News Corp 'primes IGN for social games drive'

News Corp 'primes IGN for social games drive'

By Rob Crossley

March 18th 2011 at 2:59PM

Leading games and entertainment website could become a new games platform

News Corp could leverage its games media giant IGN to kick-start its social games business, a key executive at the company has said.

Jonathan Miller, the media conglomerate’s chief of digital, said the firm has identified a business model within the booming social games space.

“People who play FarmVille actually spend real money to buy virtual food or whatever it may be for their pig,” he said at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit this week.

“Most people don't [pay], but enough do so that it's a real business.”

IGN’s popular online games channel could be key to its bid to enter this market, Reuters quoted Miller as saying.

In January, IGN drew in 2.46 million unique users from the UK alone, according to independent data. Its global readership is significantly larger, and for News Corp could provide a social games platform and audience at the same time.

Last month News Corp – which owns pillars of the news media, TV and film industries – revealed it had acquired San Francisco social games start-up Making Fun.

Miller said News Corp's social-games drive would not likely be leveraged by its MySpace business. That firm has struggled in the age of Twitter and Facebook.

Nor will News Corp try to add Zynga to its fleet of businesses, Miller went on to explain.

Zynga, which has cracked the free-to-play model News Corp wants to succeed with, was recently valued upwards of $7 billion.

“[Zynga] is a little expensive, that particular company, at the present,” he said.

“We're trying to build it up organically.”