Saturday, October 31, 2009

Top MMO's Since WOW

Russian Billionaire Blows $52,000 on Lunch!!!!!!

Most people don't make $52,000 in a year -- but Friday afternoon one Russian billionaire dropped that much cash on LUNCH!!!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Runescape Payment Method Mix

Offers a good model ...

Listing The Best European Virtual Worlds

What are the best virtual worlds from Europe? Any thoughts Dear Readers?

Obopay Offers Game Payments

They will kick ass in this huge space.... From
Obopay, a mobile payment company funded by Nokia, is announcing today that it is moving into online games so that you can buy items in social network games using your mobile phone. Obopay is one of a number of startups that make it easy to pay for services with a mobile phone. Users can mobilize their credit or debit cards by linking them to a mobile phone number. They can then pay for services by giving their phone number and typing in a PIN code for security. Online merchants like it because it eliminates friction in payments. So far, Obopay has focused on payments between people who have cell phones. It is also powering the new Nokia Money service which you can use to buy cell phone minutes, pay bills, or buy goods and services. Now, with today’s announcement, the company is adding payment for games on social networks such as Facebook. Obopay says there are lots of synergies between powering Nokia Money and handling mobile payments for games. Although it is late to the games market, Obopay has a lot going for it. The company was founded in 2005. Its partners include Nokia, AT&T, Verizon Wireless and MasterCard. Today’s announcement extends Obopay payment system to let people use their phone numbers to make purchases inside games using a credit or debit card attached to the mobile number. The user enters the mobile phone number and their PIN number, without having to leave the game itself. On Facebook, for instance, the user doesn’t have to be redirected to another web site to make the payment. Normally, lots of transactions are abandoned if a user has to leave a web site. With easier ways to pay, users will stay inside games longer, and that means better monetization for merchants. Obopay says that it has an advantage over rivals because the merchants also don’t have to give up a large percentage of their revenue to carriers who fulfill mobile payments via cell phone bills. The new Obopay system is already in use at game companies, which are yet to be announced. Obopay has about 200 employees. Rivals include PayPal Mobile, Zong, Boku, MPesa, and others. Besides Nokia, investors include AllianceBernstein, Essar Telecom USA Limited, ONSET Ventures, Qualcomm, Redpoint Ventures, Richmond Management, and Wolfensohn & Co. In March, Nokia said it put $70 million into Obopay.

Surfpin Looks OK

Check them out if you want a telco payment partner; "Surfpin is a secure payment method which enables customers without credit cards to purchase digital content and services quickly, safely and securely via their telephone. The Surfpin payment method is currently available to more than two billion people across 30 countries and in 15 different currencies, driving global e-commerce. Surfpin can only be used to pay for and access content suitable for all ages and protects the customer's identity. No personal information is required to make a payment, giving greater peace of mind for parents of younger users. Businesses and consumers can find more information about Surfpin at

Will Wright Hints at His Upcoming Interactive Toy Gig

Maybe he took a hint from PG on the interactive toy opp?;

"Will Wright is still messing around. The 49-year-old creator of The Sims, Sim City and Spore quit Electronic Arts in April, but he continues to "build things that people would want to play with." Wright is still cagey about what he has up his sleeve, but he's given us a few clues.

Hint #1: It's a toy. Wright will be taking his concept to the New York Toy Fair in February, where he will deliver a talk titled "The Evolution of Entertainment: A Toy's Place" at the Engage! Expo, a conference on the convergence of toys, the Internet, virtual worlds, games and social media.

Hint #2: It will involve games. How could it not? Wright's games have sold more than 100 million copies and generated more than $1 billion in sales for EA, which has invested in Wright's company, the strangely named Stupid Fun Club.

Hint #3: It will have robotic components. "To some degree," he qualifies. "All of our projects have crossover elements. Even calling it a toy makes it too specific." Wright's fascination with robots dates back to when he was a child building model tanks and attaching motors to them.

