CCP Games, one of the world's largest independent game developers, has appointed an in-world lead economist for Eve E Online. This is the first time an MMOG has commissioned a dedicated real world economist to operate at this level of economic monitoring and research for a virtual world. CCP says the appointment is testament to the growing intricacy and strength of Eve Online's thriving virtual economy.

Dr Eyjólfur Guðmundsson brings over 15 years' experience in economic studies and research, and joins CCP directly from the University of Akureyri, Iceland, where he among several teaching positions held the position of the Dean of the Faculty of Business and Science. Prior to that he was a research associate at the University of Rhode Island's Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics where he also completed his PhD. He has authored or co-authored 15 publications. Dr Guðmundsson's first blog on Eve Online economics is online at eve-online.com.

Dr Guðmundsson will publish quarterly reports on the state of the Eve Online economy as well as ongoing analysis of other economic indicators, such as inflation, economic growth and price trends. His research is designed to provide players with information necessary to make strategic decisions, but is also expected to have an impact on future development of the game. Dr Guðmundsson will also be responsible for coordinating research initiatives with academic institutions.

"Eve Online may be set in the future, but the skills needed to play are rooted in the real world of today. Players operate vast corporations whose shares are traded in-game among players so economic strength and agility is key to their success. Just as entrepreneurs and executives rely on real-world economic indicators, Eve Online players need timely information and analysis of the in-game economy," said Hilmar Pétursson, CEO of CCP Games. "That's why we created this important position and we're delighted to have someone of Eyjólfur's calibre and expertise fill the role."

"Virtual worlds and MMOGs are emerging as one of the most interesting areas of experimental economics. Since becoming involved with Eve Online, I have been exploring the game and growing more fascinated with the community, its complexities and the unlimited potential of it all. I can see that CCP has understood that the social structures in Eve Online are far beyond those of other games," said Dr. Guðmundsson. "Economic information is the lifeblood of the game and I believe that, by ensuring everyone has access to the same data, we will enhance the player experience and facilitate economic stability in Eve."

Set tens of thousands of years in the future, Eve Online is a journey to the stars, to an immersive experience filled with adventure, riches, danger and glory. Supported by a vast player-run economy, Eve offers professions ranging from commodities trader to mercenary, industrial entrepreneur to pirate, mining engineer to battle fleet commander or any combination of these and much more. A player's greatest asset is the starship, designed to accommodate each one's specific needs, skills and ambitions.

Complementing its lethal arsenal are thousands of modules and components, allowing for countless customisations. From brokering business deals to waging war, players have access to a diverse array of sophisticated tools and interfaces to forge their own destiny.