Ziff Davis

Ziff Davis, LLC is an American publisher and Internet company. It was founded in 1927 in Chicago, Illinois, by William Bernard Ziff Sr. and Bernard George Davis.

Ziff Davis, LLC
Subsidiary
IndustryMagazine publishing/Internet information provider
FoundedAugust 1927
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
FounderWilliam Bernard Ziff Sr.
Bernard George Davis
HeadquartersNew York City, New York, U.S.
Key people
Steve Horowitz(President)
Brian Stewart(CFO)
James Yaffe(CSO)
ProductsWebsites, media, data, podcasts, video podcasts
RevenueDecreaseUS $216.1 million (2015)
Number of employees
~1200
Parentj2 Global
Websiteziffdavis.com

History

Throughout most of Ziff Davis' history, it was a publisher of hobbyist magazines, often ones devoted to expensive, advertiser-rich technical hobbies such as cars, photography, and electronics. However, since 1980, Ziff Davis has primarily published computer-related magazines, and its websites, derived from its magazines, have established Ziff Davis as an internet information company.

Ziff Davis had several broadcasting properties, first during the mid-1970s, and later with its own technology network ZDTV, later renamed to TechTV, that was sold to Vulcan Ventures in 2001. Ziff Davis' magazine publishing and internet operations offices are based in New York City, Massachusetts, and San Francisco.

On January 6, 2009, the company sold 1UP.com to UGO Entertainment, a division of Hearst Corporation and announced the January 2009 issue of the long-running Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine as the final one.[1]

Former Time Inc. executive Vivek Shah, with financial backing from Boston private equity company Great Hill Partners, announced on June 4, 2010, the acquisition of Ziff Davis Inc. as the "first step in building a new digital media company that specializes in producing and distributing content for consumers making important buying decisions."[2]

On November 12, 2012, Ziff Davis Inc., was acquired by cloud computing services company j2 Global of Hollywood, Calif. for $167 million cash.[3] According to a late 2015 Fortune article, Ziff Davis comprises 30% of parent company j2 Global's $600 million annual revenue (2014) and is increasing 15% to 20% each year. Analyst Gregory Burns of Sidoti & Company calculates that Ziff Davis is worth $1.9 billion.[4]

Popular Aviation

Popular Aviation June 1928
An early (June 1928) issue of Popular Aviation; the first magazine published by Ziff Davis. Artwork by Stewart Rouse; Ziff-Davis titles featured painted covers throughout the following decade.

The William B. Ziff Company, founded in 1920, was a successful Chicago advertising agency that secured advertising from national companies such as Procter & Gamble for virtually all African American weekly newspapers. In 1923, Ziff acquired E. C. Auld Company, a Chicago publishing house. Ziff's first venture in magazine publishing was Ziff's Magazine, which featured short stories, one-act plays, humorous verse, and jokes. The title was changed to America's Humor in April 1926.[5][6]

Bernard George Davis was the student editor of the University of Pittsburgh's humor magazine, the Pitt Panther, and was active in the Association of College Comics of the East. During his senior year he attended the association's convention and met William B. Ziff. When Davis graduated in 1927 he joined Ziff as the editor of America's Humor.[7][8]

Ziff, who had been an aviator in World War I, created a new magazine, Popular Aviation, in August 1927 that was published by Popular Aviation Publishing Company of Chicago, Illinois. Under editor Harley W. Mitchell it became the largest aviation magazine, with a circulation of 100,000 in 1929.[9] The magazine's title became Aeronautics in June 1929 and the publishing company's name became Aeronautical Publications, Inc. The title was changed back to Popular Aviation in July 1930. The magazine became Flying in 1942 and is still published today by the Bonnier Corporation. The magazine celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2017.

The company histories normally give the founding date as 1927. This is when B.G. Davis joined and Popular Aviation magazine started. However, it was not until 1936 that the company became the "Ziff-Davis Publishing Company". (Popular Aviation, April 1936, was the first issue by Ziff-Davis Publishing.) Davis was given a substantial minority equity interest in the company and was appointed a vice-president and director. He was later named president in 1946. Davis was a photography enthusiast and the editor of the Popular Photography magazine started in May 1937.[8]

Fiction and hobbyist magazines

Ziff Davis' comic books featured painted covers inspired by pulp-era illustrators.

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In early 1938, Ziff-Davis acquired the magazines Radio News and Amazing Stories.[10] These were started by Hugo Gernsback but sold as a result of the Experimenter Publishing bankruptcy in 1929. Both magazines had declined since the bankruptcy but the resources of Ziff-Davis rejuvenated them starting with the April 1938 issues. Radio News was published until 1972. The magazine Popular Electronics, derived from Radio News, was begun in 1955 and published until 1985. Amazing Stories was a leading science fiction magazine and Ziff Davis soon added a new companion, Fantastic Adventures (FA). In 1954 FA was merged into the newer magazine Fantastic, founded in 1952 to great initial success. ZD published a number of other pulp magazines and, later, digest-sized fiction magazines during the 1940s and 1950s, and continued to publish Amazing and Fantastic until 1965.

