PlaySpan's Monetization 2.0 Forum at GDC Austin Delivers Powerful Insights on Digital Goods Industry

(SANTA CLARA, CA)– September 29, 2009– More than a week after PlaySpan’s Monetization Forum at GDC Austin, the industry is still abuzz about the standing room only gathering of some of the interactive entertainment industry’s most influential executives who participated in the half day forum designed to help publishers and game developers tackle some of the toughest questions around monetization of games on mobile, social networks, virtual worlds, casual games, and MMOs.

Among the gathering of more than 220 people were notable speakers including CEOs from Playdom, Turbine, Inc., IMVU, K2 Network, RockYou, as well as many senior level executives from EA, Linden Lab, Zynga, MySpace, Nonoba, and others, who shared their knowledge about the present state of the industry.

“There is a marriage that has got to take place between those that are monetization machines and are smaller, and those that are really huge, but they don’t monetize as well per user, and somehow those are going to have to start figuring out how to get together in the next couple years,” Cary Rosenzwig, CEO of IMVU, Inc.

Craig Alexander, VP of Product development at Turbine, Inc. also commented that:“The drive to move towards a hybrid monetization model has been the high fixed cost of running an MMO, the desire to grow revenue, and the desire to offer more flexibility and choice to our consumers.”

Some of the session highlights included a presentation from Nonoba Founder Chris Benjaminsen, who delivered a monetization demo on the company’s micropayment solution for Flash Games called GameRise; and a much anticipated presentation by Turbine Executive Producer, Fernando Paiz, about the challenges of transitioning a popular subscription-based MMO, Dungeons and Dragons Online, into a hybrid microtransaction/subscription-based business model.

PlaySpan Founder&CEO Karl Mehta also shared results from two recent studies on digital goods purchases and sales behavior across multiple genres and platforms.

According to Frank N. Magid Associates, 12% of those surveyed in US purchased virtual goods last year and in order to deliver virtual goods and digital goods to mainstream America, the industry's goal is to take that number to 25% in 2010.

According to another VGMarket Survey that PlaySpan conducted ,10% of 55-64 year olds have purchased virtual goods, with the largest group of buyers being women ages 25-34 years.

“We are thrilled by the attendance at our forum, the quality of presentations, and level of crowd interaction. This is clearly an area that many in the industry are interested in knowing more about and we look forward to working with many of these companies and helping them uncover ways to successfully monetize their games, apps, and virtual goods,” said Karl Mehta, Founder&CEO of PlaySpan Inc.

“It was a great event with a broad set of speakers that tackled the monetization subject from many interesting angles,” said Monty Sharma VP of Product Management and Marketing at Vivox.“I would most certainly go again.”

The PlaySpan hosted forum was made possible by the Game Developers Conference organizers, as well as media sponsors Digital Media Wire, Mashable, and Virtual Goods News. PlaySpan would like to thank each of them for their contributions to a successful and memorable event.

To view the video of Mr. Mehta’s opening remarks, and full presentations from each of the sessions, please visit: http://corp.playspan.com/gdc/recordings.html

# # #

About PlaySpan, Inc.

PlaySpan™ is the leader in monetization solutions for over 1,000 online games, virtual worlds, and social networks. PlaySpan's patent-pending in-game virtual goods commerce and micropayment platform enables game publishers and developers to generate new revenues, acquire new users, and extend the loyalty of existing users.

PlaySpan also offers global payment solutions through its subsidiary PayByCash® with 85 payment methods in 180 countries. The ULTIMATE GAME CARD® is used by consumers to pay for 300 multiplayer games and around 700 games on popular social networking sites. It is available in about 45,000 retail locations across North America and growing rapidly worldwide.

Social network payment solutions are available through Spare Change©. Acquired by PlaySpan in April 2009, Spare Change is the first and leading payments platform designed specifically for social networks. Featured on over 700 applications, across Facebook, MySpace and Bebo, Spare Change empowers developers to successfully monetize their applications through micro payments. The Spare Change platform enables users to make safe, convenient, and friendly 1-click purchases through a variety of funding sources.

PlaySpan is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices in Virginia, Ohio, and Mumbai. Investors include Easton Capital, Menlo Ventures, STIC and Novel TMT Ventures. The company has recently won the 2009 OnHollywood Category Award for Best Gaming Company.

For more information about PlaySpan visit: http://corp.playspan.com

For more information about Spare Change visit: www.sparechangepayments.com

# # #

VSC PR for PlaySpan

Eric Gonzalez, 415-272-0836

eric@vscconsulting.com


Games PressGames Press is the leading online resource for games journalists. Used daily by magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, online media and retailers worldwide, it offers a vast, constantly updated archive of press releases and assets, and is the simplest and most cost-effective way for PR professionals to reach the widest possible audience. Registration for the site and the Games Press email digest is available, to the trade only, at www.gamespress.com.