First, "World of Warcraft" worked with the makers of "South Park" to integrate the hit show's characters into the game world for one of the best episodes in the series' 10-year run (and the most popular show download on Xbox Live Video Marketplace). Now Blizzard Entertainment, makers of "World of Warcraft," have signed an industry-first credit card deal with First National Bank for a rewards card program. Gamers who use one of 13 "World of Warcraft" Visa cards--each has a different character from the game like a blood elf, dwarf and paladin--will receive a 1% credit on ever dollar purchased. This credit can be applied to the $14.95 monthly subscription fee that gamers pay to explore the world, or it can be used to purchase merchandise or in-game equipment.
"World of Warcraft" has over 8.5 million users around the world playing this massively multiplayer game and this is a great way to tap into that market. There are rewards programs for just about everything out there, from gas to cash back, so videogame points makes sense. I expect to see other game companies jump into this new business opportunity assuming this one takes off. Just think of an Xbox 360 card that earned yu Microsoft Points or a Wii card that earned you Wii Points. This can go well beyond MMO games, although Sony Online Entertainment certainly will take a long hard look at this, as its archrival Blizzard has opened a new revenue stream.
Gamers looking to get more bang for their bucks can check out the Web site and see all 13 cards available. Just remember, credit cards aren't toys, so don't go splurging without having the money to back it up or you'll get walloped with high interest rates.