PSA: ReedPop has acquired RPS owners Gamer Network


Gamer Network, the company which owns Rock, Paper, Shotgun, has been acquired by ReedPop. ReedPop run pop culture events such as New York Comic Con, MCM Comic Con, and many more. What does this mean for Rock, Paper, Shotgun? Even less than it did when Gamer Network acquired RPS last year.

ReedPop are buying Gamer Network because they like what we do and because we do things that they currently don’t. It means that ReedPop own the UK’s largest games events, EGX and EGX Rezzed, but also have an editorial business that includes RPS, Eurogamer, VG247 and much more. Everyone currently at RPS is staying at RPS, everyone currently at Gamer Network is staying at Gamer Network. None of our editorial policies are changing.

As well as many comic conventions, ReedPop also own PAX, having bought it from Penny Arcade in 2009. They are themselves a part of Reed Exhibitions, who are themselves a part of RELX Group. When Gamer Network acquired us, we said that “RPS now has big boys to hang with in the playground.” Now our big boys have big boys. It’s big boys all the way up.

We hope it’s clear that RPS is still producing the same kind of content with the same standards it always has since we joined Gamer Network last year. We similarly hope we’ll be able to demonstrate that that work and those standards will continue in the years ahead. Finally, we hope that ReedPop will give us all free flights and tickets to New York Comic Con, so we can heckle Kieron.


  1. cardigait says:

    I keep reading the title exchanging the double ee with a double oo.

  2. RedViv says:

    An infinite layering of boys. As it should be.
    Praise be to Horace.

  3. Grizzly says:

    Yes, but when does RPS start the faction to change the heritage law in the ReedPop empire to Gavelkind?

  4. Stijn says:

    I am not particularly enamoured with the idea of RPS being owned by RELX, which I mainly know by the scummy practices of their scientific publishing arm, Elsevier (formerly Reed Elsevier, the RE in the name).

    Here’s hoping there are enough layers of big boys between the corporate types at the top and RPS that they’re relatively insulated from that kind of business thinking.

    • morganjah says:

      Wow. Elsevier is scummy.

      • pepperfez says:

        Don’t worry, we’ll still be able to access RPS for free at participating educational institutions or purchase articles individually for only a few hundred dollars each.

        • Faldrath says:

          Thank god for Library Genesis. But yeah, being associated with Elsevier is eeeeeeewwww.

    • Don Reba says:

      This is pretty nasty. Not thrilled about RPS’ association with Elsevier. 😖

  5. Vegas says:

    “Now our big boys have big boys. It’s big boys all the way up.”

    Yeah daddy

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      Until it reaches the tippy top, where The Entity discovers it was owned by RPS all along.

  6. Urthman says:

    It does make one skeptical about the continued ability of RPS to do things like boycotting PAX because you disapprove of something the Penny Arcade guys did. I disagreed with that decision, but I sure do want you to be free to make it.

    • Urthman says:

      Imagine if someone had told you 5 years ago “Someday RPS and PAX will be owned by the same company.”

    • Premium User Badge

      Graham Smith says:

      For what it’s worth, we’ve been working with Gamer Network for around 8 years, and they don’t force any of the editorial sites into covering the events. We partner with Rezzed because we want to. Eurogamer partners with EGX because they want to. I’m hopeful that will continue with any of ReedPop’s events.

      (I bring this up in part because of how uncommon it is. At any other media company I’ve worked at or heard stories of, you’d just get told, “Hey, you have to write about this related business thing.”)

      • Fede says:

        For what it’s worth, I have nothing against Gamer Network and didn’t mind the acquisition at all. I’ve been enjoying RPS since 2008 and plan to continue.

        But RELX is… let’s say I definitely don’t appreciate them. Hopefully you’re right and it won’t change anything.

      • Urthman says:

        As long as your reporting doesn’t actually threaten the bottom line of any RELX properties, you’ll probably be fine.

  7. Beanbee says:

    Good luck with your new corporate overlord’s corporate overlord.

    May the spreadsheets be kind to your continued existance!

  8. wackazoa says:

    Whens Pip coming back? I miss Pip.

