ResetEra Owner Cashes Out Gaming Forum For $6 Million

ResetEra Owner Cashes Out Gaming Forum For $6 Million
Image: ResetEra

Four years after the popular gaming forum, ResetEra, was born from the ashes of NeoGAF, it has been sold to a network of Swedish esports sites for an eye-popping $US4.5 ($6) million. While the deal puts a price tag on the previously unquantifiable value of discussions like, “How did Blizzard get away with selling Overwatch for $US60,” it also underlines the messy dynamics of how the internet is monetized, and who gets to profit off of it.

ResetEra was originally formed in 2017 after gaming forum NeoGAF imploded following accusations against that site’s owner of sexual misconduct. While NeoGAF’s owner denied the allegations, moderators quit en masse, and many users flocked to the newly formed ResetEra in an attempt to create a space to discuss gaming that would be less toxic and more inclusive.

“ResetEra.com is another step in our strategy to grow through acquisitions and create more relevant communities with attractive, growing target groups that many companies want to expose themselves to,” Björn Mannerqvist, CEO of the buyer, MOBA Network, said in a press release announcing the sale.

According to MOBA Network — a group of forums where players share information and strategy for competitive games like Dota 2 — ResetEra has over 45 million forum posts and about 55,000 members. This apparently brought in about $US700,000 ($949,760) in revenue through ads over the past year, which the company claims amounts to an 80% EBITDA profit margin. In other words, ResetEra is cheap, and makes a decent amount of money.

MOBA and ResetEra did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

How successful ResetERA has been at its mandate to remove toxicity and be more inclusive remains up for debate, but gaming industry insiders like Game Awards founder Geoff Keighley and others have helped establish it over the years as an internet hotspot for breaking news and discussions surrounding the latest gaming controversies. Now, at least one person seems set to profit handsomely from that reputation.

User Cerium, the sole owner going into the sale, tried to reassure users in an update today that nothing would meaningfully change for them. “The staff will retain total independence when it comes to moderation and the day-to-day management of the site,” they wrote. “That independence will be held as absolutely sacred, in the same way that editorial independence is treated at journalistic publications.”

Cerium also said that the existing tech team would be figuring out their own arrangements with MOBA, while volunteer moderators would continue to not be compensated. They also promised users that their private data (ResetEra requires a verified email address) would not be misused.

“MOBA Network is not in the user data business and never will be,” wrote Cerium. “They’re not going to sell your data. Nothing is going to change about how your data is handled and protected.”

Plenty of ResetEra posters responded positively, congratulating Cerium on the sale. Others shared concerns about whether this would affect moderation when political issues come up. “I don’t want alt right posts being encouraged and not immediately bannable,” wrote one.

Another cheekily suggested, “anyone with more than 10k posts should get paid too,” a sentiment that blossomed into its own satirical thread. Wrote one person, “If the mods don’t get paid what chance do we have?”

Comments

  • “discuss gaming that would be less toxic and more inclusive.”

    “Less toxic”

    U wot. Resetera is a den of toxicity. Its just approved or flat out ignored due to its political leanings.

    Resetera is left wing /Pol/.

  • tldr; REEEEsetera changes hands; internet hate brigades most affected.

    Considering this is an off-shoot created by radicals of a website infamous for its own bizareness and toxicity, why should we care?

    On Cerium’s part, it’s a highly successful gambit, taking on one of the most vile videogame communities online and turning a profit from it. Good for him.

    If we’re talking about gaming websites changing hands and the worth of their content, which Channel 9 executive thought Kotaku Australia was worth paying anything for? I’m sure such biting journalism like ‘the best lego deals in straya right now’ and ‘cheapest copies of mario party superstars in straya’, alongside in-depth Australian videogame industry pieces, was worth the $4 billion AUD merger with Fairfax.

    I’m sure Ethan has a lot to say about how KotakuAU changed ownership.

    • Hey, you leave those articles alone. “Where to find the cheapest x” articles perform a very important service to us cheap asses and I won’t hear a word against it. They may not be what we think of when we hear the word “journalism” (though it’s researching and reporting facts, it literally is journalism) but they’re important, damn it.

      As for the value of KotakuAU, have you done any research yourself? As far as gaming news goes, it’s either one of or the top site in Australia. Kind of hard to confirm, at least while on a phone.

  • Why you would pay a dime for that shithole is beyond me.
    ResetEra is a tolerant and inclusive space so long as you’re 100% on board with the group think and don’t have any dissenting opinions, otherwise you’re banned as fast as you can post.

  • Breaking away from NeoGAF due to righteous indignation, selling out due to shameless cupidity. Gotta love it!

    I’m a member of both forums and on balance I have to say that I get more anxious when writing posts on Era because you really, really have to be careful what you say. Mention any one of myriad taboo games or personalities or say something that could be construed as being anti-diversity or anti-inclusive and you get warnings or bannings. For all its faults, NeoGAF is a place where you can speak relatively freely and only the more egregious comments fall foul of the mods.

    • Can’t forget how they openly allow users to call any black person who isnt their kind of politics a “C**n” or “House N*****”

      There was a thread about Terry crews were he was called those things numerous times and it was openly allowed by the moderation team.

      Resetera is a den of toxicity.

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