Zynga's RewardVille: Is it working as intended?

Perhaps it's already old news, but Zynga officially launched its RewardVille service over the weekend. Players can now be rewarded with zCoins for playing the gamut of Zynga games. It appears that this new service is designed to replace the cross-promotional Goals and missions that were so popular between games like FrontierVille and Mafia Wars in 2010. But is RewardVille working any better than those did? Does Zynga even care?

FarmVille forum contributor Annabelle Smitty asks in a nine-page thread, "Has RewardVille been successful at getting you back into [games you once gave up on]?" Several players have emphatically answered to the contrary while a few admitted that, yes, it has caused them to pop in on games like Treasure Isle for more zCoins towards new items. However, another player, Shini2, sums up what I think is more likely the case: "Well, it's not as bad as I thought. For those games I can just do a few specific things, and it's not that hard to get my 80 points. By this I mean that I don't really have to get into the games. Just spend like 15 minutes each."

Money!Isn't that what you do, anyway? It's pretty difficult to believe that RewardVille has magically reignited the old flames most of you had with Vampire Wars or PetVille. It's more likely that most players behave just like Shini: They'll log into each game and play for the 15 minutes required to net the 80 points and jump right back into their main crush whether it be CityVille or something else. This is because it's an incentive-based system. Once players find out that all they have to spend in one of these games is a few minutes for those points, that's all Zynga will have them for. And that's OK, because we're human (and naturally opportunistic).

However, a multi-billion dollar company like Zynga didn't get where it is now by accident. Perhaps Pincus and his crew know exactly what they're up to. Zynga already realizes that a vast majority of its gamers simply does not have time to keep track of more than one game. That said, it's understandable for the company to make the requirements for acquiring points in other games so simple and fast.

More importantly, it doesn't matter how long a player is logged into a game--that data is automatically recorded by websites like AppData. If even half of FarmVille's daily active players cosign to RewardVille, that's a boost worth millions in "new" users for games that are miles behind Zynga's top three. That could translate into more promotional and advertising opportunities as well as even better standing in the leader boards. Maybe, just maybe, everything is going according to plan.

[Image Credit: Social Trackr]

What do you think of RewardVille so far? Do you think Zynga intended for it to work this way or the players have already exploited it? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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