There was a time when Facebook games meant Zynga but after a very successful run, the two parted company about a year ago. It seemed like the right move for the growing game company but ever since, they’ve been struggling to stay afloat. 520 workers were laid off this past June and there’s not a single ray of light in sight.
Over on the Facebook side, business is booming with more than 260 million people logging on to play Facebook games. I’ve never been a big fan of Facebook games. To me, they’re clunky and they almost always require an investment in order to advance to the top levels. But I have a friend who can’t go a day without a few minutes of play. It’s like an addiction and that’s why there’s money in those mouse clicks.
Today, we’re announcing Facebook Mobile Games Publishing, a new pilot program to help small and medium-sized developers take their mobile games global. Through the program, we will work with select game developers and provide promotional support for their games in placements across our mobile apps. This will bring new, high-quality mobile games to the millions of Facebook users who love to play games.
With more than 800 million monthly users of our mobile apps and more than 260 million people playing games on Facebook, we are using our unique reach and targeting capabilities to help games in our program find and engage a valuable audience of the right users. This program is designed to reach people who already play games on Facebook with new games that may interest them. For example, we will help strategy game fans find strategy games and casual game enthusiasts find casual games.
We are invested in the success of these games, and in exchange for a revenue share, we will be collaborating deeply with developers in our program by helping them attract high-quality, long-term players for their games. We’ll also be sharing analytics tools and the expertise we’ve gained from helping games grow on our platform for more than six years.
This sounds like a win-win all around. With an already over-crowded app store, it’s hard for a young game developer to get noticed. With Facebook acting as your agent, the only way you can lose is with a bad idea.
For Facebook, this is an alternative mobile revenue stream that they desperately need. Sure, they’re selling mobile ads, but there’s a limit to how many ads they can stuff into a mobile feed. But taking a percentage of in-game purchases and upsells – wow – that’s a never-ending pot of gold. And as a bonus, the developer does most of the work while Facebook rakes in the cash.
Did that sound sarcastic? Sorry, it’s an automatic Facebook reaction. Honestly, I think this is a good idea for everyone involved. If you’re a small or medium size (under 5’6″?) game developer you can click here to apply for the Facebook Mobile Games Publishing program.
If you get in, I’d love to hear about your experience. Drop me a note and tell me all about it. And good luck.