Skip to main content

Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Richard Garriott selling vials of his blood on eBay

UPDATE: Pulled from eBay but actually selling on the Shroud of the Avatar store!

UPDATE 10th JULY: The blood reliquaries have been pulled from eBay. There's no trace of them nor any specific reason they were removed, although as Kotaku pointed out, selling blood is against eBay rules under the 'Human remains and body parts policy', which sounds wonderfully grisly.

Nevertheless, the blood reliquaries have not disappeared. They are now for sale on the Shroud of the Avatar store - and three out of five have sold!

Of the three that sold, two contained Richard 'Lord British' Garriot's blood and one contained executive producer Starr 'Darkstarr' Long's blood (who is a famed veteran developer that was also instrumental in making Ultima Online happen).

The cheapest you can buy the blood reliquary bundles is $6000. Two were sold for $6000 and one at $8000, and 10 per cent of the sale price goes to charity. Those are eye-watering figures but they're nothing new to Shroud of the Avatar, which has a property market already commanding thousands of dollars - something I looked into earlier this year. It's worth pointing out, too, that the reliquary purchases come with much more than the art pieces containing the two men's blood.

There's a studio tour thrown in, plus lots of valuable in-game loot, such as a property deed to a castle in a player-owned town as well as exclusive blood fountains, decorations, elemental pets, emotes, cloaks - even the brilliant option to have the water in your player-owned town turn blood red. There's a heap more stuff in the Lord British Blood Reliquary Bundle besides.

Shroud of the Avatar is approaching its final server wipe, which happens 28th July. Characters and property will per persistent from that point on, so the fight for ideal housing locations will begin. Shroud of the Avatar as a game will remain in Early Access, though, because 'final wipe' does not mean 'launch'. "Launch will be when we pull the game out of Early Access and we start marketing / public relation campaigns to pull in new customers," wrote Starr Long in an update on the game's website. "We have no plans to do those things in July."

ORIGINAL STORY 8TH JULY: You can now buy the blood of Ultima creator Richard "Lord British" Garriott on eBay.

Garriott is selling his bodily fluid by the vial for $5k (around £3.8k). You'll get the blood in a reliquary and also receive loads of in-game items for Garriott's current project Shroud of the Avatar.

As PR stunts go - and crowdfunding ideas - it is novel.

But it also remains to be seen if anyone will buy one.

"The Lord British Blood Reliquary is a beautiful and unique piece of art made of bakelite, copper, nails, glass, and mirrored glass that can be hung on your wall," the eBay listing reads.

"It contains the 'Blood of Lord British' which was collected and recorded in this video [embedded below]. There are only six of these rare jewels so do not hesitate to make this your own."

With your purchase of Garriott blood you also get to visit the developer's studio in Austin, Texas (although your travel there is not included).

Below you can watch Garriott get his blood taken (by a trained nurse - and don't try this at home, no one wants to buy your blood either).

Watch on YouTube