Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Irrational Entropia

(Preface: There's a palpable buzz about inflation inside Entropia Universe these days. Read some players thoughts here. )

Yesterday I was talking to the wealthiest person I consider a friend. His family's net worth is pushing half a billion. He asked how much one would have to deposit to become a high level player if you were just now joining. I'm not sure what the right answer is, but my best guess was $100,000 and he promptly told me what a tool I was for playing such a game.

I'm not sure what market Mindark is going after. Many people assume it's the ultra-wealthy. But I think few of them can be arsed. They know how much money they have and they don't need to flaunt it online, when they can do their flaunting IRL and actually get laid from it. I think their new target market has become addictive personalities. And maybe that's a winning business plan. Just because they've failed to gain any traction in the gaming space for five years running doesn't necessarily mean continuing down this same path won't suddenly start working. After all, they're the experts.

The real question, which has been enumerated dozens of times, how many new players will they be able to find who will enthusiastically join a game where $20,000 is the absolute minimum investment. And that's just to become a very average player that probably won't last 60 seconds in PVP.

Maybe they'll surprise us all. But I think Sony, Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Linden Labs, and the US Government are conspiring against them. I bet champagne popping after the bank auctions closed was a lot of fun, but the coming hangover could prove to be a bitch.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Virtual Banking Licenses net $900k for Mindark

Today concluded the auctions for five banking licenses inside Entropia Universe. The licenses themselves netted over $400,000 for Mindark, and each license winner is required to maintain a balanced of $100,000 in their account to ensure their services. What you may not hear in the hype is that these would-be banks primary service will be lending in game funds using only virtual items as collateral. I hesitate to use the phrase pawn shop with all its negative connotations, but I'm struggling to find an alternative. Suggestions?