Facebook Credits Underwhelm Game Developers

Facebook Credits haven’t worked out as well as many third-party developers hoped, say the speakers at Inside Social Apps 2012 conference in San Francisco.

Sister blog Inside Social Games reported that developers had been hoping for a high conversion rate to paid users in order to offset the 30 percent of revenue they must hand over to Facebook, but it hasn’t worked out that way, with conversion rates coming in lower than expected.

Kabam Chief Executive Kevin Chou said at the conference, as reported by Inside Social Games:

We thought that conversions would go up and be around 15 percent or 20 percent, but it turned out to be around 5 percent to 10 percent, meaning that we’re taking a 20 percent net tax.

And Anil Dharni, co-founder of Crime City developer Funzio, added:

Facebook Credits is a wash for us. It increased the conversion rate, but we actually saw a gradual decrease in average revenue per paying user. It’s hard to know why.

As a result, Funzio has shifted its focus to Apple’s iOS, and Facebook runs the risk of other developers following suit, and also turning to the Android platform.

After all, games may be fun for Facebook users, but they’re serious business for developers.

Disney has seen success on the Apple front, with Senior Vice President of Social Games John Spinale saying:

Mobile users are more engaged and they produce higher revenue than our tethered titles on PCs. We’re also seeing incredible revenue growth on Android. Android is a little bit unwieldy, but the revenue is meaningful enough that it’s worth the pain of doing.

Wooga, the number two Facebook game developer behind powerhouse Zynga in terms of daily active users, had a more upbeat outlook, with Chief Executive Jens Begemann saying:

We have been on Facebook Credits since day one. So for us, we don’t see really negative trends. I’ve also not heard anyone complain about Apple for their 30 percent revenue share.

The gang at Inside Social Games has done a great job covering Inside Social Apps 2012, and here are links to other stories about today’s conference:

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