One of the world’s biggest digital game resellers, Green Man Gaming, says bitcoin has been a popular choice since it was introduced as a payment option early in December.
The UK-based company spoke to CoinDesk about the bitcoin rollout and why it decided to take the plunge into accepting digital currency via a partnership with payments solutions providerStripe.
Paul Sulyok, the firm’s CEO, said that the holiday season, which is usually the busiest time of year for the gaming industry, immediately rewarded Green Man’s decision to accept bitcoin:
“Since launching bitcoin as an option a month ago, we immediately saw transactions being made. During the first weekend of our holiday sale, we saw our highest day of money paid with bitcoin reach 5%, with the most popular Green Man Gaming purchase from bitcoin customers being the Valve Complete Pack.”
The tech-savvy nature of the company’s clientele has meant that bitcoin was a natural step for Green Man, explained Sulyok.
“We were inundated with requests to accept bitcoin,” he said. “Bitcoin is part of our customer’s lives online. For many it has already become part of their language and they want choice when paying for their purchases.”
Green Man Gaming currently sells games in 186 territories around the world, offering over 5,000 titles from 350 publishers. The company also operates Playfire, a global social gaming network that it acquired in 2012. The Playfire platform is also used to reward gamers through a number of loyalty programmes.
Sulyok explained that one of the main drivers of the decision to accept bitcoin was a buyer’s survey conducted in May 2014, which revealed digital currency as an option that was very much on customers’ wish lists.
“Speaking directly to millions of gamers each day on a personal level, we can understand and genuinely share their passions and preferences.”
According to the company, more than 6,000 people took part in the survey, with 30% saying they were aware of digital currencies and how to use them. A total of 89% said it was important for retailers to offer a wide selection of payment methods.
Future role in digital content
Sulyok described the addition of a bitcoin option as a means of building up a strong community by meeting its different needs – something that is paramount to any retailer.
“Businesses, especially those operating solely online with global audiences, should never ever forget who they are doing all of this for,” said Sulyok. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see other retailers considering bitcoin as a payment option in the future.”
When asked whether Green Man Gaming could start using bitcoin or blockchain technology as part of its Playfire loyalty schemes, he said: “It’s certainly something we might consider in the future. Playfire already offers a range of ways to earn special rewards and credit that reduces the cost of gaming.”
Sulyok said he had always believed that digital downloads would become the dominant and preferred way for people to get their games.
“It was the whole basis for why I founded the company, and I think digital currencies like bitcoin have an important role to play in the future of e-commerce, no matter what the industry.”