Combining instant messaging with games seems to be a magic formula for Xfire. The popularity of the program hasn't gone unnoticed, and today Viacom -- which operates the MTV brand -- announced the acquisition of Xfire, Inc for $102m.

Not bad for a company with a free product and "no desire" to advertise. Xfire joins Viacom's other gaming assets Neopets and GameTrailers, both of which continue the "gaming community" theme, which means we can guess at MTV's plans for the future. They want gamers, whole communities of 'em, to extend their reach to those disaffected generations who shun the TV for games. Either that, or they've a nefarious plan that involves an evil robot gamer clone army -- you decide.

[Update 1 - fixed typo, thanks SeNiLe]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

Brain Training doesn't help old brains after all