MindArk creates 'Entropia Universe' planet as independent company

The virtual world developer has decided to focus its main business on building tools, and the spin-off will manage the in-game side of things.

Daniel Terdiman Former Senior Writer / News
Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.
Daniel Terdiman

LAS VEGAS--MindArk, the developer of the science fiction-based virtual world, Entropia Universe, has announced that it is spinning off the functional game side of its business into a separate company.

Known as First Planet Company, the new entity will be a stand-alone company that will run the actual virtual world, which it is calling Planet Calypso. MindArk will continue to operate the platform side of its business, focusing on tools that it can make available to partners looking for a custom virtual world.

In recent months, MindArk has put a lot of its energy in developing relationships with outside entities that want to build their own planets in Entropia Universe. To date, it has signed up five partners.

But as part of the spin-off arrangement, announced here at CES, First Planet Company will be treated as one of those partners.

Among others that have set up shop in the virtual world are a Chinese company that is investigating using the virtual world for cultural purposes and a firm that is looking at using Entropia Universe as a virtual theme park. And still another is looking at giving the game's players immersive environments based on hit Hollywood films.