On Wednesday EA introduced the Koenigsegg CCX "Elite" Edition, a virtual sports car that can be purchased within the free-to-play MMOG, Need For Speed World. According to the company, it's the game's first "premium elite" car, and will cost virtual drivers a meaty $100 in real-world cash to own. Guess that's cheaper than owning the real thing, right? Probably safer, too.
"Gamers will notice a few firsts in NFS World, when they feast their eyes on the stenciled logos on the front windshield and also the burnt titanium exhaust tips!" EA writes in a blog. "The detail doesn’t stop there as the interior has been treated to a matching swatch of the exterior, with blue seats and yellow stripe."
"The exclusive custom carbon fiber widebody kit was designed to allow for a widened track, which allows for better overall traction," EA adds. "The front fascia has been radically restyled with a mid-wing mounted in the front bumper. The roofline has also been modified to incorporate two massive roof scoops, feeding air to its hungry engine. A new massive carbon rear wing has been mounted directly to the chassis and is a one-off piece specific to not only this car, but this particular kit."
As of Thursday, Need For Speed World had signed on more than 5 million users. Given the game's free-to-play model, EA is looking to make cash on in-game transactions like the current sale of its "premium elite" car. Gamers who don't have $100 to dump into a virtual set of wheels can actually purchase the car for $75 in a clearance sale that ends on Wednesday, December 21.
Still, think $75 is steep for a virtual item? That's mere pennies compared to some of the virtual real estate that is bought and sold for cash in Entropia Universe. Back in April one piece of property -- an Asteroid Space Resort to be more specific -- sold for $6 million USD, setting a new world record. Jon "Neverdie" Jacobs originally bought the property back in 2005 for a meager $100K USD which in itself set a new record. Six years later, he was $5.9M richer and didn't really purchase or sell anything physical.
As far as we know, Need For Speed World won't sell anything quite so expensive, but both the $100 automobile and the $6M virtual resort only goes to show that the free-to-play model does in fact work, and that PC gamers are willing to shell out insane amounts of money to support their gaming habit.