What's Happened Since 1998

1998 – The Vision of a Real Cash Economy Virtual Universe Starts

1999 – Development of the Entropia Universe platform starts

Jan Welter founded MindArk in 1999 with the goal of creating a virtual reality environment with a real prosperous economy. The project, at this time called Project Entropia, set out to develop an Internet based 3D experience with continents so big it would take days to cross them by foot. - All this in an era when web pages were built using tables and animated gif:s.

In January 2003, Project Entropia was publically launched and already in 2004 MindArk reached breakeven.
https://www.mindark.com/company/history/

2002 – Imaginary Worlds, Real Cash

Entropia Universe’s unique new angle on monetization within an online game caught a lot of attention even before its official launch. One noteworthy article that also compared the new Real Cash Economy of Entropia Universe to other games was CNN:s financial pages money.cnn.com:
http://money.cnn.com/2002/01/16/technology/column_gaming/

2003 – Official Launch of Entropia Universe

Entropia Universe leaves the Beta stage and launches with its first virtual planet, Planet Calypso.

At this stage Entropia Universe already features many game systems tied to its unique Real Cash Economy.
https://www.planetcalypso.com

https://www.gamespot.com/articles/project-entropia-gets-a-release-date/1100-2901365/

2004 – Guinness Book of World Records

The auction of the Virtual Land Area “Treasure island” ends at 26,500 USD.

Australian gamer David Storey, aged 22, made headlines around the world when he purchased a virtual island in Entropia Universe for US$26,500. In 2004 it was the highest price that had ever been paid for a virtual item.

In just a few years Storey then turned Treasure Island into a thriving and profitable community with an estimated value of over US$100,000.

Find out more about David Storey and his World Record investment at:
https://www.mindark.com/press/press-releases/documents/December-15-2004.pdf

https://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/article/325324/life_treasure_island_an_interview_virtual_real-estate_mogul_david_storey_/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4104731.stm

2005 – Asteroid Space Resort land sale

In 2005 a Space Resort situated on an asteroid circling Planet Calypso is sold for a new record-breaking US$100,000. The buyer, ‘Jon Neverdie Jacobs’ quickly develops his virtual club ‘Club Neverdie’ on the asteroid and in 2006, after just 8 months of operations, he reports that he has managed to reach break even.

The achievement was highlighted around the globe and also entered the Guinness Book of records in 2008. In 2006 marketwired.com published one of the many articles about Club Neverdie:
http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/champion-gamer-neverdie-rakes-in-100000-usd-in-virtual-reality-696685.htm

2006 – Shopping Mall Auction

In December 2006 another estate auction was held inside Entropia Universe. This time it was 3 large Shopping Malls on Planet Calypso that were up for sale. Combined the three malls sold for US$179,668.

The malls all comprise three floors of shops that can be leased to other players as well as service and trade centers that increase traffic and business opportunities. This sale was also highlighted by marketwired.com
http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/us179668-paid-virtual-real-estate-entropia-universe-marking-largest-purchases-entropia-712050.htm

2006 – Entropia Universe Users Get ATM Card to Access Online Earnings

In 2006 MindArk introduced a new method for withdrawals from the economy inside Entropia Universe, the ATM card. The new method allowed for direct withdrawals of real world hard cash from the Entropia Universe economy.
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/02/arts/02entr.html

2006 – Entropia Universe Hosts Nobel Prize Winners After Party

The Nobel Laureates and their guests, members of the Swedish Royal family, the Nobel Foundation and the Swedish Academy celebrated at the Nobel Nightcap party (www.nobelnightcap.se) at the Stockholm School of Economics after the prize giving ceremony and banquet at Stockholm Town Hall.

In an unprecedented combination of live and virtual events, scenes from a live virtual party at Club NeverDie in Entropia Universe were projected onto walls at the celebration in Stockholm, December 10, 2006.
https://www.mindark.com/press/press-releases/documents/Nobel_Prize_Celebrations_Hosted_by_Entropia_Universe.pdf

2007 – Virtual Banking License Sale, 5 Bank Licenses Sold for 404,000 USD

On January 8, 2007 MindArk announced the long-awaited results of the very first virtual banking license auction after months of active bidding. The five banking licenses for Entropia Universe sold for an astounding total of $404,000

https://www.mindark.com/press/press-releases/documents/Entropia_Universe_Auction_Worlds_First_VirtualBankingLicenses.pdf

http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/virtual-world-entropia-universe-issues-first-ever-virtual-banking-licenses-400000-733216.htm

2007 – Best Original Game

Entropia Universe was deemed "Best Original Game" at the E for All Expo in Los Angeles, 2007.

