The Opposable Thumbs blog brings news about MindArk PE AB, a Swedish game developer whose MMO Entropia Universe
has an in-game economy based on real money. It seems the company has been "granted preliminary approval for a real banking license
by the Swedish Finance Supervisory. ... MindArk's going to be just like a bank in the real world: it will be backed by Sweden's $60,000 deposit insurance, offer interest-bearing accounts for its clients, feature direct deposit options, let players pay bills online, and apparently will offer loans to customers." An Associated Press report adds that "The economic activity in Entropia Universe
was worth about $420 million last year
, about the same as the Pacific island nation of Kiribati, population 110,000. The game has 850,000 player accounts, though not all of them represent active players."