    • Catesby says:

      There’s no need to miss Pip! She’s currently deputy editor of cheery RPS fanzine PC Gamer, and several of her articles have filtered through on to their website. Her recent attempts to raise a child “to completion” is a particular joy!

      If you miss her from the Electronic Wireless Show then you might enjoy either PC Gamer’s own podcast, or the Crate and Crowbar: A PC Gaming Podcast. The later grew out of the previous iteration of PC Gamer’s UK podcast and features other RPS contributors from time to time.

      But really you need to listen to Little Grey Cells, a Poirot rewatch podcast she cohosts.

      • SaintAn says:

        Yeah, but no one with sense wants to use that unreliable shithole site.

      • Premium User Badge

        Big Dunc says:

        That’s for the link to the Sims article – I obviously missed it first time round on the mess that is PC Gamer’s front page.

        As a long time fan of PC Gamer (I’ve been reading it since 1994), I have to say that Pip’s talents are wasted on what it has become, and I long for the day she comes back to the RPS fold.

  9. StevieW says:

    Last year, when announcing the GN purchase, RPS said

    “..we’ll benefit from the company’s larger resources…modernise the site’s appearance and tech..”

    Still waiting :)

    • Premium User Badge

      Graham Smith says:

      Aren’t we all.

    • Landiss says:

      I thought all the database errors and 404 that keep happening regularly was the modernizing bit :p. Seriously though, can’t wait for a properly working login system.

      • simontifik says:

        I like the abysmal login in system and think it improves the quality of comments on the site. It’s a pain to login so I only login when I really want to comment. Think of it as a withholding period on a firearm purchase l.

        • SaintAn says:

          The broken mess of a login system may be what keeps this community good compared to the majority of other sites, or at least part of the reason.

    • Premium User Badge

      SminkyBazzA says:

      I’ve noticed the article by-lines are no longer clickable recently, but I can’t remember what they used to link to. Also, the massive lag when loading pages as a logged-in user appears to have disappeared, so that’s nice.

      I didn’t get a reminder about my sub expiring though, so I was free-loading for a while – sorry about that RPS employees.

    • baud001 says:

      I’d say it’s wordpress’ fault, which what is used under the hood here.

      • April March says:

        If you try to use a 1968 Beetle’s engine to run a train, you can’t blame it when the train stalls.

  10. HoboDragon says:

    Mergers or being aquired is always stressfull, especially in such a short time frame. Hope all goes well for you at RPS.

    with regards to people having a problem with RELX – I admit I never heard of them until now, although I know about Elsevier. And I certainly didn’t know there is supposed to be something fishy with Elsevier.
    Should someone really do have a problem with them, then I guess the unfortunate given thing is to boycott them, and with that RPS :(

    I know I wouldn’t want to boycott RPS!

  11. Robertej92 says:

    I’m half expecting RPS to be owned by Alphabet/Google or Amazon by the turn of the decade with the way they’re getting passed around. Not that I mind as long as the quality remains decent and editorial independence remains which I’m sure will continue to be the case.

    • Landiss says:

      It’s going to be Facebook, isn’t it.

    • mattevansc3 says:

      It’s either going to be Disney, because Disney own anything.

      Or its going to be EA because they like buying up anything British, gaming related and with a fanbase…R.I.P RPS

    • MajorLag says:

      By the middle of next decade I’d be a little surprised if there was anything that wasn’t owned by Google, Amazon, or Disney.

  12. woodsey says:

    I look forward to the aggressive Vivendi takeover next year.

  13. Ghostwise says:

    Breaking news – ReedPop has just been acquired by Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems.

    • pepperfez says:

      Halliburton has excellent retirement benefits, I understand.

  14. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    For what it’s worth, Elsevier is considered the worst single entity in the entire library/academic world; they have consistently lead the charge in removing publicly-funded material from public access and bankrupting university libraries with insane fees to access the material freely given to them (also, they sue people a lot).

    I realize there is almost no chance this will affect RPS’ editorial, but man do I feel uncomfortable having any fraction of my supporter money flow towards that entity.

