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Man Spends $100,000 On Virtual Space Station In Online Game

Posted by inet - 2005-11-10

In one of the largest sales yet of property in an online game, a Miami resident has bought a virtual space station for $100,000 and wants to turn it into a cross between Jurassic Park and a disco.
Jon Jacobs, a director of independent films, plans to call the space resort, in the science-fiction themed game Project Entropia, "Club Neverdie." Like other land areas in the game that has been visited by 300,000 players, the resort grounds will spawn dinosaur-like monsters, which visitors can kill.

Jacobs will take a cut of the virtual resources that the carcasses yield, like hides.

Jacobs, 39, plans to hire famous disc jockeys to entertain visitors once a week or so at the resort but still reckons on netting $20,000 a month from the hunting tax and other income. "I want to operate this thing at the level of a major nightclub in a major city," Jacobs said.

Jacobs bought the property late last month from MindArk PE AB, Project Entropia's Swedish developer. The game, which has no subscription fee, has its own currency but it's convertible at a fixed rate to dollars.

About a quarter of the purchase money came from Jacobs' in-game earnings.

Over three years playing Project Entropia, Jacobs accumulated items that later became worth thousands of dollars, like first-aid kits and powerful weapons.

He sold those items last year to buy an island in Project Entropia, but was outbid - it sold for $26,500, the previous record sale in that world.

He refinanced his house shortly after and considered investing some of the cash in the hot Miami real-estate market, but he realized that if he bought a rental property, it really wouldn't generate any income beyond what he'd pay for the mortgage and repairs.

So he invested the proceeds in the game.

IGE, a leading broker of game property, said it has handled deals worth more than $100,000, but would not provide details because of client confidentiality.

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