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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Two out of three ain't bad
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
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.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.