On Tuesday, March 7th, Razer announced their new digital wallet and currency, a further attempt to engage with their 22 million registered users. With this new digital wallet, gamers can purchase zGold at a rate of 100 zGold|$1 USD, and then use that zGold to purchase items from participating partners. When a gamer uses their zGold to purchase a game or in game content from partners, they then earn zSilver, which can be used to redeem discount vouchers or even hardware from Razer.
Looking at the list of partners using zGold at launch, purchasing games from Gamersgate offers a nice 10% discount on the sale, with a 5% Reward in zSilver. To put that in perspective, I can purchase Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlans for $47.99 USD, or 47,990 zGold, but with that 10% discount it brings the price down to 43,191 zGold, or $43.19 and you receive back 2,160 zSilver. If Gamersgate is your PC game market of choice, there’s certainly value in using the zGold. A few games purchased at the ~$50 price will yield you with enough zSilver to redeem a $5 Razer discount voucher, 6,500 zSilver. Interestingly, the vouchers are specific to either systems, mice, keyboards or headsets, and it doesn’t appear you can use a mouse voucher for a keyboard instead, so chose wisely.
These vouchers range from $5, $10 or $20 with specific items being available for zSilver completely. The two that are interesting are the Razer Mamba Chroma and the Blackwidow Chroma with Green Switches.
And of course, as with all other rewards programs, there are perks for reloading your zGold, for using Razer Cortex and for playing in their Arena. It would seem that Razer wants people to use the zVault, and makes it possible so that even if someone doesn’t want to use the zGold, they can still earn rewards if they use the Cortex software. Heck even for signing in with my existing Razer ID and verifying my info, I got a free 2,000 zSilver.
I think that this is an interesting move, and one that doesn’t shock me. Razer has progressively gone all in on the software side of the business, and taking it to the next level and finding a way to be a payment integrator means they can continue to find ways to make a small percentage off the top to pour back into their hardware development. The more I look at this, the more I see this being great for two people. The first is someone who is a die hard Razer fan, someone who buys every release of the Blackwidow, the Mabma, the Kraken headset, has Razer backgrounds on everything, etc. The second person I see this being good for is someone who buys their games from a site that’s not Steam. With GamersGate being partnered with Razer and accepting zGold as a payment, the discounts and rewards make it worthwhile. After a few AAA games, you have a nice $5 discount, or if you’re someone who buys all of the games as they come out and are more hard core, the discounts can really add up.
Overall I’ll take a wait and see approach, mostly to see what other platforms they work with to integrate as a payment option, and to see if someone like Steam decides to get in on a similar currency system.
For the full press release, including the launch partners, go here: http://www.razerzone.com/press/detail/press-releases/razer-opens-zvault-rewards-gamers-for-playing-with-virtual-currency-in-expansive-online-economy
Let me know what you think about this over on Twitter, @geekindad