A few months ago there was a monstrous scandal surrounding Zynga and some special offers players could complete for in-game currency just to find out later that they were actually charged monthly subscriptions for the “free” products. Back then, Zynga’s top title FarmVille was called Scamville (you can read the entire story here) and there’s even a class action lawsuit involved! Today, surprise! Surprise! Zynga is bringing up similar offers to their games!
The announcement was made via the blog of Mark Pincus, Zynga’s CEO. He writes:
“Starting today, we are bringing back offers around our games to provide our users who don’t have access to online payment methods the ability to make in-game purchases while having a compelling game experience.”
Players can complete these offers and get in exchange in-game currency to spend for some limited edition items. However, this time Zynga assures it’s players that another “scamville” scandal won’t arise again because there’s a team dedicated to always monitor the quality of the offers (and the fact that there’s no scam included).
For now, there are just eight offers available: from Netflix, Discover Card, Blockbuster, HSBC Direct, Gamefly, Book of the Month Club, SnapFish and The New York Times – all of which have high Better Business Bureau ratings according to Pincus, but in the future more offers will arrive.
Also, the company plans some (really smart, in my opinion) brand engagement ads in their social game PetVille. So expect to see items from Visa, Sprint, Xbox, Timberland, MTV, TV Land, CW and HTC and probably a future deal that will bring the developers even more money.
However, we just have to wait and see if Zynga will indeed deliver only high quality offers to their players and no scams will be involved. Because if that would be the case, millions of players might completely lose faith in the company and eventually lead to its destruction. Time will tell, even though I’m sure that Zynga knows what they’re doing!
What do you think about the reintroduction of the special offers?