Cross-media game network IGN Entertainment has launched its beta for MyIGN, a gamer-focused social network adding game-like elements and new community features to its flagship consumer news site.
The social network, which acts as a layer over the company's site, looks to keep IGN.com's 12.7 million monthly visitors (the entire network attracts over 18 million visitors each month) entertained by offering features that allow them to track items posted on the site and compete with their friends.
enables the site's users to follow specific releases, game developers, IGN.com editors, and other users to create and customize a personal newsfeed that provides news, reviews, videso, blog posts, and more. They can also post status updates, similar to other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
As users take advantage of these features and participate in the MyIGN community, they'll earn points and level up. The system adds a competitive element, as users' levels are displayed throughout the site, and IGN hopes this will motivate them to become more active and beat their friends' ranking.
Though IGN's parent company, News Corp., also owns MySpace, the technology for this social network was developed within IGN, according to a report
from VentureBeat. Producing MyIGN in-house allowed the site to tailor its features to what it believes gamers want.
"We created it because gamers are not currently served by social networks," said IGN's SVP and publisher Peer Schneider. "If I post what I really feel about a game on Facebook, I’ll get odd comments from non-gaming friends and family. In our setting, you can feel comfortable talking about gaming. No one else has nailed it."
IGN plans to eventually introduce new features to the social network, such as the ability to join friends in games, try out instantaneous demos, and purchase digitally distributed releases. Users can currently sign up for the social features by using their existing IGN account, creating a new IGN account, or logging in with their Facebook details.