MTV parent Viacom has announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire online gaming communication and community platform Xfire for $102 million in cash.
This continues the company's move into game-related markets that has seen the acquisition of virtual pet website NeoPets and game content site GameTrailers, as well as the announcement
of a MTV Games co-branding label for console titles.
According to Viacom: "Xfire and its users fit squarely into the Company's multiplatform strategy to build an engaging universe of music, gaming, entertainment, news, networking and interactivity for focused audiences."
Launched in 2004, Xfire has four million registered members who use its software. Its one million active users average 91 hours per month, with an average session length of over three hours, and the ad-supported Xfire application supports hundreds of the latest PC games and provides social networking, instant messaging and information for online gamers.
Judy McGrath, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MTV Networks, said, "Online gaming is an intensely social phenomenon, with millions of young adults around the globe interacting constantly, not only to play, but also to share information and evaluate games. Xfire is the leading gamer community platform, and we look forward to integrating its services and user base into our multiplatform strategy at MTV Networks, which already includes assets like Neopets, GameTrailers, iFilm and more."
Mike Cassidy, Chief Executive Officer of Xfire, said, "We can think of no better home for Xfire than MTV Networks, a company that's as user-obsessed as we are. We look forward to working together with a shared commitment to giving teens and young adults the best in digital entertainment, and the operational flexibility to maintain the integrity of the Xfire brand for our users."