    • Premium User Badge

      Aerothorn says:

      (and librarians are generally pretty friendly people, so it’s not just a case of Hating The Man – it’s really just Elsevier.)

    • Premium User Badge

      keithzg says:

      Yeahhhh. I probably still will, but this has me somewhat re-evaluating whether I’ll re-up my supporter subscription when it comes around again.

    • MajorLag says:

      Yeah, I was already considering not renewing my supporter contribution, but this pretty much seals it.

  15. caff says:

    All lies. RPS is now written by AI bots overseen by a miniature giraffe called Toby.

  16. jonahcutter says:

    “Corporate ownership will have no effect!” says the corporate property.

  17. Premium User Badge

    zigguratvertigo says:

    For me this illustrates that selling RPS and saying “it doesn’t matter because we’re still free to do as we like” was never completely true. The people that bought you have been bought by… someone. Who may turn out to be OK. But may also not. The point is, it isn’t your call anymore. Which is surely not good.

  18. BaronKreight says:

    Media never changes. Whoever pays the piper calls the tune.

    • puppybeard says:

      I lived through the history of the world wide web and you’re right, media never changes.

      And piping is typically an advertising-funded venture where an audience is built up over years of good faith, and where doing something just to fuck off that audience is a popular choice. Weeing in the pipes and spraying the audience with a good loud parp is a time-honoured classic.

  19. baud001 says:

    This acquisition reminds me of a video on YT:
    link to

    It’s about Bioware under EA, explaining that the two companies has different goals (make money to make games and make games to make money) and that the tone at the top definitively trickle down, which had consequences on Bioware’s games.

    Still, from what Graham has said above and since the company size and stakes are much smaller, I’m not too worried.

    Still good luck to RPS!

  20. puppybeard says:

    Appreciate the disclosure, the last time RPS’ owner changed it did no harm.

  21. SaintAn says:

    Well, hopefully you all will break off and create a new site if things get bad. This is the only good site I managed to find after Joystiq died a few years ago. Hopefully one day I’ll find a replacement for io9 too. Here’s an interesting idea: Expand into covering sci fi and fantasy entertainment too.

  22. MrEvilGuy says:

    I hope benefits, hiring practices, job security, and other behind-the-scenes operations (things we as readers will never hear about) are fair.

  23. FrugalBrutal says:

    Terrible news. RPS is one of two video game sites I feel are worth a damn. If ReedPop are as good at ruining blogs as they are ruining cons, this site will be garbage in a year.

  24. Merus says:

    It’s a worrying development because ReedPOP aren’t really in the editorial game, and there’s a very good reason for ReedPOP to buy the Gamer Network: EGX, one of the few successful game expos they don’t already own. There’s a good chance, in the future, that ReedPOP will need to make a shift to keep their growth numbers, and will cut or kill off the editorial appendage they’ve acquired and don’t really need.

  25. Don Reba says:

    Even less than it did when Gamer Network acquired RPS last year.

    But that event was followed by departure of two of the site’s best writers — Philippa Warr and Jeremy Laird. You don’t lose that much talent every year (thankfully!).

  26. Arglebargle says:

    Kinda sounds like a thread running through a cyberpunk story. ‘Who owns RPS this year? Have they reprogrammed the bots?’

  27. TheKruxed says:

    I refuse to support Elsevier is anyway shape or form. I will no longer visit this site

  28. AbyssUK says:

    As a scientist, Elsevier is scum and think RPS knows it… although there are multiple levels between RPS and them. I hope RPS is at least talking about creating an exit strategy.

    Could we crowd fund a takeover ?

  29. Shiloh says:

    It’s difficult being a small cog in a much larger machine, but good luck RPS, hope it works out OK.

  30. doglikesparky says:

    Have you noticed that it says…

    Rock, Paper, Shotgun was

    … in the footer? Does this imply that, instead of the list of valiant independent games journalists that we have known and loved since 1873, RPS is now written by baby-faced corporate interns and/or shillbots who have no idea what a ‘Scotch egg’ is, let alone consumed one?

  31. Ajmist says:

    LOL this means that RPS and Medical Hypotheses are now like third cousins, twice removed.