IGN (originally Imagine Games Network) was founded as 5 video game-oriented websites in 1996 by Imagine Publishing. Eventually most of the sites were closed, as the site consolidated into the single ign.com with "channels" for the various systems covered by the original sites (ie Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn, and PlayStation). Over the years they launched a number of other sites, merged with some (such as GameSpy), and generally did everything they could to become one of the largest game news/review/preview sites on the internet.
In September 2005, they were acquired by News Corp.
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