Saturday, November 8, 2008

Wanna Launch a Virtual World?

Naofolt ( of Budapest Hungary, publisher of Hungary's largest Teen Virtual World CoolCamels ( is looking for international partners. Contact

Hungary's Largest Virtual World Looking for Partners

PG recently spoke to Balazs, Juhasz, Founder of Hungary's largest social networking site and kiddie virtual world, CoolCamels. Cool Camels is published by new media company Napfolt KFT in Budapest. You may find more information at the corporate site and facts here The Napfolt Team can also send you a company and product presentation if you like. Cool Camels, or "Teve Club" in Hungarian, is the most popular virtual world / social networking site for youth (kids, tweens and teens) in Hungary. There are 3 language versions, Hungarian, German and English with Cool Camels currently completed extensive development and feature enhancement with a coming mobile version to help speed international expansion and registration.

Cool Camels is perhaps the internet's 1st "virtual pet virtual world". It was conceived and launched in 1999 and has been developed completely in-house. Its international development team is located in Budapest and has some of the finest developer and technical resources in the country.

The Cool Camels team, has created unique and innovative technology including a 3D chat, comic strip generator (with 50,000+ user generated comics and proprietary game portfolio. Napfolt has also successfully extended the Cool Camel's brand into merchandise, animation and print media. It has its own retail operations and publishing arm ala WebKinz.

Napfolt's current aim is to spread the CoolCamels project all around the world, basically as a franchise system on a revenue share basis to have as many language
translations as they can. The new 3D site ( is much more easier to translate as the old version ( - and is much more expandable (easy to
insert new environments, rooms, items, advertisers, etc) So they have to
spread the new version to many languages and countries as possible.

The current old version English ( and German ( websites will be modified and upgraded to the new version as soon we'll find a local partner.

What does Napfolt offer to a local partner?
1. Napfolt provides the engine
2. Napfolt will host the webiste on it's server
3. Napfolt will provide all the new developments they make - to keep all the language versions up to date
4. Napfolt will make all the special appearance requested by paying advertisers
5. Revenue share on all incomes generated on the local site

What does Napfolt expect from a local partner?
1. Local marketing - as they need local users
2. Translation
3. User support

Good deal in PG's opinion. Contact Balazs at

Europe Loves Webkinz
The virtual pet store is a highly followed website, especially for pet lovers all over the world. People in Europe are more into pets and therefore, enjoy surfing this site much more than people from other parts of the world. The concept is simple, yet powerful- when you purchase your plush and beautiful webkinz pets from a store, you will find a secret code with your pet. You will be needed to use this code to register for the sit Webkinz a ganz website and from here on; you can have access to various fun activities on offer at this site. From caring for your favorite virtual pet, to answering webkinz pet trivia, this site is definitely a thriller of a site.
Webkinz, a ganz website offers you services such as online games featuring your favorite webkinz pets, lets you take a virtual tour of the webkinz, a ganz website, gives you the online catalogue, which is different for different pets of your choice and the site also features trading cards through which you can trade points with other users and end up winning goodies and kinz cash. The kinz cash can then later be exchanged with goodies on offer at this website. The never-sleeping customer support is also a great feature of this website and therefore, no matter which time zone you are located in, you will never feel at a loss of customer support. It is particularly due to an excellent customer support which is carried out round the clock that people in Europe particularly enjoy visiting this site time and again.
Other sections of the website contain a help section, an international edition and options to get the site text in the language of your preference. Other options include an online shopping store and a parent’s area. The parent’s area in itself is an all-shop stop for parents of children who are into webkinz pets. Parents can take advises on how to enhance the educational values of their webkinz toys and acquire related knowledge pertaining to effectively using their children’s’ webkinz toys. All these features allow you to navigate the site with ease, and let you worry about nothing except playing with your favorite online webkinz pets and grooming them online.
All in all, the site and its ease of navigation totally justify the kind of traffic it gets daily, especially from European nations, where the concept of online pet grooming is still relatively new. Its a Webkinz world after all.

