Feeds

Online game given real-life bank permit

Offworld banking through Entropia Universe

Security for virtualized datacentres

Publishers of the online game Entropia Universe have been granted a real-life banking license by Swedish officials. They plan to open a government-insured virtual bank for the game within a year.

The sci-fi universe of Entropia already lets players exchange real money for virtual funds used to but items, business, and trade on the game's fictional world of Calypso. The game's currency, PED (Project Entropia Dollars), has a fixed rate with the US dollar, where 10 PED equals $1.

With a banking license granted by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, Entropia's publisher MindArk gets government insurance on deposits up to about $60,000 for each customer.

Gothenburg-based MindArk also plans to offer common bank services like lending, interest-bearing accounts, direct deposit of paychecks, and bill payment according to the Associated Press.

Entropia screen shot courtesy MindArk

Sinking astronomical amounts of cash into Entropia isn't unheard of. The game has twice entered the Guinness World Records for the most expensive virtual world items ever sold. In 2004, a 22-year-old Australian payed the equivalent of $26,500 to own a mutant-infested Treasure Island in the game. Later, the player Jon "NEVERDIE" Jacobs bought a virtual night-club asteroid for the equivalent of $100,000. Despite mortgaging his house to make the purchase, Jacobs claims to have made a profit on the deal by selling licenses to hunt monsters and mine resources on the asteroid.

Unlike games that forbid exchanging virtual items and currency for real money, it's just a shave short of being required in Entropia for any advanced gameplay. Joining is free and doesn't require a monthly subscription, but players begin as colonist poppers on the world of Calypso with only a damaged jumpsuit and a pair of gray shoes to call their own. If they don't fork over real cash for a roll of PEDs, new players must attempt to eek out a living with (virtual) manual labor like the gathering and selling of fruit and dung for other players.

Altogether, Mindarc claims the game's economy was worth about $420m last year. They currently have about 850,000 registered accounts — but these types of figures tend to be super-inflated way to measure the population because it counts inactive accounts along with those spending thousands of dollars. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.