by Cody
“Micajah” Bye

Misunderstandings are fairly common day-to-day occurrences for most
people. We’ll say something that seems logical to us, and the
person who hears us make our plain statement will blow it completely
out of proportion. Even individuals who have known each other for years
will have misunderstandings or misconceptions about what they expect
from the other person in their relationship. Some of the biggest events
in world history have begun through simple misunderstandings between
two cultures.

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style="font-style: italic;">Marco Behrmann
explains the concepts behind Entropia Universe and its unique business

Misunderstandings were also the biggest dilemma weighing on the mind of
Marco Behrmann, CIO of Entropia Universe, as he sat in front of me at
his game’s booth in the Leipzig Games Convention. For those
of you that aren’t familiar with the game, Entropia Universe
is an MMOG that was constructed purely on the idea of a unique business
model. In Entropia, every item in the game can be purchased with real
money. This sort of sentiment on top of the constant pushing of Mindark
that Entropia is a true “virtual world” rather than
a game has led many individuals to believe EU is more akin to Second
Life than an actual MMOG.

“Entropia Universe was designed from the ground up with game
functions,” Marco said. “It’s important
– in our point of view – to have that entertainment
aspect. When you arrive in Entropia Universe, you take to the road as a
colonist in a very gritty, alien world. We want players feeling like
they are trying to carve out a new place to live, something akin to the
Old West in America.”

“The main thing that separates players in Entropia from other
MMOGs is the open nature of the game,” Marco continued.
“Rather than force players down a certain path,
we’ve given them a whole variety of options and skills in
which they can become proficient. If I’m a prospector and I
want to go kill robots, I can go do that. There’s nothing
holding me back.”

While other games provide item shops, where players can purchase items
that are set-up through the game server, no company has ever allowed
players to integrate themselves fully into an environment using real
world money. “We embrace players who want to use money to buy
items that they can use,” Marco said. “We want
players to be able to spend money and get items that will help them
level up. Everything is available for a price.”

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style="font-style: italic;">Marco talks with me
about the number of skills in EU and how they can be traded.

“You can even buy skills from other players. We have players
in Entropia who make their livings selling items and skills to other
players, helping them get a leg-up on their online competition. Since
we have 240 different skills, players could take forever leveling them
up by themselves. Instead of doing this, many players simply extract
their skills and sell them to other players.”

On top of using real world money as a type of trading system, Entropia
Universe also allows players to withdraw their money out of EU. As
Marco explained, Entropia has systems set-up that allow players to
purchase goods from other players online in a sort of Ebay or Auction
House style environment. From what I’ve learned and what I
was told, players can buy basic virtual goods from online NPCs, but
they can also look for better deals in Entropia’s auction
system. For those savvy players, Entropia Universe can become a virtual
money exchange machine, with certain players generating content for
other players to buy if they wish to.

So how many players are actually playing Entropia Universe? According to Marco, there are 625,000 registered accounts for EU at Mindark, which is not a number to take lightly. Couple that with an average payment of $23 per month for active players, and you have quite a large chunk of change. No wonder Mindark is a profitable company.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Entropia Universe Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016