Ziff-Davis published comic books during the early 1950s, operating by their own name and also the name Approved Comics. Eschewing superheroes, they published horror, crime, sports, romance, and Western comics, though most titles didn't last more than a few issues. Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel was the art director of the comics line; other notable creators who worked for Ziff-Davis Comics included John Buscema, Sid Greene, Bob Haney, Sam Kweskin, Rudy Lapick, Richard Lazarus, Mort Leav, Paul S. Newman, George Roussos, Mike Sekowsky, Ernie Schroeder, and Ogden Whitney. In 1953, the company mostly abandoned comics, selling its most popular titles—the romance comics Cinderella Love and Romantic Love, the Western Kid Cowboy, and the jungle adventure Wild Boy of the Congo—to St. John Publications. Ziff-Davis continued to publish one title, G.I. Joe, until 1957, a total of 51 issues.

William B. Ziff, Sr., died in 1953 and son William B. Ziff, Jr. returned from Germany to assume his role in the company. In 1958 Bernard G. Davis sold his share of Ziff Davis to found Davis Publications, although Ziff-Davis continued to use his surname. With the younger Ziff's direction, ZD soon became a successful publisher of enthusiast magazines. Ziff Davis purchased titles like Car And Driver and by tailoring content for enthusiasts and readers who made purchasing decisions for their companies ("brand specifiers"), the company was able to attract advertising money that other, general-interest publications were losing.

In 1958, Ziff-Davis began publishing a magazine, HiFi and Music Review, for those who were interested in the growing hobby of high fidelity equipment. Ultimately, the magazine evolved into Stereo Review.

During the 1970s and 1980s the company's success increased with this strategy, and a rapidly expanding interest in electronics and computing. With titles such as PC Magazine, Popular Electronics, and Computer Shopper, Ziff Davis became the main technology magazine business.

Ziff Davis sold the majority of its consumer magazines to CBS and its trade magazines to News Corporation in 1984, keeping its computer magazines.[11][12]

Television stations

In 1979, Ziff Davis expanded into broadcasting, after an acquisition of television stations originally owned by greeting card company Rust Craft. Ziff Davis's stations included NBC affiliates WROC-TV in Rochester, New York and WRCB-TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee, CBS affiliates WEYI-TV in Saginaw, Michigan, WRDW-TV in Augusta, Georgia and WSTV-TV in Steubenville, Ohio (which changed its name to WTOV-TV and its network affiliation to NBC after Ziff Davis assumed control of the station), and ABC affiliate WJKS-TV in Jacksonville, Florida (which would also switch to NBC soon after its acquisition was finalized). These stations would be sold to other owners by the mid-1980s—most of these would become owned by a new ownership group, "Television Station Partners", the exceptions being WRCB (which would be sold to Sarkes Tarzian) and WJKS (which was acquired by Media General).

Market Station Channel
TV (RF)
Years owned Current ownership status
Jacksonville, Florida WJKS-TV 17 (34) 1979-82 The CW affiliate, WCWJ, owned by Graham Media Group
Augusta, Georgia WRDW-TV 12 (12) 1979-83 CBS affiliate owned by Gray Television
Saginaw - Flint, Michigan WEYI-TV 25 (30) 1979-83 NBC affiliate owned by Howard Stirk Holdings
(Operated through a LMA by Sinclair Broadcast Group)
Rochester, New York WROC-TV 8 (45) 1979-83 CBS affiliate owned by Nexstar Media Group
Steubenville, Ohio - Wheeling, West Virginia WSTV-TV/WTOV-TV 9 (9) 1979-83 NBC affiliate owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group[13][14]
Chattanooga, Tennessee WRCB-TV 3 (13) 1979-82 NBC affiliate owned by Sarkes Tarzian, Inc.

Technology magazines and web properties

Ziff Davis first started technology-themed publications during 1954, with Popular Electronics and, more briefly, Electronics World. This resulted more or less directly in its interest in home-computer magazines. From that time, Ziff Davis became a major publisher of computer and internet-related publishing. It acquired PC Magazine in 1982, and the trade journal MacWEEK in 1988. In 1989, the company initiated the ZDNet site. In 1991 ZDNet on CompuServe and on the early internet were augmented by the purchase of Public Brand Software, the main shareware disk provider. In 1995 it initiated the magazine Yahoo! Internet Life, initially as ZD Internet Life. The magazine was meant to accompany and complement the site Yahoo!.

Owner William Bernard Ziff, Jr. had wanted to give the business to his sons—Daniel, Dirk and Robert—but they didn't want the responsibility. In 1994, he announced the sale of the publishing group to Forstmann Little & Company for US$1.4 billion.[15]

In 1998, Ziff Davis started ZDTV, a technology-themed television network. ZDTV was sold to Paul Allen's Vulcan Inc. in 2000, and was renamed TechTV.

In 2000, Ziff Davis Inc. was sold, with its URLs, to the company SoftBank.

Since 2004, Ziff Davis has annually hosted a trade show in New York City known as DigitalLife.[16] DigitalLife showcases the newest technology in consumer electronics, gaming and entertainment. Unlike E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) or the Worldwide Developers Conference, DigitalLife is open to the public.

In November 2006, Ziff Davis announced the cancellation of Official PlayStation Magazine. They cited a lack of interest in the magazine (and its demo disk) due to digital distribution. OPM had begun in 1997.

Ziff Davis Media Inc.

