Viacom (NYSE: VIA), which purchased online gamer community Xfire for $102 million four years ago, is offloading the business to Titan Gaming. It’s likely that Viacom is getting just a very small fraction of what it paid, considering that Titan Gaming, which is launching a platform that lets game publishers and content sites set up tournaments, has raised only $1 million in funding.
Xfire provides members with a free downloadable tool, which automatically shares with friends what games they’re playing online; they can use it to message friends and share screenshots and files. The service claims 16.7 million registered users, although it’s not clear how many are active in total. Xfire hadn’t made any press announcements since last December, when it announced a partnership with Livestream, although the Xfire blog shows that the site was still very much being updated.
When Viacom bought Xfire, it said it hoped that the site would grow quickly, and indeed the ranks of Xfire’s registered users have quadrupled over the last four years. There were concerns, however, starting the day the deal was announced, that Viacom had overpaid.
It’s unclear what the divestiture says about Viacom’s other online game holdings, which include AddictingGames.com, Shockwave.com, Neopets, GameTrailers, and Nick.com Games. We’ve asked for comment about why Viacom is selling Xfire and will update when we hear back.
Titan Gaming says in a short statement on its site that the “Xfire services will continue uninterrupted” and that it intends to “build upon (Xfire’s) tradition and utilize the Xfire platform to help gaming companies better engage their users and monetize their games.” The company says it’s changing its name to Xfire.