The company's banner ads featured buxom women never seen in the game, a gimmick Evony admitted to launching strictly for "marketing purposes." Videogame marketer Bruce Everiss turned up a pile of evidence of other misdeeds after Evony apparently spammed his blog. Everiss wrote that Evony was built with stolen graphics, content and design; that it was owned by a man, Eric Lam, sued by Microsoft for click fraud and that it is presently gaming Google AdSense.
Evony's attorneys have threatened Everiss with a lawsuit; they've also issued a legal complaint to the U.K. Guardian for asking if Evony had "become the most despised game on the web." Lam, a Chinese businessman, would have more luck with a softer touch and eye toward redemption. There's no reason a business built from roots in seedy industries can't legitimize itself with the right attitude. Just ask MySpace founders — and former spam, porn, and instant-weight-loss moguls — Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson!