Rewind to a few months ago, and you'll recall the big hullabaloo around "scammy" offers in Zynga games, which made consumers (and the entire games icast a discerning eye on the fast-growing social gaming company.
According to Zynga founder Mark Pincus' blog, the new offers in the game "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." More companies will be added to this lineup, he says, "as they meet our new standards."
Zynga has also set up a team devoted to checking the quality of offers that appear on games, as well as technology that will make sure that only Zynga-approved offers appear. Pincus goes on to say that these offers "represent a valuable channel for advertisers" and for users "this enables a purchase they could not have otherwise made or justified."
As much as we agree last year's controversy was, indeed, controversial, we're still OK with the idea of giving players another way to acquire virtual currency, provided, of course, everything on the level and the process is transparent from start to finish. Mostly, we just see all of this as growing pains for a new industry that's still in its "Wild West" phase.
Pincus also says that they'll be testing out new "engagement ads" in PetVille for Visa, Sprint, Xbox, MTV, Timberland and more.
We're eager to see how these ads will be implemented and how many other social games will be following suit in the near future.