In 2001, the new company Ziff Davis Media Inc., a partnership of Willis Stein & Partners and James Dunning (former Ziff Davis CEO, chairman, and president), made an agreement with CNET Networks Inc. and ZDNet to acquire the URLs of Ziff Davis. Ziff Davis Media Inc. gained thereby the online content licensing rights to 11 publications, including PC Magazine, CIO Insight, and eWEEK, webpage of industry insider Spencer Katt.

In July 2007, Ziff Davis Media announced the sale of its enterprise (B2B or business-to-business) division to Insight Venture Partners.[17] The sale included all B2B publications, which include eWeek, Baseline, and CIOinsight, and all related online properties. The enterprise division is now an independent company named Ziff Davis Enterprise Group (ZDE).

On March 5, 2008, Ziff Davis Media Inc. announced it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in order to restructure its debt and operations.[18] [19] and emerged, after a court supervised corporate restructuring in July 2009.[20] In conjunction with this announcement they also stated that they are discontinuing their print copy of PC Magazine. According to BtoBonline, Ziff Davis Media made an agreement with an ad hoc group of noteholders, who will provide $24.5 million to fund the company's operations and help plan the restructuring.[21]

Acquisition

In June 2010, Boston private equity firm, Great Hill Partners, purchased Ziff Davis, with online media executive Vivek Shah. At the time, Ziff Davis properties consisted of PCMag.com, ExtremeTech, GearLog, GoodCleanTech, DLtv, AppScout, CrankyGeeks, Smart Device Central and TechSaver.com, and reached over 7 million users a month.[22] Shah, with intentions of revitalizing the business, serial purchased logicbuy.com, geek.com, computershopper.com, toolbox.com, and Focus Research. Focus Research was a major provider of online research to enterprise buyers and high-quality leads to IT vendors. It was later renamed to "Ziff Davis B2B Focus" and operated as a stand-alone unit within Ziff Davis. Niche sites of the Ziff Davis B2B Focus network include ITManagement.com, ITSecurity.com, VOIP-News.com and InsideCRM.com.[23]

On November 16, 2012 Great Hill sold the company to j2Global, a provider of cloud services. The purchase price was $175 million, approximately 2.9 times the estimated 2013 revenue.[24] j2 Global actually paid $167 million in an all-cash deal.[25]

On February 4, 2013, Ziff Davis acquired IGN Entertainment from News Corporation.[26] Soon afterward, Ziff Davis announced the discontinuation of the 1UP.com, UGO.com, and GameSpy.com sites in order to "[focus] on our two flagship brands, IGN and AskMen".[27]

In May 2013, Ziff Davis acquired NetShelter, a display advertising network oriented towards consumer electronics and technology publishers, from ImPowered.[28]

In November 2013, Ziff Davis acquired TechBargains.com, a deal aggregation site for consumer electronics.[29]

In June 2014, Ziff Davis acquired eMedia Communications from Reed Business Information.[30] In December 2014, Ziff Davis acquired Ookla, owner of Speedtest.net.[31]

In December 2015, Ziff Davis acquired Offers.com[32] an online source of offers, deals, coupons, coupon codes, promos, free trials, and more.

In December 2017, Ziff Davis acquired Mashable for $50 million.[33] Mashable had not been meeting its advertising targets, accumulating $4.2 million in losses in the quarter ending September 2017.[34]

International growth

In 2018, Ziff Davis had 117 million readers, reaching 115 countries with 60 international editions.[35] Most of Ziff Davis' international editions are partnerships with local publishers, all of whom use a domestic content management system. The common CMS lets oversea editions get content from Ziff Davis' owned-and-operated markets and re-purpose it for their own editions. To establish itself in foreign markets, Ziff Davis asks its local partner to hold events. Popular past events include IGN Convention Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar.[36]

