RockYou: The Latest Big Developer Planning to Use Facebook Credits Exclusively

Facebook has been busy meeting with large developers on its platform, trying to get them to sign deals to exclusively use its virtual currency, Credits, in their applications. So far, it has CrowdStar and LOLapps using Credits exclusively as the direct payment method, with rivals like Zynga participating but also using alternatives.

Now, there’s another big developer joining the exclusive list: RockYou. The company said say in a post about using virtual currency in its big social game, Zoo World. Here’s the key part: “RockYou is NOT doing away with Wildlife Point items to be replaced by Facebook Credits ($0.10 each). But all CASH purchases will require facebook credits within a year (Facebook requirement).”

In other words, while Zoo World will use a virtual currency system, the only way to buy anything is through Credits — not directly through PayPal, mobile payment services, etc.

After seeing this change, we followed up with RockYou to learn more about its plans; it has until now not said what its intentions are. Lisa Marino, the company’s chief revenue officer, tells us that it has been working with Facebook to figure out how to best implement Credits.

The bottom line is that Facebook is in the first inning of the ball game as it relates to Credits. We as an industry have a lot of use cases regarding payments that we are actively working through with them, since the major developers have optimized around different elements of payments flows. Some rely more on credit cards while others leverage PayPayl more aggressively, for example. RockYou is being very open with Facebook, as are other developers, to help get it right. Facebook will require Credits as the only top up method once we get it right.

Many developers have said that the problem with the virtual currency hasn’t just been the 30% fee that Facebook takes — it’s the “breakage,” the loss of control over pricing, and other issues that increase the costs even more. Some have said that the total cost of Credits comes out to something like 50% of a game’s revenue, although Marino says it’s less than that.

Marino says that Facebook is taking a few steps to make Credits work better, like testing new purchase interfaces in apps, and trying to seed free Credits to get more users interested. So far, while Credits hasn’t performed as well as pre-existing payment methods, it is improving — and Facebook has a lot of new tests to run which will make it substantially better during this quarter, Marino says. Conversion rates in some tests are proving to be much higher than the 3% to 5% that developers typically see, for example. She hopes that by working with Facebook early, RockYou will be better positioned to take advantage of the currency as it evolves; the company already took this with a test of offers for Credits, back in March and April.

There’s still the question of when Credits will become more profitable for developers than their existing payment services. Marino expects this to happen sometime around the end of this year or early next year, at which point she says she wouldn’t be surprised to see Credits used for more experiences on Facebook, like buying real goods.

Social Media 101

Mediabistro Course

Social Media 101

Get hands-on social media training for beginners in our online boot camp, Social Media 101! Starting September 4, social media and marketing experts will teach you the best practices to be successful on social. Register now!

 

Leave a Reply

6 Responses to “RockYou: The Latest Big Developer Planning to Use Facebook Credits Exclusively”

  1. George says:

    Lisa,

    I think Eric’s point was there was upwards of a 50% loss when implementing Credits as the hard/premium currency.

    As far as I can tell, you have only integrated Credits as a payment method in your games. Therefore, the items Eric wrote about like breakage and loss of control are not applicable.

    That being said, you are quoted as the hit as been less than “something like 50%.”

    So are you really saying that implementing FB Credits as a payment method only has decreased your earnings by ~50%?

    That doesn’t sound very good.

    What would you expect to see if you actually integrated Credits as your hard/premium currency?

    George

  2. the red rocket , Archive » Social gaming the new currency says:

    [...] currency system is set to launch in September. The world’s number one social network has been courting the developers recently and has signed up some of the major players already. The growth of social [...]

  3. Wooga Becomes the Fourth Large Developer to Use Facebook Credits Exclusively says:

    [...] week, we covered RockYou’s decision to use Credits, before the company officially announced a new contract with Facebook this Wednesday. Before [...]

  4. New Partnerships and Promotions Show Facebook’s Focus on Expanding Credits says:

    [...] Zynga and CrowdStar, the pace of big developer sign-ons has picked up. RockYou agreed to the five-year exclusive plan in mid-July; Wooga did a week later, after reporting positive results from its Credits tests; [...]

  5. Zynga Switching to Facebook Credits says:

    [...] out Credits late last year in Happy Island; it eventually signed a five-year contract in June. RockYou signed on the next month, and Playdom, which is currently the second-largest developer (but still only a fifth of [...]

  6. The Road to Credits: Mid-Market Developers Experience Technical Difficulties, Experiment With New Promotions says:

    [...] a few of these developers were early adopters of Facebook Credits after the integration announcement in 2010, many appeared to be dragging their heels in recent [...]

Get the latest news in your inbox
interested in advertising with inside social games?

Social Media Jobs
of the Day

Social Media & Community Management Associate

The Economist Group
New York, NY

Communications Assistant

Dwight School
New York, NY

Social Media Manager, Kellogg School of Management

Northwestern University
Evanston, IL

Featured Company

Join leading companies like this one and recruit from the nation's top media job seekers on the Mediabistro Job Board. Every job post comes with our satisfaction guarantee. Learn More
 

Our Sponsors

Mediabistro A division of Prometheus Global Media home | site map | advertising/sponsorships | careers | contact us | help courses | browse jobs | freelancers | content | member benefits | reprints & permissions terms of use | privacy policy Copyright © 2014 Mediabistro Inc. call (212) 389-2000 or email us