Google bought virtual currency company Jambool last August and has now annouceed it will be shutting down Social Gold in favor of an in-app purchase system developed by the Jambool team.
Techcrunch has three key take aways:
– “Jambool’s Social Gold service will be shut down, even though it offers more features than Google’s new in-app payments product will have upon its formal debut (which already ruined one game developer’s day, apparently).
– The Jambool team was commissioned to work on Android in-app purchases functionalities, and not – as some had proclaimed – the monetization of Google’s always-imminent-yet-elusive social networking and online gaming blitz.
– Google’s in-app payment product, currently in beta, will be launched in May 2011.”
A recent post on the Jambool blog highlights the transition, “The Google in-app payments system will enable developers to easily accept payments within an app. This is the first version, and we will focus our investment in this API moving forward. Developers should expect the same innovation, and more, from us on this new platform. We understand that this will not meet the needs of all developers currently using Social Gold, but we highly encourage interested developers to join the Google in-app payments beta by submitting your information.”
The existing Social Gold API platform consists of three main areas:
The Virtual Currency API is specialized for handling payments and transactions for virtual economies. With the Virtual Currency API you can choose to manage the virtual currency balances yourself, or have Social Gold manage the virtual currency for you.
The Virtual Currency API can collect payments from your customers, as well as debit and credit their currency balances as needed for transactions inside the game. If you would like to use our Flash client libraries, you must use the Virtual Currency API.
The Payments API is a generalized and flexible API suitable for any kind of virtual goods transactions. The Payments API has many options configurable at runtime and can be used to sell both virtual currency and virtual goods
The Subscription API allows you to quickly set up a recurring revenue stream by allowing your users to subscribe to game or website.”