Before blockchain and NFTs, there was the real-cash MMO Entropia Universe

In 2004, a year after the launch of MindArk’s real-money economy game Entropia Universe, user Deathifier bought a treasure island on Planet Calypso for 265,000PED (Project Entropia Dollars—equal to $26,500). The treasure island made history as the most expensive virtual item owned at the time, and Deathifier claimed to break even within a year. He set about filling the island with special mobs, levied a tax on visitors, sold houses, and posted updates on the theft of a Green Atrox egg for which he offered a 50PED ($5) reward. 

Deathifier’s tale of entrepreneurship is a precursor to the current discussions on blockchain gaming

Over time, the Swedish MMORPG unveiled more planets, some of which are owned and operated by other companies like Creative Kingdom (Planet Cyrene) and Beladcom (Planet Toulan). It rolled out all the features you’d expect to see in a real-cash playground: real estate, pets, resorts, malls, vehicles, and an ATM-style system to cash out in-game earnings. 


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