Notes from inside your Wii

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Scams descammed

April 15th, 2010 by marcan · 11 Comments

As someone who has never cared for online advertising or shady “deals”, I’m baffled by the weird and wonderful world of on-line search engine optimization, affiliate marketing, and all that stuff. In case you’re new to the whole story, quite a few people are selling “soft-modchip” packs for the Wii via these channels, which bundle our free tools with free warez software and make tons of money. My opinion of sellers and affiliate marketers isn’t very high after the problems we’ve had with these scam products.

Alas, it appears that in this odd ecosystem products and sites are routinely sold and bought, and people can wind up marketing scam unknowingly. I suspect that quite a few of those people will just turn a blind eye and keep making a profit off of scams after finding out about the nature of their “product”. However, at least one of them did the Right Thing. I had an interesting e-mail exchange with someone who recently purchased a site advertising a few of those scam products off of eBay. He agreed to remove the references to the scam products and replace them with an informational page that explains how other sellers are scamming their customers. Thank you for doing the right thing :).

Click here to visit the site. Yes, I know that the information presented there isn’t 100% factually accurate, but the point is that there’s at least one seller who cares about these scams. I think he deserves being commended for his honesty and integrity.

Tags: Wii

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Retal // Apr 15, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Sadly, you cannot be commended on your use of commas.

  • 2 Arikado // Apr 15, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Yeah, these scam sites suck. I had a run-in with one and it was a complete waste of my time trying to shut them down ( http://bit.ly/aZmPGx ).

    At least there is one good soul out there in a shady market obfuscated with demons.

    Interesting read as always, thanks πŸ™‚

  • 3 marcan // Apr 15, 2010 at 4:35 pm


    What, are you, really, saying that I can’t, just, throw around, as many, commas as I want? Damn.

    Guess I’ll
    have to switch
    to costis mode
    and start using
    carriage returns

  • 4 wiiwiiwii1 // Apr 15, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Can you people start doing something that actually impacts these site negatively, instead of just complaining about it

    Click the heck out of their ads when you see them on Google Ads.

    Click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click, click = scam sites loosing money.

    So next time you are on your favourite Wii related website start clicking the heck out the brewwii.com & myhomebreware.com Google ads.

  • 5 Isaac // Apr 15, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Always good to see honesty (especially when it is not forced).

  • 6 nitro2k01 // Apr 16, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    But, my eyes hurt from the Random CapiTaliZation.

  • 7 launchpad.net/~tepples // Apr 17, 2010 at 4:09 am

    I get confused about this whole issue of “selling homebrew”. Say I get with my artist and make a homebrew game for Wii. It includes an introductory mission designed to get the player used to the play mechanics, and it ends on a cliffhanger. I then sell copies of a mission pack. Is it a scam to sell this mission pack?

  • 8 bushing // Apr 17, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    @tepples: I don’t really see any parallels there with this situation. The “homebrew-selling scams” we complain about come about when people take a set of freely-available pieces of software, put them in a package and relabel them, then sell them for $30. When you pay your $30, the only added value you get is some slight “convenience” (of having everything in one place), some written directions (often compiled from forum posts or wiki pages), and maybe some vague promise of support — but even that’s not a good bet, because as Marcan noted, these sites are often bought/sold by people with no particular interest in the subject.

    The fact that they’re usually geared towards warez is frustrating, as is the fact that they’re making money off our work. At least for me, the bigger issue — the thing that makes it a scam — is that they’re taking it all and slapping a new name on it. Hell, most of these sites even make it look like you’ll be getting a retail software box! (This happens in other areas, too — see e.g. the now-defunct XDarwin CDs, or any of the old “Best of Shareware” CDs — although at least you saved some time vs downloading the latter with your modem from random BBSes!)

    The scenario you mentioned sounds a lot more like the old Apogee games — you’re creating your own content, giving part of it away and asking for money for the rest. You’re selling something that you put resources into making, and that would exist if you hadn’t. I don’t really see any similarity.

  • 9 Retal // Apr 19, 2010 at 10:29 am

    @marcan πŸ˜€

  • 10 launchpad.net/~tepples // Apr 22, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    @bushing: Thank you. So I won’t be called a scammer if I try to run a “shareware” or “demo” business model on the Wii. I was afraid the reply was going to be something like “It’s not homebrew if you derive revenue from it. If you want to sell something, then do like 2D Boy: start a corporation or LLC, make and sell your game on PC, and then make a WiiWare port with the official SDK.”

    But this leads to another question: With the policy against mirroring the install files, what should people do if bannerbomb.qoid.us or bootmii.org goes down?

  • 11 Wack0 // May 9, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Then comex/TT will most likely set up another official download site, either temporary or official. But then again I suppose anyone would. πŸ™‚

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