Online gaming has grown over the past twenty years to become a huge phenomenon that sees millions of players battling, trading and questing together, as they look to improve their characters and improve their stats. While most people are happy to do this the old fashioned way, some want to take shortcuts and rather than spending countless hours developing their virtual selves, they elect to spend real world cash. This practice has seen in-game items sell for hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
In other cases, developers actively promote the selling and buying of virtual items. Some of these games have markets that are just as sophisticated as the ones used by real life traders and bankers. This article will explore those games and look at the most expensive video game items that have ever been sold, either within the titles themselves or through other means such as eBay.
Echoing Fury Mace from Diablo 3 – $14,000
The Echoing Fury Mace was found as loot in Diablo 3 and it was promptly sold through internet forums for a price of just $250. It was then passed between a variety of different players before it again made its way to a public sale. Bidding for the legendary weapon soon escalated, until a high bid of 40 billion gold won, an amount that has a real life value of around $14,000. The high value was due mainly to the rarity of the item and the powerful stats that the weapon had, stats that made it one of the best available in the game.
Age of Wulin Sword – $16,000
The developers for the MMO Age of Wulin held an auction in 2011 to sell a number of different items that would be put into the game when it eventually released in 2013. Most of the items sold for relatively little amounts, while some special pieces of armor and weapons went on to raise just $1,000 each. The biggest selling item though, was the Dragon Slaying Sabre scabbard. The one-of-a-kind sword would not be available to any other players, making it a truly unique item and from the looks of it, highly desirable. The winning bid in the auction ended at 100,000 Yuan, a sum that is roughly $16,000.
Treasure Island – $26,500
In 2004, one man made a huge investment when he spent $26,500 to buy a fictional island in a game. The island featured gorgeous beachfront properties and was even next to a volcano. The man who bought it may have initially spent a lot, but he made all of his money back in the first year just by taxing virtual visitors for mining and hunting. He has since made a profit every single year from the investment.
Ethereal Flames Pink War Dog in Dota 2 – $38,000
The Ethereal Flames Pink War Dog is a courier in Valve’s Dota 2 that sold in a private transaction for $38,000 within a day of the listing going online. Couriers act just as you would expect, they transport loot and other items back to your home-base. This leaves you free to continue to defend your own tower and not have to leave it unattended while taking back the items yourself. Players in Dota 2 can buy a variety of different skins that can drop from special crates that cost real money to open. What makes this particular courier so valuable though, is the fact that it combines several rare features, such as the pink color, the fact it is a war dog and the ethereal flames aesthetic effect.
Amsterdam from Second Life – $50,000
Amsterdam was one of the most popular locations in Second Life, due to several factors. It had an incredibly detailed build, with faithful reproductions of several areas of the real-life Amsterdam, including a canal, train station and a large public square. It also played host to big events that many carried out in the game, such as live concerts and other gatherings, making it a prime location for anyone looking to break into business. However, the biggest attraction to the vast majority of players who visited was the array of shops selling sex toys. With its previous owners looking to create a new adult orientated location, they listed Amsterdam for sale on eBay, where it eventually sold for $50,000.
The Unique Green Atrox Egg – $70,000
The Unique Green Atrox Queen Egg is an legendary item in Entropia Universe. Introduced in 2006 with the promise to hatch something extra-ordinary it stipulated speculation that much that it was traded for almost USD 70,000, making it on the List of most expensive virtual items.
After years of waiting finally Feffox hatched from the Egg in Feffox Mayhem in 2013. In fact it was removed without any notice from its owner’s (Deathifier) storage, also without anything in return.
Monria – Virtual Moon in Entropia Universe – $150,000
The moon went for 1.5 million PED, the virtual currency used in Entropia Universe, which equals $150 000 in real-world money.
The winning bidder, Jan Terje Egeland (whose Entropia Universe alter-ego is “Modified Akoz Power”), will have the opportunity to get a return on the $150 000 investment through revenue sharing with MindArk from all activity on the moon. This includes the activities of other players, as well as the ability to recruit new Entropia Universe participants and net a share of any revenue they generate from their activities anywhere in Entropia Universe. Jan also got the chance to work closely with the MindArk team throughout the estate’s development process with direct input on important design decisions.
“This is a great example of how MindArk includes players like myself to truly participate in, and shape the universe,” said Jan Egeland. “I hope for a long and fruitful partnership with MindArk.”
The Moon, which has been named “Monria”, is operational and Jan has the role of Monria’s operator. The moon estate includes a Lunar Command Center and two Lunar Habitats, along with eight subsurface caverns filled with unique creatures and rare resources.
Crystal Palace from Entropia Universe – $330,000
Entropia Universe is a unique game-in that was designed from the ground up to allow players to trade property and items, just as in the real world. It has a conversion rate of 10 in-game PEDs to $1, and allows players to withdraw and deposit actual currency into the game, making it a viable way to make a living for some users. Crystal Palace was a popular destination in Entropia Universe and had a sizable income, as the owner could set taxes for players using the station. It sold in 2009, for a price of 3,300,000 PEDs ($330,000) to a user called “Buzz Erik Lightyear” after a bidding war between several players.
Club Neverdie in Entropia Universe – $635,000
We’ve already spoken about Entropia Universe earlier in the article, as it is well known for its high selling items. However, this particular sale eclipses every other in-game item that has ever sold in a video game. After owning Club Neverdie for several years, Jon Jacobs decided to sell the asteroid space resort in 2010. He sold each section of the location separately, bringing in a total of $635,000. The biggest individual sale was the main section of the asteroid that went for a record $335,000. Jacobs had originally bought the resort in 2008, for $100,000 and made his money back on the investment after just one year of trading.
Planet Calypso in Entropia Universe – $6,000,000
Planet Calypso was purchased for a record six million U.S. dollars. The planet has been running since 2003 and has nearly a million registered users and has generated over four million U.S. dollars in player transaction revenue.
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