For a game that isn’t even released so far, Shroud of the Avatar is making serious bank on player housing. From entry-level plots that start at $100 to enormous $12,000 castles, it’s clear that Portalarium is mining the housing market for its revenue. And the crazy thing is, it’s working. Supporters are snapping up lots so quickly that in some cases, they’re sold out.
In a new piece over at Eurogamer, Richard Garriott talks about how Shroud of the Avatar took a cue from the housing demand of Ultima Online to create artificial scarcity and desirable locations in the upcoming fantasy title. “Regional value popped up frankly by accident in Ultima Online. We did not foresee it and we had no plan to shepherd it. [But with SOTA] we know that will be the case,” Garriott said.
With expensive lots and player towns that can run up to $9,000 a pop, Shroud of the Avatar’s housing market is serious business for the studio and backers who have invested thousands in these future properties.
Garriott promised that the studio is trying to play it smart with how it handles deeds, lots, and player towns: “Real estate is the most precious material of the game. We don’t want to swamp the world with new territory, with new lots, that suddenly those lots people paid a lot of money for are worthless; conversely we don’t want [prices] to sky-rocket either. We will do our best to make sure it doesn’t get out of control.”