Crispy Gamer Absorbs Cambridge’s GamerDNA

New York-based Crispy Gamer, an online video game review site, has acquired GamerDNA of Cambridge, MA, which attempted to build a community website that used real-time game play information to generate video game recommendations for community members. Jon Radoff, the founder of GamerDNA, announced the merger in a blog post today.

The transition isn’t a total surprise, as there were signs that GamerDNA was struggling. The advertising-driven site laid off nearly half of its staff in late October. “It has been a challenging time for us,” Radoff writes in his post today. “After looking at all the options available to us, we decided it didn’t make sense for us to ‘go it alone’ in the market any longer.”

Radoff notes that GamerDNA had successfully formed an online advertising network for the video game market that reaches over 10 million monthly visitors. That network may be valuable to Crispy Gamer, which publishes reviews by independent video game writers and does not accept advertising from video game publishers, to avoid conflicts of interest. Crispy Gamer “has very ambitious plans to build a media company around the gaming market,” Radoff says in his post.

Radoff plans to stay with the combined company “for a little bit,” but says that he’s likely to start a new company in 2010, possibly in social networking, online entertainment, real-time communication, gaming, or some combination thereof.

GamerDNA, formerly known as GuildCafe, had raised $3 million in venture backing from Flybridge Capital Partners. We profiled the company in April 2008 and published an extensive interview with Radoff about his vision, which centered on creating an online database where, in Radoff’s words, gamers could “record all the stories around all of the cool stuff they’ve done, be it achievements, accomplishments, or experiences they’ve had.” Using that information, GamerDNA was able to create a “discovery engine” that suggested new games that community members might like, based on overlapping preferences and experiences, as I explained in a December 2008 article.

The financial terms of the merger with Crispy Gamer have not been disclosed. Executives at Crispy Gamer did not immediately respond to our request for comment on the acquisition.

Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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