MySpace Payment System Coming Soon

In the platform wars between Facebook on the one side and MySpace, Google, and the whole OpenSocial crew on the other, the side that makes it easier for application developers to make the most money will win. Advertising in social networks has always been problematic, and with an advertising recession upon us those already-low ad rates are going to get lower, not higher. The other way to make money on these platforms is to try to charge for apps themselves or sell things through the apps. But to do that developers first need a payment and billing system to tap into. Less than an hour ago, MySpace COO Amit Kapur revealed at the Web 2.0 Summit that MySpace is working on its own payments and virtual gift products that MySpace developers will be able to add to their own apps. Facebook has its own virtual gifts, but has not yet opened that to developers. (Although there is a gift economy inside Facebook powered by other companies). And Facebook has been rumored to be working on a payments system since forever.

iPhone’s App Store has proven that, at least on mobile phones, people are willing to pay for apps. Bringing that model to social networks could work if the quality of the apps goes up and the number goes down. One problem with Facebook and MySpace apps is that there are too many of them. there are no barriers to entry. Charging for apps, or trying to sell add-on services through them, would force the startups and developers creating them to build something that people are actually willing to pay for. And it is not just the developers who are in a sudden rush to figure out how they are going to make money. Facebook and MySpace are also under more pressure to ramp up revenues these days. The challenge to switching over to such a model from the current free-for-all is that the value of many of these apps is directly correlated with how many people use them. (More specifically, with how many of your friends use them). The minute someone charges for an app, the adoption rate goes way down. So some aspect of most of these apps will likely always be free. But the ability to charge for extras or for a more fully-featured experience might actually result in better apps being produced. In any case, the race is on to provide alternative revenue streams besides ads to app developers. Will MySpace beat Facebook to the payments party?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fruugo will do for online shopping ...

Get a load of the latest brainwave from the marketing team at struggling Finnish ecommerce startup FRUUGO ...

PG's favorite FRUUGO QUOTE is the current one;

"Fruugo will do for online shopping what KISS did for makeup."

Is someone actually being paid (in EURO's no less) to write this crap?

Disney CFO on Club Penguin in 08

-- Club Penguin: Disney acquired the kids' virtual world last year for $350 million in cash and a possible earn out of $350 million. Is it performing as expected? "Club Penguin actually is doing quite well for us." Disney recently launched a CP consumer products line on a limited scale. "It's not launched broadly yet, so this is anecdotal, but it's really a fairly hot property right now where we've launched it so we're looking to see if we can roll it out more broadly." In terms of the subscriber growth, "we're not overwhelmed but we're pleased."

CP also just launched its first non-English-speaking site in Brazil. "I think that bodes well for the future so I think there's real growth potential for Club Penguin and the rest of the work we're doing in virtual worlds."

PaymentGirl OnBoard

Sorry for the last apocalyptic post. To compensate, here are some more positive and inspiring images to keep you motivated to slavishly devote the prime time of your youth towards publishing and managing all your virtual world money making ventures. And yes, it is absolutely true, if you achieve ClubPenguin-like success, you can have your pick of any of these web 2.0 babes ... they will even dress up for you on HALLOWEEN!

By the way Dear Readers, did I mention we now have a PaymentGirl onboard? She or any of the moderately motivated PaymentGuys will make sure your virtual world or mmo generates enough cash flow to see you through this recessionary world economy!

if LinkedIn is Laying Off - the Internet Apocaolyse is Upon Us!

LinkedIn Rocks, Works, is CASH-FLOW POSITIVE and is all around a Totally Excellent Web 2.0 Venture ... So if this super web company is cutting 10% of staff, God knows what will happen to all the second rate virtual crapsites out there. Dear Readers please excuse the terrible picture but it was the ugliest one PG could find to visually articulate this pending internet industry armageddon:

LinkedIn Cuts 10% Of Staff TechCrunch less than a day ago

We've just heard from LinkedIn that the Sequoia-backed business network will be cutting 36 of 370 employees, or around 10% of the company. LinkedIn is saying that some of these employees will be reassigned to new roles (though the company won't comment on how many new roles there will be). It's likely that the cuts were prompted by investors like Sequoia pushing for cost cutting (the VC gave portfolio companies a 56 Slide Presentation of Doom last month in light of the economic crisis). But LinkedIn isn't about to run out of money: the company just closed a $22.7 million infusion, which came on top of a $53 million Series D round in June that pegged LinkedIn's valuation at $1 billion. Full story...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

PaymentGirl Joins PaymentGuy Inc.

