Fandom Acquires Several Brands Including GameSpot, TV Guide & Metacritic

Fandom has announced that they have acquired a portfolio of entertainment and gaming brands from Red Ventures, joining the Fandom family alongside ScreenJunkies and Fanatical, among other properties owned by the platform. Here’s a list of the newly acquired brands:

  • GameSpot, a popular gaming (and other entertainment) news website.
  • Metacritic, a valuable reviewing site for movies, TV and games that combines user scores with a hand-picked list of journalist reviews.
  • TV Guide, a website that keeps tabs on everything related to TV shows in terms of schedule and release, as well as reviewing them.
  • GameFAQs, a sub-website of GameSpot with over 40000 pages of FAQs, guides and walkthroughs for basically every game.
  • GiantBomb, a gaming website created by former GameSpot editors that doubles as both a wiki and a video-based journalism platform.
  • Cord Cutters News, a website that seems to mainly offer alternatives to watching shows without paying for cable.
  • Comic Vine, a giant comic book database.

The Fandom Wikis

If you’ve ever looked up something about most any game, you’ve probably bumped into Fandom. Fandom started out in 2004 and was originally just a wiki hosting service. You may have seen several of your games’ wikis slowly transition to being run on Fandom over the years.

At this point, very few games – generally only the biggest ones – have managed to get their main wikis to be hosted somewhere else. Only a handful come to mind:,,,

Fandom wikis provide a worse user experience than basically any other wiki out there. Aside from the horrible user interface which makes finding a specific page a nightmare, the entire ecosystem is tailored towards two things: placing as many ads as possible regardless of how the page looks in the end, as well as filling the bottom of the page with big thumbnails that link to other random pages in the wiki, or wikis/articles for other games. Overall, it’s a hot mess.

As an exercise, feel free to check out any of the non-fandom wikis I’ve listed above, and compare them to their Fandom counterpart (with adblock off!). Just from the home page, the experience should convince you that Fandom is not the solution for game wikis.

A Fandom Future

All that said, I’m not feeling too positive about this big brand deal. My biggest concern is directed at Metacritic, who has been a largely useful and well-designed tool for reading others’ opinions on various media. Fandom could leave Metacritic well enough alone, and it probably will, for a while, but if their wiki ecosystem is any indication, I fear many of these brands may suffer a drop in quality in terms of user experience.

How do you feel about this deal? What has your experience with Fandom been like? Let us know in the comments below.