Nonoba Creates Microtransaction API for Flash Games

nonoba_logoLate last year, we looked at an API from Nonoba that created new payment methods for multiplayer games. Since then, this third-party development company has been hard at work. Last month, it launched its Flash games portal, bringing in around 5,000 concurrent users at peak times. But Chris Benjaminsen, the company’s co-founder, says that Nonoba remains focused primarily on APIs.

To this end, Nonoba has now created an experimental product intended to bring microtransactions to Flash games. Currently, most Flash games make most of their revenue through ads, but that will change, Benjaminsen says.

“Ads paid out $1 million dollars in something like a billion games last year — practically nothing,”  he says. “We wanted to introduce a new way of charging for things online. We wanted to build a completely open-ended payment API that you could put on any site on the Internet.”

So far, the API has been used in seven games (with more high-quality Flash titles planned for the future). Nonoba hopes virtual goods monetization will catch on in the Flash community after what Benjaminsen calls a “first big success,” seeing as how “Gaming is 70 percent imitation.”

Indeed, you can find a number of “clones” in the gaming industry, ranging from Bejeweled-like games to Call of Duty copycats. Developers sometimes fear trying something new. They often prefer to create something only slightly different in the hopes of having the same success of other games. “Nobody really wants to be the first,” Benjaminsen says.

As for Nonoba’s API, it seems pretty robust. It handles payment methods and protects against fraud, which is always a concern of both developers and end-users. It also supports PayPal, TrialPay, and most major credit cards within the U.S. The company plans to encompass a larger breadth of payments such as PayByCash.

If Benjaminsen’s contention about ad revenue models holds true, the API puts them in a prime — essentially monopolized — position.

[via Virtual Goods News]