Current properties

IGN Network

Sold properties

Discontinued magazines and websites

Notes

  1. ^ "Ziff Davis Media Reaches Agreement to Sell 1UP.com to UGO". January 6, 2009. Retrieved January 7, 2009.
  2. ^ "Ziff Davis Acquired by Digital Media Executive Vivek Shah and Great Hill Partners". June 4, 2010. Archived from the original on August 8, 2011. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
  3. ^ "j@ Global Acquires Ziff Davis, Inc". November 12, 2012. Archived from the original on February 9, 2014. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  4. ^ "How Ziff Davis survived the death of print". October 29, 2015. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  5. ^ "William B. Ziff, 55, Publisher, Is Dead". New York Times. December 21, 1953. p. 31.
  6. ^ "William Bernard Ziff.", Dictionary of American Biography, Supplement 5: 1951–1955. American Council of Learned Societies, 1977. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 2007.
  7. ^ "Bernard G. Davis, Publisher, Dead". New York Times. August 29, 1972. p. 37.
  8. ^ a b "Bernard George Davis." Dictionary of American Biography, Supplement 9: 1971–1975. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1994. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 2007.
  9. ^ "Again, Mitchell". Time Magazine. Time. June 10, 1929. Archived from the original on May 21, 2013. Retrieved August 26, 2007. "Monthly magazine until this month called Popular Aviation and Aeronautics. With 100,000 circulation it is largest-selling of U. S. air publications." "Editor of Aeronautics is equally airwise Harley W. Mitchell, no relative of General Mitchell."
  10. ^ "Advertising News and Notes". New York Times. January 18, 1938. p. 28. Ziff-Davis Publishing Company, New York and Chicago, has purchased Radio News Magazine and Amazing Stories.
  11. ^ Kleinfield, N. R. (Nov 21, 1984). "CBS To Buy 12 Of Ziff's Magazines". New York Times.
  12. ^ Wayne, Leslie (1984-11-22). "Murdoch Buys 12 Ziff Publication". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-07-21.
  13. ^ Sinclair Broadcast Group
  14. ^ [1] Archived March 1, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ New York Times: "Forstmann To Acquire Ziff-Davis" October 28, 1994
  16. ^ "PCMag.com". Digital Life. Archived from the original on October 15, 2009. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  17. ^ "insightpartners.com". insightpartners.com. Archived from the original on January 9, 1998. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  18. ^ Dring, Christopher (March 6, 2008). "Ziff Davis files for bankruptcy protection | Games industry news | MCV". Mcvuk.com. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  19. ^ "Ziff Davis Media Reaches Agreement to Restructure Senior Secured Debt". March 5, 2008. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved March 5, 2008.
  20. ^ Ziff Davis makes a silent exit. The Deal, July 9, 2008 Archived November 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Ziff Davis files for bankruptcy protection - MCV: 06/03/2008
  22. ^ "Ziff Davis Acquired by Digital Media Executive Vivek Shah and Great Hill Partners". June 4, 2010. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  23. ^ "Ziff Davis Acquires Focus Research, Inc". August 23, 2011. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
  24. ^ "Great Hill Partners Announces the Sale of Ziff Davis, Inc". November 16, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2012.
  25. ^ "Ziff Davis Trades Hands Again". November 12, 2012. Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  26. ^ "IGN Entertainment sold by News Corp to publisher Ziff Davis". Digital Spy. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
  27. ^ Sliwinski, Alexander. "IGN hit with layoffs; 1UP, Gamespy and UGO shutting down". Joystiq. Archived from the original on March 26, 2014.
  28. ^ "Ziff Davis Is Buying NetShelter/InPowered's Display Ad Business". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  29. ^ "Ziff Davis Buys TechBargains.com". November 20, 2013. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  30. ^ "Ziff Davis Acquires emedia Communications". Folio:. 2014-06-05. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  31. ^ "Ziff Davis buys Speedtest owner Ookla". www.telecompaper.com. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  32. ^ "California company acquires 2 Austin tech firms". mystatesman.com. 14 January 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  33. ^ Kafka, Peter (5 December 2017). "Ziff Davis has bought Mashable at a fire sale price and plans to lay off 50 people". Recode.
  34. ^ Cook, James (19 December 2017). "10 things in tech you need to know today". Business Insider.
  35. ^ "ziffdavis.com".
  36. ^ "How Ziff Davis is expanding globally". October 22, 2014. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
  37. ^ "Ookla, LLC Privacy Policy". Ookla, LLC. March 2015. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  38. ^ emedia.com
  39. ^ "Ziff Davis Tech". Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  40. ^ "About Us". Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  41. ^ "Speedtest.net by Ookla - The Global Broadband Speed Test". Speedtest.net. Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  42. ^ "eseminarslive.com". eseminarslive.com. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  43. ^ Barnholt, Ray. "Electronic Gaming Monthly Coming Back: News from 1UP.com". 1Up.com. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  44. ^ "LinuxDevices.com". Archived from the original on August 22, 2006.
  45. ^ "Microsoft Watch - Just another Linux Devices Sites site". Microsoft Watch. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  46. ^ "- PDFzone". wayback.vefsafn.is.
  47. ^ "publish.com". publish.com. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  48. ^ Stapleton, Dan. "Goodbye, And Thank You From The GameSpy Team". Gamespy. Archived from the original on December 9, 2013.

References

Further reading

  • Thorsen, Tor, "RIP OPM". GameSpot, CNET Networks, November 20, 2006.
  • "Ziff Davis File:Press Release", Ziff Davis Reports Fourth Quarter 2005 Results. Ziff Davis Publishing Inc., October 8, 2006.

External links

1UP.com

1UP.com was an American entertainment website that focused on video games. Launched in 2003, 1UP.com provided its own original features, news stories, game reviews, and video interviews, and also featured comprehensive PC-focused content (an extension of the previously published Games for Windows: The Official Magazine). Like a print magazine, 1UP.com also hosted special week-long "online cover stories" (examples include Soulcalibur III, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Virtua Fighter 5) that presented each day a new in-depth feature story, interview with the developers, game screenshot gallery, game video footage, and/or video of the game studio and creators.

The site was created by Ziff Davis as an extension of Electronic Gaming Monthly, a gaming magazine formerly published by the company. 1UP was sold in 2009 to Hearst Corporation's UGO Networks, who was acquired by IGN Entertainment (then owned by News Corporation) in 2011. Coming full circle, Ziff Davis acquired IGN Entertainment as a whole in February 2013, re-uniting 1UP with its original owners. Shortly after the acquisition, however, Ziff Davis announced that in an effort to concentrate on IGN, it would shut down most of its secondary sites, including 1UP. Remaining staff members from 1UP were to be transferred to IGN.

Benchmark (computing)

In computing, a benchmark is the act of running a computer program, a set of programs, or other operations, in order to assess the relative performance of an object, normally by running a number of standard tests and trials against it.

