The game is on for bitcoin! Farmville 2, CityVille, Hidden Shadows, CoasterVille, Hidden Chronicles, ChefVille, CastleVille. You probably played one of those. If not, then most certainly you’ve seen one of those annoying invitations on Facebook, offering you to play these games with your friends. If that’s the case, then you know what Zynga is. Simply one of the most successful social gaming companies.
Yesterday, the Reddit community was informed about new payment option in some of the Zynga games:
“We wanted to share with the r/bitcoin community that Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) is now conducting a Bitcoin test with BitPay (https://bitpay.com/), a leading Bitcoin service provider, in select Zynga.com web games.
In response to Bitcoin’s rise in popularity around the world, Zynga, with help from BitPay, is testing expanded payment options for players to make in-game purchases using Bitcoin.”
Just to be clear, only the games mentioned at the beginning of the article, will have this option for now.
Bitcoins as fiat currency before them can be spent to buy stuff non-crucial to the gameplay, but still making the games much more fun to play. Aside from partners’ revenue, these so-called microtransactions are the base of company’s income.
Speaking of BitPay it is the crypto community’s analogue to PayPal or debit cards. Easy automated payments, mobile apps, everything to make it simpler and more convenient for the end user.
Zynga had its dramatic moments with digital currency, when Facebook was trying to force upon them Facebook Credits. Although it did work out in the end, there was a point when social gaming provider threatened social network to end all relationship. After a while, the consensus has been reached, Facebook Credits forgotten and a five-year contract signed.
The first stated reason for the decision to allow bitcoins as payment was stated to simply give users a new option to play with. However, when the money like these are swirling around, the commission plays a great role. And bitcoin transactions fees are much lower than the PayPals commission. Actually, in most cases the former do not cost anything.
While the “real gamers” usually look at these simple social amusements with neglect, I beg those ones who might read this article not to be arrogant. Being a gamer myself, I do see this as a step towards the future of digital entertainment payment.
For example, take Steam Store, one of the most successful game retailers online if not the most. Currently they have many payment options including the above-mentioned PayPal, credit cards, debit cards and so on. However, bitcoin is still out of their reach. Understandable, since bitcoin is highly unstable right now, with its cost jumping $ 30 up and down every day, but micropayments are already widespread among big single- and multi-player games. Bitcoin microtransactions in those will only lead more people to spend their money on games (since it would be much cheaper) and it by itself will result in better games from the developers. That’s what is called a win-win situation.
So summarizing everything said above, maybe Zynga itself doesn’t know it by they are running towards something that could prove to be great for the whole gaming community in the long run.