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Entropia Universe’s Marco Behrmann Interviewed at Leipzig GC ‘07 - Page Two

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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 that.”

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.”

Entropia Universe 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 possible.”

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 possible.”

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!

Ten Ton Hammer is your unofficial source for Entropia Universe news and features!

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