Entropia Universe, the online community with a real cash economy, has become the first virtual world to ever win an Emmy Award.
The International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences gave the International Interactive Emmy Award for Best Interactive TV Series to The Truth About Marika, a drama produced by Swedish Television and The Company P. Setting it apart from conventional television shows, viewers of The Truth About Marika could search for clues planted in Entropia Universe, piecing them together to help solve a mystery. Fans could also interact with avatars of the show's main characters while in the game.
Calling the show a breakthrough for both television and the internet, Christian Bjorkman, director of special projects at Entropia Universe developer Mindark, said, "Television and broadcasting companies all over the world are currently discussing new revenue models, how to capture viewers' attention and how to create enhanced value and stickiness to their shows, not just during airtime, but before and after as well. The collaboration with Swedish Television and The Company P was extremely successful, especially as a preliminary project, and Mindark is excited to form relationships with other forward-thinking media partners to push the limits of entertainment to the next level."
"We beyond thrilled to be part of this Emmy Award and are extremely thankful to Swedish Television and The Company P for allowing us to be part of this momentous relationship," added Mindark CIO Marco Behrmann. "We look forward to more integration of entertainment outlets as technology and viewer demand calls for it."
Running between May and November 2007, The Truth About Marika saw thousands of people joining a young woman in a search for her best friend Marika and thousands of other Swedish citizens who have disappeared since the 1960s. With "based on a true story" marketing, The Truth About Marika saw its fan community overcome a series of complex trials in order to come face-to-face with "the mind-blowing truth."