Virtual nightclub sells for record sum

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Well, bricks and mortar may be selling for pennies, but it seems there's one type of real estate where the housing boom continues - the virtual world.

Jon Jacobs, known in the massively multiplayer Entropia Universe game as Neverdie, has just sold his virtual asteroid, Club Neverdie, for $635,000 - in real money.

It's a new world record for the sale of a virtual object. The previous top price, also for a property within the Entropia Universe, was achieved when Erik Novak bought the Crystal Space Station for $330,000 in 2009 last year.

Jacobs re-mortgaged his house to buy the asteroid in 2005, for a then world record figure of $100,000.

In the sale, a number of online bidders bought one or more domes on the asteroid, with prices beginning at $25,000. The largest single purchase was by John Foma Kalun and totalled $335,000.

The virtual asteroid will now be re-named, as Jon Jacobs retained the rights to the Club Neverdie name. The club's been making profits of over $200,000 a year.

"Casual online games and micro transactions have exploded in the last couple of years with the combination of social networking sites like Facebook and games like Farmville, but these online communities don’t provide opportunities for individuals to earn meaningful income in the same way that a deeply immersive Virtual World or an MMO where the virtual items have an intrinsic value can," says Jacobs.

"As soon as the Facebook generation wake up and embrace virtual reality, we are going to see a giant wave of virtual world millionaires instead of just a handful of billionaire software developers."