The incredible rise and fall of IGE

As a gamer and fan of marketplaces, I have followed with amazement the rise and fall of IGE. 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!

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  • I have met Brock a few times in China. Personally a nice guy but he always talked big and it wasn’t clear what was believable. Interesting that the Goldman Sachs deal was true. Alan Debonneville was a weird guy.

  • I have met Brock a few times in China. Personally a nice guy but he always talked big and it wasn’t clear what was believable. Interesting that the Goldman Sachs deal was true. Alan Debonneville was a weird guy.

  • I worked for Brock and Alan back in IGE’s initial years.

    Brock had the “corporate vision” and Alan had the daily operation know-how. In fact, Alan was already making a very good full time income trading EverQuest items by himself before meeting Brock, but Brock and his high-stakes business savvy brought it all to a multi-million level.

    Alan was the front line work horse: intelligent, organized, shy, socially challenged and diligently running the business for 16 hours a day. Brock, in the other hand, would sit in the background, crafting his next entrepreneurial move. That being said, and despite his enormous charisma, Brock was a bit of a snake charmer… always luring you towards his side with silky words while making damn sure he’d get the better cut. It was difficult to know what was believable and what wasn’t, but he would always manage to mesmerize you with his smarts and wit… Certainly an extraordinary and inspiring character, alas controversial and, on occasion, ethically dubious.

    It was a pleasure to work for them both: Alan being a great operation manager and Brock being… well, Brock being in his own league!