Fandom, best known for hosting fan-made wiki content for a variety of entertainment franchises, has just expanded thanks to a major acquisition of several high-profile entertainment brands from Red Ventures. Many of the brands newly acquired by Fandom are related to gaming and television, such as review sites and publications like Metacritic and GameSpot.
Anyone who has looked up their favorite anime, video game, or television series has likely come across a Fandom page dedicated to that topic. Similar to Wikipedia, Fandom allows users to create Fandom wikis for their favorite franchises, many of which contain thousands of pages. One of the most popular is Star Wars‘ Wookiepedia wiki, which currently holds 177,924 pages covering everything from minor characters to weapons, ships, and major events. Fandom has secured a position as the host of the majority of go-to wiki content for any given franchise, ensuring that an extremely broad range of users is frequently visiting and generating ad revenue.
Today, Fandom announced that it has acquired a sizeable portfolio of seven entertainment brands from Red Ventures, a media company that owns CNET, among various other media sites. The acquisition includes publications such as GameSpot and Giant Bomb, review aggregate Metacritic, the television program listings and news company TV Guide, popular game guides site GameFAQs, Cord Cutters News, and major comic books database Comic Vine. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, although The Wall Street Journal said that sources familiar with the matter have valued the deal at around $55 million.
Fandom CEO Perkins Miller has said that the deal will « expand our business capabilities and provide immersive content for our partners, advertisers, and fans, » and that « the trusted insights, ratings and content they provide will make us a one-stop shop for fans across their entertainment and gaming journey. » It appears that this acquisition is a step toward Fandom establishing a wider ecosystem of entertainment sites where fan discussion, wiki content, and news publications are all under the Fandom umbrella. GameSpot, Giant Bomb, and Metacritic had previously been sold to Red Ventures as part of a $500 million deal with Viacom that also included the acquisition of CNET.
As always with acquisitions like this, the big question is how much will change for these sites under the new ownership. Many people rely on the reviews and scores from sites like Metacritic and GameSpot to decide on their purchases, while it’s also interesting to note that Cord Cutters News and TV Guide are at opposite ends of the ongoing battle between network television and streaming sites.