At this point in the conversations, a red flag went up in my mind.
Entropia Universe may have been built on the idea of players using
money to pay for in-game items, but what keeps all those players from
making a run on the bank and pulling all of their money out of the
game? Marco eased my fears on the subject almost immediately.
“Even if everyone in EU pulled their money of the game, we
would still have enough cash to continue running the system,”
Marco said. “As a company, we’ve been very
profitable for the last three years, and there’s a reason for
Unlike a bank or some other form of money exchanging, Entropia Universe
doesn’t make their money off of transactions or active money
being in their hands. “The only time Entropia Universe makes
money is when players are active,” Marco said.
“Unlike some of the other online games that charge
subscription fees, we want our players to be active because we
essentially make money when the player actively uses his items. Items
in EU degrade with use, so each time a player plays on his account, the
more the item degrades. Eventually the product will decay and
they’ll have to buy new items to use.”
recently licensed the CryEngine 2.
Perhaps the biggest news coming from Entropia lately was the
company’s licensing of the CryEngine 2; an amazingly powerful
graphics engine that produces absolutely jaw-dropping effects and
screenshots. In the screenshots on CryTek’s website,
it’s difficult to tell which images are real life and which
are not. When I asked Marco why Mindark licensed the engine he stated
that Mindark wanted “Entropia to be better than the real
world. We’ve got long-term goals for Entropia, and it has
nothing to do with building a sequel to our game. We want Entropia to
continue on for a long time into the future.”
“One of the necessities in that sort of a commitment is
keeping the graphics as visually close to reality as
possible,” Marco continued. “With the CryEngine 2,
that’s a possibility. Even with the higher system
requirements, we felt like it was necessary to do this.”
However, I was concerned as to how EU would continue to keep its
players if the system requirements became out of reach for most
players. “We’ve taken a look at it, and
we’ve found that most people upgrade their hardware at
certain points, just based on the information that we’ve seen
looking at hardware companies,” Marco said.
“However, we intend to look at the CryEngine and customize it
to what our player base needs. We don’t have every single
feature of the Cry Engine 2 in the game; we just want the gamers to
explore a world that is as realistic to our vision of Entropia as
A look at some
gamplay from Entropia Universe.
And the release date for the upgraded Entropia engine?
“We’re currently working on it right now, and we
estimate that it will be about a year before the engine is
ready,” Marco answered. “The development tools are
very expansive and we expect it to go very fast.” With four
years under its belt, the Entropia engine could use a makeover.
However, most companies don’t upgrade their graphics engines
as thoroughly as Mindark says they’re going to. But,
according to Marco, we should expect to see graphics engine upgrades
whenever the need arises in EU. “We want to be in the
forefront,” he added. “We want to look as good as
Coming into this interview, I had a fairly clear interpretation of
Entropia in my mind. I expected to hear about how I can make online
avatars that look fuzzy animals or cracked-out birdmen, but instead I
found a GAME that had a business model that was strategically different
than anything else on the market. With that new information in mind,
expect a review of Mindark’s Entropia Universe to be landing
on Ten Ton Hammer in the next few weeks!