Jan. 25, 2011 at 11:39 AM ET
Facebook has declared that its own virtual currency will be the mandatory currency that must be used in all game apps played on the social network.
Facebook Credits are a virtual currency that users of the social network can use to buy virtual goods in the games they play and in other apps they use. Players buy credits through Facebook using real money — via a credit card, PayPal or by paying for it with their mobile phone.
While some app developers have employed their own payment system in their games, as of July 1 they will all have to use Facebook Credits.
Though Facebook has been in the midst of wooing the biggest game developers over to this currency for a while (Zynga, Playdom and Playfish among them), the move to make Facebook Credits the universal currency across the board is expected to "ruffle some feathers," reports TechCrunch. And for good reason. Writes Jason Kincaid:
Of course, Facebook gets something out of it: they take an industry-standard 30% cut whenever users purchase anything with Facebook Credits. That can add up to a lot of money — we’ve heard elsewhere that Zynga is paying Facebook around $30 million a month for its Credits tax.
But for you the Facebook game player, it could make life a lot easier. With one currency used across the board, it means you can get your virtual cash in one place and use it in any game rather than having to sign up for and buy a different kind of currency for each game you're playing. (Though it's worth noting that, within each game, developers will still be allowed to keep their own unique names for their currency (Farm Cash, City Bucks, etc).
This one-stop-shopping move also makes buying that pink Valentine cow or that disco pony in "FarmVille" a less intimidating process for those who might be concerned about handing over their credit card number in the wild world of Facebook. And that's good news ... because we wouldn't buying a pink cow to be intimidating.
(Thanks to TechCrunch for the heads up.)
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