RealTime IT News

Ovitz, Yucaipa Make Another Net Move

Net-smitten former Disney CEO Michael Ovitz and Yucaipa Companies' Internet venture partner Richard Wolpert aren't just toying around with their new-found fascination with multimedia entertainment. The pair Thursday announced an equity investment in GameSpy Industries Inc. and its network of more than 30 Internet sites, their second Net-related purchase in two weeks.

The pair plans to expand GameSpy Industries' multi-player gaming and streaming music technologies and services. GameSpy Industries Inc., is the creator of GameSpy and MP3Spy software and has an installation base of more than 4 million users. The GameSpy network boasts more than 30 Internet sites, including PlanetQuake.com and FilePlanet.com.

GameSpy recently launched an MP3Spy site for streaming music software downloads. The site includes an exclusive agreement with NullSoft's SHOUTcast, which was acquired by America Online Inc. on Tuesday.

"GameSpy's proven leadership in multiplayer gaming and their strong commitment to providing easy access to online entertainment with MP3Spy is a natural fit with our strategy to help build strong Internet and entertainment companies on the Web," Ovitz said.

With the advent of higher bandwidth, Wolpert said he expects "endless" opportunities to enhance the online entertainment experience.

The equity announcement comes on the heels of Yucaipa Co.'s and Ovitz's launch of CheckOut.com, a site which will provide multimedia online entertainment as well as the usual e-commerce offerings of music, videos and games.