Online gaming has grown over the past twenty years to become a huge phenomenon that sees millions of players battling, trading and questing together, as they look to improve their characters and improve their stats. While most people are happy to do this the old fashioned way, some want to take shortcuts and rather than spending countless hours developing their virtual selves, they elect to spend real world cash. This practice has seen in-game items sell for hundreds and even thousands of dollars.
In other cases, developers actively promote the selling and buying of virtual items. Some of these games have markets that are just as sophisticated as the ones used by real life traders and bankers. This article will explore those games and look at the most expensive video game items that have ever been sold, either within the titles themselves or through other means such as eBay.
The Blue Party Hat is a special item that can be worn by players in the free MMORPG Runescape. It could only be acquired in-game from Christmas crackers, but players only have a very small chance of ever getting them. Adding to the rarity of the Blue Party Hats though, was the fact that the vast majority of players simply discarded them when they were given out in crackers, as they had no real use in the game. That incredible rarity has made them the most valuable item in the game, with a value that is equivalent to the maximum amount of gold that can be carried by any player. This has made the hats not only very valuable, but also units of currency themselves, used by the very rich in Runescape to represent a certain amount of gold in trades.
During a run in the Tower of the Damned, a player known as shineCDN found some loot that included a number of legendary items. While the majority of the loot was mundane and not very valuable, one weapon in particular immediately stood out. The Manticore Crossbow came with high-end stats, making it incredibly powerful and the player made it available to buy in-game. The winning offer of 12.375 billion gold translates to a real world cost of roughly $3,500, making the find one of the luckiest in the history of Diablo 3.
Eve Online is well known for its huge marketplace and player-run economy. Some of the biggest and most expensive ships in the game can easily reach values of between $3,000 and $5,000. One ship though, was worth even more than those Titans were. The Revenant Super Carrier had an in-game value of billions of ISK, a value that can be converted using the PLEX system to $9,000. Unfortunately for the owner, the ship was destroyed shortly after its construction was completed. The reason for the extreme rarity and therefore, the extremely high value, is simply that the Revenant Super Carrier blueprint that is used to build it has a very low drop rate. Since the blueprint is so difficult to beat, this makes the ship so rare that there were only two other ships of the same type in-game, at the time.
The Echoing Fury Mace was found as loot in Diablo 3 and it was promptly sold through internet forums for a price of just $250. It was then passed between a variety of different players before it again made its way to a public sale. Bidding for the legendary weapon soon escalated, until a high bid of 40 billion gold won, an amount that has a real life value of around $14,000. The high value was due mainly to the rarity of the item and the powerful stats that the weapon had, stats that made it one of the best available in the game.
The developers for the MMO Age of Wulin held an auction in 2011 to sell a number of different items that would be put into the game when it eventually released in 2013. Most of the items sold for relatively little amounts, while some special pieces of armor and weapons went on to raise just $1,000 each. The biggest selling item though, was the Dragon Slaying Sabre scabbard. The one-of-a-kind sword would not be available to any other players, making it a truly unique item and from the looks of it, highly desirable. The winning bid in the auction ended at 100,000 Yuan, a sum that is roughly $16,000.
The Ethereal Flames Pink War Dog is a courier in Valve’s Dota 2 that sold in a private transaction for $38,000 within a day of the listing going online. Couriers act just as you would expect, they transport loot and other items back to your home-base. This leaves you free to continue to defend your own tower and not have to leave it unattended while taking back the items yourself. Players in Dota 2 can buy a variety of different skins that can drop from special crates that cost real money to open. What makes this particular courier so valuable though, is the fact that it combines several rare features, such as the pink color, the fact it is a war dog and the ethereal flames aesthetic effect.
Amsterdam was one of the most popular locations in Second Life, due to several factors. It had an incredibly detailed build, with faithful reproductions of several areas of the real-life Amsterdam, including a canal, train station and a large public square. It also played host to big events that many carried out in the game, such as live concerts and other gatherings, making it a prime location for anyone looking to break into business. However, the biggest attraction to the vast majority of players who visited was the array of shops selling sex toys. With its previous owners looking to create a new adult orientated location, they listed Amsterdam for sale on eBay, where it eventually sold for $50,000.
Entropia Universe is a unique game-in that was designed from the ground up to allow players to trade property and items, just as in the real world. It has a conversion rate of 10 in-game PEDs to $1, and allows players to withdraw and deposit actual currency into the game, making it a viable way to make a living for some users. Crystal Palace was a popular destination in Entropia Universe and had a sizable income, as the owner could set taxes for players using the station. It sold in 2009, for a price of 3,300,000 PEDs ($330,000) to a user called "Buzz Erik Lightyear" after a bidding war between several players.
We've already spoken about Entropia Universe earlier in the article, as it is well known for its high selling items. However, this particular sale eclipses every other in-game item that has ever sold in a video game. After owning Club Neverdie for several years, Jon Jacobs decided to sell the asteroid space resort in 2010. He sold each section of the location separately, bringing in a total of $635,000. The biggest individual sale was the main section of the asteroid that went for a record $335,000. Jacobs had originally bought the resort in 2008, for $100,000 and made his money back on the investment after just one year of trading.