Yan Panasjuk broke the world record for the most expensive virtual purchase when he bought “Club Neverdie,” a structure in the online sci-fi game Entropia Universe. For the price of an actual house, Panasjuk paid $335,000 for this piece of pixelated real estate, which includes seven virtual bio-domes, one virtual stadium, a virtual nightclub, and virtual mall.
In an interview with Forbes, the 35-year-old Boston native explained his decision:
When motion pictures were first invented there were a lot of critics saying that it is a novelty act and it would never amount to anything nor will be able to make any real money once the novelty wears off—last time I checked Avatar has grossed 2.7 billion dollars worldwide. Most recent example is MTV and Internet but then you know those stories well enough.
Virtual Universe is the next logical step in world of entertainment and although there are a lot of critics and people shaking heads, it is here to stay and take its ranks among the greats.
Though Entropia Universe is hardly the most popular MMO—or Massively Multiplayer Online game—it is one of the few that “maintains a consistent exchange rate between its virtual currency and those in the real world. That means anything and everything in Entropia has a very real and, to its players, worthwhile value.”
Case in point: Panasjuk has announced that with his purchase, he’s decided to cut back on his real job as a software developer so he can devote 40 to 60 hours a week to game play.