Steve Bannon’s past careers continue to be the gift that keeps on giving; we’ve previously reported on the top presidential adviser and Darth Vader fanboy’s attempts to break into the world of rap musicals and heavy-handed science fiction. Now, Boing Boing has dug up a Wired article from last year, revealing that one of Bannon’s old jobs was as CEO of a gold-farming company in World Of Warcraft.
For those unfamiliar with gold-farming, it’s the practice of hiring low-wage (as in $.50 per hour) employees to gather money in online games, then selling it to players for real-world cash. It’s an industry that’s publicly frowned upon by most game developers and many players, at least until they desperately need some quick gold, because daddy needs a new pair of greaves. Bannon became involved in the practice when he was recruited by IGE, one of the biggest names in the business, in order to hit his old Goldman Sachs buddies up for investment money. (The company was eventually convinced to invest $60 million.) After a series of lawsuits and financial setbacks, Bannon was installed as the company’s CEO, replacing young executive Brock Pierce, a.k.a. the kid from the Sinbad movie First Kid, because this story is very weird.
Bannon served as the CEO of the newly re-branded Affinity—which had since moved out of the gold-selling business and into managing community sites for various online games—until 2011, when he moved on to work for his beloved toxic cesspool Breitbart. You can read Wired’s full 2008 profile on the company—in which Bannon’s rise was a small but significant part—right here.