|Here's the press release about that:
$100,000+ To Be Available in Project Entropia, Commercial trial phase.
MindArk seeks 5,000 participants to test its virtual world’s economy system with real cash
Gothenburg, Sweden - December 4, 2001 - MindArk AB announced today that the initial trial of the revolutionary Project Entropia economy system will begin in the near future as part of MindArk’s release schedule. In order to facilitate thorough testing of the system, a number of special items will be made available in the virtual world of Calypso. Users will be able to exchange them for virtual Project Entropia Dollars (PED), which can be converted to cold, hard cash. The total value of these items will be at least 1 million PED, which is equivalent to $100,000 US.
"Project Entropia is a groundbreaking new form of entertainment," stated MindArk Marketing Manager Patric Sundstrom. "Perhaps the most significant manner in which it will break away is by allowing participants to make real money, possibly even millions of dollars, which makes it absolutely essential that we test the economic system and security measures rigorously. In order to do so, we will ask users to put small amounts of money into the system and offer them the possibility of taking out much more. We’re very pleased with the progress of our tests so far, and extremely excited that we will soon begin trials with this vital element."
Project Entropia is a pioneering Internet-based form of interactive entertainment based upon a fully featured 3D persistent state world. It will be made available with no initial cost or mandatory subscription fees to millions of Internet users around the world. Beta testing has been under way since May, with about 1,000 users currently taking part in Phase II and plans to expand to about 5,000 in the commercial trial phase. Further information for potential participants will be announced shortly. In the meantime, interested individuals who have not already done so may apply at http://www.project-entropia.com/phase3/firstpage.asp
Project Entropia is a virtual world set in the distant future. In the roles of human colonists on the seemingly idyllic planet of Calypso, participants will have the chance to meet and socialize or to explore and adventure with each other while facing challenges from wild indigenous creatures and invading robots. Additional information about Project Entropia can be found on the official website