CNET Networks Acquires WGR Media

Posted on March 26, 2004

CNET Networks, Inc., a technology media company, announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire WGR Media, Inc., its Wireless Gaming Review website and other services. CNET will use the acquisition to strengthen its GameSpot websites. Wireless Gaming Review, which provides editorial reviews, previews, and insights to mobile gamers, expands GameSpot's coverage of the PC and video gaming markets.

"The stars are aligning for mobile gaming, and we're excited to be in the right place at the right time through this acquisition," said Vince Broady, founder of GameSpot and senior vice president of CNET Networks. "Wireless carriers and games publishers now offer a wide array of fun, sophisticated games for people on the go, and even hard core gamers are beginning to take notice. Wireless Gaming Review has established clear leadership in covering and championing the category and we are delighted to have them on our side."

The acquisition also supports CNET Networks' goal to expand its customer base by attracting new categories of marketers. With the addition of Wireless Gaming Review, the company will now be able to provide coverage of mobile gaming products and services. Wireless Gaming Review currently has customer relationships with six leading carriers, including Cingular and Sprint, who sponsor the site.

"Gamers view Wireless Gaming Review as a trusted source of information about mobile games," said Jeff Hallock, vice president of consumer product marketing for Sprint. "For that reason, Sprint sponsors a section of featuring editorial reviews of the games that are compatible with Sprint PCS Vision Phones. In addition, we post those reviews directly to our mobile users, so they can make informed buying decisions no matter where they are on the enhanced Sprint Nationwide Network."

Established in 2001, Cambridge, MA-based Wireless Gaming Review is managed by a small staff and a network of more than two dozen freelancers. CNET Networks said it plans to relocate its co-founders to San Francisco, so they can work together with the GameSpot team to create integrated offerings. In the coming months, GameSpot plans to launch a new wireless gaming section featuring Wireless Gaming Review content, and the site will be expanded to include a more comprehensive selection of relevant content from GameSpot and, including enhanced games media and handset reviews. In addition, GameSpot Trax, an ROI measurement service that provides marketers insight into audience behavior, will integrate Wireless Gaming Reviews' tracking service.

"We established ourselves as a wireless gaming resource for consumers and executives just as the market started taking off," said Matthew Bellows, co-founder, editor and publisher of Wireless Gaming Review. "Now, with the market poised to double or triple this year alone, we're proud to partner with GameSpot and CNET, so we can expand at a faster pace, get in front of millions of new users, and reap the benefits of a crack editorial staff, a state-of-the-art technology platform, and amazing media sales teams. We're very excited to move to the next level."

GameSpot includes GameFAQs, Game Rankings, GameSpot DLX, and now Wireless Gaming Review. GameSpot sites offer free access to PC and video game reviews, news stories, previews of upcoming games, game downloads, broadband programming, video streams, strategy guides, and hints.

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