Blizzard denies speculation of purchasing the IGNProLeague

Developer says it has "no plans" to take over the operation of the IPL, is extending offers to those who lost jobs during recent IPL6 cancellation.

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Over the last few weeks, Blizzard Entertainment's name has come up as one of the leading developer candidates interested in buying out the IGNProLeague. Sources tell GameSpot that the developer behind the widely popular competitive esport StarCraft are interested in acquiring the production talent from IGNProLeague, which includes general manager David Ting.

Blizzard has provided a statement to GameSpot indicating no such deal will be made, but that the company has extended offers to those who lost jobs during the recent IPL6 cancellation.

"We typically don't comment on rumors or speculation, but we want to make an exception here because it's important to dispel any misconceptions surrounding Blizzard and the IPL," a representative from Blizzard Entertainment told GameSpot. "While we were fans of the IPL and disappointed to learn that it was coming to an end, we have no plans to take over operation of the IPL business or operate third-party eSports leagues. Our focus is on making great games and supporting our players. When it comes to eSports events, we generally prefer to work with experienced partners on the operations side while we focus on ensuring quality in terms of how our content is incorporated."

"While we were fans of the IPL and disappointed to learn that it was coming to an end, we have no plans to take over operation of the IPL business or operate third-party eSports leagues."

"That said, there were many talented and passionate gamers working for IGN/IPL whom we feel would be valuable additions to our team. We've already extended job offers to some of the employees who've been laid off, and we plan to make offers to others who may become available soon. Obviously they bring a lot of web-development knowledge and eSports expertise, which we can use to help us with our online presence and eSports-related projects. We're also looking into picking up some of the IPL technology and other assets, but again this is to support our own initiatives and does not have anything to do with any Blizzard-related continuation of the IPL."

Last month, an internal memo by Ziff Davis CEO Vivek Shah, posted on Polygon, said the company was looking for active buyers of IPL. "IGN's role going forward will be to broadcast and cover a variety of eSports events," Shah said.

"As stated several weeks ago, we are actively speaking with parties interested in acquiring IPL," Will Guyatt, a spokesperson for IGN, told GameSpot. "We will not comment on rumors or speculation surrounding our current activity."

Wargaming, home of the widely popular free to play game World of Tanks, and Ubisoft, home to new competitive arcade shooter Shootmania, are both said to also be interested in IPL. Wargaming recently held an event with the IGNProLeague at SXSW Interactive this past week. Representatives from Ubisoft and Wargaming were not available for comment at the time of publishing.

Discussion

18 comments
Nullpointer89
Nullpointer89

Rob failed to mention that this is likely a nail in the coffin of IPL as Blizzard will select the most valuable, core people/assets of IPL. That will leave IPL hollow or much less valuable as a whole and will probably die or be pieced off from here.

FragRaptor
FragRaptor

I hope some of them take the blizzard jobs. Lots of talented people at IPL

edinsftw
edinsftw

They only commented on this because they are trying to repair relationships with gamers after their last few disappointing releases and wanted to make it seem like money is not their main concern.

lunar1122
lunar1122

well isnt it obvious blizzard would not buy IPL?     Ipl is not just a starcraft 2 league, it runs League of legends and shootmania

Why would blizzard be interested in promoting other games by buying the brand? 

Its a no brainer. Another cutting edge report by slasher :D

Sardinar
Sardinar

lol, Blizzard is not Riot quite yet.

NetBiosError
NetBiosError

@Nullpointer89 Especially with the likes of Wargaming.net and Ubisoft in the running for a purchase. Each has their own property that they have a vested interest in, and should the future see one of them obtaining the IPL, StarCraft may end up being cut in favor of self-promotion, essentially killing the event.

Though I do believe Ubisoft would be more willing to follow through with such a thing as a direct competitor to Activision; I could imagine a bunch of StarCraft players and fans at Wargaming.net who would absolutely love to make it the centerpiece.

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

@FragRaptor IPL was good, but SC2 simply got boring incredibly quick so fans/players all quit.  Hence why IPL couldn't sustain itself.  Towards the end they weren't even breaking 400 viewers on their stream.  It's a shame.....

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

@edinsftw lol that comment is so dead on it's not even funny.  Blizzard is see through these days.

shock_88
shock_88

@2bitSmOkEy @FragRaptor SC2 had nothing to do with IPL being cancelled, but i do agree that SC2 struggles a bit to compete with games like league, primarily because Blizzard themselves do nothing and leave it to fans to keep it alive. Riot on the other hand has taken charge from the beginning of making sure their game continues to grow as an esport putting a lot of money to make sure it grows, while making it accessible to new players as well.


lunar1122
lunar1122

@2bitSmOkEy @FragRaptor rubbish, You are fabricating  viewer numbers and you are blaming sc2 for the downfall of IPL when it also ran League of legends and shoot mania.    Go to bed troll.         Ziff davis the new owner of ign also closed down Gamespy and fired IGN staff members .     Its a new direction this new owner is taking ign. 

Know your facts you ignorant misfit.

FragRaptor
FragRaptor

@2bitSmOkEy @FragRaptor are you retarded? They got the axe because ziff was cutting everything accross the board. It had nothing to do with any game being boring or anything. People were excited for the coming event. SC2 is still going strong. Any semblance that sc2 was the reason for IPL going under is completely false. SC2 will continue to be an amazing esport as MLG is going to show this weekend, and the launch event showed last Monday. If you want to bash SC2 at least come up with a logical and valuable argument for it, not biased opinions that hold no proof or evidence...

Swampsteel91
Swampsteel91

@2bitSmOkEy @FragRaptor wat...do you mean the daily rebroadcast or something like that?  the main tournament got 10s of thousands at least.  also, fans/players quit?  not gonna be too harsh, but you are completely wrong

dramasunggi
dramasunggi

@2bitSmOkEy @lunar1122You are the one that needs to retake English 7, needs to expand their English vocabulary, and refresh your knowledge on the proper sources, the article you cited did not even contain a single FACT that SC2 is dying, he somehow knows the OPINIONS of the '95% of SC2 playerbase' and worships Destiny. Mind you, there is nothing wrong when citing an article, nothing wrong when you debate against someone, but when you backlash like 'you are the one that needs to know the facts' and then you cite an OPINIONATED article, you are the one that looks like a fool. LoL is booming, but SC2 is not 'dying.' When you read an article, don't be so mindless and believe everything you read just because it's from Forbes, CNN, or Fox.

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

@lunar1122

SC2 is NOT going strong.

And before someone goes "durr why didn't they just cut SC2 and continue broadcasting LoL?"

Ask yourself this, how much fan backlash do you think IPL would receive if they cut off the game that they originally started with?  They couldn't do that.