2008 – Kevin Rudolf and Lil Wayne, “Let it Rock” in Entropia Universe

MindArk licenses the Mega Hit "Let it Rock" by Kevin Rudolf and Lil Wayne for Entropia Universe. 
https://www.mindark.com/press/press-releases/documents/Kevin_Rudolf.pdf

2008 – Emmy Contribution

Entropia Universe was the first Virtual World to contribute to an Emmy® Award winning production. MindArk management was on stage April 14, 2008, in Cannes, France when the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences awarded the TV show “The Truth about Marika” an Emmy® for Most Interactive TV Show.

2008 – MindArk at the London Stock Exchange

MindArk attended the Transforming Financial Services Summit on June 3, at the London Stock Exchange.
https://www.mindark.com/events/archive/mindark-at-the-london-sto/

2008 – MindArk to be placed on the London Stock Exchange, bank responsible for the placement: Credit Suisse

MindArk was planning to make an IPO during 2008/09. This plan was unfortunately postponed due to the financial bank crisis, initiated by the Lehman Brothers going bankrupt on September 15, 2008.

2008 – MindArk Presents Entropia Universe to NASA

After extensive review by internal and external experts, NASA Learning Technologies and the Innovative Partnership Program Office selected award-winning developer MindArk as one of three finalists to present Entropia Universe at the Goddard Space Flight Center on November 7th. The NASA program’s goal is to make an exciting Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) educational game to enhance real world education of teens in high school and college, in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

https://www.mindark.com/press/press-releases/documents/MindArk_Selected_To_Present_Entropia_Universe_To_NASA.pdf

2008 – Rock Band Motörhead

Motörhead’s front man Lemmy Kilmister builds Motörhead Stadium and launches his own private army inside Entropia Universe. Further, events in Entropia are hosted with tickets to real world Motörhead concerts including VIP passes to the private after party, hotel accommodation and signed albums as prizes.

https://www.mindark.com/press/press-releases/documents/Entropia_Universe_Motorhead_Host_Virtual_World_Events.pdf

2009 – Virtual Space Station Land Area Sale, 330,000 USD

The world record sale for a virtual item was surpassed once again when the Entropia Universe avatar known as Buzz Erik Lightyear acquired a very special piece of property.

For the incredible amount of $330,000, the space station named Crystal Palace was won by Buzz in the in-game auction system of Entropia Universe

https://games.slashdot.org/story/09/12/30/1550218/virtual-space-station-sold-for-330000

2009 – Entropia Universe upgrade to CryENGINE 2

In 2009 MindArk announced that they will use the latest HP BladeSystem c‐Class servers in its data center to accommodate the upcoming transition of Entropia Universe to the CryENGINE®2 graphics engine.

https://www.mindark.com/press/press-releases/documents/MindArk_HP_Benzler_Tech.pdf

https://techcrunch.com/2007/07/25/entropia-universe-licenses-cryengine/

https://www.engadget.com/2009/08/15/planet-calypso-formerly-entropia-universe-converts-to-cryengin/

2009 – 100 Brilliant Companies List

In 2009, MindArk was named as one of the "100 brilliant companies" in the prestigious, subscription-based Entrepreneur magazine.

