(Updated to reflect comment from Kiwi)
Since the breakup between Facebook and Zynga at the end of last year, the two companies have been going in totally opposite directions. Zynga lost its CEO, saw its stock crumble, and was forced to lay off a bunch of its staff. Meanwhile, Facebook shares are nearly back to IPO level, and the company has fully moved on, announcing that it ready to take on new partners with a brand new initative that will take advantage of Facebook's growing mobile population.
Facebook has fully entered game publishing business with the launch of Facebook Mobile Games Publishing, a new pilot program that is designed to help small and medium-sized developers get the most out of their mobile games, the company announced in a blog post Tuesday.
With the new platform, Facebook will be working directly with game developers to provide them with promotional support so they can reach the massive Facebook network, which consists of 800 million monthly users its mobile apps and more than 260 million people playing games on the network.
"We continue to see record numbers of people playing games on Facebook, and the games ecosystem is steadily growing as developers keep building high-quality desktop and mobile games people love to play. As the mobile app ecosystem expands, breaking through and getting discovered in a crowded marketplace is the biggest challenge for mobile games," Victor Medeiros, Software Engineer at Facebook, wrote.
"Facebook has already been helping with app discovery through products such as mobile app install ads. However, there are many developers with awesome mobile games who don’t yet have the upfront resources for a paid strategy, and we want to help them find a path to success, too."
The relationship between Facebook and the developers will be mutually benefitial.
For developers, they will be given access to Facebook's sharing analytics tools and the company's expertise it says it has gained from "helping games grow on our platform for more than six years."
In exchange, Facebook will be taking a revenue share of the developer's profits, though it did not say how much that would be exactly.
And, of course, the third winner in all of this is supposed to be Facebook's userbase.
"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," said Medeiros.
In addition to the launch of the program, Facebook also announced the first 10 developers and the games that will be launching on the platform,
- 5th Planet’s RPG card battle game, Dawn of the Dragons
- Brainbow’s puzzle-packed adventure game, Dr. Newton: The Great Brain Adventure
- Certain Affinity's pirate-themed strategy game, Age of Booty: Tactics
- Dragonplay's social poker game, Live Hold'Em
- Gameloft's medieval strategy/simulation game, Kingdoms & Lords
- Gamevil's train management simulation Train City
- KiwiGames' (the company that just yesterday raised $9 million) quest-based exploration game, Shipwrecked
- Outplay Entertainment's explore-and-battle fantasy game, Monster Legacy
- Space Ape's multiplayer combat strategy game, Samurai Siege
- WeMade Entertainment's endless-running game WINDrunner
Other developers can apply to the program here.
Kiwi has put out a press release commenting on being a part of the program.
“Facebook’s decision to team up with Kiwi reinforces our success and continued commitment to developing high quality games,” Omar Siddiqui, CEO of Kiwi, said in a statement. “While we are focused on the Android platform for the opportunities that it presents to us, this collaboration with Facebook gives us the opportunity to bring one of our most popular titles to iOS at scale. We are excited to work with Facebook on this novel approach to game publishing.”
(Image source: https://developers.facebook.com)