IGN (abbreviated and formerly known as Imagine Games Network) is a multimedia news and reviews website that focuses heavily on video games. Its corporate parent is IGN Entertainment, which owns and controls separate sites such as GameSpy, Rotten Tomatoes, and AskMen.
IGN's main website comprises several specialty sites, or "channels", each occupying a subdomain on IGN and covering a specific area of entertainment. Game-related channels include PC Games, Wii, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PSP, Xbox Live, Wireless, and Retro. In addition, IGN has channels covering movies, music, gear and technology, sports, television and more.
Founded in September 1996 as Imagine Games Network by, IGN began as five individual websites within Imagine Publishing: IGN64.com, PSXPower, Saturnworld, Next-Generation.com and Ultra Game Players Online. 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; UGPO 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.
As of June 2005, IGN claimed 23 million unique visitors a month, with 5 million registered users through all departments of the site. IGN is ranked among the top 200 most-visited websites according to Alexa, and the IGN forums are among the most active Internet forums. In September 2005, IGN was acquired by Rupert Murdoch's multi-media business empire, News Corporation.
IGN celebrated their tenth year on the 12th of January, 2008. On October 11, 2008, IGN redesigned their website.
A member of the IGN staff writes a review for a game and gives it a score between 0 and 10, which is assigned by increments of 0.1 and determines how much the game is recommended. The score is given according to individual aspects like presentation
and lasting appeal
--each game is given a score in each of these categories, but the overall score for the game is an independent evaluation, not an average of the scores in each category.
IGN rarely gives a game a perfect 10. Some of the games that received a 10/10 score are Soul Calibur for Dreamcast, Pokémon Red and Blue for Game Boy, Ocarina of Time for Nintendo 64, Link's Awakening DX for Game Boy Color, Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons for Game Boy Color. Two more games were awarded perfect 10s in 2008, Grand Theft Auto IV , and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. IGN UK also gave GTA IV a 10 (this was the first 10 given by IGN UK to a game ). To date, they have given a total of 26 games (including cross-gen ports) a rating of 10 out of 10 . Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was the latest game to receive a perfect 10 from IGN.
- In 2000, Snowball.com purchased an E-federation called the Internet Wrestling Organization (IWO). Since Snowball owned both IWO and IGN, IWO would go on to become IGN's first official E-Fed, even doing a column on the website.
- IGN For Men: This section closed down officially on October 2, 2001. It is no longer updated. IGN has sites such as IGN Stars and AskMen.com that fulfill much of the function of the old IGN ForMen site.
- IGN Wrestling met its end in early 2002, when many of the staff departed. Interviews with professional wrestling personalities and coverage of wrestling games has been folded into IGN Sports, currently headed by Jon Robinson.
- IGN Sci-Fi: Largely dead since 2002, this section of the site included movie news, comic book reviews, anime coverage, and other associated items. It has since been discontinued. The site, SciFI.ign.com now redirects to the recently created SciFiBrain.ign.com which covers some of the content of the old SciFi site.
- In 2002, IGN launched a dedicated videogame FAQs site specifically designed to host user-submitted guides. This was launched following the cancellation of affiliation with GameFAQs.
- In 2004, IGN launched GameStats, which serves as a more unbiased rating network, as it takes in every corporately owned game rating site, and averages it all into one score to give a general idea of the quality of a game.
- In 2005, IGN launched their comics site. It is devoted to not just the staple Marvel and DC titles, but also manga, graphic novels, statues, and toys.
- In 2006, IGN launched their television site. It provides interviews with various television celebrities in addition to a TV schedule, TV trivia, and TV news. Akin IGN FilmForce, IGN's TV section has a variety of exclusive clips from upcoming television shows.
- In 2006 IGN launched regional versions of the site based in the UK and Australia, which both share the same information as the American site but with added content authored from editors within each respective region. When visiting IGN.com from either the UK or Australia, the site automatically redirects you to your localised version using geolocation software. Each version of the site has a modified logo with the UK, Australian or American flags beneath the IGN symbol.
- On May 30, 2006, IGN Dreamcast was restarted, however, none of the Dreamcast updates were posted on main IGN webpage.
- In 2007 IGN launched their anime site. It provided features on anime and manga including trailers and free episodes. It also included reviews of manga and anime from other section of IGN, such as IGN Comics and IGN DVD.
- In 2008 IGN launched their Retro channel to mark IGN's 10th anniversary.
- To coincide with the release of Super Smash Bros Brawl IGN created Super Smash Bros World Site On the site people can submit their user created stages from the game and download ones made by other people. IGN subsequently launched a similar website called GTA 'Hood on April 29, 2008 for Grand Theft Auto IV. The site most notably features an interactive map where users of the website can plot virtually everything in the game, be it solving missions or locating several things, e.g. health packs and vehicles.
- On April 1, 2008, IGN pulled an April Fools Day prank: They announced the release of a live-action Legend of Zelda movie, set to be released on April 1, 2009, along with an exclusive trailer After much speculation, it was revealed later in the day that the trailer was, in fact, a fake. Several days later they released a "making of" video They also featured an interview with the makers in the following Game Scoop Podcast. This prank was similar to an April Fools Day joke they pulled in 2005, when they "announced" a live action Metroid movie which would supposedly star Michelle Rodriguez. This prank was also revealed to be a hoax soon after. The maker of the film tried to make the fake obvious by setting the release date one year later on April Fool's Day 2009.