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Acquisition will streamline marketplace set-up for publishers and solidify LiveGamer's dominance.
In an attempt to corner the booming in-game virtual goods economy, LiveGamer, which lets players buy and trade in-game virtual goods, has acquired microtransaction platform and data provider TwoFish. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. LiveGamer gives players a way to monetize the points and other goods they earn in games. Take that, Gary Larson.
Two Fish’s primary product, Two Fish Elements, provides an accounting and currency management system that optimizes the real-currency price of virtual goods, offers a catalog of virtual items available for purchase within a particular game, and lets publishers track ecommerce performance with their analytics tools. LiveGamer expects the integration to streamline the time it takes for its customers to set up a virtual goods marketplace. Founded in 2006, TwoFish raised $9.5 million from Venrock, Rustic Canyon and TriplePoint, and has 17 employees.
The announcement comes on the heels of LiveGamer’s acquisition in late July of N-Cash, a Korean publisher-to-player microtransaction platform. The company is gunning to become “the first truly global, end-to-end solution for the micro-transaction industry,” and is arguably the leader in the space. Competitors include PlaySpan, which powers microtransactions for over 1,000 games and recently acquired microtransation app developer SpareChange.
Users can access Live Gamer from within games themselves, and conduct secure transactions. Their goods become available in the marketplace in real time, so users don't even need to pause to monetize all their hard work. LiveGamer’s partners include Sony Online Entertainment, Funcom, GoPets, and Acclaim. The company raised a $24 million A round in 2007 from Charles River, Kodiak and FirstMark Capital.
The virtual goods market is expected to reach $6 billion by 2013, according to a recent report by Piper Jaffray. How to get gamers to pony up the dough is a matter of serious study. Jeremy Liew and Tim Chang have some ideas.
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Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs
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Twofish was founded in 2006 by Lee Crawford, a veteran of both the gaming and financial software markets. Lee foresaw the need to collapse his two areas of expertise and set out to provide the world's first enterprise-grade solution for managing the very specific banking, commerce, and inventory needs of interactive entertainment companies.
Along the way, Lee has assembled a world-class team with expertise across consumer internet, electronic payments, interactive entertainment, supply chain management, enterprise infrastructure, and economic research.
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PlaySpan™ is game industry's first publisher-sponsored™ in-game commerce™ network. PlaySpan's patent-pending in-game search, commerce and micropayment technologies enable game publishers and developers to generate new revenues, acquire new users and extend the loyalty of existing users. Leading game providers and virtual world publishers have selected PlaySpan as their official marketplace for virtual goods commerce.
PlaySpan is based in Silicon Valley with offices in Mumbai and Shanghai.
Investors include Easton Capital, Menlo Ventures, STIC and Novel TMT Ventures.