It’s easy: all you do is sell a sparkly horse upgrade to your MMO client base.
… this morning Blizzard announced the online sale of a new “celestial steed” for use in WoW. These mounts cost $25 (on top of the retail price plus $15 monthly subscription). So in a world of free games and virtual items selling for a dollar or two, how popular could a $25 sparkly flying pony be?
Well, the queue for their purchase was at least up to over 91,000 people waiting in the queue earlier today. When I took a screen shot, it had fallen to “only” about 85,000.
90,000 X $25 = $2,250,000.
In one day. From one item. In a game that isn’t free to play anyway.
Also note that the horse in question doesn’t actually do anything different to a regular WoW horse except look pretty. So, there’s money to be made from virtual, intangible and functionless goods… provided you’ve got that client base there with money to spare, natch.
Speaking of mad things you can do in virtual worlds, how about building a Turing-complete 8 bit computer within the game Dwarf Fortress [via MetaFilter]?
All of a sudden the simulation hypothesis doesn’t seem quite so insane…