This article (own work) was originally published in the gaming magazine 2old2play. Read other articles

UPDATE: Airidas Korolkovas sold Informatist and I do not recommend it at all now a days due to a lack of administration/development, an extremely small player base and general disrepair of what was once a good game. If you are looking for a business simulation game/open economics game I suggest you try out The Business Sim (DS product) instead.

A guide I wrote for Informatist is available here

“Informatist.net is an online massive multiplayer economics game. Players compete in order to dominate the market and achieve the best financial results. The game is open - anyone can play it without any cost. No special software required - web browser is enough. You don't even have to register, try playing right away!”

Informatist is an open economics game (business simulation game), a simplified version of Capitalism if you like. This game is entirely browser based (php), so there is no need to download any client. What makes Informatist different from other business games? First it’s ability to play casually, and still be a ‘tycoon’ aka a leading figure in the game. Second the game is always changing, as the game is played in rounds, which are typically two months long, new updates are introduced in each round, which means that the game has to be played on a new level. No round is ever the same. Although what truly make this a great game, is the player interaction and the great community behind the game, this game has a small, but quickly growing community, where everyone is always trying to help each other, which is a rare thing these days.

The game is primarily text based, with a few images and charts added in along the way. Although in no way does this detract from the game, in fact the simplicity attracts some players and adds to the game. The games primary needs are euros, energy and info. Euros are the currency in the game, which are basically your player’s wealth. Energy can be used in hundreds of different ways, but is the base to ‘taking action’ in the game. Energy is updated hourly, and the richer you become, the more energy you can get per hour, as you move your residence to a higher rated district. Info is knowledge, and knowledge is power, as learning is restricted to how much info one has. 

Two business rulings can be created. Enterprises can be created, you put up the capital, you put up the energy to hire employees, and you make or break the company, not to mention the fact that you receive 100% of the profit.  Joint stock companies are companies that have two or more players investing in the business. A head then has to be elected, and they control the company, and ultimately how successful the company is. Profit is paid out in the form of dividends from a joint stock company, and profit is encashed from an enterprise.

Like any good business game, Informatist has a working stock market, in which players can buy, sell or bid for shares on the stock market. Playing the stock market can be very profitable and you can easily become a market reject or a stock market guru. I really enjoy this part of the game, as both players are getting the good end of a deal, one getting euros for shares, and the other getting stock to put in their portfolio.

Although what really makes this game better than games such as Capitalism is the community. Informatist has a great community, a community which is always wiling to help each other out, and this makes the game more fun and more realistic.

Updates occur often, and these often add new playing elements to the game, which retains old players, which helps to keep the game interesting. So all in all Informatist is one heck of an economics game and one hell of a free game. So for anyone who wants a good economics game, which is free, regularly updated and has a great community look no further than Informatist.

Informatist is currently available in English and Lithuanian.   
Score – 9/10

We were lucky enough to catch up with Airidas Korolkovas (creator of Informatist), and find out some more exclusive information about Informatist.

Airidas Korolkovas
Creator of Informatist

Where did you inspiration for Informatist come from?
Once while in economics class, we (students) were offered to play a local economics game in teams containing several people, for around 3€ (euros). Almost everyone was interested. Then I thought that even I can make a better game than that and if I didn’t charge any money, then how many people would I get playing? So that was the beginning of Informatist.

How long in the making was Informatist?
The first version took about four months and at its peak had around thirty registered players, and something like five people playing. Then I had to redesign everything, which took about two months and had a thousand registered players, a hundred or so playing. Then redesign everything again and in a month, had several hundred active players. So in total I've spend around half a year on it.

Do you regret anything at all about creating Informatist?
I don't regret a tiny bit of this. It's only a little sad that at the beginning I made so many wrong turns and mistakes, and fixing them took me a long time.

Is the game always going to remain free or will it become a supporter game?
Yes, the game will remain free. I don't have any plans of charging any fees.

Do you still play Informatist?
I can't remember when I last time played it for any kind of fun. It's just quick testing to see if things work properly

Are there any plans for a sequel game, or any other games in development?
There won't be sequels, because if I make an update, it replaces the current version. Another game is a nice idea, but this time I'm very careful to choose the theme and things to do in the game. If I make a new game, it will probably take longer to get released, but will be good from the first time.

A guide I wrote for Informatist is available here

UPDATE: Airidas Korolkovas sold Informatist and I do not recommend it at all now a days due to a lack of administration/development, an extremely small player base and general disrepair of what was once a good game. If you are looking for a business simulation game/open economics game I suggest you try out The Business Sim (DS product) instead.

This article (own work) was originally published in the gaming magazine 2old2play. Read other articles