PG is pleased to announce that a new Payment Guru has joined the team of payment pros at PaymentGuy Inc. which is now comprised of 5 super-smart, super-shrewd, somewhat-hardworking PaymentGuys and 1 super experienced, switched-on and talented PaymentGirl!
The payment guys are so very happy it's a Girl! It has been way too sweaty, macho and stinky here at our virtual HQ.

Welcome PaymentGirl!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

FRUUGO Sucks - Already?

From TechCrunch

Is Stealth Startup Fruugo Stumbling Right Before Launch Day?
Rumor has it that Finnish social e-commerce startup Fruugo is burning through a heap of cash, both hiring and firing employees at a rapid pace and dealing with some disappointed potential customers. Caveat: the service hasn’t even been launched yet.

Actually, Fruugo seems to have delayed its launch date a number of times already, although at this point they’re likely going for a big push at the upcoming SIME conference, arguably Northern Europe’s largest web event. The company has been in stealth mode to date, and has been signing NDAs with just about anyone they come into contact with. Being secretive and claiming that they will ‘do for online shopping what Google has done for search’ has evidently made Fruugo the talk of the town in Finland’s entrepreneurial community, but it’s still unclear what they’re up to exactly. It’s definitely a serious venture: they’re assumed to be backed by tens of millions of euros, employ a workforce of around 150 people and its board of directors has been joined by people like Nokia’s former CEO (and current Chairman of Shell) Jorma Ollila, and F-Secure Founder/Chairman Risto Siilasmaa. The biggest investors are Washington DC based Queensway Developments and TEKES.
This is what the Fruugo website reveals about the service:

At Fruugo, we’d like to bring retailers and consumers throughout Europe together for a new kind of shopping experience, one where consumers find a better way to shop and retailers find better ways to grow their business. We want to make it easy for consumers to buy the stuff they want, in their own language and using the payment method they prefer – without the hassle of exchange rates, complex shipping costs, taxes, or staying up all night worrying “am I actually going to get my stuff?” We want to help with all that.

Now tech blog ArcticStartups is suggesting something is amiss at Fruugo HQ.

Local serial entrepreneur Taneli Tikka has been adding fuel to the rumors with a blog post last week saying Fruugo is apparently mass-firing up to 33% of their staff and burning around 1 million euros a month, while customers (merchants) are underwhelmed by what they’ve seen so far. That’s a lot of gossip for a startup that has yet to release a public beta of their product.

Here is his take;

In any case it sounds like a really serious venture: to burn up multiple millions and hire up to 150 people before the product even hits the market. Ambitious, certainly. Risky, for sure.

The 33% people laid off sounds very serious for a couple of reasons; the first one on the list being how poor management competence it demonstrates (if it is true at all?). First hiring people rapidly and then firing lots of them a month later doesn't really showcase competent management. The current economic crisis is not and could not have been a surprise to anyone in the industry. Most people have been waiting since about 2005 for things to crash "any minute now". I personally remember being in Thailand in August of 2007 on a scuba diving course (PADI; Nitrox Diver), and discussing this economic stuff with other entrepreneurs vacationing there. Some memorable lines from the conversations were that "people don't realize how serious this is, our firm has been preparing for the crash for about 1,5 years now, and we except the economy to hit the wall within a year". Didn't happen quite that fast, but almost. Not a surprise for anyone; and it should not be for Fruugo either. Managers cannot see the future, but when they have to lay off people they ARE the ones ultimately responsible.

So what's up with that? All I have is the usual gossip and rumor mill, no really concrete stuff here. Does anybody know better?

PG told you so

Linden Lab Revises Second Life Price Hike

From Giga-Om;

A week after Linden Lab said it was raising the cost of buying and maintaining much of the virtual land in Second Life, leading to open revolt among many users, the company has significantly revised its pricing policies. Citing enormous customer feedback, Linden CEO Mark Kingdon laid out the revision today on the company’s blog.

