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Big Money Make Mistakes

Some back and forth during the day about the Wowhead thing. First, Wowhead and John Maffei of Affinity have comments up on Wowhead regarding the sale.

How can I believe any of this is true? I read on another site that a former employee says this is all false.

John: I would strongly caution people not to believe all the rumors they read. For example, it came to my attention that the individual who leaked the story about the Wowhead sale supposedly not only owns competitive content properties but also is the partner in a successful RMT site. Like all Internet rumors, it is just that, but please consider the source when you hear damning stuff. Why not take a free shot at your top competitor. If the rumor above is true about the source of these comments, it is of course the height of hypocrisy.

So you are sure Wowhead will not have gold ads now?

John: 100% sure. Neither Wowhead or the ZAM Network have ever had gold or powerleveling ads, and they never will. We sold IGE. We are clearly separating our business from those practices. Why would we start running gold ads now?

In response, the original blogger/ex-IGE employee noted the interview from just two days ago on CNet where Brock Pierce bemoaned the state of competing with the Chinese when running a gold arbitrage. Despite Affinity’s insistance that, you know, that this shouldn’t be a problem since, you know, they sold IGE off to the Gnomes of Zurich or Somali pirates or  something.

Of course, is Pierce CEO of Affinity, as he used to be? Or did he stay with IGE? Or does Dan Terdiman, the CNet interviewer, just not know what he’s talking about? Terdiman freely admits it’s probably the latter.

When I was at the Virtual Goods Summit at Stanford yesterday, I had a talk with Brock Pierce, IGE’s founder, and he didn’t say anything about it. It’s true, he was wearing a badge from “Affinity Media,” and admittedly, I am not entirely up to speed on the latest news in this industry, but rather than suggesting IGE had been sold and Affinity was getting out of the secondary market business, he hinted he wanted to get out.

Or maybe Terdiman’s actually on to something after all.