If you’ve been paying attention to video game journalism for a while now, you’re probably familiar with IGN, the most-visited website in the business, and Kotaku, another big website that famously found itself a centerpiece of all that “Gamergate” controversy from a couple years back. What you might not be familiar with is Ziff Davis, a media conglomerate and ultimate parent company of IGN, and Gawker Media, a network of web content providers that Kotaku is a part of. Or, at least, it used to be.
Recently, Gawker Media has found itself in a spot of trouble. Back in 2012, the company’s flagship web domain, Gawker.com, a celebrity gossip blog, posted a sex tape of wrestler Hulk Hogan. Following a cease-and-desist notice from Hogan and an injunction from a circuit court judge, Gawker wrote, “A judge told us to take down our Hulk Hogan sex tape post. We won’t,” and that they were “refusing to comply.” Publisher Nick Denton also cited the First Amendment as reason to leave up the video.
To little surprise, this has led Gawker Media to massive legal trouble and ultimately bankruptcy. And while Gawker Media’s problems are ongoing, Ziff Davis has swooped in to buy out Gawker Media and all its assets. This makes Ziff Davis owner of two of the internet’s biggest gaming news sites, and also the proud owner of between $100 and $500 million in debt that Gawker Media has amassed.
For those wondering how this might effect Kotaku’s operations, Editor-in-Chief Stephen Totillo has released a statement saying it will be “business as usual” for them.