Facebook wades into mobile gaming – bringing 800 million or so mobile users already linked together to play your game!

Can mobile marketing get much bigger? According to many (myself included) this is just the start and now with Facebook adding it’s considerable weight behind the revolution – the world is going to change once again. Successful mobile gaming development and profit for real start ups might become a reality. We might make money from Facebook after all…. or with them it would seem.

As before Facebook was happy to simply sell you the advertising space for your game or mobile app. Now the social networking giant has launched a new mobile game publishing initiative to give developers access to its enormous userbase.

Aimed at small-to-medium sized developers, Facebook plans to use its pilot programme to promote a select number of studios to its 800 million monthly users on mobile and 260 million game players through its social network.

Ten games have been selected for the scheme so far, including five from Europe and three from the UK. (Answers on a post card on in the comments below for which ones are from the UK.)

But why would Facebook want to get involved more with mobile gaming? Well it really depends on how you see Facebook. 
Myself, personally, I have always seen Facebook as a potential for a massive amount of data. Some have seen it as a social media platform for advertising which comes from that data grab. But others, wiser than i have seen Facebook as a gaming platform. 
Looking at the social networking firm as a gaming platform means that this new move is simple – they are building a strong game ecosystem through Facebook on mobile, not only highlighting titles such as King’s massively successful Candy Crush Saga, which harnesses Facebook accounts as a key driver for attracting new players. But also helping out the littler developers (many of whom had said Facebook gaming was dying out…)

Because Facebook knows that small-to-medium sized businesses may not have the funds to spend big on marketing campaigns. And so as a publisher they can clean up by selling their advertising and really swapping it for real money if / when the game does well.

As most of the companies Facebook are launching with, apart from Gamesloft (who are fucking massive) are small start-ups with pre-VC money or post-series A.

So back to how it will work. Really rater simply. The program works by helping users discover selected titles in its program, based on their interests and game history. Strategy game enthusiasts on Facebook for example will be able to discover titles in the same genre available on mobile.

In March earlier this year the company reported that 55 per cent of the top 400 iOS apps were integrated with Facebook. It also claimed the site drove 263 million clicks to the Apple App Store and Google Play through its mobile news feed.

Despite directing its publishing operations at small-to-medium sized developers, the firm is still looking for studios with a track record in the industry rather than brand new start-ups, although didn’t completely rule out a new company with an exciting prospect. In the end, he says games are based on how good they are.

Which is a bloody shame – as this seems to me to be a license to print money. I only hope they don’t just start working with gambling companies! As this is a great area to have a start up in. Something that adds real value not just takes it away by getting people addicted.
in there defense,  if you look at who they are partnering with right now, all of them have a strong experience in gaming. And not gambling.
I hope they remain pure and so the eco system might do something positive apart from make money. Perhaps Facebook will play it less safe in the future and back a couple of start ups as well. 
Let’s hope so. And it not like Facebook doesn’t have a rather strong history of working with start-ups. Or should that be buying start ups 😉

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