Just when you thought that there was a credit card for just about everything, Zynga, the maker of ultra popular (and some would argue ultra annoying) MySpace and Facebook applications like Farmville, Mafia Wars, and YoVille have announced that they will be offering Farmville credit cards, Mafia Wars credit cards, and YoVille credit cards.
Why in the world would you ever want a Mafia Wars credit card? Well, one of the primary ways that Zynga makes money from their Facebook applications (not including the alleged reverse billing fraud as reported by Tech Crunch) is through the purchase of “virtual currency”. Virtual currency is used to purchase a digital good that is usually an online token, graphic, or game piece that represents something of value by virtue of its importance to a specific social game.
For example, a Farmville gamer may decide that they want to fork over a couple bucks for a new virtual tractor for their farm or a Mafia Wars gamer may decide that they want to purchase a new virtual weapon of some sort. Purchases are typically not made directly with real money but rather with virtual currency that needs to first be bought with real money.
The new Zynga credit cards that are cobranded under the various popular social games will be sold as prepaid cards and available for purchase in either $10 or $25 increments at Best Buy, Target, GameStop, 7-Eleven, and other retail locations.
What do YOU think of the new Zynga credit cards? Did you know that Zynga has over 235 million monthly active users playing its games? Are social gaming prepaid credit cards a great way to satisfy demand in an untapped market niche or is it wishful thinking? Are you an avid social gamer or a “block all future notifications from this application” kind of person?
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