At issue are the fate of so-called “Openspaces,” Second Life regions where wilderness and open ocean predominate. Such regions were designated for “light use” when Linden put them up for sale earlier this year, but that term was somewhat ambiguously defined, and what happened next is a case study in the challenges inherent in managing user-generated content. Many residents began building massive constructions and businesses on their Openspaces, causing unexpected server load. Meanwhile, others kept their land use comparatively light, adding Openspaces to existing property to buy a better view, for example, or to use as extra space for virtual sailing and other activities. No one was happy when the company announced the price hikes, but the light users in particular felt unfairly penalized.

In the revision, Openspace owners who comply with these regions’ original intent will be exempt from the increase, but will have to abide by technical limitations that Linden Lab is now implementing into their world’s server architecture, to insure they’re kept light use. Those who don’t comply will eventually pay the original price hike. So far, the virtual world’s user base seems largely receptive to the change. In an unscientific survey on my Second Life blog, reaction currently runs overwhelmingly positive, with nearly 70 percent describing themselves as satisfied — though much of them, just begrudgingly so.

Linden Lab Axes Second Life Business Development Team

From Valleywag there is a tipsters report that "Second Life maker swings layoff ax":
A tipster reports that Linden Lab, the maker of virtual world Second Life, is laying off its business-development department, which had cultivated ties with software makers. The move affects "9 or 10" employees," he says. A wise move, if tardy: Don't you need to have a business worth developing before hiring someone in business development?

According to a statement from CEO Mark Kingdon reported at, 4 employees are being laid off; "Linden Lab is profitable, healthy and growing. We've hired 100 people this year and have open positions we are working to fill," Linden CEO Mark Kingdon said in a statement. "We are also increasing our investment in core strategic initiatives related to platform stability, usability and several new product areas. As we've refocused on these core initiatives, we've had to make some hard decisions about resources and as a result we eliminated four positions out of our headcount of nearly 300. We do eliminate positions from time to time, and of course we have some attrition (in the single digits), though historically less than half the industry average."

PG wonders if Chris Collins aka Logan Linden, Director of Enterprise Business Systems at Linden Lab, and one of the most talented overall Lindens is one of the 4 affected employees.

Or if Chris Mahoney, aka Chris Linden, Sr. Business Development Manager is in the cuts;

There is also Jean Miller, Jean Linden, who carries the title Head of German Business Development at Linden Lab

Readers please note that PG has no knowledge that any of these 3 Linden employees are part of the terminated group of Linden Lab's business development team. They are mentioned here because they are some of the few Linden's who publicly carry biz dev titles.

Anyway, that said, none of this surpises PG who saw it coming. See what Christian Renaud, formerly Chief Enterpsise Architect said about about his interaction, or lack thereof with Linden Lab when trying to get the Lab's attention and support for his CISCO-in-SL initiatives. It is unbelievable to hear, but when Renaud was planning and launching amazing ground-breaking initiatives for CISCO in Second Life, there was nary the slightest interest or engagement from the "Business Affairs" Lindens. Here is what Renaud told Mitch Wagner at Information Week about his experience;

"In particular, Linden Lab needs to start paying more attention to its big customers. Prior to founding TIG this year, Renaud headed up Cisco Systems' Second Life effort. They have six islands and 1,000 employees in Second Life. But despite the size of the investment, Renaud said he found it difficult to get support from Linden Lab or find someone to talk to."
What is striking is the Linden that actually managed and ran the department and managed to blow every business dev guy's dream of having 1,000's of Fortune 500, European Enterprise and Asia Pac Business PowerHouses come begging to do business with Linden by not giving them the time of day, VP Ginsu Yoon, seems safe from the cuts, for now at least, as they are at the employee level.

So here is PG's advice to newbie Linden Lab Chairman Philip Linden and newbie CEO M Linden;

1. Keep the talented hardworking Linden Business Affairs/Development employees.

2. Lead them, inspire them and give them much needed focus and direction to retake the initiative with the enterprise sector.

3. Can Yoon - the Linden who, in PG's humble opinion at least, is most responsible for the stagnation and erosion of business development in the first place and for blowing a once-in-a-lifetime Golden Goose business opportunity.

