Paying $16,000 USD for any kind of sword sounds a little high - But for one that doesn't even exist? That has to be a first. Apparently, that is exactly what an avid Chinese gamer recently forked out. Even more amazing? The virtual sword is part of a brand new video game that has not even been released yet.
The over-priced virtual weapon was sold in late December in an online auction organized by Snail Games, the developer of a highly anticipated Chinese video game called 'Age of Wulin'. Scheduled for beta release in the spring of 2012, the game is based on the ancient Chinese folklore about martial arts adventurers and heroes known as the Wulin. The multi-player game will allow fans to meet online and challenge each other in fantasy settings. The sword was highly coveted because it will be the only one of its kind and most likely, give the owner with an edge over his competitors.
Though the sword was the auction's most talked-about sale, other virtual goods got some decent bids too. One dubbed the Lordly Spear Sheath fetched $2,500 USD, while another called the Sheath of the Hook of Departure sold for $1,600 USD. In order to be amongst the first to play the game, many fans also snatched up pre-paid time cards for $15 USD apiece.
In case you are thinking of yourself getting some expensive non-existent goods, the English version of the Age of Wulin is also in the works - No word on whether they will try auction off another sword though!
While buying virtual goods may not make sense to some of you, it is in fact an extremely profitable business for software developers and social networking companies. Experts estimate that in 2011 fans spent over $2.1 Billion USD buying imaginary goods and services - And that number, is for the US only! Have you ever made a virtual purchase? If so, be sure to let us know, by adding your comments below.
Resources: odditycentral.com, msnbc.com