Entropia Universe, an MMORPG that uses an economy with cash that can be withdrawn as real-life money, has set a record for the most expensive virtual item ever sold, at $335,000, for a zone named Club NEVERDIE.
Entropia Universe is a weird place, even for video games. It’s a free-to-play MMORPG that is referred to by different names every now and then (Project Entropia, Planet Calypso, Entropia Universe) where players can buy PEDs (Project Entropia Dollars) with real-world money, which act as in-game money, and can then be withdrawn back into real-world money. Essentially, if one is dedicated enough and doesn’t mind putting money into the game when necessary, one can turn a profit playing video games.
The game has received mixed reviews throughout its history, from people claiming it’s a boring game and a cash scam, to people genuinely finding the game enjoyable, to other people claiming they’ve made a decent profit simply by playing the game without ever having put money into it in order to get a head start. Regardless of the game’s viability, one thing that is never in contention when it comes to Entropia Universe is that the occasional person pays out the wazoo for a virtual item.
The most interesting factor of this story isn’t that the virtual item set a statistical record, but that there ever was such a big previous record to break. In 2005, player Jon “NEVERDIE” Jacobs bought the “asteroid space resort” for $100,000, becoming the most expensive virtual item ever purchased, beating the previous item’s, Treasure Island (also from Entropia Universe), record of $26,500. The space resort was installed into the game December 19th, 2005 and Jacobs claimed he reached profitability less than a year later on August 18, 2006, from players funding the economy on the space station, which included taxes, apartment sales and shop sales. Three years later in December 2009, player Buzz Erik Lightyear bought the Crystal Palace Space Station for a whopping $330,000, dwarfing Club NEVERDIE’s $100,000 purchase.
Now, as reported by Entropia Planets, Jon “NEVERDIE” Jacobs has sold off the remaining available space in his Club NEVERDIE space resort for $335,000, setting the record for the single most expensive virtual item ever sold to date. The overall sale price of the entirety of Club NEVERDIE’s realty over the years? $635,000. The only reason why this number isn’t being reported around the Internet is because that number wasn’t reached within one sale, as various areas of Club NEVERDIE were sold throughout its lifespan via separate transactions.
The wacky transactions aren’t even limited to large virtual realty or items that are even known to have any use: There’s a mystery egg that has been floating around the MMO since 2006 that people occasionally buy, recently purchased for $70,000, with the hope that it would either do something extraordinary, or could be resold for a profit.
Like I said, Entropia Universe is a weird place–from being referred to by different names, to developer MindArk encouraging real-world cash sales while most other MMO developers quickly banning any participant in such an act, to users making great deals of money off the sale of virtual items, no matter how weird the game’s universe may be, if past trends are any indication, it’s a safe bet we’ll be hearing of a new record for the sale of a virtual item coming from MindArk’s universe sometime not too far down the road.