Zynga has decided to continue its push towards Facebook Credit dominance in their pet simulation title PetVille. Like other Zynga games, users can use real money to purchase Pet Cash, PetVille’s premium currency. However, where credit cards and PayPal were previously options that a user could choose from in paying for their Pet Cash, now, as reported by Inside Social Games, Facebook Credits are the only option.
This isn’t to say that credit cards and PayPal have been completely eliminated from the equation, as you’ll still have to use those to purchase the necessary Facebook Credits in the first place. If anything, this is an added step in a direction that Facebook seems to be rocketing towards – a state where the Facebook Credit is the only, all-encompassing virtual currency on the site.
Zynga has offered the Facebook Credit purchasing option in other games, like their most popular title FarmVille, but traditional credit card and PayPal payments continue to dwarf it in popularity and usage. It seems that with a less popular game in PetVille, the developer is using it as a sort of test market in order to find how consumers react.
Meanwhile, companies like CrowdStar have fully accepted the Facebook Credit as the only means of virtual currency their games need, opting to forgo any sort of “Happy Pets Cash” or “Happy Island Bucks” scheme of currency, in favor of selling all in-game premium items for bulk amounts of the Facebook Credits themselves. Speaking with Inside Social Games, CrowdStar’s Peter Relan has commented on the convenience of the system, saying that “once you get over the hump, it’s great, and just as profitable.”
In the end, it seems that one overall currency in every Facebook game would do a lot to eliminate any potential confusion that may arise when new players work to determine just how their Pet Cash, Farm Cash, My Town Bucks, Social City Bucks and so on relate to the currency found in other games, including the growing Facebook Credit.
It will be especially interesting to see how PetVille players react to the change, and whether or not sales on premium items drop or rise due to the switch.