PlaySpan Ups The Playing Field For Virtual Goods

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With Christmas right around the corner, just what oh what are you going to buy Ben Stein’s son?

Probably not an Ultimate Game Card, which would easily allow the MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game addict to pick up the virtual goods that could just shove him off the wagon. (We wholeheartedly apologize to the Stein family for their inclusion, but we had no other angle to begin this entry.)

PlaySpan, the self-declared “game industry’s first publisher-sponsored in-game commerce network,” offers a gaming card that can be used to buy goods in more than 200 online games, including Everquest and all Electronic Arts games. The Ultimate Game Card, which is sold under the PlaySpan subsidiary of PayByCa$h, is the gaming industry’s answer to pre-paid cell minutes, and can be purchased in more than 20,000 retail stores such as Wal-Mart and 7-Eleven.

That’s good news for younger online gamers who may not dad’s credit card – or already have awful credit…probably for spending all their time trying to find the Elixir of Invisibility rather than working. Credit the youth considerations to the fact that the company was founded by fifth grader Arjun Mehta. (To be fair, his dad is the CEO – not that we’re claiming nepotism.)

Headquartered in Silicon Valley, PlaySpan accommodates both player-to-player and publisher-to-player transactions, and recently raised $16.8 million in series B funding.

Of course, that doesn’t include any virtual funding.

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