One of the more interesting titles amongst the horde of massively multiplayer role-playing games under construction at the moment is Project Entropia from Swedish company Mind Ark. With a reassuringly original futuristic setting, it promises to be a welcome change from the orcs and goblins that dominate the majority of such games. It also features an innovative economic system which will allow players to exchange real life money for items and cash in the world of Calypso without making this necessary to progress in the game.
Amongst the more extravagant purchases open to players who can amass enough cash either through the game or in real life are a wide range of houses, "from small cottages to enormous skyscrapers", depending on "how much you are prepared to invest". Once you have staked your claim to an appropriate site you can purchase a building to place there, although hopefully this will be handled somewhat better than in Ultima Online, where huge swathes of the game world gradually turned into sprawling suburbs as players scrambled to set up home there.
"If you decide to buy a house, you will then be able to shape it within certain limits", Mind Ark's marketing manager Patric Sundstrom told GameSpot in a recent interview. "It can even happen that a society could choose to buy a house and live there together. We don't plan to regulate how many houses you are allowed to own, as we think this will attract people who will sustain themselves by buying and selling houses or perhaps rent as an attractive area."
Could this be the first massively multiplayer game in which you can make a living as a virtual estate agent?