Hint #4: It will be connected to the Internet. Many toys have developed online components. Ganz's Webkinz, for example, is both an online virtual world and a line of plush toys. Hasbro has collaborated with Electronic Arts to create a virtual world based on the toy company's Littlest Pet Shop line of stuffed animals.

Hint #5: It will rely on crowdsourcing. No surprises there, since The Sims spawned hundreds of thousands of fan-created YouTube videos. Wright cites a toy called 20Q that asks players to think of an object, then proceeds to guess what that object is after asking 20 questions. The program that generates the answers came from a database of questions and answers generated by millions of visitors to a website of the same name.

Still don't get it? Neither do we. But we're still intrigued. Hopefully, Wright will have more to say at The Engage conference at Toy Fair.

-- Alex Pham

Cellufun Globalizes Virtual Currency

Cellufun FunCoins virtual currency are now available for purchase by users in 25 different countries worldwide via mobile billed to the user's monthly mobile billing statement. Current FunCoins one-click purchase coverage includes North America, most of the European Union, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, South Africa, Thailand, and Turkey. The next territories to receive the rollout will be China and South America.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sarf Studios Website 100%

Planet Sarf is looking good

Click&Buy Changes its T&C

PG got the following email from Clickandbuy;

"Improving our Terms & Conditions

Dear Mr. XXXXX aka PaymentGuy,
We would like to inform you that we have updated our terms & conditions in order to improve clarity and comply with forthcoming regulations relating to payment services.
The new Terms & Conditions will be valid from 31. October 2009 onwards and can be reviewed under the following link:

In order to answer this email and/or contact the Service Team, please click here. You will be redirected automatically to our contact form.
Kind Regards,

Your ClickandBuy Team
P.S. Are your address and account details still valid? If not please go to and log into your ClickandBuy account in order to make the necessary updates."

The Best Virtual World Concept PG Can Think Of ...

... today that is.

How come no one has started a virtual world for Airsofters? Think about it;

1. They have tonnes of spare cash to buy useless stuff;

2. They spend tonnes of time on the internet;

3. They have no real life;

4. There are millions of them WorldWide.


EU Wonks Wake Up to Skype

BERLIN — The European Commission will urge the 27 European Union countries Wednesday to reserve a uniform slice of broadcast spectrum for a pan-European mobile broadband network, one that could enable flat-rate, international voice and data calling plans.

Viva La Fashiown

OWLIENT of France launched an alpha version of its new game, :) (ask them for a beta code !)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

EA Bought Playfish For $250,000,000???

A rumor but ... Holy Cow!

Sequoia Invests in Unity Technologies

Former Blues Brother and now Sequoia Capital partner Roelof Botha
has confirmed earlier reports of a Sequoia-led $5.5 million funding round with multiplatform game development platform Unity Technologies with the following statement today: "We are very excited to be involved with Unity Technologies at a time when the demand for interactive content continues to grow exponentially," Botha said. "We are seeing interactive content everywhere from game consoles to online virtual worlds and social networking websites. Unity Technologies is pioneering breakthrough products to allow developers to best respond to this demand. They are well positioned to become the standard for high quality content development." The financing round also included David Gardner, the CEO of Atari, and Diane Greene, founder and former CEO of VMware. Botha and Greene will be joining the Unity board of directors. Companies currently using the game engine include Electronic Arts, in Tiger Woods Online, and Cartoon Network in its kid-friendly virtual world FusionFall.

Rebrand the Platform

In many ways, "Second Life" is the worst 2 words to infect the virtual worlds for enterprise use discourse. SL has such a stigma amongst mainstream CEO's that another name, distant from one conjouring images of virtual vampires, submissive Gorean Males and other weird kinky stuff for 400 LB shut-ins may do the trick and allow the platform a chance at adoption as an enterprise tool.

But ... "Nebraska"? What a Stupid Name. Wonder what Linden came up with this bizarre nonsensical name. Here is some free advice from PG to LL, rebrand the platform and stay away from anything remotely close to Second Life if you want to stand a chance of selling this to hard core CTO's and CIO's.

