Last August, Offerpal Media announced that it had begun testing out a virtual currency system called, at the time, Credits. Fast forward nine months, and the monetization platform is finally launching the renamed currency, Game Points.
Offerpal’s new currency can be used, by the company’s count, on over 1,500 games across Facebook, Myspace and several other sites. In most regards it’s similar to Facebook’s own Credits system, which is still in private beta testing.
Right off the most interesting thing about Offerpal’s take on virtual currency looks to be the wide array of choices the company will offer users to acquire Points, beyond simply buying them. Offerpal’s roots lie in the surveys and offers from retailers and credit card companies, and of course those are two of the choices. But take a look at a few of the others:
- Shopping: Offerpal says its users can earn two to 30 percent of the total purchase price back in Points when shopping at on- and offline stores like Macy’s, Buy.com and CostPlus.
- Music and movie ticket purchases through Fandango and iTunes also count, as do new magazine subscriptions to selected titles.
- Unwanted gift cards: Through a partnership with Plastic Jungle, users can send in unused gift cards in exchange for Points
- Recycled electronics: Another partnership, this time with Gazelle; any used electronics that would normally fetch cash can get Points instead
Of course, Offerpal has been expanding into non-traditional payments for some time, with its most recent round of partnerships having been announced back in early April. The company seems to be trying out pretty much everything in its attempt to lure more people to virtual currency, in the process showing off its skill at dealmaking.
Surprisingly few monetization companies have launched anything resembling a virtual currency so far. The big one, of course, is Facebook Credits, mostly because the social network has hinted that it might push the other players out, as well as adding its own non-traditional payment options. But until Credits fully launches, Offerpal and competitors like Jambool can still try to gain enough traction to become indispensable.