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This article was published on October 6, 2009

    Online text adventure turns 21 year-old geek into a millionaire

    Online text adventure turns 21 year-old geek into a millionaire
    Martin Bryant
    Story by

    Martin Bryant

    Founder

    Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

    tornFree online games are everywhere these days. With so much competition you might think that it would be pretty difficult for one person to become a millionaire from a text-based adventure with no graphics at all.

    Apparently not. According to The Telegraph, 21 year-old Joe Chedburn’s is now worth over a million pounds thanks to his game Torn.

    Focused on committing crimes in a fictional city, the game is free to play but it appears its players are keen to pay £3 per month to gain additional points and other enhancements. This reportedly rakes in £50,000 per month.

    It’s certainly an inspiring story for internet entrepreneurs and shows that users tend to value content above graphics. England-based Chedburn, quoted by The Telegraph, says:

    “I suppose when I was younger my parents used to tell me off for spending too much time on my computer but they are quite happy with what I am doing now.

    “My father helps me quite a lot and I will go to him for advice about the business side of things.

    “I have always been interested in computers and I am really lucky to be able to make money out of doing something that I really enjoy.

    “Some days I can spend all day working on the site and sometimes it runs on its own but I am looking to expand it.”

    Obviously concerned about Grand Theft Auto-style criticisms of the game’s crime theme, Chedburn is keen to empahsise the game’s social side. He claims the game is more about meeting people than glamorising criminal behaviour.

    Like all good online social services, Torn has even got its own “Users meet online and marry in real life” anecdote.