The term benchmark is also commonly utilized for the purposes of elaborately designed benchmarking programs themselves.

Benchmarking is usually associated with assessing performance characteristics of computer hardware, for example, the floating point operation performance of a CPU, but there are circumstances when the technique is also applicable to software. Software benchmarks are, for example, run against compilers or database management systems (DBMS).

Benchmarks provide a method of comparing the performance of various subsystems across different chip/system architectures.

Test suites are a type of system intended to assess the correctness of software.

Computer Gaming World

Computer Gaming World (CGW) was an American computer game magazine published between 1981 and 2006.

God of War (franchise)

God of War is a mythology-based action-adventure video game franchise. Created by David Jaffe at Sony's Santa Monica Studio, the series debuted in 2005 on the PlayStation 2 (PS2) video game console, and has become a flagship title for the PlayStation brand, consisting of eight games across multiple platforms. The story is about Kratos, a Spartan warrior tricked into killing his wife and daughter by his former master, the Greek God of War Ares. Kratos seeks to rid himself of the nightmares by serving the other Olympian gods, but soon finds himself in confrontation with them due to their machinations. Years after the destruction of ancient Greece, Kratos ends up in ancient Norway with a young son named Atreus. The two journey throughout several realms to fulfill a promise to the boy's recently deceased mother, inadvertently making enemies of the Norse gods.

Santa Monica has developed all main entries, while Ready at Dawn and Javaground/Sony Online Entertainment-Los Angeles (SOE-LA) developed the three side games. Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE; formerly Sony Computer Entertainment) has published all games except the mobile phone installment; it was published by Sony Pictures Digital. There are two eras in the series. The first era are the first seven games, which are based on Greek mythology with vengeance as a central motif. God of War (2005), God of War II (2007), and God of War III (2010) comprise its main trilogy; the first two were released on the PS2 with the third on the PlayStation 3 (PS3). The fourth main installment, Ascension (2013), was also released for the PS3 and serves as a prequel to all other games. The three side games include Chains of Olympus (2008) and Ghost of Sparta (2010) for the PlayStation Portable (PSP), and Betrayal (2007) for mobile phones that supported the Java Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME). The second era, which is based on Norse mythology, began with the fifth main installment, also titled God of War (2018), which released for the PlayStation 4 (PS4). To go along with the new installment, Sony released a short prequel story, A Call from the Wilds (2018), as a text-based game through Facebook Messenger.

Games in the series have been praised as some of the best action games of all time. Some of them have also been remastered for newer PlayStation platforms. The franchise has sold over 27 million units worldwide with the release of 2018's installment. Strong sales and support of the series led to the franchise's expansion into other media, such as three comic book series and three novels. A film adaptation of the original installment has been in development since 2005. Merchandise includes artwork, clothing, toys, and prop replicas, as well as the games' soundtracks, including a heavy metal album, Blood & Metal (2010), featuring original music by various bands who were inspired by the series.

Grand Theft Auto III

Grand Theft Auto III is an action-adventure video game developed by DMA Design and published by Rockstar Games. It was released in October 2001 for the PlayStation 2, in May 2002 for Microsoft Windows, and in October 2003 for the Xbox. An enhanced version of the game was released on mobile platforms in 2011, for the game's tenth anniversary. It is the fifth title in the Grand Theft Auto series, and the first main entry since 1999's Grand Theft Auto 2. Set within the fictional Liberty City, based on New York City, the game follows Claude after he is left for dead and quickly becomes entangled in a world of gangs, crime and corruption.

The game is played from a third-person perspective and its world is navigated on foot or by vehicle. The open world design lets players freely roam Liberty City, consisting of three main islands. Development was shared between DMA Design, based in Edinburgh and Rockstar, in New York City. Much of the development work constituted transforming popular series elements into a fully 3D world. The game was delayed following the September 11 attacks, to allow the team to change references and gameplay deemed inappropriate.

Upon release, the game received critical acclaim, with praise particularly directed at its concept and gameplay. However, the game also generated controversy, with criticism directed at the depiction of violence and sexual content. Grand Theft Auto III became the best-selling video game of 2001, and has sold over 14.5 million copies since. Considered one of the most significant titles of the sixth generation of video games, and by many critics as one of the greatest video games of all time, it won year-end accolades, including Game of the Year awards from several gaming publications. Since its release, it has received numerous ports to many gaming platforms. Its successor, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, was released in October 2002.

Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V is an action-adventure video game developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. It was released in September 2013 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, in November 2014 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and in April 2015 for Microsoft Windows. It is the first main entry in the Grand Theft Auto series since 2008's Grand Theft Auto IV. Set within the fictional state of San Andreas, based on Southern California, the single-player story follows three criminals and their efforts to commit heists while under pressure from a government agency. The open-world design lets players freely roam San Andreas' open countryside and the fictional city of Los Santos, based on Los Angeles.

The game is played from either a third-person or first-person perspective and its world is navigated on foot or by vehicle. Players control the three lead protagonists throughout single-player and switch between them both during and outside missions. The story is centred on the heist sequences, and many missions involve shooting and driving gameplay. A "wanted" system governs the aggression of law enforcement response to players who commit crimes. Grand Theft Auto Online, the game's online multiplayer mode, lets up to 30 players engage in a variety of different cooperative and competitive game modes.

