Thank you for helping to make 2016 another great year for Entropia Universe. The combined efforts of MindArk, the planet partners and you, the community, have resulted in new accounts growing by nearly 12% and overall economic activity increasing by 5.3% during 2016.
Our continued efforts at improving the experience for new participants contributed to that growth, as did the support of community members and existing participants in welcoming and mentoring new Entropians. MindArk will continue to improve the experiences and resources available to newcomers, including in-game and video tutorials, educational missions, improving the mentor/disciple system and rewards, and additional support for community efforts aimed at new participants.
Since starting at MindArk in my first position as Technical Director, I have worked relentlessly on improving the performance and quality of the Entropia Universe experience. Since last year’s State of the Universe Address, MindArk has continued those efforts and I am proud to report that Entropia Universe has never been more capable or reliable in terms of client and server performance.
During 2016, the content focus of MindArk and the planet partners was on missions, storylines and events. Our goal is for Entropia Universe to offer a variety of exciting and engaging gameplay, and social and entrepreneurial experiences for participants of all interests. We look forward to deepening and expanding the storylines and lore of Entropia Universe and Planet Calypso in the content planned for the coming year.
MindArk has also been working on new and improved platform systems that will provide more powerful tools for our planet partners to deploy engaging content for all participants. One such system released during 2016 is the Dynamic Event System, currently being tested on Calypso. This new system integrates event objectives and avatar participation with the existing mission tracker interface, and provides new tools for planet partners to create and manage more dynamic and engaging official events. Once that system is extended and refined, it will be made available to all planet partners in 2017.
MindArk released Entropia Pocket in 2016, a free mobile application for Android and iOS that integrates a two-factor authentication solution to provide comprehensive account security for all Entropia Universe participants.
The Entropia Pocket app also provides real-time alerts about important events and news from within Entropia Universe. We plan to add additional features to Entropia Pocket moving forward, so be sure to get it installed on your mobile devices and keep up to date with the latest Entropia Universe news and developments.
We have also added support for additional character sets in the Entropia Universe client chat interface, allowing participants to communicate in Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Hindi and more.
Our immediate plans for 2017 include the recently announced Battle Simulator, a new platform-wide system geared toward short bursts of fast-paced gameplay. For more details about this exciting new addition to Entropia Universe, be sure to follow the Entropia Buzz page.
MindArk also plans to address many of the existing issues affecting interplanetary Space gameplay, specifically ship balance and travel. Once those important balance issues are resolved, we look forward to implemented new and previously planned features, such as galactic transport.
The opportunities and potential of Virtual Reality (VR) is another area that really fascinates all of us here at MindArk, and we have made efforts during 2016 to explore ideas that may enhance the Entropia Universe experience for existing and future participants by leveraging recent advances in VR software and hardware technology.
The Land Plot system will also see further development and expansion in 2017. A core aspect of the uniqueness of Entropia Universe is the opportunity for participants to invest in their avatar progression and holdings over time, and housing is an important part of that experience. We aim to progressively develop the housing system to foster the creation of vibrant and bustling cities and towns.
Finally, speaking of investments, I would like to briefly discuss MindArk’s plans for ComPet. ComPet has been fully released on Android, and is planned for release on iOS and Steam within the next few months. As promised, we are also working on the integration between ComPet and Entropia Universe, offering an innovative cross-platform and cross-genre gaming experience.
That being said, Entropia Universe is the primary product and focus of MindArk, and will continue to be so. In developing ComPet as an alternative gaming experience, MindArk has added an offering to complement and promote Entropia Universe. This is an effort that MindArk would like to continue, expanding and complementing Entropia Universe with new projects and experiences, thereby creating interesting and exciting growth opportunities in the upcoming year and beyond.
Finally I would like to thank you all for making Entropia Universe into this fantastic Virtual Universe experience and look forward to seeing you in both ComPet and Entropia during 2017 and beyond!
Chief Executive Officer
MindArk PE AB