The real-life housing market might be in the dumps, but a Hollywood real estate mogul is making a killing in the virtual world. Jon Jacobs, aka "Neverdie" in the massively multiplayer Entropia Universe, just sold a virtual nightclub for the actual price of $635,000.
Proceeds from the sale will fund Jacobs' virtual planet-building ventures, which could in turn create actual revenue streams for Hollywood, the recording industry and traditional media sources. Really.
"Club Neverdie" is one of the hottest virtual properties in the Entropia Universe, the first virtual world with a real cash economy. An asteroid around Planet Calypso, Entropia's first planet, is the club's home. Jacobs bought the asteroid in 2005 for $100,000, after taking out a mortgage on his real-life house, according to Forbes.
Since then, Club Neverdie became a haven for other players visiting its bio-domes, nightclub, stadium and mall. Jacobs was making around $200,000 in actual cash every year from players purchasing virtual goods and services, Forbes explains.
That kind of profit helps justify the club's selling price — as long as Entropia users keep spending money on virtual goods, the buyers will earn it back in short order. If Farmville's popularity is any indication, virtual transactions settled with real dollars aren't going away anytime soon.
In the recent sale, Jacobs sold off Club Neverdie in chunks, the largest of which went to an avatar named John Foma Kalun, who paid $335,000. Forbes says it might be the largest virtual transaction ever, beating the previous record set by Erik "Buzz" Lightyear, an Entropia resident who bought The Crystal Palace Space Station for $330,000 in 2009.
Jacobs' story is the type you couldn't make up if you tried. He's the son of a former Miss United Kingdom and a British financier named "Mr. X;" he's a struggling actor and independent filmmaker; and his office is in Hollywood's famous El Capitan Theatre building. Dude even has his own theme song.
He is working on a new virtual planet called Rocktropia, where players can listen to live virtual concerts or go on music-related quests, Forbes says. Jacobs is confident virtual worlds will become mainstream: "What typically happens with a new medium is that pop culture has to embrace it before it loses its real stigma of being narrow," he said.
The prospect of half a million dollars in pure profit certainly won't hurt.
Wow. Some people need to get a life. A real one.
So wait... When you go to said nightclub... You spend real money on fake drinks getting fake drunk having a fake fun time?
I know this may be cliche... but what if all the millions being poured into games like this actually went to REAL clothes, drinks, entertainment, etc. etc. It would create some jobs and people could, I don't know, LIVE IN THE REAL WORLD.
I think I see what you're saying. What if when I bought clothing or maybe a movie, I was shipped the actual merchandise home as well or watched an actual movie in a virtual theatre... We already live sedentary lifestyles. You probably won't ever see anyone ever again. Only in the virtual world.
This is nuts!
Possibly it cost so much because 300k won't buy you a real quarter-mile wide domed building/city on an asteroid? :P
Working as a real bouncer at real nightclubs I've seen plenty of people get real drunk and have fake fun times. Usually while their friends are holding them up against a wall or holding their hair while they puke in the gutter. Whoo-hoo! Party. Physical sale of intellectual property happens all the time. Plus effort of development? People spend millions on paintings and those you just look at.
To all the people saying "Get a "real" life"
Real life often sucks. That's why the biggest entertainment industry in the world is video games.
Is that the starcraft mothership?
This reminds me of the virtual world in the Syfy tv show Caprica. It also reminds me of the Matrix, or the Startrek Holodeck or Tron. Who knows what the future may bring. Perhaps the virtual world will be very popular in the decades to come, and perhaps millions or billions of people will simply live in that virtual world 24/7.
I just want to know if I can partner up for a piece of the pie
reminds me of that Surrogate movie. That doesn't seem like a distant reality at all.
Hmmmmm....actually an interesting idea and proof positive that gaming, more importantly GAMBLING, has a business opportunity in Cyberspace. 'Course, most already know this and would point out the many gambling sites that are out there. But I daresay none have packaged their product in quite the same style. It'll be really interesting to see how this develops as 3D continues to expand its influence (thinking along the lines of Microsofts Kinect, etc.).
It leads to the obvious question, though......how long before the Cyber-Mafia shows up asking for their cut of the action, eh?
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@ thor0997: Video games are bigger than sports, worldwide? About a trillion or 4...+? just in US when you count em all, from Tee Ball to tennis and skiing, NFL NBA MLB WMBA, all schools, all car-truck-motorcycle racing, pro wrestling, Olympics/training, martial arts, hunting, fishing, target shooting, surfing, all the associated expenses of all of these and the thousand or more I didn't list? Landspeed record attempts, hydroplanes, drag boats, swamp buggy airplanes-both racing and parachuting...Catfish noodling, ping pong, Marathons, biathlons, triathlons, Americas Cup, golf, boxing, The Calaveras County Frog Jumping Contest MIGHT qualify but we won't count it, MMA, archery, rowing, kayaking..................................etc...Oh, and by the way. I think there are even a few videogame sports now!!