Amazon has announced a new kind of virtual currency this morning, called Amazon Coins, which will be exclusive to the company’s Kindle Fire devices. The new currency will let customers shop in the Amazon Appstore, and make in-app purchases for their favorite Kindle Fire games. So now Kindle Fire owners will be able to use their real money to buy virtual money, and then use that virtual money to buy other virtual forms of game-specific currency. Convoluted? Perhaps, but Amazon Coins is the latest in line of exciting new features the company is pushing towards for its mobile department, including Game Circle, a Game Center-like service with Global Leaderboards and Achievements.
In celebration of the Amazon Coins launch this coming May, Amazon will be giving its customers tens of millions of dollars’ worth of free Amazon Coins to get them started. Good thing these are virtual coins, because I don’t think I’d have a big enough container to hold them all! According to the press release, while the new currency is said to make for smoother customer purchases of Kindle Fire apps and games, it will also give developers “another substantial opportunity to drive traffic, downloads and increase monetization even further.” Amazon is encouraging developers to submit their latest games and apps by April 25th, so they can take full advantage of the new feature at its launch.
It remains to be seen how much real money each Amazon Coin will ultimately equate to, or if the currency can be used on other Kindle devices or smartphones and tablets that support the Amazon Appstore app. But in the meantime, you can read more about Amazon Coins on Amazon’s mobile blog.