Now that we've had a few days to think about it, I think it's worth taking a bigger look at the Wowhead acqusition news
that broke over the weekend. On Friday evening, a blogger named Ahmed Farooq
posted that as a person who'd previously worked to acquire websites for goldseller IGE, he'd heard from "three different sources," all unnamed, that Wowhead had sold to Affinity Media for $1 million. That's when we reported on it, and more than a few other sites also picked up the story
. We also were one of the first sites to report in conjunction that Affinity Media had supposedly sold IGE
, and claimed they were no longer in the business of goldselling.
On Saturday, Wowhead posted a confirmation on their site, and then this Q&A with their CEO
and the head of Affinity Media, John Maffei. They claim to be "100% sure" that since Affinity reportedly sold IGE, Wowhead will never carry gold ads. Farooq, the original tipster, posted an update on his site that says Affinity was "still very much involved with IGE," but Wowhead's Q&A says "the individual who leaked the story about the Wowhead sale" (apparently Farooq) also "owns competitive content properties," including a real-money trading
(goldselling) site, and calls the act of that person spreading rumors about Wowhead "the height of hypocrisy." By all appearances, Affinity Media is no longer associated with IGE at all, and at the moment, the proof is in the pudding: there are currently no gold ads on Wowhead or Thottbot.
As for IGE, this report about the CEO at the Virtual Goods Summit
makes it seem as though there are stormy waters ahead for their company and the entire gold selling market.
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