GameSpot is an American video gaming website that provides news, reviews, previews, downloads, and other information on video games. The site was launched on May 1, 1996, created by Pete Deemer, Vince Broady, and Jon Epstein. In addition to the information produced by GameSpot staff, the site also allows users to write their own reviews, blogs, and post on the site's forums. It has been owned by Fandom, Inc. since October 2022.[2]

Type of site
Video game journalism
FoundedMay 1, 1996; 28 years ago (1996-05-01)
  • Pete Deemer
  • Vince Broady
  • Jon Epstein
RegistrationOptional (free and paid)
LaunchedJanuary 13, 1996; 28 years ago (1996-01-13) (Spotmedia)[1]
Current statusActive

In 2004, GameSpot won "Best Gaming Website" as chosen by the viewers in Spike TV's second Video Game Award Show,[3] and has won Webby Awards several times. The domain attracted at least 60 million visitors annually by October 2008 according to a study.[4]



In January 1996, Pete Deemer, Vince Broady, and Jon Epstein quit their positions at IDG and founded SpotMedia Communications.[5][6][7] SpotMedia then launched GameSpot on May 1, 1996.[7] Originally, GameSpot focused solely on personal computer games, so a sister site, VideoGameSpot, was launched on December 1, 1996.[7][8] Eventually VideoGameSpot, then renamed, was merged into GameSpot.[8] On January 6, 1997, SpotMedia and publisher Ziff Davis announced a $20 million agreement allowing the publisher to run content from Computer Gaming World and Electronic Gaming Monthly on SpotMedia's websites.[9] By the following month, Ziff Davis's substantial financial infusion enabled GameSpot to grow to 45 employees.[7] In February 1999, PC Magazine named GameSpot one of the hundred best websites, alongside competitors IGN and CNET Gamecenter.[10] On July 19, 2000, CNET announced its acquisition of ZDNET, putting GameSpot and Gamecenter under the same parent company.[11] That December, The New York Times declared GameSpot and Gamecenter the "Time and Newsweek of gaming sites".[12] In February 2001, GameSpot was spared from a redundancy reduction effort by CNET which shuttered Gamecenter.[13][14]

In October 2005, GameSpot adopted a new design similar to that of, now considered a sister site to GameSpot.[15] GameSpot ran a few different paid subscriptions from 2006 to 2013, but is no longer running those.[16][17][18] In June 2008, GameSpot's parent company CNET was acquired by CBS Corporation, and GameSpot along with CNET's other online assets were managed by the CBS Interactive division.[19]

A new layout change was adopted in October 2013.[20]

CNET was sold to Red Ventures in October 2020.[21] Two years later, Fandom acquired GameSpot, along with Metacritic, TV Guide, GameFAQs, Giant Bomb, Cord Cutters News, and Comic Vine from Red Ventures.[2][22] In January 2023, 40-50 employees were affected by a round of layoffs.[23] More layoffs at GameSpot took place in January 2024.[24]

International history


GameSpot UK (United Kingdom) was started in October 1997 and operated until mid-2002, offering content that was oriented for the British market that often differed from that of the U.S. site. During this period, GameSpot UK won the 1999 PPAi (Periodical Publishers Association interactive) award for best website,[25] and was short listed in 2001.[26] PC Gaming World was considered a "sister print magazine" and some content appeared on both GameSpot UK and PC Gaming World.[27] Following the purchase of ZDNet by CNET, GameSpot UK was merged with the main US site. On April 24, 2006, GameSpot UK was relaunched.[28]

In a similar fashion, GameSpot AU (Australia) existed on a local scale in the late 1990s with Australian-produced reviews. It ceased in 2003. When a local version of the main CNET portal, was launched in 2003, GameSpot AU content was folded into The site was fully re-launched in mid-2006, with a specialized forum, local reviews, special features, local pricings in Australian dollars, Australian release dates, and more local news.[citation needed]