Anyway, from VWN; Linden Lab Set to Debut "Nebraska"... "Mark Kingdon, CEO, Linden Lab/Second Life will unveil and demo what the company is calling "the much anticipated behind the firewall’ product from Linden, code named Nebraska. According to Linden lab, "a few enterprise customers will join [Kingdon] to discuss the product and future outlook of immersive, virtual workspaces" in the public demo. The presentation is slated for a mixed-reality event at the Moscone Center and in Second Life. Second Life and Linden Lab observers expect the demo to offer nuts-and-bolts into Nebraska specs, packages, and what ever Linden plans on calling the new stand-alone virtual world package. Kingdon will present during a tech conference in SF on November 4."

Follow PG on Twitter

Hello, new Twitter-er!

Here is your account information.

* Your username: payment_guy
* Your profile:

Using Twitter is going to change the way you think about staying in touch with friends and family. Did you know you can send and receive tweets (Twitter updates) via mobile texting or the web? To do that, you'll want to visit your settings page (and you'll want to invite some friends).

* Activate Phone:
* Invite Your Friends:

The New York Times calls Twitter "one of the fastest-growing phenomena on the Internet." TIME Magazine says, "Twitter is on its way to becoming the next killer app," and Newsweek noted that "Suddenly, it seems as though all the world's a-twitter." What will you think?

Biz Stone and The Twitter Team

Please do not reply to this message; it was sent from an unmonitored email address. This message is a service email related to your use of Twitter. For general inquiries or to request support with your Twitter account, please visit us at Twitter Support.

Here Come the Chinese

SHANGHAI — Armed with cash from recent listings, Chinese online game makers are gearing up to play in Western markets, challenging the industry’s leaders, Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard, on their home turf. Having prospered at home, companies like Changyou and Shanda Games want to join China’s export machine by sending their wares abroad.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Gaia Gets Voip

On of the many mistakes Linden Lab made with monetizing Second Life was launching Voice FREE of charge. Let's see if GAIA is smart enough not to make this mistake; "Voice chat is coming to Gaia's free MMO, zOMG, via voice services provider Vivox, the companies said today. With Vivox voice chat, gamers will have clan channels they can use to coordinate game play, trade stories and socialize on. Calling voice the "ultimate glue," Vivox CEO Rob Seaver said the deal shows Gaia's "commitment to providing a truly social experience for its players." David Georgeson, senior producer and creative director at Gaia Online, said, "Chat capabilities add a brilliant new element to zOMG! that will bring players together and create excitement within the community."

Payment Contract Review

Get the best payment contract T&C guranteed or your money back. GMAIL PAYMENTGUY@GMAIL.COM

IMVU Adds to Board

IMVU appointed James Joaquin, formerly a venture partner at Bridgescale Partners, to its board of directors. Bridgescale is a backer of IMVU. “Our board and executive team are excited to bring on someone with such proven success building strong online consumer businesses,” Cary Rosenzweig, CEO of IMVU said. “James’s experience will be a great addition to our board as we continue to grow.” Founded in 2004, IMVU is also backed by venture firms Menlo Ventures, Allegis Capital, and Best Buy Capital.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stop Working For Peanuts ...

... and start making more money with the hard working folks at Peanut Labs - a solid choice partner when you want to "monetize" i.e. cash-in on that online community of yours.

Here's why;
1.) Surveys. Everyone does CPA offers and leadgen offers and Peanut Labs has the same global inventory of offers and fancy targeting as all the other providers. On top of this, they offer true market research surveys. Surveys are free, clean and no personal information or credit card info are required. Surveys are the DNA of their business and PG understands they are close to owning the social media sampling market in North America:

2) Results. Peanut has been consistently outperforming other providers in AB tests... but of course this is exactly what you would hear from each of them. However, Peanut has the nuts to back this up and their data shows conversion on surveys is usually 25-30% which drives overall conversion up. They also rotate inventory daily (unlike static offers) so many users come back every day to check for new surveys.

