Trump's chief strategist invested $60 million in a WoW gold-trading site that collapsed - sad!

Steve Bannon

Steve Bannon, whom you may know currently serves at the pleasure of President Trump as his chief strategist, managed to convince his old bosses at Goldman Sachs to make an incredible investment in a website that tanked within a year due to a massive lawsuit. The website? Oh, it sold WoW gold.

Play the best MMOs on PC as the designers intended.

Internet Gaming Entertainment (IGE) is a disingenuously broad (and boring) name for a business whose only purpose is to trade virtual gold for real money, but then perhaps its founder decided Goldman Sachs was a little on-the-nose. 

Anyway, for better or worse, that’s what former child actor Brock Pierce called his website when he set it up in 2001, after playing EverQuest eight hours a day for two years. IGE was one of the first sites to allow players in MMOs to trade their virtual goods for real money, and of course, its peak came after the 2004 release of World of Warcraft. According to Fortune, IGE earned tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars a year at one point.

Pierce started talking to Bannon in the mid-2000s, and brought him on board to secure IGE some venture capital. This he did, big time, in 2006, when he managed to persuade former employer Goldman Sachs, plus a consortium of private funds, to invest $60 million in the company. Bannon took a seat on the board for himself, and the investors bought some stock from IGE’s founders.

It was the very next year that things went south. The legality of this sort of thing was and largely remains shaky, and a World of Warcraft player managed to bring a massive class-action lawsuit against IGE in 2007, accusing them of “substantially impairing” players’ enjoyment of the game.

IGE sold off its marketplace to a competitor and rebranded as Affinity Media, leaving itself as a publisher of MMO community message boards. These days they claim to publish a network of websites and apps in casual gaming and online video.

In June 2007, Affinity’s board chucked Pierce and made Bannon CEO. There he would remain, learning all about memes and the weird ways the Internet can warp a debate, before taking over at Breitbart News in 2012 to do basically the same thing.

Read the original story on Mother Jones here. It's gold, as they say.

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Shadowized avataret operiet ipsos formido avatarRichard Scott-Jones avatarAnakhoresis avatarBen Barrett avatarsintheticreality avatar+1
Shadowized Avatar
140
9 Months ago

I hope this is just a one-off joke article, because if this is the direction this site is headed, with political news about shit from literally a decade ago, I'm done. if I wanted that, I'd stick to RPS.

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Richard Scott-Jones Avatar
73
9 Months ago

We're not about to move into political news, though we have occasionally touched on politics where it intersects with gaming, e.g. the US travel ban and its impact on the dev scene over there.

In this instance we just thought it was a bit interesting that someone who is now one of the most influential people on the planet once invested in trading WoW gold.

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et operiet ipsos formido Avatar
37

Are you new to the site?

"perhaps its founder decided Goldman Sachs was a little on-the-nose." I chuckled.

At any rate, Bannon was not "news worthy" in 2007. He is now. And this is gaming news, directly related to the business of games. Although, as the Mother Jones article is five months old, it is still a bit dated, I'll grant you that.

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Anakhoresis Avatar
606
9 Months ago

I could understand if you took issue with how the article or information is presented, such as bias or somesuch. But just that it exists? Especially since there have been probably, what, around 10-15 politically connected articles in around the last 6 months maybe? Just don't click on that article...

I personally am not a fan of the consistent barrage of articles about esports games being updated (Seems like a sidebar with homes for your favourite games would be a better solution for that), but I just don't go and read them. Doesn't affect me more than scrolling past another article, and while yes it's not the best comparison as they're still games, the ratio of those articles to the others is much higher than the political ones.

I am hoping for a reply! I am honestly curious about your thoughts on that.

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Shadowized Avatar
140
9 Months ago

well, technically it is biased, because if Trump didn't win, this article wouldn't exist. however that wasn't the point I was going for at all.

the point I was trying to make was about the fact that more and more articles are downright click-bait and riddled with SEO keyword cancer, speaking of cancer, those year old posts showing that they were posted a few hours ago because somebody added a paragraph to it, all without putting any highlight/indication of said additions.

fair point about the esports / moba gets a patch posts, as somebody who does play some of those games this is the last place I'd consider checking for patchnotes because there aren't even any categories, everything is just thrown together into one pile. which is also one of the reasons I absolutely loathe this type of post, because I have to scroll past it in the hopes of finding something I'd be interested in.

take that as you will, that's just my opinion of it.

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Anakhoresis Avatar
606
9 Months ago

Won't let me reply to your other comment, but what you said is exactly my point. Even more so if you say you're here for new games. There's realistically been barely ANY political posts, now compare that to all the esports posts. Singling out political posts as the reason doesn't add up.

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Anakhoresis Avatar
606
9 Months ago

Oops, I didn't really clearly state what I was asking for: Why would those articles make you leave? If it's not affecting the other content and can be pretty easily ignored, it seems like an extreme reaction.

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Shadowized Avatar
140
Shadowized replied to Anakhoresis
9 Months ago

well, I came to this site for the sole purpose to find new games that maybe interesting, its right in the title, "PC games news and reviews".

if the amount of SEO filler content outweighs what I'm here for, the site no longer fulfills its purpose in my bookmarks, pretty simple.

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Ben Barrett Avatar
492
9 Months ago

To address your first point, most news posts depend on the linear progression of time causing events to happen, yes.

And our patch posts do have sections.

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sintheticreality Avatar
110
9 Months ago

Stay out of politics, guys.

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Ben Barrett Avatar
492
9 Months ago

We'll report on whatever we like as it pertains to PC gaming. If you don't enjoy stories related to "politics", we provide dozens a day that don't mention parties / people involved in government, though it's rather difficult to detach anything from the entire nature of the way the world is run, particularly when so many games companies are multi-national corporations with everything that involves.

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et operiet ipsos formido Avatar
37

Not specifically a response to sintheticreality but I like how political the call to stay out of politics is in the comments here. The only thing remotely "political" about this article is the jokey comment that Goldman Sachs is as seedy as gold sellers.

Dat projection.

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Cptn Kingyo Avatar
4
9 Months ago

Amazed that people can get upset about a small article about a bit of an absurd and unlikely fact!

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