2010 – Swedish Financial Institute Issues MindArk/Entropia Universe Real Work Banking License

In 2010 the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) granted a license to conduct banking activities to virtual universe developer MindArk PE AB’s wholly owned subsidiary Mind Bank AB. The unique step of integrating MindArk’s virtual universe Entropia Universe with the real world will allow Mind Bank AB to function as a central bank for all virtual worlds within the Entropia Universe.     

https://www.mindark.com/press/press-releases/documents/Virtual_World_Developer_MindArk_Granted_Real_World_Banking_License.pdf

http://themonetaryfuture.blogspot.se/2010/01/swedish-authorities-license-real-bank.html

2010 – Asteroid Space Resort Sold Between Players for 635,000 USD

Jon ‘Neverdie’ Jacobs who made headlines when he bought a virtual asteroid for $100,000 in 2005 sold it for $635,000 in 2010. During the five years Jacobs did run the asteroid he successfully developed it into a popular hub for Entropia Universe players.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-11795098

http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Entropia-Universe-Planet-Calypso-MMOG-microtransactions-asteroid-space-resort,11634.html

2010 – Virtual Egg sold for 70,000 USD

Jon ‘Neverdie’ Jacobs, the former record holder for the largest virtual property purchase, put a virtual Egg up for public auction and ended up selling it to David "Deathifier" Storey for a stunning $69,000!

The Egg is a famous artifact in Entropia Universe lore. It first appeared in 2006 and was sold to Jacobs for $10,000 from the avatar that originally looted it.

http://www.mmorpg.com/entropia-universe/news/planet-calypso-virtual-egg-sells-for-69000-1000016173

2010 – Planet Rocktropia Launch

Jon ‘Neverdie’ Jacobs launches Rocktropia, the first partner planet in Entropia Universe. Rocktropia is themed as ‘the Capital of MMO Pop Culture in Virtual Reality’.

http://rocktropia.com

2010 – Entropia Universe Work With ESA (European Space Agency)

In 2010 Entropia Universe and Entropia Platform announced that a study on the use of online game technology for space-related purposes was completed. The European Space Agency (ESA) initially awarded the contract for the study to MindArk in 2009. A film presenting the main findings is published on YouTube.

https://www.entropiaplatform.com/entropia-platform/esa-study/index.xml

http://www.digitalproducer.com/article/MMORPG-and-Virtual-World-Platform-Provider-MindArk-Completes-Online-Games-Study-Contract-for-European-Space-Agency-1023064

2010 – Launch of Planet Nextisland

Late in 2010 another planet was made available for colonists inside Entropia Universe. The planet, named Nextisland, is themed as a tropical paradise with many charming features.

http://nextisland.com

2011 – Planet Calypso sale 6 Million USD

SEE Virtual Worlds proposes to buy Planet Calypso for 6 million USD, MindArk after investigation and negotiations decided not to sell Planet Calypso.

https://www.engadget.com/2011/01/27/see-buys-planet-calypso-for-6-million-talks-with-massively-for/

2011 Calypso Land Deed sale, 60,000 deeds @ 100 USD = 6 Million USD

In 2011 MindArk announced that they would introduce a groundbreaking Citizenship System to the virtual world of Planet Calypso. The new Citizenship System will provide revenue sharing to participants and add a political system that will allow players to vote on major decisions affecting their virtual world, all for as little as $100 USD per Land Deed.

http://metaversetribune.com/2012/04/23/calypso-land-lot-deeds-sold/

2011 – MindArk Launches Space

In 2011 Entropia Universe launches space and opens up the vast distances between planets for colonists. New spacecrafts, ranging from speeders to huge motherships opens up interplanetary travel and interplanetary trade routes. Combining planetary adventures and space exploration in the same game is a new and unique feature for the MMO genre.

The launch of Entropia Space featured an auction of a new class of Space Motherships selling for up to 9,000 USD.

http://www.mindark.com/press/press-releases/documents/ENTROPIA-UNIVERSE-LAUNCH-SPACE.pdf

2011 – King Kong

Entropia Universe partner planet Rocktropia, themed ‘the Capital of MMO Pop Culture in Virtual Reality’ licenses “The Thing” and “King Kong” from Universal Partnerships & Licensing

https://www.mindark.com/press/partner-press-releases/HuntTheThingAnnouncement.pdf

2012 – Planet Arkadia Launch

Singapore based Arkadia Studios launches a new world in Entropia Universe, Planet Arkadia. Arkadia features a Sci-Fi Treasure Hunting themed world.

http://planetarkadia.com

2012 – MindArk partners with Ericsson to develop Voice Proximity Chat

In his Keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas Hans Vestberg, CEO of Swedish telecom giant Ericsson, demonstrates the Proximity Voice Chat system used in Entropia Universe.

