Internet giant Google has purchased Jambool, makers of the Social Gold virtual currency platform that handles virtual goods sales on some online gaming and social networking Web site. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but in a FAQ Jambool promises the Social Gold service will continue to operate as promised, and developers using the service in their games or online communities can continue doing so with essentially no changes.
“Our vision is to build world-class products that help developers manage and monetize their virtual economies across the globe,” wrote Jambool founders Vikas Gupta and Reza Hussein, in their company blog. “When the opportunity arose to join forces with Google to execute against this vision, we couldn’t pass it up.”
Jambool claims its Social Gold virtual goods system is the only platform currently available that can manage purchases conducted within a Flash-based game, even for players who don’t have accounts and payment information set up ahead of time. The service launched in 2008 and Jambool says during the first half of 2010 they processes more than double the amount of virtual goods transactions than they did in all of 2009. Jambool charges a 10 percent fee on transactions, which drops to 7 percent for clients who process $25,000 a month or more in transactions.
The move marks Google’s second move in the social gaming sphere in recent weeks: earlier this month the company announced a deal to acquire social games developer Slide for $182 million.