Facebook Launches Mobile Games Platform Days After Stock Climbs

Wednesday, 31 Jul 2013 09:28 AM

By Megan Anderle

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Facebook launched a new platform for mobile game developers on Tuesday, a few days after the social media giant impressed investors with mobile ad revenue and users' level of renewed interest in the Facebook app.

The platform, called Mobile Games Publishing, is a "pilot program to help small and medium-sized developers take their mobile games global," Facebook states on the platform's page.

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Facebook will promote those developers' games on its own mobile apps, but only select developers will make it into the Mobile Games Publishing program, and Facebook said it will target "the right people" for each game based on the wealth of data the company has about its users, according to CNN Money.

To attract developers, Facebook touts that more than 250 million people play games on Facebook.com and Facebook-connected mobile games – nearly one-third of all 800 million users – and that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company generated $2 billion for developers in 2012.

While the platform can help beginner game developers get their names out there, it's unclear what percentage individuals can make once they publish their game, and Facebook did not disclose how much of a revenue share it will take, CNN pointed out. Any developer can apply to the program.

Facebook is working with 10 developers so far, including Gameloft, Gamevil, and 5th Planet – big names in the mobile gaming space.

Companies like Zynga saw early success with games on Facebook, but that was when many were playing on computer screens. Once the Facebook app got popular, however, engagement dropped off.

The advantage of having their own mobile platform is Facebook will be expanding its pool of games to choose from to offer users.

Zynga, meanwhile, won't be faring well from this innovation. An agreement between Zynga and Facebook expired last year, putting an end to some of the exclusivity that kept the two companies in such a close partnership, the Washington Post reported.

The news of the new gaming platform comes days after CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that 41 percent of Facebook's total advertising revenue came from mobile, up from 30 percent in the last quarter. The news sent Facebook’s share soaring, with trading at its highest since its IPO in May 2012, at $38 per share last week, up from the low $20 range.

Zuckerberg's 485.6 million shares in the company became much more valuable as well, boosting his net worth to $16.1 billion.

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