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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

November - 2007 - issue > Company Profile

Trade while you play

Aritra Bhattacharya
Monday, November 5, 2007
Aritra Bhattacharya

You are zipping along the highway that runs through the countryside. The music is high and the cool evening breeze tousles your hair into a halo-like formation. Suddenly, a group of baddies emerge from nowhere, rob you of your car and cell phone, and flee. You must travel another twelve miles before you can reach the next level. You wish there was a way you could rent another car. The problem is that the game you’re playing online doesn’t enable you to transact. So, you opt out of the game and try locating a virtual bicycle on other sites?

Not necessary, if the game you’re playing is built on the PlaySpan platform. The platform allows you to indulge in in-game search, commerce, and communication; you could sound out about your peril to millions of fellow gamers from over 60 countries and rent or buy a virtual car without going out of the game even for a minute.

“Gaming 1.0 was characterized by unconnected consoles while Gaming 2.0 saw the gaming consoles like X-Box and Playstation being connected to the internet,” says Karl Mehta, Co-Founder & CEO, PlaySpan. This new era of Gaming 3.0 pioneered by PlaySpan is characterized by large virtual economies inside games and virtual worlds. PlaySpan, co-founded by Mehta’s 11 year old son Arjun with his dad, addresses a virtual goods transaction market worth “well over $2 billion”.

Though PlaySpan had the backing of investors like Easton Capital, Menlo Ventures, STIC and Novel TMT Ventures, getting games list their virtual economies on PlaySpan exchange wasn’t easy. “The virtual economy for digital media and virtual goods is growing rapidly and users need Nasdaq style electronic, efficient, and liquid exchange. However, most publishers don’t want to deal with startups. We had to prove our technology with a real platform, show traction and attract brand-name investors with financial backing before game publishers and developers will sign up,” says Mehta.

PlaySpan’s win with marquee publisher accounts like K2 Network, a leading name in online gaming changed the dynamics. Once the early adopters and industry thought leaders made the move, other companies followed suit. Among the biggest customer gains in the last one year have been Gala Net and Urbaniacs. Many more are in the pipeline.

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