The increasing reliance of writers on affiliate marketing deals is extremely bad. Most larger sites have some kind of wall between their editorial department and any advertising or affiliate linking, but it still looks wrong. I’ve done the same kind of linking myself, but never kept up with the process to where we are today when many sites have a daily or weekly roundup of deals that are almost entirely affiliate links.
Humble has had their own affiliate program for some time now, and this may end being a pretty big deal for games that have distribution in their Humble Store (outside of bundling) and even bigger for games that they’re publishing.
There were other options for how this was presented. IGN is really one part of a larger company called Ziff Davis that has been bought and sold so many times. The announcements could have said that Ziff was buying Humble, but the people making these decisions must have thought that IGN was going to look the best, or the actual organizational structure will have IGN on top.
I wouldn’t be upset with anyone writing at IGN for this, and it depends on what changes a result, but whatever changes happen to IGN and the Humble Bundle probably won’t look good either way.