In-game commerce network PlaySpan is taking one of the hassles out of trading virtual goods. In the past, gamers had to engineer a risky drop-off inside a game world in order to trade valuable virtual goods between game characters. The gray-market system (often not sanctioned by game operators) required that player arrange to meet inside a virtual world and was also rife with fraud, as many people didn’t show up as promised.

Now the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has created a system for both automatic payment on virtual goods transactions and safe and automatic delivery. In December it launched its own PlaySpan Marketplace as a kind of portal where gamers could engage in virtual goods transactions for 25 games. Here’s a video of how it works.

Today, PlaySpan is taking the Marketplace a step further inside the Gravity Interactive game, Ragnarok to provide automated in-game delivery of virtual items purchased from the PlaySpan Marketplace. In the game, players use their avatars, or virtual characters, to visit a special character who can deliver the purchased item.

PlaySpan is also introducing Ultimate Points for the Marketplace, allowing customers who don’t have access to cash or credit cards to engage in commerce. The players can earn points by completing surveys or accepting advertising offers. With this option, PlaySpan chief executive Karl Mehta says the company can reach many more players.

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