I’ve been plenty busy lately (and thus blog-free for a while now) thanks to a new job with a game company here in New York City. But when I saw that Zynga was entering a partnership with 7-11 to promote its games, I knew I couldn’t escape Zynga’s grasp in my off-line world for long: They invaded the 7-11 around the corner from me.
Yes, there is the Slurpee machine:
The Big Gulp machine:
Those both had Iron Man 2 branding till earlier today. But the integration goes across even more food items – a whole “Fresh Goodies from FarmVille” section:
Complete with sandwiches and fruit tagging:
Even the farm-rased tuna:
So you can see the breadth of items. And each type of item is redeemable for in-game goodies. Here is the list.
One example – buy a Big Gulp, get a special FarmVille “Big Splash” item:
When you’re Zynga and you’ve exhauseted the audience on Facebook (or at least the ones you can acquire cheaply on Facebook), this is how you get brand awareness and entice installs for those not regularly on Facebook.
And on the flip-side, Zynga brings its addicted players to 7-11, getting them to go through hoops to unlock UberGifts. First you need to buy up to eight items at 7-11, each one filling out the punch-card at the top:
Following this, they will also have to do a specific in-game task:
Users need to achieve Level 3 Mastery of a special crop in FarmVille, which seems a lot harder than doing 41 jobs and winning 10 fights in Mafia Wars (and actually no in-game task for YoVille). While these seem skewed, they actually seem to match the value of the UberGift unlocked in each game: 200 FarmVille cash, 50 Reward Points for Mafia Wars, and a Slurpee Machine for your YoVille pad.
All-in-all, it seems like a good win-win for both Zynga and 7-11 and likely has been in the works for some time (what, no Treasure Isle tie-ins? Maybe that’s next summer), probably a natural extension of their initial deal to get Zynga cards on 7-11 racks.
How telling is it that Zynga has done more big distribution deals (7-11, Yahoo and MSN Games) than game releases (the tepid PokerBlitz and mega-hit Treasure Isle) this year? The Zynga machine has figured out how to extract the maximum eyeballs on the Facebook platform, now it looks like we’ll be watching them figure out how to do it offline as well.