Big news for Eurogamer today: after 18 years as an independent, our parent company Gamer Network has been acquired by ReedPOP. ReedPOP is an American events company that, among other things, owns and operates the PAX gaming events that Eurogamer readers will surely be familiar with. (I've included the full press release announcing this news below.)
The most important thing you, as Eurogamer readers, need to know about this deal is that Eurogamer is not going to change. We will still cover video games in exactly the same way, to the same depth as we do now. Our editorial policies won't change and nor will our independent spirit. Our team of editors, writers and video producers isn't changing at all. Nor are the tech, sales and management teams who make what we do possible. And the website isn't going to change. (Actually, that last one is a lie - the website totally is going to change, but more on that later.)
As you might expect, it was our EGX events that brought us to ReedPOP's attention. But the ReedPOP team is 100 per cent committed to our digital media business (which is a businessy way of saying our websites and YouTube channels), too. Just as we, over a decade ago, figured that the online communities we'd built around our websites might want to meet up in the real world to play games, ReedPOP wants to find ways to talk to the communities it has built around its events outside of those events. It reckons our websites and video channels provide a great model for how to do that, so it wants to keep them and expand on them. It's also worth pointing out that we aren't merging with another editorial team with an existing vision that might conflict with ours. We will stay true to our values, and our vision will serve as the model for more expansion elsewhere.
All this is equally true of our sister sites and channels: Digital Foundry, Rock Paper Shotgun, Outside Xbox and Xtra, GamesIndustry, VG24/7, USgamer, the European versions of Eurogamer, Metabomb and more. EGX Rezzed and EGX will go ahead this year in the same venues, and they'll still be called EGX Rezzed and EGX. (And hey, did you hear about EGX Berlin, too?)
All of us will continue to do what we do in the way that we do it - with some additional muscle behind us. We're all ambitious to expand, and ReedPOP has resources we don't. Apart from anything else, as a US company, it gives us a stronger base in North America.
One reason that I'm able to say all this is that the events and media arms of our business are equally successful and strong. And we owe that success to you, for reading our stories, watching our videos, following our channels, chatting in our comments and forums, and coming to our events. Thank you! You are what makes Eurogamer Eurogamer, just as much as we are.
That's not to say that this isn't a big change for us. Until today, Gamer Network - the company formerly known as Eurogamer Network - has been a family business. Our founder Rupert Loman's parents sat on the board, and we had our annual company party in their back garden, savouring their delicious pulled pork rolls next to the modest home extension that served as the company's first office. We've all loved working for the Lomans, and we know you'll join us in thanking them for building such a unique business, such great publications and events, and such a fun place to work. I'm delighted that Rupert - who some of you in the community will know by his forum handle, 'rauper' - is staying on with ReedPOP and Gamer Network after this deal to lead us into the next chapter.
About that next chapter. A couple of other big things are going on here that you might want to know about.
First - and of less relevance to you really, but I wanted to brag about it - we've moved offices, only we haven't. We've taken over all three floors of the building in central Brighton that we previously occupied the top floor of, and are in the middle of completely refurbishing the whole thing to our spec. Included in the build are such luxuries as more than one meeting room, a kitchen with windows, carpet that isn't an eye-watering shade of Eurogamer blue, two dedicated video studios, and toilet cubicles named after Quake 2 maps. It's actually all very cool and very grown-up (apart from the toilets) and is intended to be our future-proofed HQ for many years to come. We started in on this project before the acquisition, but ReedPOP has been more than happy to commit to keeping us in Brighton in the long term.
Secondly, I'm very pleased to announce that the extremely long-awaited, not to say overdue, redesign of Eurogamer is now only weeks away from launch after many months of development. It won't be a radical change - the homepage layout will look pretty familiar at first glance, for example - but it's still a complete overhaul of every element of the site and, considering the site you're looking at now was launched all the way back in 2011, it will still feel like quite a big leap. We think it provides a massively improved reading experience and I can't wait to share it with you. (And yes - portable view is back.)
So, it's all change here. Only it's not, because Eurogamer's mission - to bring you the best video games coverage with integrity and without compromise - remains the same, and has the same team behind it. We hope you'll join us as we start this next chapter. Exciting times!
ReedPOP Acquires Gamer Network to Create the World's Leading Events and Media Group for the Gaming Community
Home of EGX, Eurogamer, RockPaperShotgun, and GamesIndustry.biz Teams Up with producer of PAX and New York Comic Con to Become Games Industry's Coolest Events and Digital Specialist
26 February, 2018 - Norwalk, CT and Brighton, UK -- ReedPOP, the world's largest producer of games and pop culture live events, is adding Gamer Network and its portfolio of leading events, websites, and video channels to its portfolio. The addition of Gamer Network marks ReedPOP's first expansion beyond the event production business.
