Monday, June 30, 2008

Biggest issue; "lack of viable payment method"

I heard this message time and time again while attending the conference called Social Gaming Summit on Friday June 13th in San Francisco ( This was a very well attended event with many of the major online game and social network companies represented; Nexon, K2 Networks, Neopets, Gaia, Three Rings, Sulake, IMVU, etc. While there was one particular session on Monetization... (which of course I had to miss), during several other sessions, the speaker's frustration with a lack of a viable payment mechanism for their needs was music to my ears.

We all know that the field of micropayments is littered with failures. While I was at CyberCash, during the initial internet commercialization phase, we had an initiative called CyberCoin. I treated this like a radioactive pit for a variety of reasons, of which there are too many to dwell on here. Other companies; Digicash, Peppercoin, Magnacash, First Virtual, etc. are all other examples of roadkill in this arena.

Existing payment mechanisms, while in theory could technically satisfy the needs of the below ~$10 digital goods market, for a variety of "incumbent dilemma" and serious issues around fraud prevention have all sidetracked these alternatives.

If anyone has any questions or thoughts to contribute to this subject, please make a comment. THANKS

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