You might have missed it but a few weeks ago Konami, the Japanese gaming company, launched their latest title Metal Gear Solid V. In amongst all the fanfare for one of the world’s most popular computer game franchises came something new – the game will feature the ability to insure property within the game.
That led to us wondering, is it time for insurance companies to get into the gaming industry? After all, while the Konami scheme is run within the game – there have been other gaming moments where players, at least in hindsight, must have regretted not having insurance for their gaming investments.
EVE Online is a massive multi-player online (MMO) space simulator. In the game, you can be anyone you want to be in a futuristic universe. Players devote weeks, months and even years to collecting credits and growing their space armadas. These armadas cost real money and are valued in real money within the game itself.
Twice now, players have essentially ripped off large groups of other players in the game for in game currency worth thousands of pounds in the real world. The most recent heist happened earlier this year with $13,000 worth of currency stolen.
Legend of Mir
Over in China, they take their gaming really seriously. In fact when one player of Legend of Mir (a fantasy style) MMO borrowed another player’s “dragon sabre” in the game and then refused to give it back – we learned just how seriously they take their gaming.
Qiu Chengwei was so angry at the loss of this super weapon (worth just under $1,000 in real terms) that he visited the thief at home and stabbed him to death. Qiu is now serving a 15 year sentence at the Chinese government’s pleasure.
World of Warcraft
In a slightly less traditional crime, the World of Warcraft guild Serenity Now decided to help honour the death of a real world player. Actually, no they didn’t. In what must be one of the least pleasant efforts in the history of gaming – mourners arrived at a virtual funeral for the player only to be massacred by Serenity Now; who apparently couldn’t understand how this might upset the player’s friends and family. (You can see the whole sorry tale here but be warned some of it is NSFW).
Insurance and Gaming
There are many other tales of woe and peculiarity affecting the gaming world. Perhaps, it’s time for an insurer to come to the rescue? To work with players to protect them against losses, death and indignity through the act of gaming itself?
We appreciate that this kind of insurance is not going to attract vast premiums but in the days of micro-payments via PayPal or mobile phones – surely tens of millions of £5 payments a year might be of interest to an insurer? Let us know what you think in the comments below.