Gamer Network is home to leading editorial and community websites and YouTube channels, including internationally renowned flagship brands Eurogamer, RockPaperShotgun, GamesIndustry.biz, VG247, Outside Xbox, Digital Foundry and USgamer. The company also organises the UK's biggest games event, EGX and the world class indie games event, EGX Rezzed.
The acquisition of Gamer Network by ReedPOP, a boutique group within Reed Exhibitions, part of RELX Group, will take effect immediately.
The powerful combination of the two portfolios gives ReedPOP a truly unique opportunity to combine its leading live games events across four continents with a huge, dedicated worldwide online community of more than 50 million monthly users. ReedPOP will be focused on ensuring its events and digital channels are focused squarely on the communities they serve.
Lance Fensterman, global head of ReedPOP commented, "Gamer Network is one of the world's leading voices for gamers and gaming culture. The opportunity to be in business with Rupert Loman and the brands, events and team he has created is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Bringing ReedPOP and Gamer Network together, PAX and EGX together - these are the kinds of mash ups you dream of. We are beyond excited to dream up new concepts that will blow the minds of fans all over the world."
Rupert Loman, founder of Gamer Network added, "We're delighted to join the ReedPOP group. I'm a big fan of PAX and the company culture that Lance has created. The ambition and strategy that we share means we're extremely excited about what's next. The combination of our online channels and European events with their internationally-respected US footprint is a powerful one."
"I'm so proud that we've managed to grow to this point without any external investment and on our own terms. Gamer Network has achieved 18 consecutive years of revenue and audience growth by focusing completely on the needs and passions of our visitors, readers and viewers, and I couldn't be happier to have found a like-minded partner to take the company further. I'd like to thank everyone who has contributed to our incredible journey and I'm really looking forward to seeing where we can take things from here."
Since ReedPOP's first event in 2006, the sold-out New York Comic Con, the group has sought to produce exceptional experiences for passionate audiences and grow the industries surrounding these passions. This philosophy has led to continuous audience growth, with the flagship PAX events now firmly established as the largest consumer games shows in North America and Australia.
Rupert Loman will remain with the company to focus on ReedPOP's global games strategy and expansion. Simon Maxwell is being promoted from his current role as chief operating officer, to Managing Director of Gamer Network and VP Reedpop UK to run the company. All staff will remain with the business to continue the exciting journey ahead. Gamer Network's new 11,000 square foot HQ in Brighton will open next week
About ReedPOP: ReedPOP is a boutique group within Reed Exhibitions, the world's leading event organizer. ReedPOP is devoted exclusively to organizing and managing events, launching and acquiring new shows, and working with premium brands in the pop culture world to deliver once in a lifetime experiences for fans everywhere. The ReedPOP portfolio includes: New York Comic Con (NYCC), Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), PAX West, East, South and Australia, Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC), MCM Comic Con, BookCon, Oz Comic Con, Comic Con India, Comic Con Paris, Comic Con Seoul, Star Wars Celebration, TwitchCon, ComplexCon and more. The staff at ReedPOP is a fan-based group of professionals uniquely qualified to serve those with whom they share a common passion. ReedPOP is focused on bringing its expertise and knowledge to world communities in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, India and Australia. (www.reedpop.com).
About RELX Group: RELX Group is a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers across industries. The Group serves customers in more than 180 countries and has offices in about 40 countries. It employs approximately 30,000 people of whom half are in North America. RELX PLC is a London listed holding company which owns 52.9% of RELX Group. RELX NV is an Amsterdam listed holding company which owns 47.1% of RELX Group. The shares are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX and RENX. The total market capitalisation is approximately £33bn, €38bn, $44bn.
About Gamer Network: Founded in 1999, Gamer Network publishes a range of video games websites including Eurogamer.net, the world's leading independent video games website with local editions in ten European languages. The company also publishes market-leading trade resource GamesIndustry.biz, PC site RockPaperShotgun.com and popular video channels Outside Xbox, Outside Xtra and Digital Foundry. It represents several partner channels including Arekkz Gaming, Westie and FamilyGamerTV, and websites including Loots.com, Moddb.com and NintendoLife.com. In addition to its online publications, Gamer Network produces live public events and trade shows including EGX, the UK's largest gaming event and EGX Rezzed, the PC and indie games show. Find out more at www.gamer.network.
Correction: This article previously stated that Penny Arcade is no longer involved in the PAX events. This is incorrect. ReedPOP owns the PAX brand, but Penny Arcade is involved in the curation and operation of the events.