How Publishers Can Use Virtual Currency

By Jason Boog Comment

orca-logo.pngEarlier this month, Zynga Games made headlines when 300,000 online players raised $1.5 million for Haiti relief by buying virtual goods inside Facebook-based games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars.

Most people don’t realize how these game worlds have grown into hubs for virtual commerce. At Digital Book World this week, GalleyCat interviewed an executive from Orca–a company developing virtual currency platforms for companies.

In the exclusive video below, Orca president Richard Caccappolo explained how publishers can use virtual currencies and virtual goods to spice up their online bookstores–tapping a new kind of digital commerce.

Here’s an excerpt: “They convert [virtual currencies] at prices that are not easily divided–one dollar gives you 33 credits [for example] … People don’t necessarily think, ‘it cost me 42-cents to send my friend a virtual beer.’ I think when the publishing industry starts thinking about how they chunk up content–whether it be articles or chapters–it shouldn’t be a debate of whether an article is worth one dollar or three dollars. An article should cost 43 credits.”