Gamer buys virtual island for $26,500

Out-Law News | 20 Dec 2004 | 12:00 am | 1 min. read

In what is billed as the biggest cyber-asset purchase to date, a 22-year-old Australian has bought a treasure island located on the virtual planet of Calypso for the price of 265,000 Project Entropia Dollars, or $26,500.

According to the sales ad, the successful bidder, Australian David Storey, aka Deathifier, has purchased:

"A large island off a newly discovered continent surrounded by deep creature infested waters. The island boasts beautiful beaches ripe for developing beachfront property, an old volcano with rumours of fierce creatures within, the outback is overrun with mutants, and an area with a high concentration of robotic miners guarded by heavily armed assault robots indicates interesting mining opportunities."

The island was put up for auction by the developers of Project Entropia, an on-line multi-player universe, and is the latest example of the move away from subscription-based gaming towards the development of real cash economy games, where users can make purchases, sales and exchange real life currency into PED (Project Entropia Dollars) and back again into real money.

PED, says MindArk, developers of the game, allows members to invest in personal development and growth through the acquisition of goods, buildings and land in the Entropia universe.

According to Mind Ark, the treasure island will provide instant real cash revenue from "mining and hunting" rights as hundreds of gamers flock to the new world in search of new gaming and gold. The island will also provide additional revenue potential through the selling of housing lots and market places, some of which have already been sold and claimed due to the high demand.

"This is a historic moment in gaming history, and this sale only goes to prove that Massive Multiplayer On-line Gaming has reached a new plateau where the gamers themselves have discovered the true economic potential of an on-line community," said Marco Behrmann, Mindark's Director of Community Relations. "This is an incredible milestone."

"This type of investment will definitely become a trend in on-line gaming as the standard monthly-fee based on-line games will struggle to make any sort of cash investment viable," said David Storey.