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The buzz surrounding selling virtual items for real dollars is getting hotter. On 20 June 2007 Neopets (purchased by Viacom for $160 million in June 2005) announced it will begin selling virtual items including ruby slippers for pets, wings of flame, and tiaras on June 28th in its NC Mall. They can be purchased using Neopets new currency called Neocash per an article at Red Herring.

Neocash will co-exist with Neopoint (currently accumulated by actions in the game), but Neopoints will NOT be exchangeable for Neocash. At the moment you can only buy Neocash with PayPal, but they say they will also be putting prepaid cards in retail stores.

Nexon of Korea is handling the virtual item sales. The article reports 85 percent of Nexon’s $230 million sales worldwide in 2005 was from the sale of virtual items.

Neopets Sr. VP and GM said the “move was designed to give users another option for customizing their characters.” Hmm, maybe to be another cash cow for Neopets too?

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