Man buys $16k virtual sword for unfinished game

Want to get rich quick? Have you considered selling virtual items? What about virtual items for a game that hasn’t been created yet? If you play your cards right, you can make a decent pile of cash – like Chinese developer Snail Games, who has netted a handy $21,000 for upcoming game Age of Wulin – which is not quite ready to play yet.

Adventurers and heroes of the martial arts world are called the Wulin.
They are masters of Kung-Fu and also follow the code of Xia, which
stands for duty, honour, righteousness, courage but also mercy.
Are you one of them?

Age of Wulin is a free-to-play martial arts MMO which kicked off closed beta testing in mainland China on December 25th. As part of pre-launch preparations, the developers decided to hold an auction for various virtual bits and pieces – and we’re guessing they weren’t quite anticipating the level of interest the sale gathered.

One of ten sheathes for the in-game Hook of Departure was snapped up for $1,600, before a Lordly Spear sheath (one of five) sold for $2,500 (note: these aren’t actual weapons, merely virtual scabbards). These two sales pale in comparison next to one lucky gamer, who was so determined to pick up the perfect in-game item – the one-of-a-kind Dragon Slaying Sabre Scabbard – that he handed over almost $16,000 in real money – before seeing how it works.

The lucky buyer, with an image of his Dragon Slaying Sabre Scabbard

The lucky buyer, with an image of his Dragon Slaying Sabre Scabbard

Sure, we’ve seen plenty of bizarre and expensive microtransactions, and in this world where free-to-play is becoming more and more popular, they’re only going to become more and more common. It remains to be said though, spending your hard-earned real-world money for something which hasn’t launch – and, by definition – may never launch (let alone stick around for any great length of time), seems a little obsessive.

We’re also not sure if the man’s new sword will be in some way bound to his character – or if he’s likely to lose it the first time he dies and someone loots his fallen corpse.

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