A 21-year-old computer whizzkid has become a millionaire and takes home £50,000 a month after he created a hit online computer game.
In Torn players earn points and status by carrying out muggings, murders and heists in an imaginary city. Photo: TORN.COM
Joe Chedburn, a self-confessed geek, was just 16 when he came up with the idea to write an online game focused on crime.
Torn, which is text-based and has no graphics, grew quickly and now has around 41,000 active users with over 1.3 million account holders.
Although the game is free to play users can pay £3 every month to receive extra points and status.
Most players are willing to pay enabling the site to make around £50,000-a-month. Joe, from Frome, Somerset, is now a millionaire at the age of 21.
He said: “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.” Joe briefly studied IT after leaving school but turned his back on education in order to concentrate on making improvements to his online game.
His father, who is an architect, has helped him with the financial side and Joe, who owns his own house, now has a business valued at over £1million.
In Torn players earn points and status by carrying out muggings, murders and heists in an imaginary city.
But Joe claims the game is about “meeting people” not committing crimes and revealed one couple have even married because of Torn.
He said: “We are talking about an imaginary world and role playing. This is really about meeting people online, not committing crimes.
“We have even had people who have met through Torn City who have ended up getting married to each other.
“I have always been interested in text-based games and I went to someone with my ideas when I was bout 15.
“They weren’t interested in what I was doing so I decided to set up my own game and it just took off from there.
“There was a lot of interest from the start and things have really picked up in the last year or so.”
Joe’s game is free to play at http://www.torn.com
Published: 7:42AM BST 06 Oct 2009
Source: The Telegraph