Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Entropia Universe takes Virtual World Citizenship to a whole new level!

Planet Calypso introduces a groundbreaking Citizenship System that includes Land Lot Deeds with an expected annual return on investment of up to 30%.

Gothenburg, Sweden, November 8th, 2011 – MindArk, developer of Entropia Universe, announced today that it will introduce a groundbreaking new Citizenship System. This system will provide planet-wide revenue sharing to participants, as well as a forthcoming political system that will allow users to influence the future development of the planet.

“The Citizenship System will have a strong impact on the social and virtual worlds industry”, said Jan Welter Timkrans, Chairman of MindArk, “Now people can make money using their game-playing skills and by engaging in the micro transactions economy. They can both share in the revenues of their favourite world and help decide its future via the political system! “

The new system will allow participants of Entropia Universe to acquire a Land Lot deed. This deed grants holders citizenship on Planet Calypso, along with political voting rights. Citizens of Planet Calypso will receive a share in the planet partner Gross Revenue. Based on Planet Calypso’s performance over the last twelve months, the potential ROI (Return of Investment) of such shares is expected to be between 27% - 30% per year.

Jan Welter Timkrans: “So far, land management in Entropia Universe has been a very exclusive thing, as the market price for land area deeds have ranged from $5,000 on the low end, to upwards of $500,000. Now, participants of all levels and budgets can manage a piece of an entire virtual world for $100 USD – less than the price of two regular PC games. The Citizenship System brings a new era in MMO and Virtual World participation, something people have been crying out for. It will bring value to people who are passionate about games and global online culture.”

The new Citizenship System will showcase the economics of a successful Planet Partner on the Entropia Universe platform. Planet Calypso is a profitable Virtual world. It is the oldest of the planets in Entropia Universe, has over 1 million registered users and over $ 400,000,000 USD per year in user-to-user transactions.

In total, sixty thousand (60,000) Land Lot deeds will be created, each representing a 100 square meter plot on Planet Calypso. Starting on November 8, 2011, batches of these deeds will be offered on the Entropia Universe auction. Each Land Lot deed will have a start-bid price and a buyout price of 1000 PEDs ($100 USD). The Land Lot deeds will be implemented as stackable items, and will be made available in single units, as well as in stacks of 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100. Batches will continue to be offered on the auction until the entire sixty thousands deeds have been sold.

Each Land Lot deed entitles the holder to a share of the 50% planet partner Gross Revenue generated by Planet Calypso. Payouts of revenue share dividends to deed holders will be made once per week, as opposed to once per year or once per month for many other investments!"

The success and profitability of the planet will determine the revenue received as a land lot deed holder. If Calypso becomes more popular, the ROI will be higher; similarly, if the popularity of Calypso decreases, the ROI would also decrease. First revenue payouts are planned for the beginning of December 2011.

Once every six months, audited figures will be presented on MindArk’s homepage so that deed holders can verify their revenue share payouts.

Current land area deed holders on Calypso will be entitled to one free land lot deed. This does not include deeds for claim battle areas, houses, apartments, shops or sub-divided areas, only Outback Land Areas (OLAs). Treasure Island, FOMA, Crystal Palace and Medusa’s Head will receive one deed, issued to the main estate manager. Management of existing Outback Land Areas will remain unaffected.

Land Lot Deed holders will have the opportunity to take part in a Calypso Citizenship land grab. Certain areas will be opened on Calypso where deed holders can stake out their land plots. This system development is scheduled to begin in 2012.

Land Lot Deed holders will be able to build house(s) on the plot(s) they have staked out. (Minimum of 9 plots in a 3x3 format suitable for a structure). This system development is scheduled to begin in 2013.

Additionally, a comprehensive political system is planned that will allow Land Lot Deed holders to become directly involved with decisions affecting the future development of Calypso, with voting power relative to the number of Land Lot Deeds held. This system development is also scheduled to begin in 2012.

This information has been released prior to the official press release planned for 16th November as a courtesy to Entropia Universe participants. Further information and specifications may be applied.

Quoted from Become a citizen of Planet Calypso!

Whether you are already a player of Entropia Universe or is new to this game, I am pretty sure this piece of news has caught your attention.

But WAIT!!!

Before you start rushing in, here's my opinion on the matter...

According to this article, 60,000 pieces of these so called "Calypso Land Deeds" will be sold, in batches, at a price of $100 USD (1,000 PEDs*) on the in-game auction, starting from November 8, 2011.

And as far as I know, there are already speculators snapping up the deeds that were released and then reselling them on auction at an insanely higher price (way more than $100 USD). So unless your very lucky, expect to purchase these deeds at a cost of more than $100 USD per deed.

Anyway, just let us imagine that you were THAT lucky and managed to get one or more deeds at the original price of $100 USD per deed. What kinds of expected returns are we looking at then?

Break down
First of all, if you are in any way a little financially literate, you would take the ROI they have announced with a pinch of salt.

Even if we don't and assume that ROI will indeed be 30% per year, an investment of $100 USD in one deed will generate $30 USD a year. This means that it would take roughly 3 years and 4 months to recover your original investment.

In addition, I would trust that the payout of revenue will be given in the form of PEDs. And since it is paid out weekly, this would mean that your character which holds the deed will be credited with approximately 5.75 PEDs ($0.575 USD) per week.

And since this money is in the game, to retrieve it out in real cash would mean that you will have to undergo the same system for withdrawing - 1,000 PEDs (minimal withdrawl amount) and charging of a fee for processing the withdrawl.

Therefore, in my opinion, unless you are already playing this game, there is no point in buying these land deeds. At best, they will only serve as a backup income to finance your playing in the game. (Trust me, 5.75 PEDs won't last you one week...)

And there are probably other better options which will earn you more than 5.75 PEDs per week.
Entropia Universe - Calypso Land Deed
The above picture is an in-game screenshot of the prices of the Land Deeds currently sold. Please note that the prices are no longer $100 USD because of speculation by players who buy up the original land deeds and then resell them at a profit.

The current buyout prices of these land deeds which are resold range from $104 USD to $900 USD per deed at the time of this post.

Thus depending on the price you've acquired the deed, the time taken to recover your investment will vary.

And with the time scope we're talking about, I think it would be prudent for you to investigate into the company's financial performance and decide for yourself.

Semi-Annual Report Jan-Jun 2011

* $1 USD is equivalent to 10 PEDs