Amazon Intros Virtual Currency for Buying Kindle Fire Apps

Amazon introduced on Tuesday a new virtual currency system to be used with the Kindle Fire tablets called Amazon Coins. Launching in May, this will merely be another way for Kindle Fire owners to purchase games and apps, and make in-app purchases. So far there's no indication that Amazon plans to expand this virtual currency system to other Android-based tablets and smartphones.

"For customers, it's an easy way to spend money on Kindle Fire apps and games. They'll be able to purchase as they do now, but with the ability to choose to pay with a credit card or using Coins," Amazon said in a note to developers. "For you, it's another opportunity to drive traffic, downloads, and increased monetization. Plus, there's no integration required--you'll get paid the same 70-percent revenue share whether the customer chooses to use Coins or their own money."

Paul Ryder, Vice President of Apps and Games for Amazon, said that developers continue to report higher conversion rates on Amazon compared to other platforms. Thus this new virtual currency system is expected to reach even more of Amazon's millions of customers, especially when the company begins offering tens of millions of dollars worth of free Amazon Coins as an introduction to the new system.

"Developers who aren’t yet in the Amazon Appstore will want to make sure their apps have been submitted and approved by April 25 so they’re ready for customers to start spending their Amazon Coins," Ryder said.

Just recently Amazon introduced in-app purchasing for PC, Mac and web-based games offered in the company's digital games store. The company also introduced Game Circle which provides Achievements, Leaderboards, Friends, and Whispersync for syncing games across devices. Amazon also launched Game Connect which delivers virtual goods like DLC directly to customers' accounts.

Amazon states in a FAQ for developers that Amazon Coins will be awarded only to U.S. customers at launch. Customers will also be able to purchase in-game currencies using Amazon's own virtual currency, but they won't be able to purchase subscriptions with the new Coins.


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  • corbeau
    How many Stanley Nickels is an Amazon coin?
  • jakjawagon
    I fail to see how this benefits anyone, unless the idea is that customers will not notice how much they are spending if they're not using actual money, in which case it's deceptive.