We’re not even sure what category to file this story under. We’re utterly baffled by this one.
Earlier this year, the Crystal Palace Space Station went onto virtual auction in the Entropia Universe massive multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG). Entropia Universe is well known for its “real cash economy,” where $1 can buy you 10 PEDs (Project Entropia dollars) in the virtual world. The Crystal Palace is a huge virtual space station that orbits the Planet Calypso.
Well the auction just ended, and one “lucky” man (Buzz “Erik” Lightyear) has just won the Crystal Palace for 3,300,000 PED. If you haven’t figured it already, that translates to $330,000 USD.
We knew virtual worlds were huge; back in January 2009 nearly $600 million was invested in virtual worlds alone. Oh, and virtual currency in China is a $2 billion economy. Yet we still can’t fathom dropping $330,000 on a virtual space station in a virtual world. We’ll let you imagine what you could buy with that type of money.
Still, the purchase may be strategic — the owner stands to make money off the shops, transactions, and activities that occur on his virtual space station. And if online gaming and virtual currency continue their growth trends in 2010, the man could potentially make his money back. If we had that money though, we’d be sticking it into a couple of good tech stocks instead.