Facebook Unveils Mobile Games Publishing
July 31, 2013

Facebook Moves Into Mobile Games Publishing

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Facebook is moving further into the mobile gaming business, and plans to extend its role beyond its position of games platform to that of promoter and publisher, the social network said on Tuesday.

The company unveiled a new pilot program, dubbed Mobile Games Publishing, which will promote small- and medium-sized games in exchange for a portion of the revenue.

"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," wrote Facebook's Victor Medeiros in a posting on the company's developer blog.

"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."

Facebook's move confirms speculation that the social network might make such a move following its split with Zynga late last year in an agreement that allowed Facebook to develop games and Zynga to operate without Facebook ads or Facebook payments on Zynga.com. The deal also ended certain exclusivity to Zynga games on Facebook.

Facebook said its new mobile games publishing program will launch with ten games from developers 5th Planet, Brainbow, Certain Affinity, Dragonplay, Gameloft, Gamevil, KiwiGames, Outplay Entertainment, Space Ape and WeMade Entertainment.

The new program will remain focused on small- to medium-sized developers looking for distribution. Facebook's ability to tap its massive 800 million monthly users of its mobile apps will likely be attractive to developers who find distribution and reaching new users one of the most challenging aspects of their business.

Facebook will also provide promotional, advertising and analytics support to developers in exchange for an undisclosed revenue share.

Gaming is one of the most lucrative types of mobile apps, since users pay through microtransactions. But until now, Facebook has not been able to capture any of that revenue on mobile.

Desktop gaming helped the company post blockbuster second-quarter results last week, with its payments revenue jumping 11 percent, of which gaming accounted for 7 percent, in the period compared with a year ago.

Shares of Facebook's stock rose 5.6 percent to $37.43 in trading on Tuesday, approaching the company's IPO price of $38 per share. Shares of Zynga were down nearly one percent.