Super Rewards, a monetization solution for online games and social networks, announced that developers can now implement its virtual currency platform on any social network, virtual world, or online games. Super Rewards launched in December 2007, quickly grew into one of the larger CPA networks on Facebook and MySpace, and the service has kept a relatively low profile until now. We had a chance to talk to Super Rewards' CEO Jason Bailey this week, and in our discussion, he emphasized that his company wants to provide developers with an advertising solution that is more directly targeted towards users who are playing online games or using social networks than more traditional text or banner ads.
Within a Facebook game, for example, a user might be incentivised to sign up for a Netflix subscription. In return, the player gets extra points to buy weapons or other items within the game. One of the most popular games that is monetized through Super Rewards is Mob Wars. With over 2.5 million active users last month, Mob Wars is currently one of the biggest games on Facebook. Bailey also stressed that his company is looking very closely at the opportunities that mobile gaming platforms like the iPhone present to developers. On the iPhone, Loot Wars is one of the most popular games that is currently monetized through Super Rewards.
About 75% of Super Rewards' income is currently derived from advertising offers, while the other 25% come from direct sales of in-game points that bypass the advertising solution. Super Rewards has about 40 million users worldwide, a majority of which can be found in English-speaking countries. Super Rewards currently features about 3,000 different offers in its database.
Developers can now implement the Super Rewards system relatively easily into their own games and apps. For relatively simple applications, this can be as easy as copying and pasting Super Rewards code into their own programs. While Bailey couldn't quite divulge all the details in the agreements that the company has signed with developers, he stressed that Super Rewards would take less than the 30% cut that Apple currently gets from apps sold in the App Store.
Walking a Fine Line
Overall, this looks like an interesting solution for developers to monetize their games and social network apps, though they will clearly have to walk a fine line between creating a compelling reason for users to engage with advertisers, and looking like they are exploiting their users and annoying them with ads and offers from Super Rewards. Some of the games are obviously also targeted at younger kids, which could potentially introduce a number of ethical problems for developers who want to implement Super Rewards in their apps.