How I Made My First $5,000 through an Online Game

By Mat

I’ve written this short post to show you that you can basically make money online through anything. To start, let me take you back to 2005, yep, a whole six years ago. I had just turned 13, was still in school and was addicted to an online game called Habbo (formerly Habbo Hotel). Habbo describes itself as a social networking site aimed at teenagers but I’d call it a gateway drug to addiction and gambling. In short, you create avatars and are put in a virtual Hotel where you can interact with other users, buy furniture for your room with in-game credits and essentially waste time in a virtual world. Read more at their Wikipedia page.

So I started playing in 2005, less than a year after it launched here in Australia. Pretty soon it took up a lot of my time; I would play after school for several hours and would spend the weekends either at home playing or at my mate’s house playing. The addiction came from the trading and betting aspect of the game. It didn’t take me long to amass a small fortune of in-game items. My goal for the game (which sort of reflects my real life goals) was to increase the wealth of my avatar through trading furniture and gambling through the in-game “casinos”. This goal was shared among many of the users which ended up with a sort of underground marketplace. People would buy and sell in-game items meanwhile avoiding mentioning this in the game as it would result in suspension of your account.

As with anything that isn’t allowed to be purchased, demand was massive and prices were high. I decided that I wanted to get into this market. I ended up selling all of my furniture (in-game items) on eBay which brought in just over $1,000.00. I was still hungry for more so I set my eyes upon the richest user. Over the next few weeks I convinced him to sell me half of his “fortune”. This consisted of 100 items which I bought for $10.00 each which used up the $1,000.00 I had made prior. I was pretty excited to be the richest Habbo and contemplated whether or not to just keep the items and live a long and happy life as the richest user in a virtual world. Obviously I didn’t and went on listing 100 of these items on eBay as well as selling to my Habbo contacts on my Instant Messengers. Each of these products sold for $50.00 each. As the demand was extremely high, it only took me a few weeks to run out of stock.

In the end, playing Habbo made me close to $5,000.00 in profit which I ended up spending on the development of one of my first ever websites. I think it’s a great lesson that you can virtually make money playing online games. I know a lot of people who play games like Runescape and make hundreds of dollars every week selling shit on their. Next time you go play an online game, think if it’s possible to turn your in-game credits to real life moolah.

tl;dr turned virtual moolah into real moolah.



11 Responses to How I Made My First $5,000 through an Online Game

  1. Zac says:

    Nice article, as usual; interesting. I was aware that things like this went on, but I didn’t realize it could make you this much money!

    Later,

    Zac

  2. Dave Marsh says:

    Funny, I used to play Habbo and didn’t make any money from it. Guess I was doing it wrong.

  3. Mary Paliwal says:

    This looks like the shortest article on sofamoolah and it’s the only 1 that got a tl;dr? lol

  4. Mizko says:

    What i noticed is if any online game offers “purchasable items” that game has a potential in making money on. If the developers can afford to spend time in developing additional
    “special” items etc. it obviously means there is a demand for them and their gamification tactics will push for these actions.

    Some games which i made some moolah (small amounts as i get bored of games quite quickly) include Runescape and Gunbound :)

    • Mat says:

      I have to agree with you. While I don’t really play any online games now, you can tell some games these days have the ability to make you some money.

      Hurry up and add a blog onto your site so you can post this shit. Got a reader here.

  5. Lee Jacobson says:

    Interesting.
    I used to play habbo when I was younger and I was quite interested in the trading aspect of the game.
    I wasn’t aware Ebay allowed people to sell these types of virtual items? I thought it was against their terms of service?

    • Mat says:

      It’s not allowed now, it was though in ’05. I also did the whole “You’re buying a joke and you get these items for free” type listing. Stupid, but they never got taken off.

      • Design 311 says:

        After I read this post I was checking ebay, I didn’t see any items for any game. So this explains why. Do you think that they’ll leave your auction up when you’re selling a joke and giving away items for free?

        That reminds me of the Google Chrome OS Notebook (Google CR-48 Notebook) they were being sold on ebay for “free” as well, because google didn’t allow selling the item.

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