Published 2011

RCE stands for "real cash economy", as applied to the world of MMORPG computer games. MMORPG stands for "massively multiplayer online role-playing game", which is a genre of computer game which is immensely popular, and lucrative to developers such as Sony and Blizzard Entertainment.

The majority of MMORPG platforms tend to generate their income on a pay per month subscription. The subscription fee is usually within the region of fifteen dollars per month. However, there are notable exceptions, with many MMORPG platforms charging an upfront fee or being free to play.

The MMORPG platforms based on a real cash economy are few and far between, there is only two successful examples, the Entropia Universe developed by Mindark, and Second Life, which is developed by Linden Lab.

The Entropia Universe was the first RCE game, which was originally called Project Entropia. The game was and is developed in Sweden, specifically Gothenburg, and began being tested in 2002, and was released on January 30, 2003.

The ingame currency is tied to the US dollar, 1 USD is the equivalent to 10 PED (Project Entropia Dollars). This exchange rate has never changed in the game's history. A player will deposit via a number of means (credit card, bank deposit, ukash) and the game will convert the USD into PED. A player can then withdraw PED, and receive USD (via his bank account) at a later date.

Items and real estate within the Entropia Universe has exchanged hands for over $20,000. Some players within the Universe have managed to make a living from the game. Any profit made within the Entropia Universe is generally at the expense of another player. Mindark, the games developer, generates income from items decaying, therefore, a player will have to recoup this decay fee from other players to enable them to profit.

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