Can I use Bitcoins in a game?

15

1

In many games, such as Lord Of Ultima, players can purchase a special type of currency with real money, as opposed to earning it in a game. This currency is then used to purchase premium items and services, which normally are unavailable to the players otherwise.

I am wondering whether it is feasible to use Bitcoins as a form of currency in a game? Are there any games out there that have already implemented that?

user893

Posted 2012-01-10T14:26:08.110

Reputation:

Answers

3

There's one thing that you must consider.

If you were using your own Mycoin instead of Bitcoin, you could grant users coins in game (in a limited amout), so that "premium" features could be earned simply by playing a lot (which some games do). Now, you wouldn't give people bitcoins that costed you money just for playing your game (for free), would you?

Camilo Martin

Posted 2012-01-10T14:26:08.110

Reputation: 154

...that is brilliant idea, have to think about that +1. – None – 2012-02-19T08:28:01.987

2

Oh, and do note that some sites do give you stuff for free if you use them a lot and therefore improve the community. For example, deviantART. The points you can earn there, either from other users or for simple things (such as 1-3 points for giving someone a "llama") can be used to purchase real objects, some of which are massively cool. (some are even quite cheap, and you could earn all the points in contests or "art comissions").

– Camilo Martin – 2012-02-19T08:46:36.323

By the way, check out this video. It's very attractive to artists that you can get the points to purchase such a thing from other users, by making art for them in commissions (in the end, someone paid for these points). So it's a good way to attract the kind of users they want. Always check what's your intended audience, and what they like (for example, if it's a game for male teenagers, maybe an group of female NPCs would play along with you if you use many points)

– Camilo Martin – 2012-02-19T08:55:17.467

2This is wrong: (1) if he uses Mycoin instead of Bitcoin, then it's pointless because it's no better than just using a standard in-game gold; (2) even if he uses Bitcoin he can grant some for free to some users, he just have to pay it personally. – o0'. – 2012-02-19T10:10:59.273

@Lohoris: plus-side with Bitcoins or myGameBitcoins is that the system is built on permissive MIT -license so it should be painless to reuse. I see no reason not to reuse the code-base. If I have understood right, there is no monopoly to have just one bicoin-based currency. In a game, one could restrict the mining in a way that it is somehow related to time and score -- and all myGameBitcoins could quantified as strictly as with the real BC. I feel there are a number of innovative ideas where it could be used, alas using real Bitcoins for that would pollute the BC -network. – None – 2012-02-19T12:09:09.927

2@Lohoris It's not wrong: "Mycoin" is in fact one form of "in-game gold". If you're going to develop a game, there are far more complicated things than the particular implementation of money in the game (it doesn't even have to be like Bitcoin! It's not a replacement for Bitcoin, it's just game money, and since it's issued by the game developer, he gets to keep control of it). – Camilo Martin – 2012-02-19T12:16:32.807

@CamiloMartin: agree, it is good idea not to reinvent the wheel, well-thought out. Thanks for sharing your ideas. – None – 2012-02-19T12:32:02.463

1What are you talking about? What's the point of using a custom bitcoin-like currency when you can simply use an integer field in your database? – o0'. – 2012-02-19T13:27:03.397

@Lohoris I explicitly said it doesn't have to be like bitcoin. I would "simply use an integer field". – Camilo Martin – 2012-02-20T00:17:26.143

Using name of -coin suggests it works like Bitcoin, thus being an alternative crypto currency. Emitting of such currency just for the sake of the game would be pointless and expose one to the risk of 51% attack. – ThePiachu – 2012-03-27T16:16:17.980

@ThePiachu There are many virtual currencies in games and some in websites, so I wouldn't be surprised if there is some centralized GoldCoin or something already. I wouldn't advocate for implementing a cryptocurrency by yourself. – Camilo Martin – 2012-03-27T18:28:55.707

9

There is a game that uses Bitcoin as its currency called Dragon's Tale, not to mention numerous online casinos. In general, using Bitcoins in games is quite feasible, just requires a willing developer.

In many cases it can even be preferable, as one could imagine making a simple micropayment in an instant provided they need to purchase something in a game, rather than transfer the money in bulk and later not using all of it without the chance of getting the rest back.

Moreover, similar to upcoming Diablo 3 Auction House Marketplace, or already existing market in Second Life, one can imagine the players earning Bitcoins in such games from other people and later withdrawing their earnings with an ease.

ThePiachu

Posted 2012-01-10T14:26:08.110

Reputation: 42 235

hey, I play Dragons Tale, won 26 btcs in little time, but lost all there... lol. Nice game. Developer very acessible, called Di, always online on game. – H_7 – 2012-03-26T23:16:59.557

2

I can think of several reasons why this might not be the best idea for your game vs using an in game only coin

1) Inability to grant game credit. If your users play a lot, bring their friends etc you might want to give them more credit. If you are using bitcoin then those have to come from somewhere, or you can't do it. This will limit your ability to manage the ecosystem of your game in the ways that you might want to.

2) Supply Shock: You may find that when the price of bitcoin vs the dollar goes up or down then your game will be affected by money streaming in or out. If your game is presumably a business that has to run as one that might be a risk you don't want to take.

3) Data Security. If you have 10,000,00 games coins on your system there is very little reason for someone to try and steal them. If you have $10,000,000 worth of bitcoin then there are major reasons that someone might want to hack in and steal those.

4) Tax law. Depending on where you and your players are there may be tax implications. Or other legal regulations that you might run across. The last thing that you need is for the FBI to decide to check if someone is using your game for money laundering.

Zachary K

Posted 2012-01-10T14:26:08.110

Reputation: 191

0

I am working on an online game! My site is http://www.terrasilenti.com/

We are in alpha phase testing and have a game running. Pre-Beta.

Players using bitcoins will be treated as full currency processing and we give detailed setup for mining.

We plan to support the bitcoin community through use as well as support of the bitcoin.

Bill Hughes

Posted 2012-01-10T14:26:08.110

Reputation: 37

2Hello and welcome to this StackExchange. Could you describe your game a bit more (what it is about and how it uses Bitcoin), so that people reading your answer could have a more complete view of what you are talking about without having to go to your website? – ThePiachu – 2012-10-19T09:18:28.950