In a surprising move, Zynga and 7-Eleven are teaming up to bring popular Facebook games to more people outside of the social networking site. This summer, 7-Eleven will offer exclusive virtual gift products for Zynga’s FarmVille, Mafia Wars and YoVille, such as specially-marked packages of ice cream and Slurpees.
This is an absolutely genius marketing idea. It doesn’t cost you anything to play one of these games on Facebook. However, it costs real money to buy the virutal currency used to purchase additional in-game items. When you buy these new products at your local 7-Eleven, you can earn gifts by buying certain items and participating in at least one activity inside a game, such as mastering the growth of a crop FarmVille. If you perform the activity, you can earn $200 in FarmVille virtual cash. This is good news for you, the game player. But it’s great news for Zynga.
There will be over 30 different items branded with one of Zynga’s games and even special flavors created for the occasion. The campaign will begin on June 1st and run for six weeks in more than 7,000 stores across the United States – or for as long as supplies last. This revenue share deal stemmed from the recent launch of Zynga gift cards in 7-11 stores, which can be redeemed for in-game credits at 7-Eleven stores and several gaming outlets.
Zynga says that this partnership will bring their games to “the masses.” With several million players of their offerings on Facebook, the company claims that 10% of all U.S. residents are already playing FarmVille, and that 80% of their players are engaging at least once per day with one of the three games. Are you one of them? Will you be heading out to 7-Eleven this summer to grab your Zynga merchandise?