Brick and mortar retailer Gamestop hopes to direct new flows of cash towards its online games portal, Kongregate, in a move that could result in a stronger market for indie developers.
Gamestop, the world’s largest games retailer with some 6,000 stores, is to allow its gift cards be transferable as Kongregate virtual currency.
A single dollar transfers to ten Kongregate ‘Kreds’, which in turn can be used to buy virtual currency or on pay-to-play titles.
The move could incentivise more customers to visit the popular games website – which offers many games for free on an ad-based model.
A gift card with a couple of dollars left on it, for example, can be used to pay a little off a $40 retail game or for several Kongregate games. The theory is that customers will be more inclined to do the latter.
Gamestop bought Kongregate this year for an undisclosed fee. The online games portal boasts over ten million users, playing games from numerous indie devs signing vaious contracts.
The gift cards are being shipped to the likes of 7-Eleven, Walgreens, Rite-Aid and CVS.
Kongregate CEO Jim Greer said it was of the company’s benefit to utilise Gamestop’s “tremendous resources”.
“Those resources means we can move more quickly to build what our community has been asking for,” he added.