A couple of months back, I had written an article about Zynga.com beginning to accept payments for in-game items, bonuses, etc., via Bitcoin and how it could be significant in many ways for the virtual currency. The virtual currency has been making waves in the Gaming and Gambling Industries and will continue to do so in my opinion. Now it has come to light that another Giant in the gaming industry – Big Fish – has partnered with coinbase to enable Bitcoin payments for its games, as well as in-app purchases.
Big Fish offers a variety of games for PC, Mac, Online, Iphone as well as Android. Big Fish Casino, Grim Legends and True Fear are some of the top rated ones on their website at the moment. Big Fish has distributed over 2 Bn games to customers in 150 countries which includes more than 400 unique mobile games and 3,000 plus PC games. This partnership with Coinbase will enable Big Fish’ online customers to buy games and in-app purchases via Bitcoin.
Some key points about the Partnership:
- All Big Fish online games can now be purchased directly from Big Fish with bitcoin.
- Many of the F2P (free to play) modeled games will now accept bitcoin for in-app purchases. This includes some of Big Fish's most popular and top-grossing titles, such as Room of Memory and Big Fish Casino.
- Again I stress, this combination of a free to play model with Bitcoin enabled in-app purchases could be one of the biggest reasons for Bitcoin reaching critical mass. Look at my article on Payments Industry and Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games.
- Big Fish is the first game company to use Coinbase for its transaction platform. Around 50 percent of Big Fish's $266 million 2013 gross revenues were transacted through its own ecommerce system that will now offer bitcoin as a payment method.
- Bitcoin enables lower transaction fees for Big Fish, and a simple digital payment capability for Big Fish customers that works worldwide.
- Players can quite easily purchase using a Coinbase wallet, or any other bitcoin wallet solution to utilize Bitcoins on Big Fish.
- Coinbase says that its instant exchange feature will guarantee that Big Fish has no exchange rate risk. Big Fish will immediately settle transactions in USD and is not at any risk of Bitcoin price volatility.
"Being able to offer bitcoin payments to our consumers through Coinbase is just one more way Big Fish is meeting demand and setting the pace for the mainstream consumer and for the mainstream industry,” said Big Fish CEO, Paul Thelen. “This is not a test, this payment method will be available worldwide for all of Big Fish PC and Mac games in the Big Fish app store. We are excited to offer this new payment method to the nearly 105 million annual mainstream game players that visit our game app stores, with the reassurance that Big Fish is working with Coinbase, one of the most secure and reputable companies in the bitcoin industry."
"Our partnership with Big Fish is our first with a game company merchant, and not only signifies the growing adoption of bitcoin across major industries, but also the future of small purchases on the internet. Base fees on credit cards can take 15% or more of small purchases on the internet,” said Co-founder of Coinbase, Fred Ehrsam. “Big Fish not only wanted to have an alternative and less costly form of payment, but also wanted to stay ahead of the curve by offering its customers options on how to pay for their entertainment," he added.
Coinbase was co-founded in June, 2012 by Brian Armstrong (CEO) and Fred Ehrsam with Mark Peter Davis as an investor. The company has received a total funding of $31.9 Mn from investors Alexis Ohanian, Y Combinator, Greg Kidd, Garry Tan, FundersClub, Union Square Ventures, Ribbit Capital, SV Angel, Red Swan, Interplay Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz. Coinbase has registered over 1 Mn consumer wallets and 25,000 merchants till date.
Island Forge: Island Forge is an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) that’s all about player-created content. You can Design islands and author interactive stories (with quests). Publish them to the world for everyone to play. Island Forge accepts Bitcoin payments for its virtual in-game items as well as donations.
Dragon’s Tale: Dragon’s Tale uses Bitcoins in the place of casino “chips”. Players can either import their personal bitcoin balance into the game or they can gather small amounts of Bitcoins that are given for free within Dragon’s Tale.
Steambits: SteamBits.com enables users to buy Origin, Steam, Retro, Uplay, & Xbox 360 games (among others) with Bitcoins. Users need to choose their game, send Bitcoins to the provided address, and Steambits will send them the game code via email.
LeetCoin: LeetCoin provides a competitive gaming platform wherein gamers can battle each other for Bitcoins. It currently supports Counter Strike: Source, but the company says that other popular games (maybe Dota or League of Legends?) are in development. LeetCoin is legal in 36 out of the 50 US States, Canada, most of Europe, Asia, and South America.
Huntercoin: In February 2014 however, a very interesting and innovative new P2P crypto currency was introduced – Huntercoin.is the Worlds first peer to peer (P2P) decentralized Massively Multiplayer Online Game(MMOG). It definitely has appeal to both gamers as well as crypto-currency enthusiasts. Here, players control Hunters which harvest coins in a 2D virtual environment. Basically, you get Paid to Play! And not the other way round as it usually is.