Terrible Online Game with Terrible Ads Is Also Slimy, Litigous

Remember Evony, the online game whose banners epitomize the worst in online advertising? It turns out the company doesn't like people talking about its deceptive practices.

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!