/// Facebook Jumps Into the Games Publishing Biz

July 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital

Game on. After years of being strictly a platform for gaming companies to distribute and promote their titles, Facebook on Tuesday unveiled its new mobile games publishing initiative, aiming to back a select handful of gaming outfits to increase distribution across the social network. The foray is the first time that Facebook will take a direct cut of partner gaming company revenues in exchange for a host of resources that only Facebook can provide, including highly targeted advertising to Facebook gamers, analytics tools and prolonged collaboration with Facebook’s gaming department. In return, Facebook finds itself a new revenue stream — and a potentially lucrative one if any of these games go viral on the company’s network. The idea, as I understand it, is to focus on the small-to-medium-sized gaming studios, the outfits that would otherwise be drowned out underneath the massive advertising budgets that major gaming studios have, or perhaps lost amid the many, many selections in Google Play and the Apple App Store. Though if the program sees success, I’m not sure how long that size-restriction will last. “With more than 800 million monthly users in 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,” the company said in a blog post on Tuesday morning. I wrote about a potentially contentious part of the new initiative last week, as Facebook plans to test alternative ways to promote the games across its network. One of those, at the time, included suggesting new mobile games inside your notifications tab , an approach that could tick off Facebook users who don’t want advertisements where they don’t typically expect them. But Facebook contends that any experimentation it does with distributing its partner games will be targeted to existing gamers — in other words, focusing on people who actually want to play games on Facebook. “This program is designed to reach people who already play games on Facebook with new games that may interest them,” the company said. The effort kicks off Tuesday with about ten partner studios; Facebook asks any other interested parties to apply on Facebook’s game publishing page.

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Facebook Jumps Into the Games Publishing Biz

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