The development of Grand Theft Auto V began soon after Grand Theft Auto IV's release and was shared between many of Rockstar's studios worldwide. The development team drew influence from many of their previous projects such as Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne 3 and designed the game around three lead protagonists to innovate on the core structure of its predecessors. Much of the development work constituted the open world's creation, and several team members conducted field research around California to capture footage for the design team. The game's soundtrack features an original score composed by a team of producers who collaborated over several years.

Extensively marketed and widely anticipated, the game broke industry sales records and became the fastest-selling entertainment product in history, earning $800 million in its first day and $1 billion in its first three days. It received widespread critical acclaim, with praise directed at its multiple protagonist design, open world, presentation and gameplay. However, it caused controversies related to its depiction of women and a mission featuring torture during a hostage interrogation. Considered one of the seventh generation console gaming's most significant titles and among the best games ever made, it won year-end accolades including Game of the Year awards from several gaming publications. It is the third-best-selling video game of all time with over 100 million copies shipped, and is one of the most financially successful entertainment products of all time, with about $6 billion in worldwide revenue.

IGN

IGN (formerly Imagine Games Network) is an American video game and entertainment media website operated by IGN Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Ziff Davis, itself wholly owned by j2 Global. The company is located in San Francisco's SOMA district and is headed by its former editor-in-chief, Peer Schneider. The IGN website was the brainchild of media entrepreneur Chris Anderson and launched on September 29, 1996. It focuses on games, films, television, comics, technology, and other media. Originally a network of desktop websites, IGN is now also distributed on mobile platforms, console programs on the Xbox and PlayStation, FireTV, Roku, and via YouTube, Twitch, Hulu, and Snapchat.

Originally, IGN was the flagship website of IGN Entertainment, which owned and operated several other websites oriented towards players' interests, games, and entertainment, such as Rotten Tomatoes, GameSpy, GameStats, VE3D, TeamXbox, Vault Network, FilePlanet, and AskMen, among others. IGN was sold to publishing company Ziff Davis in February 2013 and now operates as a j2 Global subsidiary.

List of Blizzard Entertainment games

Blizzard Entertainment is an American video game developer and publisher based in Irvine, California. The company was founded in February 1991 under the name Silicon & Synapse by Michael Morhaime, Frank Pearce and Allen Adham. The company initially concentrated on porting other studio's games to computer platforms, as well RPM Racing (1991), a remake of Racing Destruction Set (1985). In 1992, however, the company began producing original games for home consoles with The Lost Vikings (1992) and Rock n' Roll Racing (1993), and beginning with Warcraft: Orcs & Humans (1994) it shifted to primarily focus on original computer games. The company was renamed to Blizzard Entertainment in 1994, and in 1996 the company Condor, then developing Diablo (1996), was merged with Blizzard and renamed to Blizzard North; it remained a separate studio for the company until it was closed in 2005.Blizzard was acquired by distributor Davidson & Associates in 1994, and a chain of acquisitions over the next four years led Blizzard to being a part of Vivendi Games, a subsidiary of Vivendi; when Vivendi Games merged with Activision in 2008 the resulting company was named Activision Blizzard. The name was retained when Activision Blizzard became an independent company in 2013, while Blizzard itself has been an independent subsidiary company throughout.Since the release of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft (1998), Blizzard has focused almost exclusively on the Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft series. The sole exception has been the company's latest title, Overwatch (2016). All of Blizzard's games released since 2004 still receive expansions and updates, especially the long-running massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft (2004). With over 100 million lifetime accounts as of 2014 and US$9 billion in revenue as of 2017, World of Warcraft is one of the best-selling computer games and highest-grossing video games of all time. Blizzard Entertainment has developed 19 games since 1991 as of 2018, in addition to developing 8 ports between 1992 and 1993; 11 of those games are in the Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft series.

List of Square Enix Europe games

Square Enix Europe is a British video game publisher which is wholly owned by Square Enix, a Japanese video game company. Square Enix acquired game publisher Eidos Interactive on 22 April 2009, which was then merged with Square Enix's European publishing wing and reorganized as Square Enix Europe. This list includes retail, downloadable, and mobile games published by Square Enix Europe since its formation in April 2009. Prior to its purchase, Eidos plc was the holding company for the Eidos group of companies, including publisher Eidos Interactive and development studios such as Crystal Dynamics, IO Interactive, Beautiful Game Studios, and Eidos Montréal. The majority of the titles published by Square Enix Europe have been developed by those former subsidiaries or by newer Square Enix subsidiaries such as Square Enix Montréal. Additionally, most of the titles belong to franchises previously published by Eidos, such as the Tomb Raider, Hitman, Deus Ex, and Championship Manager franchises.

The Championship Manager series has seen the greatest number of releases by Square Enix Europe, at nine games on four platforms, followed by the Tomb Raider series at six games across eleven platforms. Several of the franchises published by Square Enix Europe have sold millions of copies both before and after its founding: the Tomb Raider franchise has the highest lifetime sales with over 45 million copies since 1996, followed by Hitman with over 15 million copies sold since 2000. Several other series, including Deus Ex, Championship Manager, and Just Cause, have also sold several million copies over their lifetimes.

