Further to MCV's previous chat with Ian Chambers, IGN's UK boss, we delve into how Australia is able to pioneer new ideas for the site.
How much autonomy has the Australian team been given to work on new concepts?
One of the things which has always been amazing about the team here is that they’ve always been innovators in many different ways, and that’s what I love about this market.
One of the key areas where they’ve innovated is in events with the Black Betas. We actually took that model.
The first time I came here to Australia I thought ‘Wow, this is great.’ Not only are they doing these events which are very engaging for the audience, but they’re also selling them to FMCG sponsors. It’s really something that they’re bringing together an FMCG brand with games, connecting those dots, increasing the media spend that we get and also giving a great event to the community.
So we took that back to the UK and did events in a similar way there. But then what the Australian guys did was they kept on improving it and building it up. From what I hear, the Tekken event was bigger and better than anything they’d done before.
Do you have any plans to integrate Australia into the IGN Pro League events which happen overseas?
So the Australian team have had a great experience doing these kinds of events. It’s a natural evolution now for them to start doing IPL events. We’ve already got European qualifiers, so it’ll make sense for us to bring it down here and continue growing it, although I can’t confirm any plans for that just yet.
IPL is a huge opportunity. We’ve invested a lot in it, there’s a great team behind it and we believe it can be as mainstream as games are. eSports can be like any other sports.
Following GameSpot's Twitch TV partnership, does IGN have plans to work on a new method of content delivery as well?
No, not really. IGN’s got a great platform. For US, we focus on amazing content and amazing events.
How they’re distributed is more secondary, as far as I’m concerned.
The question of how we actually do incredible events and engage the gaming community as a whole is far more important. IPL 5 is only getting bigger and better and it’s exciting to think about how it can get to a broader audience than it already has.
So how does the Aussie team fit in globally for these kinds of ideas?
In general, I think the idea is that the Australian team as a centre of innovation. They’ve been great at growing events and really leading that globally for us and showing us how to do it. I think that’s something that will carry on. Whether it be mobile, syndication of content etc. We’ve got Jimmy coming in, and he’s got loads of great ideas, so there’s a real desire for me to use Australia as a place to try stuff out.
So Australia is kind of a test bed for IGN then?
I don’t really like the phrase ‘test bed’ very much because it sounds like you’re going to try it here, then if it works you’ll do it someplace else but better.
I see it more as the ability to move quickly here, and the importance we place on the Australian team doing stuff like this is simply because it’s a good place to be doing things. If it works, we may take it to other places, we may not. It depends on what it is.
It’s not so much the case that there’s less risk here; it’s more that it’s a great team to do it with.
Thank you for your time.