Ok. Now it looks like SL will focus on Educators and Governments having lost Businesses. Interestingly, there was also a recent Linden hire aimed at pursuing the Government sector ala Forterra Inc.:

"Not all that long ago, if you wanted a piece of Second Life Linden Lab would be just about the last organization to deal with you. Linden Lab was all about the platform. If you wanted help setting up shop, or a marketing presence, to the Lab you were no different from any other customer. Those days, apparently, are over. Linden Lab has partnered with Rivers Run Red, and is now in the business of marketing and selling solutions. While a jump in new sales and marketing staff (like European Marketing Director, Clare Rees) are now old news, Linden Lab has a new hire from Washington DC.

That's Scott Sechser, former Operations Manager at the White House. That's the one at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW. Sechser is the new Government Accounts Manager at Linden Lab, which involves the care and feeding of government clients, as well as marketing and sales work to land new government customers. It isn't any stretch to assume that Immersive Workspaces 2.0 is going to be the chef's special on that menu. Sechser's career kicked off in 1995 as an intern for US Senator Larry Pressler, then Field Director for the Bob Dole for President campaign the following year. Then a stint at Aspect media, before spending nearly five years as the Operations Manager at the White House. Finally, Sechser worked in Special Projects for the US Department of Health and Human Services before being hired by Linden Lab last month. All in all, we've seen a profound psychological and philosophical shift at Linden Lab this year, essentially not only reversing their overall hands-off policy, but growing a sales, marketing and account management team that may soon exceed the size of the Linden Lab's core development team at this rate.

See related post:

Virtual World Research Needs Your Help

PG's fellow Blogger Karl Kapp NEEDS YOU and will pay you in Lindens!
"Some colleauges of mine have asked me to forward on this important announcement about Second Life Research. Participate in a study that examines the experiences of individuals collaborating in virtual environments. To participate, you must have a Second Life avatar and account, and access to a Second Life client on a PC. Participation will involve 2 online surveys and completion of a team exercise in Second Life. The 1st survey takes about 10 minutes to complete, the exercise about 30 minutes, and the post-exercise (2nd) survey about 15 minutes. For participating you will receive US$20. In addition, for every 25 teams, prize money will be awarded to the 2 best performing teams with each member receiving US$100. If you desire, payment may be made in Linden dollars (L$),e.g., US$20 is currently worth about L$5200. If you are interested in participating, please go to the link below by September 25th to tell indicate your time preferences for participation in the study:

Yes, count me in for this exciting research.

Investors Pump $148.5 Million Into 12 Virtual Worlds Companies In Q3

By Tameka Kee - Wed 15 Oct 2008 04:12 PM PST

While VC firms like Sequoia Capital prep their startups for leaner days, and the WSJ says that marketers are planning to cut back spending on “experimental” ad buys, a group of virtual worlds companies has nearly $150 million to burn. Virtual Worlds Management reports that a dozen virtual worlds-related companies received $148.5 million in funding in Q3, bringing the total amount invested in the space this year to over $493 million. Kid-friendly worlds were definitely a focus, as more than half of the deals (worth more than $36 million) were with companies that had either launched or were set to launch youth-facing properties; but it will be interesting to see if the same level of investment is sustained in the coming months.

-- Notable deals: SF-based Gaia Online picked up $11 million in a third round led by Institutional Venture Partners. All told, the teen hangout has raised over $32 million since 2006. Hollywood Interactive Group snagged $5 million in a first round led by BlueRun Ventures. The company launched, a celeb- and entertainment-themed world for women, in June.

Ukash, an electronic payment provider (a la PayPal) picked up a $14.4 million investment from Gold Cash Investments (a subsidiary of Blue Label Telecoms) and DataCash. The U.K.-based company works with a number of virtual worlds, including Habbo Hotel and Stardoll.

-- Biggest deal: MMO and virtual world developer Trion World Network was the biggest winner, picking up $70 million in a third round. The Redwood City, CA.-based company is using the funds to develop a new MMORPG, and Interwoven, a virtual world-TV show hybrid with The Sci Fi Channel, per Virtual Worlds News.

