Organizations in Entropia Universe

Susanne Sperling

Student thesis: Master thesis


Over 17 million people world-wide are playing Massive Multiple Online Role- Playing Games2 (MMORPG) also known as virtual worlds. In the last 10 years the concept of MMORPG and virtual worlds have slowly progressed and become more and more widely spread, and so has the research within this field. Yet it is still a much-unexplored area of study. Most of the studies that have been carried out, has taken on a psychological and sociologic perspective. In recent years though, virtual worlds have begun to attract much attention from an economical theoretic perspective. Entropia Universe is one of these virtual worlds and it is the virtual world that this study will be focused on. There are many ways that a gamer can take part in Entropia Universe. One way is to be part of a guild. This study focuses on the question “How are the organizational forms that exist in the virtual-world-economy known as Entropia Universe constructed?” The approach to answering this question comprises of qualitative case study of five guilds from Entropia Universe and relating theory that can help to describe what has been observed. The theories used to describe the guilds are organizational behavior, transaction cost economics and Clan theory. The conclusion from this study is that guilds in the virtual world of Entropia Universe resemble the hierarchal governance structured organizations found in the real world. However, the guilds also shares resembling of another type of governance structure, namely the Clan. The guilds in Entropia Universe all have objectives, goals and coordinating mechanisms that can be compared to those that real world organizations have, but in terms of socialization process that all the guilds finds extremely important and in regards to informal rules that exist in the guilds when it comes to making transactions inside the guild, those traits are more characteristic for a clan than for a real world hierarchal governance structured organization.

EducationsMSc in Finance and Strategic Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages186