Zynga Brings Brands Back Into Games

This evening Mark Pincus, the CEO of Zynga, announced on his blog that the company would begin phasing offers back into the games after temporarily shutting them down due to the whole “ScamVille” controversy.

Most of the controversy came from IQ Quiz advertisements that were really just SPAM sites. While sources vary on how large of a revenue stream offers were, some stated they accounted for upwards of 33 percent of Zynga’s revenue.

So what does this mean for Zynga? The obvious change is the immediate increase in the company’s bottom line. However it also means those users who don’t have access to online payment methods will now be able to generate farm cash. Meanwhile, Zynga will begin phasing in new offers, with the first eight coming from “Netflix, Discover Card, Blockbuster, HSBC Direct, Gamefly, Book of the Month Club, SnapFish and The New York Times”.

Also of interest in Mark’s blog post was information about new advertising solutions the company will be testing with “brand engagement ads”. According to Mark, “PetVille will test ads from Visa, Sprint, xBox, Timberland, MTV, TV Land, CW and HTC. This type of brand engagement will allow users to gain currency in a fast and easy way.”

As I understand it, users will be rewarded with virtual currency for interacting with branded advertisements, something that could theoretically provide serious competition to Facebook’s popular “engagement ads”. I will let you know of anything new on the story as it hits.

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