Question: To gamble, or not to gamble,


Aug 5, 2007
That freaking cold place (in RL)
Avatar Name
Sandal San Tolk
... that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That Flesh is heir to? ...

(Please forgive the exuberance, it just fit so well ;) I also need to give some background for the actual question, hope this isn't too long.)

It has been discussed extensively whether Entropia is to be classified as gambling or not, and what the consequences of this would be. Everybody of course has an opinion, but the thing is, everybody's opinion does not matter, only the opinion of legislators in their respective environment. And we're experiencing times where that seems to become ever more constricting, the reasons for which are beyond the scope of this forum to discuss.

It is my understanding of the core idea of "Project Entropia" and its successor, that the name was chosen to not just sound cool, but express its original inspiration by entropy, a term fundamental to the science of nature. In a nutshell, at the microscopic level our entire world is driven by random events, but their chances of turning out one way or another, and thereby the macroscopic arrangements, are determined by mathematical formulas. -- Very much what we're playing with in this simulation, is it not? Please correct me if this view on Entropia is wrong, because the following builds on it.

There is a classical game very similar in concept: Poker. Each hand you are dealt is random, can imply a good or bad chance, but your long-term statistical result is entirely determined by how you play it, your decisions from the smallest to overall money management. Background for citing this example is having witnessed the banishment of our American friends from online poker tables literally overnight some years ago. It did not help pointing out how wrong that decision was in context of what legislators were actually aiming at, nobody wanted to hear it. That was a while ago; the legal situation today is diverse from state to state and country to country. We just cannot assume it to remain static, and this is the main problem.

With the same underlying principles, and the fact that we're playing for real money, what keeps them from targeting Entropia in the same way, and other countries following suit? We are already experiencing gradually increasing restrictions in various European countries. Increasing zeal and moralism could just end it all with the stroke of a pen one day. Such was certainly not foreseen at the inception of Project Entropia, but is very much a reality now.

How does MindArk deal with this hazard, are there strategies to avoid a potentially fatal classification, are there contingency plans for when it might happen or for the case we're forced to make fundamental changes to survive? Are you in danger having to walk a fine line in your company's home country Sweden, and do you consider the possibility of losing important parts of the international player base due to a ban somewhere? Is even talking about it dangerous, for it might be noticed in the wrong places? If yes, is this the reason the previous AMA question about Explosive Projectile crafting could not be answered? I would of course hate being the one bringing it about, but if this is the case our state is metastable anyway and impossible to last.

I understand you cannot go into detail with these questions and thus give strategy away. I would just like to know if these things are being considered at all. Guess what I'm hoping for is at least some morsel of guidance for investors, even speculators and players considering serious assets, current and future ones, to help with their risk assessment especially of the legal environment, which gets too often overlooked i.m.o. (having a background in software for operational risk management in financial institutions, and happy to be out of it looking ahead now.)

Thank you in advance!

Tl;dr: What are we going to do if this game suddenly falls under regulation which cannot be met without ripping its heart out, or become outlawed for significant parts of the playerbase? Is there a strategy for such a case?
Last edited: