Viacom buys X-Fire


Viacom is buying X-Fire for $102 million, according to company sources. Think of it as the consolation prize for Viacom, which was rumored to be in talks with Facebook!

XFire is a tool that automatically keeps track of when and where gamers are playing PC games online and lets their friends join them easily. The two-and-a-half year old company was co-founded by Mike Cassidy, Dennis “Thresh” Fong (World Champion of Doom, Quake, and Quake 2) and Adam Boyden.

The company was backed by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, NEA, and Granite Global Ventures. Business 2.0 had an interesting article on the company and its appeal as a marketing channel to twenty-something males.



The third co-founder was actually somebody else. Adam came in during the summer of 2004.


while i can’t speak about whether the valuation is accurate, i do think Viacom made a good decision to purchase X-fire. They provide a service that’s been invaluable to tens of million of gamers by allowing friends to not only see where other friends are playing but also on which server the friends are on. Then joining that friend on that particular server is as easy as clicking on a hyperlink which automatically launches the game and connects to the server listed.

With competitive gaming on the rise, as indicated by USA Networks signing a broadcast deal with Major League gaming, coupled with all the youth oriented content that Viacom owns (MTV, VH1, Comedy Central) there is strong potential for cross-promotion and growth.


My god! Who are we kidding!?!? One can argue that Facebook has a key market segment (18-24 year olds) “by the balls” so to speak–but X-Fire!? Unbelievable! Viacom probably thinks they’ve purchased a “Facebook” for gaming, with the added benefit of an IM platform. X-Fire

X-Fire, technical faults aside, does not have 1/10 of the market segment power that Facebook has.

Om, this isn’t a consolation prize for Viacom. Think of it as the little cookie that comes with your espresso after a 3-course meal. No real nutritional value, but a nice aftertaste…

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