Razer today announced the official launch of zVault, a new digital wallet system its been testing since January. The service is designed to work both as a way to pay for digital goods like full-game purchases and downloadable content and as a rewards system to earn free Razer products. This involves two components: zGold, a digital currency, and zSilver, a rewards currency. The purpose, for Razer at least, is to drive players to spend their money through its own service and those of the company’s partners, instead of buying direct from places like Steam. It’s also a way to hopefully drive more players to Razer hardware in the future. The way it works is relatively straightforward. You sign up for a zVault account through Razer’s website and are prompted to make a deposit to create a zGold balance, with increments starting at $30, $50, and $100. That zGold can then be spent either on the Razer store for peripherals like keyboards, mice, and gaming headsets or through web stores the company has partnered with. At launch, those stores include Gamersgate and IndieGala, both of which let you purchase codes that can then be redeemed on Steam. Razer has also partnered with a few game makers, including Hi-Rez Studios, Smilegate West, and Trion Worlds, so PC players can spend zGold on in-game items. As far as zSilver goes, it’s a standard rewards system that earns you points when you meet a certain condition, like spending zGold and logging in daily to Razer’s competitive gaming Arena service.
Those points can then be redeemed for specially promoted products through Razer’s store. It won’t always be a 1:1 value transfer, but Razer says early promotions include 20,000 zSilver for a $20 discount on certain items. For the average person who doesn’t use higher-end gaming products or owns an expansive PC library, something like zVault may not seem all that appealing. It’s designed more for people who are constantly spending money on gaming hardware and software and would maybe be interested in getting a few perks here and there for those purchases and that time spent. Still, Razer says since the zVault soft launch in January, it’s already seen some good numbers: around 770,000 wallets have been created, with users making more than 375,000 transactions in total. Down the line, Razer has some new features it will announce that the company says will increase the amount of zSilver players will earn. The ultimate goal is to treat zVault and the virtual currency as a PC gaming economy of sorts, as ambitious as that sounds.