSX Nation.com, Vidgames.com, Sega-Saturn.com and Nintendojo.com which gave its launch a significant user base to build on. In 1998, the network consolidated the individual sites as system channels under the IGN brand. Next-Generation and Ultra Game Players Online were not part of this consolidation; U.G.P.O. dissolved with the cancellation of the magazine, and Next-Generation was put "on hold" when Imagine decided to concentrate on launching the short-lived Daily Radar brand. Then-parent company Snowball.com held an IPO in 2000, which subsequently failed with the burst of the dot-com bubble.
In June 2005, IGN reported having 24,000,000 unique visitors per month, with 4.8 million registered users through all departments of the site. IGN is ranked among the top 200 most-visited websites according to Alexa. In September 2005, IGN was acquired by Rupert Murdoch's multi-media business empire, News Corporation, for $650 million. Currently, the IGN website contains categories that include games, music, TV and film-related topics. IGN celebrated its 10th anniversary on January 12, 2008. IGN was headquartered in the Marina Point Parkway office park in Brisbane, California, until it relocated to a smaller office building near AT&T Park in San Francisco on March 29, 2010. On May 25, 2011, IGN sold its Direct2Drive division to Gamefly for an undisclosed amount.
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