Gerstmann dismissal


Jeff Gerstmann, editorial director of the site, was fired on November 28, 2007 as a result of pressure from Eidos Interactive, a major advertiser; Eidos objected to the 6/10 review that Gerstmann had given Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, a game they were heavily advertising on GameSpot at the time.[29][30][31] Both GameSpot and parent company CNET initially stated that his dismissal was unrelated to the review.[32][33] However, in March 2012, the non-disclosure agreement that forced Gerstmann to withhold the details of his termination was nullified. Not long after, Giant Bomb (a site Gerstmann founded after leaving GameSpot) was being purchased by the same parent company as GameSpot, and that they moved their headquarters into the same building. As part of this announcement, Gerstmann revealed that the firing was indeed related to threats of Eidos pulling advertising revenue away from GameSpot as a result of Gerstmann's poor review score, which was confirmed by GameSpot's Jon Davison.[29][30]

Notable staff

  • Greg Kasavin – executive editor and site director of GameSpot, who left in 2007 to become a game developer. He became a producer at EA and 2K Games. As of 2021, he was working for Supergiant Games as a writer and creative director.[34][35]
  • Jeff Gerstmann – editorial director of the site, dismissed from GameSpot on November 28, 2007, for undisclosed reasons, after which he started Giant Bomb.[36] Following the announcement of the purchase of Giant Bomb by CBS Interactive on March 15, 2012, Jeff was allowed to reveal that he was dismissed by management as a result of publishers threatening to pull advertising revenue due to less-than-glowing review scores being awarded by GameSpot's editorial team.[37]
  • Danny O'Dwyer – video presenter of GameSpot, founded crowdfunded game documentary company Noclip in 2016.[38]
  • Chris Wanstrath – web developer of GameSpot who left in 2008 to start GitHub, which became the world’s largest host service for software code.[39] In 2018 he sold GitHub to Microsoft for $7.5 billion.[40]

Community features


GameSpot's forums were originally run by ZDNet, and later by Lithium.[citation needed] GameSpot uses a semi-automated moderation system with numerous volunteer moderators. GameSpot moderators are picked by paid GameSpot staff from members of the GameSpot user community. Due to the size and massive quantity of boards and posts on GameSpot, there is a "report" feature where a normal user can report a violation post to an unpaid moderator volunteer.[citation needed]

In addition to the message board system, GameSpot has expanded its community through the addition of features such as user blogs (formerly known as "journals")[41] and user video blogs. Users can track other users, thus allowing them to see updates for their favorite blogs. If both users track each other, they are listed on each other's friends list.

