Zynga is bringing back offers marketing to its games, CEO Mark Pincus just announced on his personal blog.
Mark and Zynga got in big trouble last fall after TechCrunch ran a series of post claiming that many of the companies offer Zynga gamers “free trials” would actually charge gamers hidden fees.
The TechCrunch series also suggested many Zynga gamers were creating new accounts over and over again so as to keep getting free trials from companies like Netflix.
Smartly, Zynga is re-launching offers marketing with a very classy bunch of advertisers: Netflix, Discover Card, Blockbuster, HSBC Direct, Gamefly, Book of the Month Club, SnapFish and The New York Times.
Here is Mark’s post:
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. The offers are from eight companies — 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.
We have set up a team that is dedicated to checking the quality of any offer we display. This group reviews each offer and applies a strict set of standards for content and user experience before it can be displayed. We also have technology in place that will regularly check offers to verify that only Zynga reviewed offers are displayed. For more on our standards, visit http://www.zynga.com/contact/advertisingGuidelines.php .
Over time, we will phase in more companies as they meet our new standards.
Offers represent a valuable channel for advertisers, users and developers. They enable advertisers to sponsor a user’s game session or item purchase in return for their attention, affiliation or purchase. For some users, this enables a purchase they could not have otherwise made or justified. For developers like us it represents incremental revenue to fund our games.
In addition, you will be seeing new brand engagement ads tested in our games. 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.
Looking forward, we hope to partner with the industry to develop standards and policies for advertising around social games and virtual goods to ensure that our users have meaningful game experiences from companies they can trust.
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