Mashable

Mashable is a digital media website founded by Pete Cashmore in 2005.

Mother (video game series)

The Mother series (Japanese: マザー, Hepburn: Mazā) consists of three role-playing video games: the 1989 Mother for the Famicom, the 1994 Mother 2, known as EarthBound outside of Japan, for the Super NES, and the 2006 Mother 3 for the Game Boy Advance. Written by Shigesato Itoi and published by Nintendo, and featuring game mechanics modeled on the Dragon Quest series, the Mother series is known for its sense of humor, originality, and parody. The player uses weapons and psychic powers to fight hostile enemies, which include animated everyday objects, aliens and brainwashed people. Signature elements of the series include a lighthearted approach to plot, battle sequences with psychedelic backgrounds, and the "rolling HP meter": player health ticks down like an odometer rather than instantly being subtracted, allowing the player to take preventative action, such as healing or finishing the battle, before the damage is fully dealt. While the franchise is popular in Japan, in the Anglosphere it is best associated with the cult following behind EarthBound.

While visiting Nintendo for other business, Itoi approached Shigeru Miyamoto about making Mother. When approved for a sequel, Itoi increased his involvement in the design process over the five-year development of EarthBound. When the project began to flounder, producer and later Nintendo president Satoru Iwata rescued the game. EarthBound's English localizers were given great liberties when translating the Japanese game's cultural allusions. The American version sold poorly despite a multimillion-dollar marketing budget. Mother 3 was originally slated for release on the Nintendo 64 and its 64DD disk drive accessory, but was cancelled in 2000. Three years later, the project was reannounced for the Game Boy Advance alongside a rerelease of Mother and Mother 2 in a combined cartridge: Mother 1 + 2, released in 2003. The new Mother 3 abandoned the 3D graphics progress for a 2D style, and became a bestseller upon its release. EarthBound was rereleased for the Wii U Virtual Console in 2013, and Mother received its English-language debut in 2015 for the same platform, retitled EarthBound Beginnings.

EarthBound is widely regarded as a video game classic, and is included in multiple top ten lists. In absence of continued official support for the series, members of the EarthBound fan community organized online to advocate for further series releases through petitions and fan art. Their projects include a full fan translation of Mother 3, a full-length documentary, and a fan sequel to Mother 3. The protagonist of EarthBound, Ness, received exposure from his inclusion in all five entries of the Super Smash Bros. series. Other Mother series locations and characters have made appearances in the fighting games.

NASCAR Thunder 2003

NASCAR Thunder 2003 is the sixth edition of the EA Sports' NASCAR racing simulator series. Developed by EA Sports and Budcat Creations and published by Electronic Arts, it was released for PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube on September 19, 2002, then for PlayStation 2 on September 29 and for PC on October 16. The product features Dale Earnhardt, Jr. on the cover. It was the first time the NASCAR's Most Popular Driver Award recipient was featured on the cover, although he did not win the award for the first time until the following year. Dale Earnhardt appeared in the game as a driver as a result of entering his name as a Create-A-Car driver's name; he did not appear in the previous game due to his death. He appeared as a legend in subsequent games.

PC/Computing

PC/Computing (later Ziff-Davis Smart Business) was a monthly Ziff Davis publication that for most of its run focused on publishing reviews of IBM-compatible (or "Wintel") hardware and software and tips and reference information for users of such software and hardware.

Phantasy Star Online

Phantasy Star Online is an online role-playing game (RPG) developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega in 2000 for the Dreamcast. It was the first online RPG for game consoles; players adventure with up to three others over the internet to complete quests, collect items, and fight enemies in real-time action RPG combat. The story is unrelated to previous games in the Phantasy Star series.

Before Phantasy Star Online, online gaming was limited to western PC games, particularly RPGs such as Diablo, Ultima Online, and EverQuest. Believing online gaming was the future, Sega chairman Isao Okawa instructed Sonic Team to develop an online game for the Dreamcast, produced by Yuji Naka. Sonic Team's experiments led to the development of ChuChu Rocket!, the first online Dreamcast game. Using what they learned from the project, and taking significant inspiration from Diablo, Sonic Team built Phantasy Star Online. As Japanese internet service providers charged for dial-up access per minute, and high-speed connections were not yet widely available, Okawa personally paid for free internet access bundled with Japanese Dreamcasts.

Phantasy Star Online was highly anticipated and launched to critical and commercial success; critics found the online gameplay addictive but panned the single-player mode. It received the Japan Game Award for "Game of the Year" and is recognized as a landmark console game, influencing multiplayer dungeon crawlers such as the Monster Hunter series.

Phantasy Star Online was ported to Windows and rereleased on Dreamcast as Ver. 2 with expanded content. Following Sega's exit from the console business in 2001, the game was ported to GameCube and Xbox as Episode I & II, featuring new characters, environments and other features. Episode III: C.A.R.D. Revolution, released for GameCube in 2003, was a turn-based card game. The online series continued with Phantasy Star Universe (2006) and the Japanese-only Phantasy Star Online 2 (2012). Although Sega has decommissioned the official servers, Phantasy Star Online is still played on private servers run by hobbyists.

