Payback of Mining Activities Within Entropia Universe
In subscription-based virtual worlds the fee a user pays for participation is clear. However, in worlds in which the provider's revenue is generated via transactions made by users using a real in-world currency, lack of transparency in the underlying mechanisms can make it difficult for a user to gauge the service fee being paid. This paper studies the payback of mining activities within the virtual world Entropia Universe, with an aim to determine the cost of participation in this activity for the user. Entropia Universe developer MindArk estimates the normal service fee for an active user averages at $1 per hour. We compare our findings to this figure and observe how transactions between players can affect a user's returns. A statistical approach is employed, based on a large number of data points acquired by two Entropia Universe avatars. A theoretical mining-returns model is also created, consistent with our data sets, and is used to make predictions about general cost and profitability for Entropia Universe miners. These methods could be used to analyse the economy of other activities in Entropia Universe, and possibly activities other virtual worlds.
Mining; Entropia Universe; Payback; Economy; Returns; Statistics; Virtual Universe
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