Turn Bitcoins into FarmVille Cash
Zynga is the latest company to jump on the Bitcoin bandwagon with a trial that lets players in some of its games buy in-game goods with Bitcoins.
Zynga announced that players of its FarmVille 2, CastleVille, ChefVille, CoasterVille, Hidden Chronicles, Hidden Shadows and CityVille games will now be able to buy virtual goods in each game using Bitcoin as part of a trial the company is running.
Zynga partnered with Bitcoin processing platform BitPay for the test. Zynga has been under pressure in recent quarters as traffic and player totals for nearly all of its games have plummeted.
The social gaming company burst onto the scene based on the success of its Facebook games such as FarmVille but the company was slow to pivot once the popularity of such games began to wane. Zynga has tried to beef up its mobile games and rolled out titles in new genres but it remains to be seen if the company can once again capture the attention of fickle gamers.
Zynga had planned to plunge headlong into the real-money gambling arena in the U.S. and other countries, banking on the popularity of its poker and slots games and its large user base.
It abandoned that plan in recent quarters, however, when the difficulties and uncertainties in the online gambling arena in the U.S. became apparent. Zynga is still offering some real-money gambling games in the U.K. and it is uncertain if they might extend Bitcoin payment options to those games if its current trial is successful.
Bitcoin hasn't yet been embraced by many large gaming or gambling firms, with many waiting for further regulatory developments to clairify the status of Bitcoin. Bitcoin's lack of payment processing fees could make it a popular payment option for online gaming companies but it remains to be seen if Zynga and others will embrace the digital currency in the long run.
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