The world’s most expensive virtual items
With most of the world in some kind of lockdown or social isolation, going outside is a huge no-no right now. Which means to stay busy, you’ll need to look to indoor activities to keep yourself entertained and sane. For some of us, that means TV, movies or books. For others, it means online gambling, virtual gaming, or even MMORPGs (that’s Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games, in case you’re unfamiliar).
In fact, if you’re a fan of these types of games, and of casino gambling too, the two could work hand-in-hand. Have fun with your favourite casino or poker games, and use any winnings you might accumulate to further your progress in your video game. That’s because as you may already know, in-game purchases cost actual money – whether you want to spend a little on a new outfit, or a lot on something far bigger and crazier. And if we’re talking big and crazy, there are some virtual gaming items whose price tags have to be seen to be believed. So if you do have some casino winnings to your name, take a look at just how much you’d need in order to purchase some of these unbelievable items…
Planet Calypso – $6 million
$6 million for an in-game purchase? Literally, WHAT? Actually yes, that’s what Planet Calypso went for when it was up for sale, and at $6 million, it tops our list of the most expensive virtual purchases of all time. So what’s the story behind it?
Well, if you’re a fan of the game Entropia Universe, you’ll know that Planet Calypso is in fact the setting for the entire game – a hugely popular MMORPG with a real world economy and a business model that allows players to purchase in-game currency with actual money, which can then in turn be redeemed for US dollars. While it’s possible to play for free, buying in-game currency allows players to purchase real estate, rent out land, sell deeds to plots, and purchase various goods and services in order to take part in activities like hunting or mining. All of the activity in Entropia takes place on Planet Calypso, making the homeworld a hugely lucrative investment.
It’s for this reason that SEE Virtual Worlds paid $6 million for Calypso when it was put up for auction by the Swedish software company MindArk – the idea being that all revenue earned from purchases in Entropia would cover the cost of the planet, and then some. However, due to financial difficulties the sale fell through, and ownership of Calypso reverted back to MindArk once more, who later went on to sell $100 deeds of the planet to any players who were interested in purchasing them.
While the sale of Calypso was never completed, it’s still known as the most expensive virtual item to date – and who knows, if you have $6 million lying around the house, you could make a bid for it yourself one of these days.
Club Neverdie – $635,000
Staying with Entropia for a while, Club Neverdie is just as headline-making, having been sold to two buyers for a combined total of $635,000 when it went on the market in 2010.
Five years earlier, in 2005, the club had been purchased by John ‘NeverDie’ Jacobs for what was then a record-breaking price of $100,000. In fact, Jacobs had had to take out a second mortgage on his actual home to be able to afford the club in the first place. After five years of hard work, Jacobs had established Club Neverdie as one of the premier entertainment destinations in Entropia, offering players a place to engage and enjoy themselves – for a price, of course.
Just five years after his initial purchase, Jacobs put Club Neverdie up for sale, dividing it into two, and selling each part to a different player. The combined total selling price? An unbelievable $635,000, and a huge return on investment for Jacobs – who today has even more virtual projects in the works. If we’d known purchasing virtual properties was so lucrative, we’d have gotten in on the act years ago!
Crystal Palace – $330,000
No not the football team – a huge space station in orbit around Planet Calypso, again in Entropia Universe. Having seen the potential profitability inherent in Entropia’s economy, another player, Erik Novak, decided to reach for the stars and purchase a virtual space station known as Crystal Palace, for the whopping price of $330,000!
Sure, it sounds like a crazy amount – but take into account that all shops, transactions and businesses on board incur a fee or a tax which goes directly to the owner, and you’ll soon see the space station for the lucrative investment that Buzz ‘Erik’ Lightyear considered it to be. To huge profits, and beyond!
The Moon – $150,000
Ok, ok, this is our last Entropia entry we promise – we just had to include this one because it was so outrageous. The moon. The actual moon. Someone (actually an investor group, not an individual person) purchased Entropia’s moon for $150,000, and uses it to tax other players for mining resources on its surface. It’s an ingenious idea, and it must make for incredible talk at dinner parties. The moon. Will wonders never cease?
No, not the actual Amsterdam in the Netherlands – its virtual counterpart in the game Second Life. In this simulation game, Second Life players create avatars that literally live in the game, working, playing and engaging with each other just as we all do in our everyday lives. One player, however, took the game a step further.
Instead of creating a business for himself, developer Kevin Aderman went about creating an entire true-to-life replica of the Dutch capital Amsterdam, right down to the streets, buildings, and the city’s notorious Red Light District as well. Of course it’s exactly this feature that caught the attention of a buyer when Aderman listed his creation for sale on eBay, for the unbelievable sum of $50,000.
Appropriately, the buyer was from the Netherlands himself, and revealed that he intended to use his new purchase to grow his own adult online entertainment business, for which the replica of Amsterdam would be perfect. $50,000 for creating a virtual city? Who knew that playing a simulator game could turn out to be so financially rewarding!
Sword – $16,000
There’s paying huge sums of money for items from popular games – and then there’s paying huge sums of money for items from games that haven’t even been released yet. Sounds crazy, right? And yet that’s exactly what one player did when they paid $16,000 for a pre-release Age of Wushu sword sold at auction.
A martial arts-inspired game set in the time of China’s Ming Dynasty, Age of Wushu was released in 2012. Prior to its launch, however, an auction was held during the game’s beta period in order to raise money for its actual release. It was during this auction that a specially crafted sword was sold to the highest bidder for an amazing $16,000. To add to the unusual story, since the sword could only be released along with the game, the winning bidder was given a commemorative plaque to mark his purchase, until both the game and the sword would be available for use. We don’t know how well the sword eventually worked for the player once the game was released, but we hope it was worth every cent!
Blue Party Hat – $2,500
How much would you expect to pay for a party hat – you know, the kind of paper party hats you find in Christmas crackers along with a plastic gift and a terrible dad joke? Not much, right? Well, if you’re playing the fantasy MMORPG Runescape, it’s not just a few dollars you’re looking at for a hat, it’s a massive $2,500! It’s of course the famous Runescape blue party hat, and it’s so rare that few players have even seen one, let alone owned one themselves.
So what’s the story behind the hat and why is it so insanely expensive? Well, when Runescape was first released, its development team would offer players themed items on every holiday – and in 2001, they created a Christmas cracker that, when used with a friend, would open to reveal a party hat. While the hats came in a variety of colours, the blue one instantly became the most popular of them all. And since players were only given a limited time in which to find the hats, the value of the blue one skyrocketed instantly. Today if you see a blue party hat in Runescape, it’s worth an incredible $2,500 – which is a lot more affordable than a $6 million planet, but still a massive amount to spend on a virtual item all the same. However if you’re the type of die-hard fan that lives for these types of purchases, it’s definitely one worth celebrating!
Crazy purchases, sky-high prices and insane fandom – the world of virtual gaming is a highly unique one, but a hugely entertaining one as well. So if you’re looking to complement your online casino play with another type of gaming, it might be an avenue worth exploring – just make sure to keep an eye on your budget, and steer clear of making any sizable purchases unless you’re positive you can afford them!
Happy Spinning 🙂