We just wrote about PlaySpan’s recent study showing positive growth in the exchange and e-commerce of virtual goods exchange. PlaySpan powers micro-payments across over 1,000 video games and virtual worlds and has virtual goods storefronts on Facebook, MySpace, within games and on its standalone site. Today, PlaySpan is announcing a fairly significant deal with Nickelodeon to power payment services for virtual goods and microtransactions for the Nickelodeon Kids and Family Virtual Worlds Group.
PlaySpan’s technology and services will power Nickelodeon’s virtual worlds’ currency, called NeoCash, across multiple payment providers including credit cards and prepaid cards. Through PlaySpan’s subsidiary PayByCash, Nickelodeon will offer users over 80 global payment methods.
This is a big move for PlaySpan, considering Nickelodeon’s vast reach and popular games, including virtual world NeoPets, which has a user base of 45 million gamers. PlaySpan recently acquired micro-transaction app developer Spare Change, which powered micropayments across 700 social networking apps on Facebook, MySpace, and Bebo. Earlier this year, PlaySpan also made deal to power micropayments on hi5.
Micropayments are huge these days and the number of players are scaling quickly. With continued expansion on social networks, media properties and virtual worlds, startup PlaySpan has become a player in an arena where bigger players like PayPal, Facebook and MySpace are all investing in. In fact, PayPal’s new API powers micropayments. The competition may be stiff but as micropayments for virtual goods continue to gain traction in virtual worlds and integrate with consumers’ social graphs, there is definite potential for both startups like PlaySpan, Live Gamer and Zuora, and the more established players to play in the same pool.