Should Open Virtual Worlds Use the Second Life Currency? L$

The short answer to this is NO. The L$ is uniquely tied to the economy of Second Life and with Linden's limited payment infrastructure, especially lack of alternative payment methods and international payment method reach, the playing field is still open for a "gold standard" virtual currency for 3D worlds. The payment infrastructure (both accepting and exchanging and processing payouts/redeeming payouts from exchange transactions) needs to exist to underpin the virtual currency adoption, use and dispersion. So there is a huge opportunity for any entrepreneur to create an open payment platform to disperse an internationally recognized and cross virtual world/environment redeemable virtual currency unit.

In any event, Ginsu Yoon has blow this opportunity for Linden by repeatedly undermining the substance and nature of the L$ as a viable virtual currency by publicly declaring it a "limited license" for use at the "Second Life product" revocable at will by Linden Lab and other such on the fence spin

Anyway, read on for some interesting points in this article from "OpenSim Development: Show Me the Money!" By Sigmund Leominster, News Editor

At this year’s Second Life™ Community Conference (SLCC) in Tampa, Florida, a group of OpenSim developers and Linden Lab® employees ran a session called “Open Software for Open Worlds.” One of the topics that came up was whether the OpenSim environments would be able to use Linden™ dollars. From a financial perspective, Second Life business owners wanting to set up in alternative environments would benefit from having one currency. In the same way that Europe now has the Euro as an across-the-board exchange medium, so some sort of common monetary unit across virtual environments would be valuable. In the recent article The 4C’s of 3D’s, one of the suggested key factors for success in a virtual world is the ability to handle Commerce, which in turn requires a unit of currency. Second Life resident and businessman, IntLibber Brautigan, described money as Second Life’s “killer app,” the fundamental substrate on which a business can not only be built but thrive. On the Linden Lab side, Rob Lanphier, the “Open Source Busybody,” said that he was unsure at this stage how porting the Linden into OpenSim worlds could be done. According to Lanphier, “We’re not going to pretend we know how to export that in a way that protects Second Life’s economy. I can’t project a timeline.”

This is something of a step back from comments made in a Reuter’s article in July by Linden VP Joe Miller:

“I could see Linden offering economic services, trading services, search services,” Miller said. Some OpenSim worlds may respect Second Life’s intellectual property protections and commerce functions. The Linden Dollar, with a years-long reputation of solid financial backing, may be positioned to become the gold standard of virtual currencies. (Reuters).

Knowing that the number of virtual environments is likely to get larger, it would be prudent for LL™ to take on the role of “international banker” and become more involved in providing a virtual banking system based on the Linden dollar. Experience in the real world suggests that there is a tendency for monetary systems to converge, not diverge, and the costs involved with having multiple currencies and concomitant exchange rates would have businesses wringing their hands. But over on the OpenSim developer’s side, Adam Frisby said that he didn’t see money as being an essential in the early stages of a sim. “Money doesn’t belong in the core [OpenSim] product build.” Frisby is also the Director of Research for DeepThink Labs, a company that provides customized services to virtual worlds. For private sims that are simply an extension of a real-world company, used for conferencing, testing, development and so forth, there is unlikely to be any need for a monetary exchange system. But in the world of public sims, attention to the needs of in-world commerce in terms of a domestic currency may be critical. Waiting, as Frisby suggested, to “ask again in six or nine months” may be de-motivating for current owners of virtual businesses. What they want to do is expand into new worlds and start making a return on investment as quickly as possible: If there is no means of realizing a ROI, why would they bother?

Want a Job? Roblox is Hiring!

WANTED: Director of Online Ad Sales – Fast Growing Virtual World and 3D Game – VC Bac
ROBLOX is a fast growing online virtual world and building game for kids – think “Second Life meets building blocks”. We have established a compelling market presence and a clear advertising demographic. We are looking for a motivated, hands-on individual to lead our direct and network advertising sales campaigns. We prefer experience with kid friendly companies (cereal, toys, video games, etc.), but a compelling track record in online sales counts more.

