Video Game With a Real Cash Economy
Deposit money... and withdraw!
Many online games allow you to deposit real money into the game, but how many let you withdraw? Most games don't allow selling items for real money, let alone withdrawing money from the game itself. However, the game Planet Calypso in the Entropia Universe by MindArk is different. This MMORPG claims their spot on the market on the fact that the game has a real cash economy and that currency in game is worth real US dollars outside of the game, allowing depositing and withdrawal.
I first played this game in 2006, long before it was re-created on the CryEngine 2.0 and shortly became addicted. The game environment is very well developed, uniquely designed, and at times can be absolutely beautiful. Environments, creatures, and cities are all developed to look well as well as look natural.
Almost all activities in game require various amounts of money to do. In return, you gain skills and loot back which also has a value in terms of real money. There are high variances in money required. One creature may take less than a penny to kill while another may take $10. Furthermore, there are 3 basic categories of popular activities (though there are many professions) that people do. These are hunting, crafting, and mining. The idea is to spend money doing these tasks and try to minimize how much it costs to play, break even, or with some skill, intelligence, and luck, make a profit.
The game system is also fabulous. Having been an RPG fan for around 11 years I thoroughly enjoy a complicated system. The game has about 70 professions, and each profession has its own level that affects how well you are at it. Each profession is affected by several skills. Therefore, by doing a task in one profession, you earn those related skills. This also helps boost your other profession levels as most skills apply to many professions.
'Avatar' customization is also very good and it allows for many options. However, the defaults that are available are not nearly as good as what can be unlocked by other players. Players who practice professions such as Hair Stylist, Tailor, or Colorer can unlock other haircuts or make clothing with unique patterns and colors. The wide variety of clothes and accessories can mostly be given custom textures and colors. Of course, the armor looks good as well, so many don't bother with nice clothes and just wear cool armor.
Due to the nature of this real money economy, the game has attracted many people wishing to make money, but also many with money who enjoy the relaxing environment. The game tends to be geared towards a smarter gamer and the players tend to be older, with many of them being working professionals. Of all the games I've played, this one has far fewer negative attitudes and comments. And many more people who will go far out of their way to help new players.
The game can be cheap, or even free to play, but you can also spend loads of money on it. For instance, land areas can cost $30,000 US dollars! At the same time, people who own these land areas earn tax revenue. (Most won't tell you exactly how much, but given the cost of these land areas, the revenues are significant.) I should also mention that this game has been in the Guinness book of records several times for the most expensive digital item(Hundreds of thousands of dollars).
Overall, this game is wonderful if you have that particular taste in gaming. You may never know, you could get lucky and walk away with quite a bit of money. My personal best is a loot of $250 from a creature that took around 5 cents to kill. I withdrew $200. Not everyone can profit of course, but it is possible!
Let me leave you with one last tip. If your aim is to make money, first try to have fun. Then spend time learning and then you can understand how to earn money. Most items in game have a value according to the game system, and then a markup that is determined by the demand of the players. If you want to earn money, go into player services, trading, or focus on getting items with higher markups. Best of luck to you!
Gameplay video by MMOHut
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