Kongregate's CEO shares more details on the digital distributor's new gift card initiative

Kongregate talk GameStop gift cards

The livelihood of brick and mortar retailers has been under threat ever since creator-to-consumer transactions began.

It’s a threat that the world’s largest games retailer, GameStop, is taking considerable action against.

Earlier this month, GameStop announced that its gift cards will now be accepted on its sister gaming site Kongregate.

CasualGaming.biz checked up on Kongregate CEO Jim Greer to find out what this latest move means for the site’s many users, why they chose not to take a cut from donations and whether this monetary enhancement could have happened without the support of GameStop.

Why has Kongregate/ GameStop chosen to offer a new buying incentive like this now?
Since Kongregate’s acquisition by GameStop last July we’ve been looking for natural synergies between the two where we can leverage expertise and resources, and this is a great example of ways we are listening to what our users have been telling us and enhancing their experience.

How important is it to Kongregate/GameStop that this gift card incentive catches on?
The bonus incentive, where you can receive up to 30% bonus Kreds when redeeming a GameStop gift card to purchase Kreds on Kongregate through December 8, was a way for us to kick off the program and reward Kongregate’s users. Moving forward using GameStop gift cards on Kongregate is just an easily accessible way to heighten the Kongregate user experience and increase the site’s functionality, which is what users want.

GameStop customers and Kongregate users aren’t necessary looking for the same thing. Who are you hoping to attract?
Kongregate users and GameStop customers have a lot in common – both love games – they just play them on different platforms. And now we’re now making it easier for a lot more gift givers and receivers to experience the gift of Kongregate this holiday season and beyond.

What does this move mean for Kongregate’s international users? Is there any way for them to receive gift card benefits?
Kongregate’s international base make up a good portion of our users, and their experience is very important to us. Although GameStop gift cards cannot currently be used to benefit our international gaming community on Kongregate we are currently working on a solution that we hope to roll out in 2011.

Kongregate is one of the first major games portals to give developers the full revenue from user donations. Why did you decide not to take a cut?
Because tips are just that… tips. It’s a way for Kongregate user’s to show their appreciation and love for a specific game and developer, and we felt it was important to keep it that way.

And how do you think this will affect Kongregate’s status in the eyes of indie developers?
We’re hoping it will attract more users to Kongregate and expose the great games that developers have created to an even wider audience. By being able to easily use GameStop gift cards – which are available online and at thousands of US retail locations – to purchase Kreds more users will be able to unlock new levels and features, purchase virtual goods, and be exposed to even more.

Can we expect to see more in-store promotion of the Kongregate brand at GameStop?
There are no specific plans in place currently, but if something were to develop in the future where it made sense for Kongregate to partner with GameStop at the in-store level we would definitely explore that.

Would this in-store gift card initiative be possible for Kongregate without the support of GameStop’s “tremendous resources”?
Something might have developed in the future, but Kongregate was definitely able to make this happen and execute it much more quickly now that we are part of the GameStop network and can leverage their infrastructure and resources.

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