MindArk

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MindArk PE AB is a Swedish-based software company responsible for development and maintenance of Entropia Universe, formerly known as Project Entropia. The MindArk headquarters are located in Gothenburg (57° 41' 59", 11° 57' 13").


Current logo Old logo
Current and Old MindArk logo


Corporate group[edit]

The MindArk group consists of fourth seperate entities:

The roles of the different companies is explained in the 2010 MindArk financial report:

The parent company is responsible for the development of the three-dimensional platform Entropia Universe, marketing the platform to new partners, monitoring and balancing of the economy and central management of the subsidiaries within the Group.

First Planet Company AB is a partner of the parent at company level and operates the business on the planet Calypso in Entropia Universe.

Entropia Universe Community Support & Operations AB provides maintenance services in Data processing, customer support and web / media for the parent company and its partners' level.

Ilunova SA de CV in Mexico, provides services in programming and customer support to the groups' companies and other planetary partners.

[1]

A fifth entity, Mind Bank AB is currently in development.

MindArk PE AB[edit]

MindArk Board of Directors. From left to right: Bernt Wåhlin, Jan Welter Timkrans, Hans Andersson, Lennart Molander.
MindArk Board of Directors. From left to right: Bernt Wåhlin, Jan Welter Timkrans, Hans Andersson, Lennart Molander.

Board:
CEO: Jan Eric Haldo Welter Timkrans
Chairman of the board: Lennart Bertil Molander
Hans Olaf Andersson
Bernt Ingemar Wåhlin
Anna Cornelia Sundstrom (alternate)
[2]

CTO: Mats Kling
COO: Magnus Eriksson
CMO: Christian Bjorkamn

Official website: mindark.com

First Planet Company AB[edit]

CEO: Marco Behrmann

Official website:

Entropia Universe Community Support & Operations AB[edit]

CEO: Anna Cornelia Sundstrom

Official website: euso.com

Early history[edit]

Startup[edit]

The concept design of Project Entropia was initiated in 1995 and was performed by one group of engineers in Switzerland, lead by Benny Iggland, and by one group in Sweden headed by Jan Welter Timkrans. In 1997, it was decided that a new company should be founded with the purpose of implementing the concept designed by the two groups. The company, MindArk AB, was started in 1999, with the purpose of bringing the work of the two groups together, and to finalize the development [3].

Initial funding was obtained through selling shares to investors, both private as well as institutional. Among the larger institutional investors between 1999-2000 were Skandia Liv, Banco fonder and Value Venture Capital AG.

Below follows a chronological list of milestone dates from the early Project Entropia release cycle:

  • March 1, 2001. The game enters the first stage of Beta testing [4], with a number of around 50 participants.
  • July 12, 2001, the signup for the second round of beta testing is announced. The signup is to start at July 23rd 2001, in order to end up with a pool of around 500 players [5].
  • August 15, 2001, signup for second beta closes, and out of the thousands of applications, a lucky 500 will be allowed to commence the second beta test [6].

License trouble[edit]

In April 2002, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) raided the MindArk offices, after being tipped off that MindArk was running unlicensed copies of software. As a result of the raid, MindArk was forced to close their offices while the investigations took place, resulting in a claim from the BSA that over 600 unlicensed copies of software were discovered in the raid.

MindArk in June 2002 released a statement that Microsoft was behind the bust, "because they see Project Entropia as a threat to their own game 'Asherons Call'" [7][8].

In July 2002, MindArk announced it was considering countersueing the BSA and comapnies involved in the court order for the damages sustained [9][10].

Later on, it turned out the suit had been filed by Microsoft, Adobe, MacroMedia, and AutoDesk. The charges were dropped in 2005. [11][12].

2003 and onward[edit]

The game was ready for launch come 2003, but one of the owners (Prosper Capital - Skandia) failed to live up to their promise of delivering 10 million Swedish Crowns [13], [14], leaving the board with no other option than to declare bankruptcy [15]. A number of senior managers saw plenty of potential in the system, and ended up forming a new company, MindArk PE AB which bought the operation of Project Entropia from the now bankrupt MindArk PE. Many of the existing MindArk employees chose to stay, and joined the new company [16] [17].

  • January 30, 2003: Project Entropia goes gold.