https://www.mindark.com/press/press-releases/documents/ericsson_proximity_demo_ces_las_vegas.pdf

2012 – Planet Cyrene Launch

Los Angeles based game development studio Digital Scryers LLC and the official planet partner Creative Kingdom Inc. launches yet another planet in Entropia Universe, Planet Cyrene. The new planet features a unique Equal Level Player vs. Player area that opens up for yet a new type of gameplay inside Entropia Universe.

http://cyreneforum.com

2013 – Virtual Moon Sale, 150,000 USD

A newly discovered moon in Entropia Universe is auctioned off for 150,000 USD. The moon that has been named Monria will be operated by the winner of the auction in cooperation with MindArk. https://www.gamasutra.com/view/pressreleases/192083/virtual_moon_in_entropia_universe_auctioned_for150000.php

2013 – Planet Toulan Launch

Jordanian game developer Beladcom launches a new mythical world in Entropia Universe.

http://www.planettoulan.com/en/

https://www.mindark.com/press/partner-press-releases/Beladcom_PR_20100831.pdf

2014 – Arkadia Underground Deeds sell for 1 Million USD

Arkadia Studios continues to develop Planet Arkadia and sell Deeds for the new Underground game area. For just $5 per deed regular players on Arkadia as well as investors can be a part of a new exciting development of virtual property inside Entropia Universe.

http://www.straitstimes.com/business/latest-hot-property-launch-in-town-is-a-virtual-steal-in-the-game-planet-arkadia

2014 – Love in Virtual Reality

A classic virtual love story played out inside Entropia Universe. –Boy meets girl, boy and girl bond over hunting dangerous creatures, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl get married, and then they do it again in real life
https://www.mindark.com/press/press-releases/documents/Wedding-Final-Approved.pdf

2014 – Equus Spaceship sale, 25 spacecraft @ 5000 USD = 125,000 USD

25 High performance warp speed capable spacecrafts in a special limited edition was sold for 5,000 USD each. The spacecrafts, named “Quadwing Equus”, will give their new owners a valuable business platform inside Entropia Universe.

http://nordicgame.com/entropia-universe-auctions-off-25-spaceships/

2015 – President of Virtual Reality Election

In 2015 MindArk announced the introduction of a new democratic voting system and election date for choosing the inaugural President of Virtual Reality. With the rise of awareness and participation in virtual reality and significant global investment into artificial intelligence, a new virtual government is being formed to champion users’ rights across all platforms.

https://www.mindark.com/press/press-releases/VR-President-Final-Final-Approved.pdf

2016 – Entropia Universe Cross Platform Trading to ComPet App Game

ComPet, MindArk’s new Beast Battle app game and Entropia Universe, MindArk’s established real-cash-economy game, are very different platforms but they share the virtual currency “Project Entropia Dollars” which can be withdrawn as real cash.

MindArk plans to facilitate transactions between the two separate games, thus enabling Entropia Universe players to train and supply pets to ComPet players in return for currency. This will link the two player groups and channel digital currency across the platform divide.

https://www.mindark.com/press/press-releases/Pet-Trading-in-Virtual-Reality.pdf

2016 – 10 Most Expensive Virtual Items Ever Sold

YouTube channel ‘Top Trending’ published the list of the most expensive virtual items ever sold. Entropia Universe was featured 6 times, including all the top 5 places.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUNRl3kAATk

2017 – In the Future, We Will Control Our Mobiles Using Gestures

MindArk partner in a new interesting project to help develop a next-generation 3D interface. Being able to interact with mobile phones and other smart devices using gestures with our hands and fingers in three dimensions would make the digital world more like the real one.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170404085749.htm

2017 – MindArk Awarded 200,000 USD for Development of Social VR Experience

MindArk has been awarded 1.800.000 SEK to finance the development of a Social-VR experience compatible with mobile devices.

https://www.vinnova.se/p/utveckling-av-en-social-vr-upplevelse--kompatibel-med-en-mobil-enhet/

2017 – MindArk Announces Business VR, a New Business-2-Business Product Offering

After just a few months of intensive development MindArk’s new Business VR virtual meeting environment is already being used for successful international meetings.

https://www.mindark.com/press/press-releases/MindArk_BusinessVirtualReality_Announcement_2017-09-26.pdf