Popular Electronics

Popular Electronics is an American magazine published by John August Media, LLC, and hosted at TechnicaCuriosa.com. The magazine was started by Ziff-Davis Publishing Company in October 1954 for electronics hobbyists and experimenters. It soon became the "World's Largest-Selling Electronics Magazine". In April 1957 Ziff-Davis reported an average net paid circulation of 240,151 copies. Popular Electronics was published until October 1982 when, in November 1982, Ziff-Davis launched a successor magazine, Computers & Electronics. During its last year of publication by Ziff-Davis, Popular Electronics reported an average monthly circulation of 409,344 copies. The title was sold to Gernsback Publications, and their Hands-On Electronics magazine was renamed to Popular Electronics in February 1989, and published until December 1999. The Popular Electronics trademark was then acquired by John August Media, who revived the magazine, the digital edition of which is hosted at TechnicaCuriosa.com, along with sister titles, Mechanix Illustrated and Popular Astronomy.

A cover story on Popular Electronics could launch a new product or company. The most famous issue, January 1975, had the Altair 8800 computer on the cover and ignited the home computer revolution. Paul Allen showed that issue to Bill Gates. They wrote a BASIC interpreter for the Altair computer and started Microsoft.

Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption is a Western action-adventure game developed by Rockstar San Diego and published by Rockstar Games. A spiritual successor to 2004's Red Dead Revolver, it is the second game in the Red Dead series, and was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in May 2010. Red Dead Redemption is set during the decline of the American frontier in the year 1911 and follows John Marston, a former outlaw whose wife and son are taken hostage by the government in ransom for his services as a hired gun. Having no other choice, Marston sets out to bring three members of his former gang to justice.

The game is played from a third-person perspective in an open world, allowing the player to interact with the game world at their leisure. The player can travel the virtual world, a fictionalized version of the Western United States and Mexico, primarily by horseback and on foot. Gunfights emphasize a gunslinger gameplay mechanic called "Dead Eye" that allows players to mark multiple shooting targets on enemies in slow motion. The game makes use of a morality system, by which the player's actions in the game affect their character's levels of honor and fame and how other characters respond to the player. An online multiplayer mode is included with the game, allowing up to 16 players to engage in both cooperative and competitive gameplay in a recreation of the single-player setting.

Red Dead Redemption was developed over the course of five years and is one of the most expensive video games ever made. The game received critical acclaim for its visuals, dynamically-generated music, voice acting, gameplay, and story, and shipped over 15 million copies by 2017. It won several year-end accolades, including Game of the Year awards from several gaming publications, and is considered by critics as one of the greatest video games ever made. After the game's release, several downloadable content additions were released; Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare, later released as a standalone game, added a new single-player experience in which Marston searches for a cure for an infectious zombie plague that has swept across the Old West. A Game of the Year Edition containing all additional content was released in October 2011. A prequel, Red Dead Redemption 2, was released in October 2018 to similar acclaim.

Xbox One

Xbox One is a line of eighth generation home video game consoles developed by Microsoft. Announced in May 2013, it is the successor to Xbox 360 and the third console in the Xbox family. It was first released in North America, parts of Europe, Australia, and South America in November 2013, and in Japan, China, and other European countries in September 2014. It is the first Xbox game console to be released in China, specifically in the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone. Microsoft marketed the device as an "all-in-one entertainment system". The Xbox One line mainly competes against consoles such as Sony's PlayStation 4 and Nintendo's Wii U and Switch.

Moving away from its predecessor's PowerPC-based architecture, Xbox One marks a shift back to the x86 architecture used in the original Xbox; it features an AMD Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) built around the x86-64 instruction set. Xbox One's controller was redesigned over the Xbox 360's, with a redesigned body, D-pad and triggers capable of delivering directional haptic feedback. The console places an increased emphasis on cloud computing, as well as social networking features, and the ability to record and share video clips or screenshots from gameplay, or live-stream directly to streaming services such as Mixer and Twitch. Games can also be played off-console via a local area network on supported Windows 10 devices. The console can play Blu-ray Disc, and overlay live television programming from an existing set-top box or a digital tuner for digital terrestrial television with an enhanced program guide. The console optionally included a redesigned Kinect sensor, marketed as the "Kinect 2.0", providing improved motion tracking and voice recognition.

Xbox One received mostly positive reviews for its refined controller design, multimedia features, and voice navigation. Its quieter and cooler design was praised for making the console more reliable than its predecessor on-launch, but the console was generally criticized for running games at a technically lower graphical level than the PlayStation 4. Its original user interface was panned for being nonintuitive, although changes made to it and other aspects of the console's software post-launch received positive reception. Its Kinect received praise for its improved motion-tracking accuracy, its face recognition logins, and its voice commands.

The original Xbox One model was succeeded by Xbox One S in 2016, which has a smaller form factor and support for HDR10 high-dynamic-range video, as well as support for 4K video playback and upscaling of games from 1080p to 4K. It was praised for its smaller size, its on-screen visual improvements, and its lack of an external power supply, but its regressions such as the lack of a native Kinect port were noted. A high-end model, Xbox One X, was unveiled in June 2017 and released in November; it features upgraded hardware specifications, and support for rendering games at 4K resolution.

ZDNet

ZDNet is a business technology news website published by CBS Interactive, along with TechRepublic. The brand was founded on April 1, 1991, as a general interest technology portal from Ziff Davis and evolved into an enterprise IT-focused online publication owned by CNET Networks.

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