Zynga will start selling prepaid cards containing credit for its in-game currency in six Asian countries from today. The San Francisco social gaming giant is partnering Malaysian company MOL to sell the cards, known as Zynga Game Cards. The cards will be available in more than 500,000 MOL outlets in Malaysia, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand.
Zynga is introducing its Game Cards as part of a wider effort to expand its user base in Asia. Ryan Linton, a Zynga senior director of business development, said that the company had “millions of users” in Asia, although he declined to give figures for specific countries. Zynga has introduced a Bahasa Indonesia version of its latest hit game, Cityville. Linton said that a Bahasa Malaysia version will be released soon, among other localization efforts, which will include virtual items customized for Asian audiences.
“We’re taking Southeast Asia very seriously. This region is of major importance for Zynga,” he said.
Zynga’s Game Cards will be sold in denominations of USD2, USD5 and USD10. The denominations are smaller than Game Cards in the US, where users can buy USD25 cards, because users in Asia prefer to make smaller transactions, according to MOL’s chief executive Ganesh Kumar Bangah.
“Micro-transactions are more popular in Asia,” he said. “We may look at making bigger denominations available later.”
Ganesh also said that MOL has seen the volume of transactions in its prepaid cards business double annually. The company sells its own virtual currency, MOL Points and credits for Facebook. Its top markets are Malaysia and Thailand. MOL also owns the social network Friendster. Ganesh said there are no plans for Zynga games to run on the Friendster platform at this time.
Ganesh and Linton made the announcement at a press conference in Singapore this morning. When asked by journalists, Linton refused to be drawn on potential acquisitions by Zynga in the region, saying only that the company was always looking for talent and that acquisitions were a natural part of the business.
Photos – MOL PR