Final Fantasy XIV: Think the Auckland housing market is bad? Check this out
If you thought buying a house in Auckland was hard, try Final Fantasy XIV.
The online role playing game's virtual world is facing an acute housing shortage, Kotaku reports.
Discontent has been simmering for years among fans of the game over the lack of houses available for players to buy.
But those grumbles became outright anger when gamers realised just two players owned 28 pieces of prime virtual real estate.
Kotaku reports that the two players, who go by the names Martyr Igeyorhm and Seraph Altima, bought up large swathes of land on the server Mateus to ensure "privacy" for their luxurious custom-made homes.
The server was largely deserted when they bought the land, but since then an influx of players has put strain on the housing market.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in a fantasy world where players fight monsters, complete quests and craft both magic and mundane items.
The game, which has existed in various forms since 2010, introduced houses 2011. Producer Naoki Yoshida emphasised fair land distribution when the online property was made available.
However since then houses have become out of reach for many ordinary players with costs spiralling up as speculators and players prepared to invest large amounts of time or money into the game monopolised property.
Some players did not even use their houses, electing instead to keep them as status symbols.
There is a Final Fantasy XIV version of MTV's Cribs, showing off some of the game's more elaborate abodes.
There is around one house for every two players in the game. Unfurnished, a house costs the real-world equivalent of NZ$27.50. Players are only allowed to buy one each, but there are a range of ways to cheat the system.
Speaking to Kotaku, Seraph Altima estimated her and Martyr Igeyorhm's 28 property holdings would have been worth $515 if they had paid real-world money for the currency they earned in the game.
She said the pair had been abused online by people who thought they were hogging the available land, but didn't realise the amount of work they had put into their houses.
"I think it's wrong that people ignore the work and just see themselves being deprived," she said.