As a gamer and fan of marketplaces, I have followed with amazement the rise and fall of IGE (www.ige.com). It started as a marketplace for Everquest virtual goods and rapidly expanded to others, especially World of Warcraft.
When I looked at the company a few years ago, it was generating tens of millions in revenues. I was shocked that a virtual goods marketplace could be so big. They were actually much more than a marketplace as they actually employed “gold farmers” to play the game and generate items for sale. This position put them at odds with the gaming companies and gamers who were the ultimate source of their revenues. This eventually led to their downfall.
Wired tells the fantastic tale in all its glory – sex scandals, back stabbings and all!