Going public[edit]

On September 30 2005, MindArk decided to try and offer shares to the general public. In order to do this, they talked to Credit Suisse to assist them with this IPO.

Banking License[edit]

In March 2009, MindArk released a press released that they were granted an official banking license by the Swedish authorities, allowing them to perform real world banking services to the users of their platform under the name Mind Bank AB [18]. The company is/was to be headed by Hans Andersson.

In the 2009 financial report, released in June 2010, it was revealed that Mind Bank failed to secure the required fundings for the venture (which was a sum of EUR 5 million), and thus MindArk requested for the permission to be revoked. From the financial report, it can be deducted that the plan is to try again at some later point when the required funding will have been secured[19]

MindbankLogo.jpg

Reports[edit]

Contact info[edit]

Mindark PE AB (publ)

Jarntorget 8

SE 413 04 Gothenburg

Sweden

Telephone: +46 (0)31 607 260

Fax: +46 (0)31 136 016

References, Links[edit]

  1. http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mindark.com%2Fpress%2Ffinancial-reports%2Fdocuments%2FMindArk-arsredovisning-2009.pdf&sl=auto&tl=en English translation by Google of the 2009 MindArk Financial Report
  2. http://www.allabolag.se/5566404769/befattningar MindArk corporate overview on allobloag.se
  3. http://web.archive.org/web/20010528050145/http://www.mindark.se/default.asp?page=concept MindArk Business concept and business model on the Internet Archive
  4. http://web.archive.org/web/20011126131120/http://www.project-entropia.com/news/inc/news_read_inc.asp?news_id=59 - announcement of beta test on the project entropia website
  5. http://web.archive.org/web/20011209072902/www.project-entropia.com/news/inc/news_read_inc.asp?news_id=118 announcement of second beta on the project entropia website
  6. http://web.archive.org/web/20011126131120/http://www.project-entropia.com/news/inc/news_read_inc.asp?news_id=130 announcement of selection of new beta testers on the project entropia website
  7. http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2002/06/53534 Pirate Cops Raid MS Gaming Foe on wired.com (June 28, 2002)
  8. http://www.firingsquad.com/news/newsarticle.asp?searchid=4183 MS Forces BSA Raid On Competitor on firingsquad.com (July 30, 2002)
  9. http://www.v3.co.uk/vnunet/news/2119299/games-designer-sue-microsoft Games designer to sue Microsoft on vnunet.com (now v3) (July 2, 2002)
  10. http://www.geek.com/articles/games/mindark-threatens-ms-with-suit-over-raid-2002075/ MindArk threatens MS with suit over raid on geek.com (July 5, 2002)
  11. http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/BSA-Lawsuit-Against-Swedish-Game-Developer-MindArk-Dropped-655773.htm BSA Lawsuit Against Swedish Game Developer MindArk Dropped on marketwire (March 28, 2005)
  12. http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/projectentropia/news.html?sid=6121252&mode=81645 BSA drops lawsuit against MindArk on gamespot (March 29, 2005)
  13. http://di.se/Default.aspx?pid=58980__ArticlePageProvider They accuse the company of Skandia's broken promises and threats on Dagens Industri.se (Swedish (November 28, 2003)
  14. http://di.se/Default.aspx?pid=109634__ArticlePageProvider The planet is fictional - the shops are for real on Dagens Industryi.se (Swedish) (August 1, 2007)
  15. http://www.mamut.net/spelinfo/newsdet156.htm MindArk - the mystery clears a bit on Mamut.net (April 30, 2003)
  16. http://www.gwn.com/news/story.php/id/1571/Project_Entropia_Division.html Project Entropia Division on gwn.com (April 23, 2003)
  17. http://gamezone.com/news/item/project_entropia_taken_over_by_mindark_pe_ab/ Project Entropia Taken Over by MindArk PE AB on gamezone.com (April 23, 2003)
  18. ftp://ftp.mindark.se/pr/Virtual_World_Developer_MindArk_Granted_Real_World_Banking_License.pdf Virtual World developer MindArk granted real world banking license - press release by MindArk
  19. http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=1&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mindark.com%2Fpress%2Ffinancial-reports%2Fdocuments%2FMindArk-arsredovisning-2009.pdf&sl=auto&tl=en English translation by Google of the 2009 MindArk Financial Report