We woke up to a new government here in Canada. Another minority government without the clout to truly govern. History tells me that I'll be writing this same sentence one to two years from now.
I promised to write about the IGE, OGaming, Thottbot and Cosmos connections today. There isn't much I can tell you that some other sites haven't already worked very hard to deduce. It is completely by coincidence that today news of a deal between IGE and Alibaba.com, the Chinese version of EBay, owned 40% by Yahoo, has been stuck allowing IGE to sell MMOG items, etc., on the auction service. Gamasutra.com broke the story.
"According to a Marketwatch report, Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba, which is 40% owned by Internet giant Yahoo!, has officially announced a parntership with MMO in-game item trading firm IGE to offer IGE-sourced items on Alibaba's Taobao online trading platform."
It is unclear whether this means that IGE can sell their wares garnered from the North American market to North Americans or if this will be internal to the Chinese market. If the former is true, then Blizzard and Sony may have their hands full trying to block sales of their intellectual property. You can read the entire Gamasutra article right here.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming. Once upon a time, before there was TenTonHammer.com there was a game network. Let's call it OGaming. The owner of this network, frustrated that sites like WarCry.com and Stratics.com were getting all the exclusive content from the publishers. He was approached by another company which offered to buy his little network. He agreed, but was not allowed to disclose which company purchased him. According to Okratas, he had this to say,
"I sold ogaming because the game developers were too busy supporting press release networks like Warcry and Stratics while real fansites and communities went down the hill. And as time progresses and the market grows, independent sites are either going to die because of lack of money, or start carrying ads and sell out to "undesirable" companies."
This seems like a strange request, but although uncommon, it isn't strange at all. If your company has a bad reputation or in the case of secondary market companies receives full-force, outright hatred from much of the game community then you would not want your name associated with a site that deals with the game community. You wouldn't want anyone to know you were owner of the gaming site or they would stop visiting. If they stopped visiting you could not advertise to them. If you could not advertise to them then your purchase of the gaming site would have been a mistake. Not wanting anyone to know you owned the site you would cover your tracks.
Unfortunately, those meddling kids and their dog always show up in the mystery machine and ruin things. Scooby Doo, where are you? Whhhite Hhhhere Frraagy.
CorpNews had a thread start in the forums titled, "A sordid tale of IGE, thottbot, ogaming, and conquest" , which grew to six-pages in length. The meat of the thread can and should be read here.
Slashdot has a concise, well-written piece that should be read in full. If you are too lazy to do that, then here is a snippet for you,
"Ogaming is a hub site much like Warcry, with a sub-site about most of the major Massively Multiplayer Games out there. Some enterprising /whois work by the original author of the WowCensus thread led him to realize that OGaming was registered with the same street address used for IGE's New York Office. OGaming's registration information was updated on the 10th, and now displays the name and address of a proxy registration service. Further damning is the thought that at one point a page on the Ogaming site claimed to own Thottbot.com, a universally respected and utilized tool for World of Warcraft in-game information."
WoWCensus , on which the original thread pointing to all of these connections appeared has up and vanished, leaving only a page that points to, get this, Thottbot and OGaming.
Recently WoWInterface.com, a repository for dozens of user interfaces also became part of the OGaming network.
All of these articles, links, snippets and message threads point to a connection between OGaming, Thottbot, Cosmos, IGE and WoWInterface. I'll leave it to you to decide what is true and what is simply rumour being amplified by a brigade of people in tinfoil hats.
That's it for today. I didn't have room to cover the "sweat shops". I'll tell you all about those another time.
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