The hidden virtual worlds out there never cease to amaze, with virtual items and property in MMOG Planet Calypso selling for enormous amounts of money.
First Planet Company, a subsidiary of MindArk that runs MMOG Planet Calypso, has announced that an in-game item called the Atrox Queen Egg recently sold for $69,696. That's in real dollars, not virtual currency. I say again, and this is not a joke, somebody bought a virtual egg for $70,000.
Planet Calypso is apparently the one and only active portal in MindArk's Entropia Universe (with more portals planned) where players purchase Planet Entropia Dollars (PED) with actual currency at an exchange rate of 10 PED to $1. PED can at any time be turned back into real money, minus transaction fees and assuming a minimum transaction amount, meaning that every item in Planet Calypso has a real cash value.
This Atrox Queen Egg was acquired by a player who completed a unique quest, and originally sold to Jon "NEVERDIE" Jacobs for $10,000 in 2006. In a public auction on Sunday, NEVERDIE (caps, man, caps) sold the virtual egg to David "Deathifier" Storey for the exorbitant sum.
This sale might seem strange, but NEVERDIE, Deathifier, and other Planet Calypso players have become moguls of the virtual world. Erik "Buzz Erik Lightyear" Novak bought the game's Crystal Palace Space Station for $330,000 back in January, the largest virtual purchase ever. NEVERDIE mortgaged his Miami home in 2005 to purchase an asteroid for $100,000, on which he earned profits from a virtual nightclub, mining/hunting rights, and property sales, reportedly recouping his investment very quickly. Deathifier bought an area called Treasure Island for $27,500 and made his money back in a year. This is all according to First Planet Company's press release.
The Atrox Queen Egg is a more unique story, as players still don't know when it will hatch, or what will happen if it does. Marco Behrmann, CEO of First Planet Company, says Planet Calypso is "introducing a new quest system soon" to perhaps generate an entirely new set of valuable items. When mother told me that I could never earn money by playing videogames, I believed her, though now it seems she could have been wrong. I just wonder if earning profit in Planet Calypso is as easy in practice as it's made out to be.