Technology

Virtual asteroid run as Entropia club sold for profit

Club Neverdie
The asteroid was operated as a virtual club

A gamer who made headlines when he bought a virtual asteroid for $100,000 (£56,200) in 2005 has sold it for $635,000 (£395,000).

It is a new world record for the sale of a virtual object.

British "virtual entrepreneur" Jon Jacobs had been operating the asteroid as a club called Neverdie within virtual reality role-playing platform Entropia Universe.

It had been generating a yearly profit of around £125,000 a year, he said.

The sale could give new impetus to the virtual economy.

Millionaires

So-called massively multi-player online role playing games (MMORPG) have been operating virtual economies for years.

In March 2009 Entropia Universe was granted a licence to operate as a bank.

Last year the Crystal Space Station, also within the Entropia Universe, was bought for $333,000 (£205,000).

There are lessons for the increasingly popular casual games, such as Facebook's Farmville, thinks Mr 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," he predicted.

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