Zynga Rolls Out New Virtual Currency in Addition to Facebook Credits

Zynga is announcing a new virtual currency today called “zCoins,” which will allow users to earn rewards across 10 of its most popular games on Facebook.

The branded-currency announced today comes just a couple of months before Facebook is mandating that all social games use Facebook Credits as the default payment system.

A Zynga spokeswoman said the launch of RewardVille has nothing to do with Facebook Credits because there is no real money being exchanged.

Still, it’s hard not to see how the Zynga-branded coins isn’t a ploy for the game-maker to build its brand as Facebook inserts itself more and more into the gaming experience.

The new program, announced today at SXSW, is called RewardVille, which will give players zPoints and zCoins in CityVille, FrontierVille, FarmVille, Mafia Wars, Zynga Poker, Café World, Treasure Isle, YoVille, PetVille and Vampire Wars.

The coins will can be used to unlock exclusive and limited edition virtual goods to apply across multiple games.

The rewards system has multiple layers. For instance, users will be awarded points as they play games. As points are accumulated, users will increase their level. As players level up, they will be rewarded coins.

The coins can be used in any participating game, meaning that if you started off as as a heavy FarmVille user, the coins can be redeemed in CityVille to advance your status. The virtual goods in AwardVille will be exclusive, and cannot be purchased with real money or Facebook Credits.

Limited edition items include the “Stepped Skyscraper” in CityVille or a “Ring of Fire” in FrontierVille, which will help you advance faster in your game. All players who sign up for RewardVille in March will receive one free item per game.

Players will be able to earn as many as 80 zPoints per game or 300 zPoints total in one day.

Zynga’s created a well-polished video on how it works:

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