- Social game developer Zynga for the first time is offering free in-game content to players of "Words With Friends" who belong to Amazon Prime, the e-commerce giant's membership program. Prime members now have access to features like mystery boxes and exclusive tile styles in the social crossword game, Venture Beat reported.
- "Words With Friends" will show banners that highlight the free content for Prime members, who need to log in with their Amazon accounts to gain access to those rewards. Zynga is offering the in-game content to players of the iOS and Android versions of "Words With Friends."
- Zynga plans to offer more gaming content as part of its marketing partnership with Amazon, Zynga publishing president Bernard Kim said in an interview with Venture Beat. He also said Amazon will promote the content offering on Amazon Prime Video and its Twitch livestreaming platform for gamers.
Zynga's collaboration with Amazon aims to connect with mobile consumers who are spending more time at home during the coronavirus pandemic, leading them to use their smartphones to connect with the outside world and to shop online.
Gaming app usage was up for most of the first quarter and saw a 132% surge in the last week of March as the pandemic reached the U.S., per a study by mobile ad company Adjust. Zynga can benefit from the increased gaming activity by offering "Words With Friends" content to Amazon Prime members, while also providing a way for mobile users to connect through the social crossword app.
For Amazon, the free game content gives people another reason to sign up for its Prime membership, which offers two-day shipping at no extra cost and other benefits like exclusive programming on Amazon Prime Video. However, the e-commerce giant has been overwhelmed with orders as the coronavirus pandemic drives a surge in online ordering that has tested its capacity. The company last month re-tooled its site to downplay cross-selling activity aimed at boosting the average order size, and canceled Mother's Day and Father's Day promotions that urge higher spending, The Wall Street Journal reported. Amazon reports Q1 results on Thursday, and likely will report a significant jump in revenue from the surge in online orders.
Zynga's marketing partnership with Amazon follows its "words with vision" campaign to promote "Words With Friends" on social media. For 20 straight days starting in January, Zynga showcased celebrity fans of the game who shared their favorite inspirational words on its Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. The campaign came a few months after Zynga revealed a data breach that may have exposed the login information of "Words With Friends" players.