Social gaming developers Zynga have announced that they will begin accepting Bitcoin as payment for virtual goods in select game titles on the Zynga.com website. Zynga announced the move on Friday in a post on Reddit, saying it had hooked up with Bitcoin payment processor BitPay in “conducting a Bitcoin test.” For the moment, the Bitcoin payment option is available only for web-based players of Farmville 2, CastleVille, ChefVille, CoasterVille, Hidden Chronicles, Hidden Shadows and CityVille on Zynga.com.
Zynga stated that it had launched the test “in response to Bitcoin’s rise in popularity around the world” and was actively seeking player feedback on the new option. There’s no indication if and when the test might be expanded to include mobile versions of Zynga titles or Zynga’s popular poker product. The notion that Zynga would seek to broaden the number of payment options for its players is hardly surprising; the struggling firm has seen its earnings improve over the past few quarters, but only after undergoing drastic cost-cutting measures and revenue continues to decline. In October, Zynga’s third-quarter earnings report revealed its daily active users were half the figure from the same period only a year earlier.
Also in an expansive mood is online gambling site BetCoin, which just announced it plans to accept virtual currencies other than Bitcoin. BetCoin COO James Mason said his site is preparing to process transactions made via the Litecoin currency, with Primecoin and Namecoin options planned for later down the road. (No word on whether BetCoin intends to accept Coinye West, the new virtual currency that bears the likeness of hip-hop icon Kanye West, which is set to launch Jan. 11.) Litecoin users will get their first chance to wager in their currency of choice via the release of BetCoin’s new HTML5 online slot BetCoin Reels.