IGN and Hearst Corporation's UGO are merging, with an official announcement expected this week, reports AllThingsD's Peter Kafka. The alleged plan after that is to take the merged entity in the near future and create a standalone business that focuses on video games outside of News Corp -- the notion being that IGN, which is said will make $10 million in profit this year off $100 million in revenues, will do better outside of News Corp's influence.
News Corp is also supposedly looking to take on investors for IGN before the split and may also be looking to acquire more properties before the spin-off occurs. Comscore data claims IGN has an audience of 19.7 million U.S. visitors, while UGO apparently has 13.1 million.
If you want to put this into some grander context, this merger actually combines IGN, UGO, GameSpy, WhatTheyPlay.com and the remnants of the 2009 gutting of 1UP/EGM.