Two months after pulling FishVille offline due to accusations of scamming with the game’s “offers” payment system, Zynga has stated that they will soon be offering offers once more. Spotted in CEO Mark Pincus’ blog by VentureBeat, the company’s new plan is to work exclusively with reputable, trusted merchants at first, and “phase in more companies as they meet [Zynga's] new standards.”
For the unfamiliar, “offers” are a system in several micropayment-based games, on Facebook and otherwise, which allow users to receive in-game currency by providing personal information to, or making purchases from, third-party merchants. Games like Playdom’s Mobsters or Three Rings’ Bite Me will grant premium content in exchange for a subscription to Netflix or the completion of a marketing survey, for example. Zynga came under fire last year when a number of their offers were reported as being disreputable, signing up users for services they had not accepted. The company pulled all offer-based payments as a result, and will be reintroducing them with much stricter policies in place.
Zynga will only be including offers from eight merchants to begin with: Netflix, Discover Card, Blockbuster, HSBC Direct, Gamefly, Book of the Month Club, SnapFish, and The New York Times.