|RPGVault's feature from today is an interview with Patrick Sundstrom about the commercial test of Project Entropia. As their model is really something radical new, it's interesting to read what they have to say about it (also, have a look at the press release we posted earlier). Here's something from the interview:
Jonric: If the client is available for free and there is no subscription fee, how will MindArk make money?
Patric Sundström: Our revenue will come from various sources. A number of these must remain confidential for now, but to give you one important example, users will be able to exchange real money for our in-world currency, Project Entropia Dollars or PED. They can then use these PED to purchase more powerful weapons, better armor and many other items that will make character development and life in general much easier. There will be no requirement for anyone to use real money since it will be possible to earn PED in Project Entropia. However, it will take much more time and effort this way.
Jonric: We have already seen the objection raised that Project Entropia will favor participants who are willing to spend more money. What is your response to this?
Patric Sundström: We do not see this as a problem. It only takes a quick glance at eBay to see that people buy and sell weapons, armor, other items, currency and of course complete accounts for real money all the time. So this is not something new or even unusual. The main differences are simply that we accept it and that we are building it right in. If some people choose not to participate in Project Entropia because other people can spend money, that is of course up to them, but since it will still be possible to make real money without ever spending any, we don't think this will actually stop many people from taking part.
It will be interesting to see how this works out...