Social net e-commerce provider PlaySpan is hoping to augment its business, which targets online communities, gamer sites and virtual worlds, by acquiring rival Spare Change. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
The addition of Spare Change adds to the company's product offerings, which currently include Ultimate Wallet (an e-wallet for games and other applications), PayByCash (an online payment processor), and Ultimate Game Card (a pre-paid game card) among others. The company recently announced that it had partnered with social network hi5 to provide its 60-million-plus audience with virtual goods sales solutions through PayByCash and Ultimate Game Card.
Companies (like social networks, video games, or virtual worlds) that sell virtual goods continue to perform very well even during the economic downturn. Tencent recently announced it had sold nearly $1 billion in virtual goods in 2008 and hi5 said it would focus more on deriving revenue from the sale of virtual goods than advertising. Meanwhile Chinese gaming company Changyou, which also makes money from selling virtual goods, went public in a highly successful IPO.
By Rory Maher