Simon Cross of Facebook says game makers aren’t leaving Facebook, they’re just moving to other platforms and bringing the social network along with them.
There was a time when the Facebook/Zynga partnership was undeniably the Next Big Thing in gaming. Core games were out, ‘Villes were in and whether you liked it or not, a sea change in the “gamer” demographic meant that the videogame industry would soon be catering first and foremost to your mom rather than to you. But the wheels seem to have come off that plan rather quickly, haven’t they? With Zynga continuing its ugly implosion and EA recently throwing in the towel, the two biggest boosters of the social gaming scene are now out of the picture, which you might think would constitute bad news for Facebook. But not so.
“This is something that people get wrong all the time, and I’ll be really clear about this. Are developers moving away from Facebook? No. They’re building Facebook into their apps. Just because they’re building iOS and Android versions of their apps, does that mean they’re moving away from Facebook? No,” Simon Cross, Facebook’s manager of developer relations, told Develop.
Facebook is “baked into” the top-grossing mobile apps, he said, explaining how developers aren’t leaving Facebook but are actually taking Facebook to new places. And while Zynga’s portion is sliding, the overall gaming scene on Facebook is actually growing: At GDC in March, Facebook said it paid $2 billion to game makers on the site in 2012, and that more than 100 developers earned over $1 million through the site last year.
“That just speaks to everything that we’re trying to do,” Cross said. “It’s just about being the social layer on every app, on every platform, that’s where we want to be.”