The ROBLOX user base is expanding at an explosive rate: in a recent week, over 2.9 million games were played, 5.5 million building blocks were used, and 1.5 million Robux (our in game currency) were exchanged. Our users are also passionate, playing over 5 hours per week, on average. Check us out on YouTube – search on “ROBLOX”.

You will be responsible for forging new advertising partnerships with national brands, maintaining existing relationships, developing pitch presentations, updating sales forecasts, and maintaining a sales pipeline. You will be expected to consistently hit and exceed revenue goals, and will be compensated through a mix of salary, commission, and stock.

If you fit the bill, and are interested in joining a growing, efficient, and highly focused startup in the gaming market, we want to meet you.

*BS or MBA in Marketing, Advertising, Communications, or equivalent education or experience
* 5+ years experience in an online-sales advertising leadership role
* Experience identifying and closing new advertising opportunities
* Knowledge and interest in children’s games, toys, and products
* Demonstrated ability to implement and lead an organized, effective sales process
* Drive, passion, and the ability to execute and deliver
* Proven track record of success developing long-term strategic relationships

* We are a startup company in Redwood City – and we have done this before
* We are funded by a leading venture capital firm and professional angel investors
* Our environment is dynamic – we release a new build every two weeks
* We are passionate about quality in everything we do
* We offer competitive benefits, commission, and stock options
* For more info, read our news and forum sections at

Please visit Roblox Jobs 2.0 to submit a resume or learn more about a career at ROBLOX.

Wizard101 Innovates in Payment Method Selection

This is very smart! From Massively;

Wizard101 lets players choose their payment method by Shawn Schuster Nov 3rd 2008 at 4:00PMness models, MMO industry, Free-to-play, Kids, Wizard101

In an innovative move by KingsIsle Entertainment, Wizard101 has just announced their new payment plan which promises to cater to a larger audience. This new plan will let players decide for themselves which game payment plan suits them best. As described in a recent press release:

* At the basic level, Wizard101 is free-to-play for as long as players choose.
* Subscriptions provide advanced gameplay access for a monthly fee. Prices start at $6.95 per account per month for multiple accounts on the family plan, or $9.95 per month for the regular subscription. All items will be available to subscribers via in-game gold or item drops.
* The micropayment system now allows individual streets or "zones" to be unlocked for as little as $1.00. Players purchase packages of in-game currency called Crowns to buy zones or items in the game. A volume discount is available based on the number of Crowns purchased.

PayByCash Ultimate Game Card Goes North

Ultimate Game Card™ Now Available in Canadian Stores

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, Tuesday, November 04, 2008 -- (Business Wire India)
Ultimate Game Card™, the prepaid gift card accepted by more than 200 online multiplayer games, is now available in western Canada at 294 Mac’s Convenience Stores, Inc. By the holiday season, 580 of Mac’s eastern stores will also stock Ultimate Game Card. While there are many prepaid cards targeted to multiplayer games, Ultimate Game Card is the only card accepted by more than 200 games and sold in more than 18,000 major retail stores in Canada and the U.S.

Developed and supported by PayByCash®, a subsidiary of PlaySpan, Inc., these pre-paid cards are available at Mac’s in a $20 denomination. They are redeemable at more than 200 online multiplayer game supported by PayByCash. Ultimate Game Card allows customers to make fast payments for online entertainment without submitting financial information.

Kevin Higgins, president of PayByCash commented, “Ultimate Game Card usage continues to grow. Retailer demand is high, allowing game publishers to accept Ultimate Game Card payments at a cost that is lower than if they distributed their own card by themselves or through a third party. It’s as instant as a credit card, accessible all across the United States and Canada, and easy to use for game players of all ages.

“With the Ultimate Game Card having such dense distribution throughout North America, single-publisher game cards are an evolutionary dead end. They don’t make sense for publishers and certainly make things harder for those buying gifts for gamers. With an industry-wide card, givers don’t have to worry about which game their favorite gamer will be playing in a month or two. With the Ultimate Game Card, gift givers can be confident their gift will be a great one.”

Higgins continued, “With the help of our distributor, InComm, our Canadian customers now have access to the fasted growing game card in North America. Canadian gamers can now pay for their online games in the time it takes to run to the convenience store.”

