Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and Litecoin users have cause to celebrate this week with the relaunch of Coinplay, the PC game store that accepts all three digital currencies.
You can’t use Bitcoin or its cryptocurrency competitors at Steam, the world’s largest digital game store, but Kansas City-based startup Coinplay believes in a future where digital currencies fund the digital distribution of games. With the digital games market worth $11.8 billion in North America alone, there are potentially great rewards for companies like Coinplay that are willing to innovate and experiment with new ways of paying.
Coinplay’s new online store launches Friday, and it’s using an in-house solution that cofounder and chief executive officer Shane Park says will greatly improve the experience for publishers, developers, and gamers. “A new site means we can start implementing game bundles, partner dashboards, and other features and tools that bring value to anyone who interacts with Coinplay,” he told GamesBeat via email.
Coinplay sells Steam keys that gamers redeem on Valve’s digital gaming platform. What sets Coinplay apart from the competition is its willingness to try new things, including its embracing of digital currencies alongside traditional payment methods, according to Park.
“A few competitors started accepting Bitcoin in the past year or so, but we’ve been accepting Dogecoin from day one, and Bitcoin and Litecoin followed soon after,” he said. “In addition to accepting digital currency, we give developers the option to accept Bitcoin or U.S. dollars. Sparpweed, who sells [puzzle platformer] Ibb & Obb with us, accepts Bitcoin as their final payment.”
Park explained that digital currencies still form a huge part of what Coinplay is offering as it moves forward, cutting down on potentially costly banking fees for small developers in what’s very much a global industry.
“Since we started, accepting digital currencies became more of a feature than a focus,” said Park. “The ecosystem we need to foster first is gamers and game developers. However, for myself and my team, we’re digital currency enthusiasts. For our international developers, we believe Bitcoin is a great choice in reducing banking fees and tracking payments.”
Coinplay is one of 27 startups pitching to an estimated crowd of 1,000 local entrepreneurs, investors, and professionals at Kansas City’s largest startup showcase, BetaBlox Demo Day, on March 11. Having already spent six months in BetaBlox’s startup incubator, Coinplay is looking to take its digital business to the next level.
“We’ll be ready,” said Park. “The new website will be live for attendees to visit, our booth at the event will be showing game trailers of the games we sell, and I’m feeling good about our pitch.”