I often joke with our readers that Massively OP is not an MMO uptime monitor, but darn if we don’t feel like a Richard Garriott uptime monitor lately — love him or hate him, the man is on one hell of a PR tour for his book and Portalarium’s crowdfunding. So what’s one of the founding fathers of the MMORPG genre and the current boss at Shroud of the Avatar doing today? Boosting Neverdie Studios.Project Entropia player bought an asteroid in the game for $100,000 and then flipped it a few years later for more than six times that, ultimately setting a Guinness record and claiming to be the “first gamer to make a million dollars inside a virtual world”? That player was Jon “Neverdie” Jacobs, and Neverdie Studios is his real-world secure bitcoin-like-trading venture promoting “Etherium Blockchain Gaming,” which amounts to peer-to-peer online money trading and is of particular to interest to online gaming studios. The company has apparently already raised $2 million in a pre-sale and has now launched an “initial coin offering” (ICO) whereby people can invest in the tech.
Jacobs wastes no time getting into character in today’s press release touting the alliance. “This is a historic accord between two iconic avatars aligning to champion avatar rights,” he writes. “With the wise council of Richard ‘Lord British’ Garriott, a legendary avatar, adventurer and world builder providing priceless insight into the development of the gamified virtual reality infrastructure to unite MMORPGS and virtual worlds, I’m confident that our noble ambitions will remain virtuous and have the greatest chance to succeed. Richard’s council on the structure and balance of universal gaming tokens will be invaluable.”
In endorsing Neverdie, Garriott himself argues that Portalarium supports the idea that “people living in and contributing to our virtual worlds can and should earn real world value for the time and value they bring to our world” and says he’s exploring how to make that work in Shroud of the Avatar — a first, he believes, for the genre.