IGN and GameStop partner to combine Media and Retail in one-stop-shopping

Until now, if you’re on the hunt for a new game, there’s always been the ye old, search, alt/tab, search again, read, alt/tab, etc. GameStop and IGN have recently announced a partnership that seeks to keep the alt/tab, search process to the bare minimum. The terms of the deal provide for an exclusive, large-scale partnership that fuses all the best elements from IGN’s video game coverage, including expert game review content from Game Informer Magazine, and GameStop.com’s video game and multi-channel entertainment services.

Yes, obviously GameStop’s motivation behind the deal is to drive sales, but ultimately, they’re looking to provide gamers with a soup-to-nuts service, as the partnership seeks to inform fans about games from the first rumors of development right on through to post-purchase updates, news, etc. The two hope to make the vehicle the new Gold Standard in what it means to be an informed video games consumer.

From IGN’s side, they now have exclusive online advertising and sponsorship rights for GameStop.com as well as GameInformer.com. Clearly a win for IGN, as access to the previously mentioned web properties allows them unprecedented access for advertisers to a highly targeted, highly engaged audience.

“Until now, the games media experience and the games retail experience have been disconnected. Now we’ll be able to connect brands and games publishers with video gamers across the complete game purchase funnel – from discovery and awareness to purchase,” said Charles Barrett, Senior Vice President of Sales for IGN Entertainment.

As part of the agreement, GameStop will begin integrating IGN’s reviews, previews, and other gaming content across their online presence. Readers across the IGN network will shortly see a “Buy Now” feature that specifically drives users to GameStop if/when/should they choose to purchase the game under review.

“This is one of the foundational pieces to our digital strategy as we seek to position GameStop.com as the definitive single destination for gamers who want to discover and purchase new games, play games online and socialize with other players,” said Shawn Freeman, GameStop’s Senior Vice President of Digital Commerce. “As the fastest growing gaming website in the U.S. and second in size only to Amazon.com, we look forward to offering game fans a first look at our integrated site in 2011.”

Of note: GameStop’s online traffic numbers will now be rolled into IGN’s comScore figures. As of November 2010, the combined traffic numbers between GameStop’s properties and the IGN Entertainment network reached 45 million unique users from around the globe. A mighty number for sure, but let’s just hope neither company decides to call the figures their own before advertisers, as distinguishing the two will become increasingly difficult. Or…is GameStop testing the waters of an acquisition? Or perhaps the other way around? Only time will tell.

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