3) Service and UI. Read the Forums. Peanut users have a typically better experience getting credited and getting responses with them than others in the space. They seem to be able to get inside your head.

4) Culture. Apparently the Peanut crew party like Rockstars, buy a lot of free drinks and bend over backwards to keep their clients happy. Nothing wrong with that ...

Contact Anya or Ali for more.

Anya Shapina | VP Business Development |
Peanut Labs, Inc. | 114 Sansome Street. Ste 920 | San Francisco, CA 94104
P: 415.608.6323 Skype: ashapina

Ali A Moiz | Chief Operating Officer
Peanut Labs, Inc. | 114 Sansome Street. Ste 920 | San Francisco, CA 94104 |
P: 413.884.4072 | F: 413.803.0176 | Skype: ali.xuqa

12 Ways to Pay @ GameKiss

"GameKiss is accepting 12 different payment methods - as diverse as their innovative game titles. The e-wallet category includes PayPal, ClickandBuy, PayByCash and @Cash while all major credit cards - VISA, Master, AMEX and JCB - are accepted. Accepted prepaid cards and e-pins from different regions include Ultimate Card, paysafecard, One Power-Up Game Card, Go Cash Game Card and Wallie. Using such a wide range of payment methods, users can purchase GKash, the cyber currency at Gamers can buy with GKash various online items which expands their gaming experience."

Ukash Does Deal With Mastercard

Nice one Mark!

The A,B,C's of the Prepaid Card Opp

Good look at this massive opportunity that banks have shown only lukewarm interest in while small independent specialists have forged ahead with prepaid card initiatives. The article asks the obvious; "Are banks missing a trick?"; "While banks continue to shy away from prepaid cards, retailers and niche suppliers are embracing them. For financial services, prepaid cards are unlikely to ever be mainstream but there are segments that are arguably well served by these products. The current economic environment should be a boost, given the number of consumers being rejected for credit cards. And the potential for incorporating other forms of technology, including contactless and mobile, is interesting. Ken Howes, ex-Mastercard and now a consultant at Edgar, Dunn & Co, believes the ‘killer app’ would incorporate risk management, reduced cost and revenue generation, with prepaid cards having the potential to fulfil these. Risk management stems from the financial control; cost reduction could stem from areas such as payroll, expenses management and benefits; revenue gains could come from transaction fees, enhanced loyalty and value-added services. The last item is arguably the most important. ‘The issue is, can you generate revenue out of added value,’ he asks.

Fruugo Cannot Make Payroll

Arctic Start-up reports the hardly frugal Finnish eCommerce startup Fruugo is laying off 4 of 10 employees (20 of 50) and may not be able to pay salaries Oct. 15th. Real shame to see Fruugo crash and burn so dramatically. Maybe they can harvest some good ideas and turn it around.

But focusing on "Health and Beauty products" for Finnish customers linked to British shops hardly sounds like a winning strategy. By the way, what do the Brits know about health and beauty anyway?

Sulake Could Be A Major Social Gaming Player

Pssssssst.... did you hear about the Hidden HABBO Treasure? Probably not. Anyway, PGFYI Sulake has a hoard of terrific undiscovered game treasure in HABBO Hotel developed over the years. Yes, there are hundreds of super awesome games developed by Sulake for Habbo over the years which many Habbo's have never played because they are too busy chatting with other Habbos or decorating their Hotel rooms. But this super resource should not waste away hidden in the Habbo Hotel Library.

Rather, Sulake should release its game library on a stand-alone gaming platform and through FaceBook, MySpace, Hi5 and Bebo - not to mention its own social networking site IRC Galleria (maybe port the players of your games from FaceBook and MySpace to IRC once it takes off;?). Bottom Line: Sulake has an in-house developed games library which, if distributed across multiple social networking sites, could turn Sulake into a major Social Gaming Player.
Maybe contract those 30 or so devs your firing to form a social gaming studio to do just this? Just some advice for Sulake management - free of charge.

PG PS: Did you know Sulake has its own social networking site? Probably not ...