Entropia Universe

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Entropia Universe
Former logo
EngineCryEngine 2
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
ReleaseJanuary 30, 2003
Genre(s)Massively multiplayer online role-playing game, first-person shooter
Mode(s)Online multiplayer

Entropia Universe is a massively multiplayer online (MMORPG) virtual universe designed by the Swedish software company MindArk, based in Gothenburg.

Entropia uses a micropayment business model, in which players may buy in-game currency (PED - Project Entropia Dollars) with real money that can be redeemed back into U.S. dollars at a fixed exchange rate of 10:1. This means that virtual items acquired within Entropia Universe have a real cash value, and a participant may, at any time, initiate a withdrawal of their accumulated PED back into U.S. dollars according to the fixed exchange rate, minus transaction fees. The Entropia Universe is a direct continuation of Project Entropia.

Entropia Universe entered the Guinness World Records Book in both 2004 and 2008 for the most expensive virtual world objects ever sold. In 2009, a virtual space station, a popular destination, sold for $330,000.[1] This was then eclipsed in November 2010 when Jon Jacobs sold a club named "Club Neverdie" for $635,000; this property was sold in chunks, with the largest sold for $335,000.[2][3] The game has been described as dedicated to capitalism rather than quality of gameplay, and connecting the in-game labor with real world profits, in which sense it can be seen as a spiritual precursor to the play to earn model.[4]


The game can be played for free, but spending money on the in-game currency allows significant additional options like purchasing items, skills, deeds/shares, and services from other players. Nearly all of the main in-game activities require expendable resources which must be purchased. Items can also be crafted for use or for sale to other players.[citation needed]


In 1995, development of Entropia Universe (formerly Project Entropia) was started by two different groups - one in Sweden headed by Jan Welter Timkrans and one in Switzerland, headed by Benny Iggland. Initially taking place on the fictional Planet Calypso, the 2001 version used the NetImmerse 4 game engine. On May 20, 2002, the Commercial Open Trial began,[5] and the game was available to the public. With Version Update 4.2 on 28 January 2003, the game was considered "Gold".

Significant events and virtual property sales[edit]

  • December 14, 2004 – Game creators MindArk announced the conclusion of the first "Treasure Island Sale", a virtual island put up for auction. The winning bidder paid 265,000 PED (US$26,500) for the island, the highest price ever paid for a virtual item.
  • October 24, 2005 – A virtual "asteroid space resort" was bought by Jon "Neverdie" Jacobs for a sum of 1,000,000 PED (US$100,000), surpassing the sale of Treasure Island.
  • May 2, 2006 – MindArk announced the introduction of an ATM card enabling players to withdraw the real-world currency equivalent of their PED funds directly from any Versatel ATM. It was stated that $165 million had "passed through the game" in 2005 and that this figure was expected to double in 2006.[6]
  • October 17, 2006 – MindArk announced that Entropia Universe had reached 500,000 registered users.[7]
  • May 8, 2007 – MindArk announced the results of a "virtual banking license auction". These two-year exclusive licenses aimed to integrate real world banking systems into Entropia Universe, working similarly to real-world banks or pawn shops.[8] Initially, they would be provided with secure systems enabling them to lend money and collect interest, design and name their own virtual bank building(s), and make their own personnel available through avatars. Each winner would be required to add a further US$100,000 as working capital.[9] After months of bidding, the six licenses sold for a total of US$404,000.[10]


Entropia Universe - Fan magazine[edit]

The Gate
2002 The Gate #1, October 2002 The Gate #2, November 2002 The Gate #3, December 2002
2003 The Gate#4, February 2003 The Gate #5, March 2003 The Gate #6, April 2003 The Gate #7, May 2003
The Calypso Independence
2005 The Calypso Independence 1, September 2005 The Calypso Independence 2, November 2005 The Calypso Independence 3, December 2005
2006 The Calypso Independence 4, January 2006 The Calypso May 5, September 2006 The Calypso August 6, September 2006


  1. ^ "Man buys virtual space station for 330k real dollars". Retrieved 2010-06-23.
  2. ^ "Planet Calypso Player Sells Virtual Resort for $635,000.00 USD" (Press release). Retrieved 2010-11-13.
  3. ^ "And the asteroid goes to". Retrieved 2010-11-20.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Ong, Alexis (2021-11-06). "Before blockchain and NFTs, there was the real-cash MMO Entropia Universe". PC Gamer. Retrieved 2021-11-13.
  5. ^ "MindArk AB - We expand your universe!". www.mindark.com. Archived from the original on 18 February 2003. Retrieved 28 September 2022.
  6. ^ "Cash card taps virtual game funds". BBC News. 2 May 2006. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
  7. ^ "500k Users Press Release". Gamedaily.com.
  8. ^ "NEVERDIE Bank Interview" (PDF). 2007-05-04. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2010-05-21. Some may say they are like pawn shops, but in Entropia they are banks. There is no other way to get money forwarded or loaned securely.
  9. ^ Chloe Albanesius (2007-05-09). "Tycoons Buy In to New Virtual Banks". PC Magazine. Retrieved 2010-05-21.
  10. ^ "VIRTUAL WORLD ENTROPIA UNIVERSE ISSUE FIRST EVER VIRTUAL BANKING LICENSES FOR $446,000 MindArk Announces the Five Winners of the World's First Virtual Banking Licenses; Real World Banks and Celebrities Among the Buyers". PC Magazine. 2007-05-08. Retrieved 2010-05-21.

External links[edit]