Break Media dipped its toes into gaming last month when it released its first social game, MMA FightPicker. But today it is diving in headfirst with the acquisition of game download site FileFront. The all-cash transaction was a couple million dollars with some more possible earnout payments in the future if the business hits certain milestones.
“We are continuing to grow the gaming editorial and gaming parts of the business,” says Break CEO Keith Richman. FileFront has been around since 2001, and has built up a loyal following of 9 million visitors a month worldwide (internal numbers, comScore estimates 6 million), and 50 million pageviews. “I don’t think we could get have gotten there ourselves,” says Richman of his buy-versus-build decision. “This is a vertical where community really matters. It is very difficult to buy 50 million page impressions a month.”
FileFront offers game downloads, patches, videos and some reviews. Richman wants to pump up the editorial portion (reviews and videos) and cross-promote it on Break.com and his other sites geared towards young men. He is keeping the existing editorial staff of ten.
FileFront has passed hands before. It was bought by
IDG Ziff Davis in 2005, but languished in the shadow of Ziff’s bigger gaming site OneUp. When Ziff sold OneUp to Hearst, FileFront almost shut down before the founders bought it back and kept it going on their own. Now they’ve found a home at Break, which wants to re-invigorate the site.