So this post is sort of old news, but I wanted to point it out because there is a serious amount of money changing hands. Dean Takahashi at GamesBeat reports that an entire space station in Planet Calypso of the Project Entropia Universe. This is a big deal for several reasons.
First, it’s a lot of money–a LOT of money considering we’re in the middle of a real real estate crisis. So maybe it’s a good sign for the economic recovery. Although who knows, maybe this Buzz “Eric” Lightyear is actually a banker at Goldman Sachs blowing off some of his bonus money, but I digress. It’s an important step because it shows that people are still serious about the future of virtual worlds.
Second, the sale should raise some red flags for law enforcement and revenue agencies. We know cops are already watching virtual world transactions for money laundering, but if they were just watching well-known worlds like Second Life, this deal should cause them to look at other games that involve RMT. The IRS should also take note because, although this sale was between a player and the game company, the player clearly believes that s/he can make money on the space station in the future and Uncle Sam is going to want a cut of the action.
Virtual worlds may still carry the ignominy of triviality associated with games, but this deal shows that the number of people who take these “games” seriously is only trending in one direction: upwards.