See also



  1. ^ " WHOIS, DNS, & Domain Info – DomainTools". WHOIS. 2016. Retrieved February 15, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Fandom Acquires Leading Entertainment & Gaming Brands Including…". Fandom. October 3, 2022. Retrieved 2022-10-03.
  3. ^ "Spike TV Announces Winners of 'Video Game Awards 2004'". The Futon Critic (Press release). Archived from the original on 2023-04-21. Retrieved 2023-04-20.
  4. ^ "Site Profile for". Archived from the original on 2008-10-19. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
  5. ^ "D.I.C.E. Awards by Video Game Details". Archived from the original on 2018-06-05. Retrieved 2019-08-17.
  6. ^ Grabowicz, Paul. "Course Number: Ba278". University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 2023-04-20.
  7. ^ a b c d Farnady, Kate (February 6, 1997). "Research Dream Job: Online Gaming Zine". Wired. Archived from the original on 2020-01-02. Retrieved 2023-04-20.
  8. ^ a b Navarro, Alex (July 14, 2006). "Burning Questions: July 14, 2006". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-03-23.
  9. ^ Brown, Janelle (January 3, 1997). "ZD, SpotMedia to Create Online Gaming Goliath". Wired. Condé Nast. Archived from the original on May 23, 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2024.
  10. ^ Willmott, Don (February 9, 1999). "The 100 Top Web Sites". PC Magazine. 18 (3): 114.
  11. ^ Vaggabond (July 19, 2000). "Cnet buys ZDnet". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on May 23, 2018.
  12. ^ Olafson, Peter (December 7, 2000). "Basics; Sites Keep Up with Games and Gamers". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2018-05-23. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  13. ^ Fost, Dan (February 15, 2001). "Heavy Lifting Begins for Cnet". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on May 23, 2018.
  14. ^ Smith, Andrew (February 7, 2001). "CNET shuts Gamecenter". The Register. Archived from the original on December 4, 2004.
  15. ^ GameSpot Staff (November 2, 2005). "GameSpot Redesign: Frequently Asked Questions". Archived from the original on 2013-10-18. Retrieved 2006-09-29.
  16. ^ GameSpot Staff (February 23, 2006). "GameSpot Revamps Subscription Model". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 2018-01-15. Retrieved 2018-01-14.
  17. ^ "GameSpot Sign-Up Page". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 2007-03-21. Retrieved 2007-04-03.
  18. ^ Anderson, Lark (January 9, 2013). "GameSpot's Paid Subscription Service is Ending: FAQ". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 2013-02-06. Retrieved 2013-01-22.
  19. ^ "CBS CORPORATION COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF CNET NETWORKS; MERGES OPERATIONS INTO NEW, EXPANDED CBS INTERACTIVE BUSINESS UNIT". CBS Corporation. June 30, 2008. Archived from the original on August 29, 2008. Retrieved June 30, 2008.
  20. ^ "Swipe Up Game". Retrieved 2021-09-29.
  21. ^ "Red Ventures Announces Closing of Acquisition of CNET Media Group". PR Newswire. 2020-10-30. Archived from the original on June 8, 2021. Retrieved 2020-11-06.
  22. ^ Weprin, Alex (October 3, 2022). "TV Guide, Metacritic, GameSpot Acquired by Fandom in $55M Deal With Red Ventures". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 3, 2022.
  23. ^ Gach, Ethan (2023-01-19). "Layoffs Hit GameSpot, Giant Bomb Just Months After Fandom Buys Them". Kotaku. Retrieved 2024-03-05.
  24. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (2024-01-31). "GameSpot lays off portion of staff". Retrieved 2024-03-05.
  25. ^ "GameSpot UK Winner, PPAi Awards 1999". Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2006-10-07.
  26. ^ "GameSpot UK Short Listed, PPAi Awards 2001". Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2006-10-07.
  27. ^ "GameSpot UK: Computer Games News, Reviews, Demos, and Strategy Guides". GameSpot UK. ZDNET. Archived from the original on 2000-08-15. Retrieved 2023-02-14. Some of the material on this site also appears in our sister print magazine
  28. ^ Foster, Lisa (April 24, 2006). "GameSpot UK Launches". Archived from the original on 2007-06-11. Retrieved 2006-11-01.
  29. ^ a b Gerstmann, Jeff (March 15, 2012). "Exciting News From Your Friends At Giant Bomb". Giant Bomb. Archived from the original on July 20, 2018. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  30. ^ a b Plunkett, Luke (March 15, 2012). "Yes, a Games Writer was Fired Over Review Scores". Kotaku. Archived from the original on April 9, 2022. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  31. ^ Szuban, Peter (2018). "Reconstituting Vocabularies: User Generated Databases, Social Tagging, and Folksonomies in Giantbomb's Videogame Wiki Database". The IJournal: Student Journal of the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information. 4 (1): 41–49. ISSN 2561-7397.
  32. ^ GameSpot Staff (December 5, 2007). "Spot On: GameSpot on Gerstmann". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2007-12-24.
  33. ^ Faylor, Chris (November 30, 2007). "CNET Denies 'External Pressure' Caused Gerstmann Termination". Shacknews. Archived from the original on 2008-05-15. Retrieved 2007-12-24.
  34. ^ Kasavin, Greg (January 19, 2007). "To Live and Die in L.A." Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-05-17.
  35. ^ "Supergiant Games". Retrieved 2021-11-19.
  36. ^ "Jeff Gerstmann - Virtual Fools". Archived from the original on 2008-03-14. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
  37. ^ Davison, John; Gerstmann, Jeff (March 15, 2012). "GameSpot and Giant Bomb, Together". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 2013-03-08. Retrieved 2018-01-14.
  38. ^ "dannyodwyer's Blog - GameSpot". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. December 31, 2013. Retrieved 2022-03-18.
  39. ^ Jr, Tom Huddleston (2018-06-04). "How this 33-year-old college dropout co-founded GitHub, which just sold to Microsoft for $7.5 billion". CNBC. Retrieved 2024-01-05.
  40. ^ "Microsoft finalizes its $7.5 billion GitHub acquisition". ZDNET. Retrieved 2024-01-05.
  41. ^ "GameSpot Forums". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 2005-08-14. Retrieved 2007-06-22.