Feeds

Online game given real-life bank permit

Offworld banking through Entropia Universe

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.