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.