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Penny arcade: Gaming site cashes out shareholders at 56 cents

The failure of an online gaming community has left one of its investors, who was also an employee, with 56 cents and diluted stock.

According to Gawker’s Valley Wag, users were encouraged to customize a cartoon 3D avatar and purchase virtual goods by dollars.

It might’ve been cutesy and derivative, but according to the company, it was also profitable — a rarity even for the best ideas. Meez was greeted by write-ups in the San Francisco Chronicle, Forbes, and Time—although the latter named it one of the “five worst websites” of 2007. From that point on, it was clear a pixellated tween dollhouse wasn’t going to be a longterm moneymaker, and the site’s brief popularity diminished. So did its bank accounts.

The San Francisco-based Meez was $16 million in arrears, with no way of paying it off. So it recapitalized, diluted stock in the company 8,000,000 to 1, and cashed everyone right out of the company, hence 56 cents for one guy.

By the way, basic Muni bus fare for an adult is $2.