One of the reasons we're seeing an explosion in online gaming is because the games are pretty much easy and free. The whole idea behind companies like Zynga
offering these games without charge, is to try and get its users to spend money on things like virtual currency or virtual goods. Most models have been pretty straight forward: you pay real money for virtual money, or virtual goods to progress further in a game. Offerpal Media
, a leader in virtual currency payment alternatives, announced on Tuesday
a slight twist to the virtual currency model. This new service enables consumers to receive virtual currency back for every dollar they spend at online retailers.
Offerpal said the categories include clothing and accessories, entertainment, electronics, food furniture, gifts, services, software, sports, travel and more.
And it has companies signed up right now. Some major names include 24 Hour Fitness, Gap, McAfee, CostPlus, Buy.com, Snapfish and Macy's.
Buyers should expect to be reimbursed anywhere from 5-10% of their purchase in virtual currency. Offerpal said some reimbursements could be up to 30% or more, a real bang for you buck.
This is definitely a change in what Offerpal Media has been offering up to date. Up until today, the company's platform gave consumers the opportunity to buy virtual currency by completing targeted advertising offers.
"Our goal has always been to give consumers an alternative to paying for virtual currency by letting them earn it instead--whether by filling out ad offers, completing surveys, or now simply by shopping for the types of goods and services they already use every day," said George Garrick, CEO of Offerpal Media.
The company said since its launch in 2007, it's issued 750 billion virtual points to more than 160 million consumers across 2,000 publishers. Offerpal's platform has been implemented by companies including Outspark, Playdom and IMVU.