Facebook Sets July, 1, 2011 Deadline to Make Credits Sole Canvas Game Payment Option

Starting at its developer conference last April, Facebook has been saying publicly that Credits would eventually be the only payment option in social games on the site (although it started saying so to developers months before).

It had originally slated all developers to have completely made the switch by the end of 2010. While that has mostly happened, there are still many games not using Credits.

So the company is announcing today that all developers who have games on canvas pages will need to move to only use Credits by July 1st of this year. New games will be required to use Credits as the virtual currency when they first set up their canvas pages; older games will also be required to switch to exclusively use Credits, too.

For users, that means no more paying for currencies directly with credit cards or other methods that don’t somehow use Credits.

For developers, it means more costs and benefits to plan for.

Credits, along with whatever benefits it brings, also comes with a 30% revenue cut that developers have up to this point not had to pay. Although many have already adopted Credits in whole or in part, the potential cost of exclusive implementation continues to be an issue for the ecosystem. Facebook’s mandatory push could, beyond the risks to developers’ businesses, also help increase the prevalence and ease-of use of Credits to the point that the currency makes relatively more money for developers even with the fee — or that, at least is, Facebook’s plan.

New Credits Promotions, More Stats

As part of the news, Facebook is also releasing some big updates to its promotional plans for Credits, and stats on adoption.

Perhaps the biggest piece of news is that Facebook is going to be strongly encouraging developers to use Credits is the premium in-game currency, beyond requiring Credits to be the only virtual currency payment option. According to Deb Liu, a lead platform marketing manager  at Facebook, the company could offer additional benefits for developers who do this, including free advertising on the Games dashboard, in other Facebook ad inventory, and in other special features. She tells us to expect more news on that front soon. Note that we’ll be asking her for more details tomorrow, as she’s on a monetization panel at our Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco.

> Continue reading on Inside Facebook.

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Leave a Reply

8 Responses to “Facebook Sets July, 1, 2011 Deadline to Make Credits Sole Canvas Game Payment Option”

  1. Dan Hulton says:

    Nope.

    The blog post in question SPECIFICALLY says that FB WON’T require Credits to be the sole payment option.

  2. Eric Eldon says:

    Dan, what blog post are you referring to? I’m seeing this: “Starting July 1st, we will require all social game developers on the Facebook canvas platform to process payments through Facebook Credits.”

  3. Noah Amar says:

    Eric, Dan is right. You’re saying that Facebook is making Credits a “sole” payment option, which is not true:
    “Although we are not requiring developers to use Facebook Credits as their sole in-game currency, we are offering special incentives to those who do.”

  4. Dan Hulton says:

    I’m referring to the blog post IN your article: http://developers.facebook.com/blog/post/451

    “Although we are *not* requiring developers to use Facebook Credits as their *sole* in-game currency, we are offering special incentives to those who do (see below for details).”

    Emphasis mine.

  5. Eric Eldon says:

    I’m using Facebook’s terminology for payments — the term here means all methods of putting real money into virtual currency, so credit cards, offers, game cards, etc. It does not mean “in-game currency” in the way that you guys are interpreting it.

    The full version of my article on Inside Facebook goes into detail on the in-game currencies point.

    One other point, though, is that it sounds like Facebook may actually grandfather in a couple non-Credits payment options but those appear to be insignificant (we’ll update with more on that as we can, in any case).

  6. Dan Hulton says:

    If that’s indeed how things work, they worded their devblog post INCREDIBLY poorly. It also just *feels* really awkward – you can continue to support FarmCash in your game (for example), but people must use FB Credits to buy it? Awkward.

  7. Quora says:

    Will Facebook ‘grandfather’ existing games from having to use Facebook Credits exclusively?…

    Yes. All apps will have to have Credits enabled by July 1st. http://www.insidesocialgames.com/2011/01/24/facebook-sets-july-1-2011-deadline-to-make-credits-sole-canvas-game-payment-option/

  8. tatsuke says:

    I’m still confused…

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