Clickandbuy Payment Problems Increase at MMO Cabal Online

From "Some problems at Click and Buy"
Hello peeps
I have noticed myself that there is an increase in tickets with problems at Click and Buy. Anyone asking questions about this should be given the following advice:

I have to look through all the tickets to see what the problems are then I will get onto Click and Buy about them.
When you write a ticket please remember to include:
1. Your game account id
2. The payment system you have a query on.
3. Your Click and Buy (or other system) account username and number.
4. The date of your transaction
5. The amount of your transaction in € and Cabal cash.
6. A receipt or confirmation of your purchase if you have one.
7. Details of any error message that you might have encountered.
If you include all these details in your first message your tickets will be processed much more quickly. And PLEASE just send ONE ticket for any one problem as it takes precious time gathering them into one ticket to process. And please send your ticket to just ONE section. Sending a clutch of tickets for one problem to every section doesn't help anyone. Thank you, I'll let you know as soon as I can give you any news.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Virtual world payment trends 2008 - Post 3 (Building a Mobile Payment Network)

Continuing PG's extremely popular look at the top 10 payment trends so far in 2008, we dive into that most promising, confusing, baffling, yet essential payment method of all - mobile payments. This payment method is PG's 08 trend 2.;

"Premium SMS - still huge in Europe but dwindling in popularity in Asia and still relatively unadopted in North America but huge potential in USA and Canada. Critical in South America with absence of other reliable payment methods"

Everyone and their mother knows you absolute gotta make money from all those 100's of millions of mobiles, otherwise known as cellphones in the USA. So PG will cut to the chase, spare the Juniper analysis and Gartner dredge on the emerging mobile payment industry and tell yo uthe bottom line step by step guide to start building. launching and deploying a money-making mobile payment network;

Step 1 - Deploy Onebip

Marko Maras and his team at Onebip are doing amazing things making it easy for merchants like virtual world operators, mmo's ... to quickly deploy, scale and manage an international payment infrastructure. Onebip is simply the fastest, easiest, most economical and thus best way PG knows to start offering mobile payments. So here is a tip to PG's dear readers, get Onebip! You can check out their demo at
This gives a good overview of their mobile billing system. They are very different from companies such as mBlox, IPX, Netsize… which sell connectivity. Onebip is a consumer oriented mobile payment service that narrows the gap between mobile billing and credit card processing. The benefits of this approach are; a. for consumers
b. for merchants
Onebip security guarantees the highest billing rate in the market with the lowest charge back. Their customers include: Ijji, Aeriagames, Habbo Hotel, Gameforge, Bigpoint, Travian, Roliana…. So if you want to start making mobile money, contact Marko at Onebip!
Marko Maras
V.le Monte Nero, 84
20135 Milan Italy
Phone: +39 02 5410 2771
Fax: +39 02 5412 4323
Mobile: +39 339 455 4544

Step 2: Deploy a good local partner in your core market like a MyThumb in Canada

an Air2Web in USA, etc... PG can help you if you need recommendations on country or region specific mobile payment partners.

Step 3: Deploy a global mobile connectivity partner that offers billing services in multiple countries. The better providers in PG's experience include;

a. Ericsson IPX - excellent people, excellent service, excellent technology

and backed by SonyEricsson unlike the other start-up and small cap SMS billing companies. And their Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish and other sales girls are hot!

b. Cyclelogic - best connectivity pan Latin America with CEO Miguel Ordonez a great guy to work with and truly one of the most knowledgeable experts in the mobile payment industry and knows the Latin American / Hispanic internet business landscape inside out;

c. Verisign - smart aquisitions like the MQube and 3United deal give them excellent international connectivity and emerging market know-how (

Some other companies in this space worth mentioning are;

Mobillion - do not expect these Dutch cheapskates to even buy you lunch after closing a 10+ country connectivity deal but they have low rates and know what they are doing;

b. Netsize - if you can stand the French C'est la vie approach, they could be a good value-adding partner for you and Stan Chesnais the CEO and Founder is a cool and smart guy.

So that is that on building a global mobile payment network. Contact PG is you are confused and he will solve all your mobile payment worries.

See related posts on 08 virtual world payment trends here: