Virtual goods markets are picking up steam. That’s why PlaySpan is today announcing a virtual goods marketplace web site that combines items from a bunch of games.
The PlaySpan Virtual Goods Marketplace will sell items from dozens of top games, including EVE Online, Gunz, Kal, Knight Online, Saga, Shaiya, Silk Road, Soldier Front, Trickster and War Rock. Visitors to the site can purchase virtual currencies used in the games or buy the items directly themselves. Previously, the company has focused on creating virtual marketplaces on separate sites for each game.
Santa Clara, Calif.-based PlaySpan just announced last week that it raised a $16.8 million round of funding. Karl Mehta, chief executive, said the new site will be simple for users, secure, and will embrace a variety of payment options. With dozens of games served, the potential customer base is more than 100 million online gamers. The market will only sell items sanctioned by publishers.
Publisher partners include Aeria, CCP, GamersFirst, InixSoft, JoyMax, NHN, Ntreev and Saga. It’s no surprise a lot of the companies are based in Asia. The whole virtual goods movement, popularized there, offers an alternative business model to online game subscriptions. Strategy Analytics says virtual goods already make up a $1.5 billion industry.
The company competes with Twofish, Live Gamer, and unauthorized virtual market makers like Player Auctions. Mehta started PlaySpan last year with his then-12-year-old son.